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First black fungus death at AIIMS Rishikesh

Uttarakhand has reported its first death by Covid-triggered black fungus or Mucormycosis at All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) Rishikesh, news agency ANI reported citing AIIMS spokesperson Harish Thapliyal. The black fungus infection has been found in 15 Covid patients admitted in AIIMS Rishikesh, Thapliyal said.

“Along with the corona infection, the risk of black fungus is increasing in Uttarakhand, the circumstances are that cases of black fungus are continuously coming up in Uttarakhand and the first death due to black fungus was reported in AIIMS Rishikesh,” he told the news agency.

The AIIMS spokesperson further said that five infected are residents of Haridwar district. He said that the deceased man died from black fungus was infected from Covid and was bought from Dehradun a few days ago in AIIMS.

The official further said 12 of 15 infected people are from Uttarakhand — five are from Haridwar, four from Dehradun, one from Kashipur, one from Udham Singh Nagar and one from Almora. So far, 10 people have undergone surgery for black fungus infection. Currently, the state has 79,379 active Covid cases.

On Saturday, AIIMS Delhi Director said that black fungus cases in the country was rising and misuse of steroids was a major cause behind it. He urged the hospitals to follow protocols of infection control practices as secondary infections — fungal and bacterial — were increasing and causing more mortality.

He said that mucormycosis spores are found in soil, air and even in food. “But they are of low virulence and usually do not causes infection. There were very few cases of this infection before Covid. Now a large number of cases are being reported due to Covid.”

He further informed that at Delhi AIIMS, 23 patients were being treated for fungal infection. Out of them, 20 were still Covid positive and the rest were negative. He said many states had reported more than 500 cases of mucormycosis

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