Karnataka: How they survived deadly mucormycosis | Bengaluru News – Times of India

BENGALURU: There are more than 1,700 people suffering mucormycosis in Karnataka, but despite fear of the fungal infection and despair over the lack of hospital beds and the drug to treat it, 62 patients have recovered.
The state suffers from an acute shortage of antifungal drug Liposomal Amphotericin B, yet there are sunshine tales of people recovering from the infection, without loss of vision. Doctors say early diagnosis is key to quick recovery.
No loss of vision for 19-year-old
Ayush Prasad, 19, tested positive for Covid-19 in the first week of May. Though he had difficulty breathing, he could not get a hospital bed and he was treated at home. He recovered by mid-May but began experiencing pain in the jaws.
Doctors at Sagar Hospitals found he had mucormycosis. Again, he was treated at home until his condition worsened. On May 27, he underwent surgery to remove fungal debris from the brain. He was discharged on June 1.
Non-diabetic, Prasad was given steroids to treat Covid. His brother believes this, perhaps, reduced his immunity. Fortunately, the fungal infection did not spread to his eyes and his vision was unaffected.
Operated four times
Sameer (name changed), a resident of Magadi Road, went to a hospital seeking treatment for the first time in the past 46 years in the first week of May when he had a severe headache and pain in the upper jaw, his family said. He had just recovered from Covid at home. He was given steroids without checking his sugar levels. Sameer didn’t know he was diabetic till his first hospital visit when he was diagnosed with mucor.
Sameer underwent four surgeries to completely get rid of the fungi. “It was not easy to source Liposomal Amphotericin B drug, but we managed to get a total 160 doses for him for 20 days of his hospital stay,” his sister said. His undiagnosed diabetes was the major risk factor, the family says.
Diagnosed in the nick of time

Sumanth (name changed), a 53-yearold entrepreneur from Basaveshwaranagar, was all set to be discharged from Bengaluru-based Trust Well Hospital in the last week of April when his Covid infection subsided. Since he complained of pain in the face, a typical symptom of mucormycosis, a doctor suggested that a cell culture study of the nasal swab be done. The study showed the presence of mucormycosis. Sumanth believes the doctor’s decision to conduct a cell study was lifesaving.
Sumanth underwent two surgeries to curb the spread of the fungus and fungal debris was removed from his nose. Discharged on May 20, Sumanth says he was unaware of the gravity of infection, which helped him recoup. “I had the confidence maybe because I didn’t know much about the infection,” he recalled.

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Sagar Biswas

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