No need to panic over black fungus, says minister

Staff Correspondent

26 May, 2021 12:00 AM printer

Health and Family Welfare Minister Zahid Maleque on Tuesday said there is nothing to be panicked over black fungus as it has not yet spread in the country.

“Along with the Indian variant of coronavirus, black fungus has also entered the country. Besides resisting the new Indian variant of coronavirus, now we also have to deal with black fungus. But there is no reason to be too scared at this moment. Because so far, the virus has not spread in the country,” he said.

The health minister said this while speaking at the inaugural function of pilot programme of vaccination with Sinopharm vaccine at Dhaka Medical College Hospital in the capital.

Mentioning that various pharmaceutical companies in the country have been asked to increase production of black fungus preventive drugs as part of precautionary measures, he said departments concerned have also been instructed to provide proper treatment of the disease. Bangladesh has reported two cases of black fungus or mucormycosis in patients who have recovered from Covid-19.

They were detected at BIRDEM Hospital in the capital on May 8 and on May 23, hospital sources said.

However, a suspected 'black fungus' patient died at the BIRDEM hospital in the capital. The 65-year-old man breathed his last at BIRDEM Hospital while undergoing treatment three days ago. Another patient with black fungus is undergoing treatment at the same hospital.

He was tested positive for Covid-19 one month ago and was admitted to the hospital with post-Covid complications, said Professor M Delwar Hossain, head of Respiratory Medicine Department of BIRDEM Hospital.

The Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) recently sent letters to the authorities concerned of districts across the country, asking them to remain alert about the deadly black fungus.

According to health experts, mucormycosis or black fungus is a fungal infection, which is rare but can be fatal. In 50 percent of the cases, this fungal infection causes death. A patient suffering from the black fungus can be saved only by removing the bone around the eyes or jaw.

Mucormycosis is a fungal infection that causes blackening or discolouration over the nose, blurred or double vision, chest pain, breathing difficulties and coughing blood.

Black fungus was recently announced as an epidemic in four states in India. Just a few weeks after black fungus was terrifying people, reports of four cases of white fungus emerged in Patna. Reportedly, white fungus is more dangerous than the black fungus. Doctors have also warned that delay in treatment can lead to death and so they must be taken with utmost seriousness, said a report of Times of India.