Bengaluru’s Bowring Hospital to treat black fungus infection, expert panel to be formed

Karnataka Health Minister K Sudhakar said that the expert committee will discuss the course of treatment.
Health Minister Dr K Sudhakar
Health Minister Dr K Sudhakar
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Karnataka Health Minister K Sudhakar on Sunday said that the government will treat Mucormycosis, commonly known as ‘black fungus’, at Bowring and Lady Curzon Hospital in Bengaluru from May 17. The Minister also said that the treatment will be expanded to all medical colleges and district government hospitals. Sudhakar, while addressing the media in Bengaluru, said that he will have a word with Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa to treat the patients for free.

A Times of India report quoted him saying that they will have beds reserved in Bowring Hospital in Bengaluru before the expansion of the treatment to district hospitals. Treatment for Mucormycosis lasts for seven weeks and is costly, he noted, adding that he will request CM Yediyurappa to make the treatment free.

Elucidating on the fact that the fungal infection has been affecting those COVID-19 patients who have weaker immunity, he said that a committee of experts will be formed to discuss the plan for treatment of those infected. The committee will comprise endocrinologists and ophthalmologists. The Minister also said that they consulted ophthalmologists from Maharashtra.

Moreover, he also said that there is an acute shortage of the anti-fungal medication used to treat the infection. A report quoted him saying that Amphotericin B, the drug used to treat black fungus is in short supply and the state has requested 25 vials of the injection.

The Minister in a response to a question, however, noted that the state as yet has not collated data regarding people who have contracted the infection or died due to the same. He said that people might have gone to private doctors.

Noting that the cases of Mucormycosis have been affecting COVID-19 patients who have been treated using steroids, he advised the doctors to regulate the use of steroids being administered during treatment. He also requested the patients to not consume steroids without having consulted a doctor. He also asked patients with other conditions such as tuberculosis, HIV, and cancer to be cautious.

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