Suspected ‘black fungus’ case detected at Silchar Medical College and Hospital

Silchar Medical College and Hospital in Assam on May 30 reported a suspected case of mucormycosis, commonly called black fungus.

SMCH principal Babul Kumar Bezbaruah on May 30 said that the potassium hydroxide test of a 45-year-old patient to determine black fungal infection came out to be positive.

“However, we are waiting for the biopsy report while the swab culture report will take at least 4-5 days. Therefore, we have to wait for the other reports to say that it is a typical case of black fungus,” the principal said.

Assam detected the first black fungus or mucormycosis infection in a COVID-19 patient last week when a 27-year-old male patient who hails from Nagaon succumbed at a private hospital in Guwahati.

The Assam government on May 25 declared the black fungus infection or mucormycosis, as an epidemic. With the government declaring it a notifiable disease, all health facilities should mandatorily report such cases to the health department through the district health authorities.

The Silchar Medical College and Hospital principal informed that the patient, a resident of Karimganj district was detected with COVID-19 on May 5 at the Karimganj Civil Hospital and was tested negative on May 11 following which he was discharged. However, with breathing complications, the patient was admitted at a private hospital at Silchar on May 12 till May 15. After being discharged, the patient was again taken to another hospital in Silchar with complications of shortness of breath where he was treated conservatively for post-COVID complications as per the protocol.

Later, on May 26, the patient was brought to the department of ophthalmology wherein he was found with swelling in one eye among other symptoms.

After that, the case was referred to the Department of ENT along with the department of medicine. The department of ENT did the nasal endoscopy and biopsy and his swab was collected. However, the report is yet to come. But, the potassium hydroxide test to determine black fungal infection came out to be positive.

“The condition of the patient is not good. He is on oxygen support,” Bezbaruah informed media.

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