Ganga Ram Hospital today reported first two cases of black fungus of the small intestine, revealing that the disease could infect not just eyes, mouth, lungs and brain, but other parts of the body too.

Both patients were Covid positive and had diabetes, but only one was on steroids. The hospital said the patients must avoid self-medication. The first case is of a 56-year-old who has lost three family members, including wife, to Covid. He himself had mild Covid. Treating the abdominal pain as gastritis, he took medicines for acidity, but his condition worsened.

Centre starts collecting data

After asking the states to notify black fungus, the Health Ministry officially started collecting data on the disease from Saturday. Rough estimates suggest over 6,000 mucormycosis cases nationally.

“The patient was finally evaluated in the Covid emergency. A CT scan revealed his small intestine was perforated. His Covid symptoms too worsened. The patient was operated upon,” Dr Ushast Dhir said. “We sent a portion of the intestine for biopsy and mucormycosis of the small intestine was detected,” Dhir said. A similar history was seen in a 68-year-old patient who also reported mild abdominal pain.

“He was a diabetic and had received steroids for Covid treatment. The patient had no associated fever and pain was mild. His clinical examination also did not show any signs of intestinal perforation. But a CT scan revealed small intestinal perforation. The biopsy confirmed mucormycosis of small intestine in both patients,” said Piyush Ranjan, senior consultant, gastroenterology, at Ganga Ram Hospital. Both had to undergo life-saving surgery.

Source: 22 May, 2021, The Tribune