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Prevention Of Fungal Infections Key Area Of Focus In Treating COVID Patients: AIIMS Director

According to Dr Guleria, chances of fungal infection increase in the patients who are diabetic, COVID positive and are taking steroids

Prevention Of Fungal Infections Key Area Of Focus In Treating COVID Patients: AIIMS Director
Highlights
  • Stop the misuse of steroids to prevent fungal infection: Dr Guleria
  • Mucormycosis can affect the face, infecting nose, or bit of eye: Expert
  • Mucormycosis spores are found in soil, air and even in food: Dr Guleria

New Delhi: Training in rural areas, good infection control practices in hospitals and prevention of fungal infections are the three areas of focus of the government in its treatment of those infected with coronavirus, AIIMS director Randeep Guleria said Saturday (May 15).

Also Read: COVID-19 Rapidly Spreading In Rural Areas: PM Narendra Modi

Amid reports of the coronavirus pandemic spreading to rural areas, he said that COVID management should reach out to all parts of the country.

It should now reach out to all parts, especially the rural areas. The Ministry of Health and AIIMS started a programme for COVID management in rural areas from April 30 to May 13 for national institutes of excellence at regional levels where we held webinars on home isolation, medication for home isolation, ICU management, testing, diabetes management. These regional centres have to themselves do more webinars in their areas and train doctors, so that even in rural areas COVID management is ideal and of international standards, Dr Guleria said.

He also warned against the increase in the number of fungal infections that are being reported from across the country and said that it is of paramount importance that hospitals follow protocols of infection control practices.

It has been seen that secondary infections — whether fungal or bacterial — are causing more mortality. This disease, mucormycosis, can affect the face, infecting nose, or bit of eye, or brain, which can even cause vision loss. It can also spread to the lung, Dr Guleria said.

He also said that the misuse of steroids is a major cause behind the spread of this infection.

Chances of fungal infection increase in the patients who are diabetic, COVID positive and are taking steroids. To prevent it, we should stop the misuse of steroids, he said.

According to Dr Guleria, mucormycosis spores are found in soil, air and even in food, but they are of low virulence and usually don’t cause infection.

Also Read: Coronavirus Explained: What Is Mucormycosis Or Black Fungus And How It Affects COVID-19 Patients

Even before COVID, this disease could be seen mostly in diabetic patients, transplant and cancer patients, but it was rare among the general public. Now a large number of cases are being reported due to COVID treatment, he said, recommending close monitoring of blood sugar levels to prevent the infection.

At AIIMS, he said 23 cases of such infection were reported among COVID patients. Out of them, 20 are still COVID-19 positive while the rest are negative.

Dr Guleria said that many states have reported more than 500 cases of mucormycosis. He also advised against using steroids in the early stages of coronavirus and said that if the patient has mild symptoms, steroids would do him more harm than good.

Data shows that 5-10 days steroids are needed for the majority of COVID patients, he said.

Niti Ayog member VK Paul too raised concerns over mucormycosis and appealed to people to control their diabetes as the disease is seen to spread among such patients more widely.

Control your diabetes. Even when you have COVID, please ensure you don’t forget to have your medicines. Another aspect of this is to use steroids judiciously, he said.

Mr Paul said that while steroids are part of the treatment for COVID, it is important to prescribe it at the right time and in the right dosage, otherwise it could lead to secondary infections like mucormycosis.

Steroids should not be prescribed lightly… This disease has to be prevented, he said.

India recorded 3,26,098 more COVID-19 cases that took the total number of infections to 2,43,72,907, while 3,890 new fatalities pushed the death toll to 2,66,207, according to Union Health Ministry data updated on Saturday morning. The active cases have reduced to 36,73,802 and comprise 15.07 per cent of the total infections, while the national recovery rate has improved to 83.83 per cent, it stated.

Watch: Explained: What Is ‘Black Fungus’ In COVID-19 Patients

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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World

26,71,08,375Cases
22,77,48,418Active
3,40,89,137Recovered
52,70,820Deaths
Coronavirus has spread to 196 countries. The total confirmed cases worldwide are 26,71,08,375 and 52,70,820 have died; 22,77,48,418 are active cases and 3,40,89,137 have recovered as on December 8, 2021 at 3:48 am.

India

3,46,48,383 6,822Cases
95,0143,402Active
3,40,79,612 10,004Recovered
4,73,757 220Deaths
In India, there are 3,46,48,383 confirmed cases including 4,73,757 deaths. The number of active cases is 95,014 and 3,40,79,612 have recovered as on December 7, 2021 at 2:30 am.

State Details

State Cases Active Recovered Deaths
Maharashtra

66,39,296 518

10,528 298

64,87,593 811

1,41,175 5

Kerala

51,69,198 3,277

41,386 2,724

50,86,044 5,833

41,768 168

Karnataka

29,98,400 301

7,096 65

29,53,067 359

38,237 7

Tamil Nadu

27,31,235 719

8,013 28

26,86,683 737

36,539 10

Andhra Pradesh

20,73,852 122

2,030 92

20,57,369 213

14,453 1

Uttar Pradesh

17,10,485 10

137 3

16,87,437 7

22,911

West Bengal

16,19,722 465

7,590 49

15,92,579 505

19,553 9

Delhi

14,41,398 40

344 26

14,15,955 65

25,099 1

Odisha

10,50,354 105

2,010 144

10,39,921 248

8,423 1

Chhattisgarh

10,07,011 44

337 7

9,93,081 37

13,593

Rajasthan

9,54,920 29

221 0

9,45,743 28

8,956 1

Gujarat

8,27,745 38

350 1

8,17,300 37

10,095

Madhya Pradesh

7,93,258 17

137 4

7,82,593 13

10,528

Haryana

7,71,851 32

203 18

7,61,594 14

10,054

Bihar

7,26,244 7

28 2

7,14,126 5

12,090

Telangana

6,77,138 195

3,810 23

6,69,328 171

4,000 1

Assam

6,17,758 182

2,544 54

6,09,088 122

6,126 6

Punjab

6,03,509 21

333 28

5,86,565 46

16,611 3

Jharkhand

3,49,352 10

131 4

3,44,080 6

5,141

Uttarakhand

3,44,364 11

172 2

3,36,781 13

7,411

Jammu And Kashmir

3,37,915 108

1,661 45

3,31,771 151

4,483 2

Himachal Pradesh

2,27,630 112

776 21

2,23,001 90

3,853 1

Goa

1,79,209 35

413 1

1,75,409 34

3,387

Mizoram

1,36,784 330

3,120 19

1,33,156 310

508 1

Puducherry

1,29,093 8

250 30

1,26,968 38

1,875

Manipur

1,25,389 29

341 12

1,23,063 38

1,985 3

Tripura

84,866 8

93 3

83,948 5

825

Meghalaya

84,599 16

246 2

82,878 14

1,475

Chandigarh

65,500 12

62 4

64,618 8

820

Arunachal Pradesh

55,294 1

35 1

54,979 2

280

Sikkim

32,374 5

214 1

31,755 6

405

Nagaland

32,140 4

120 3

31,321 1

699

Ladakh

21,723 9

270 25

21,238 34

215

Dadra And Nagar Haveli

10,683

0 0

10,679

4

Lakshadweep

10,404

10 0

10,343

51

Andaman And Nicobar Islands

7,690 2

3 1

7,558 3

129

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