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Doctors Remove Eyes of Three Children in Mumbai to Thwart Spread of Black Fungus

Representational image.

Representational image.

So far, surgeons have had to remove patients' nose, eyes or even their jaw to stop Black Fungus from getting to the brain.

An eye each of three children infected with Mucormycosis or Black Fungus had to be removed in Mumbai as the disease spread to an extent that it became a risk to their lives. Doctors said Black Fungus cases in children are a worrying sign and the infection primarily targets COVID-19 recovered patients with comorbidities like diabetes and is dangerous.

According to a report in NDTV, the three children, aged four, six and 14 years, were operated upon at two hospitals in Mumbai. While the first two children are not diabetic, the 14-year-old child suffered from the ailment. Another 16-year-old girl became diabetic after recovering from Coronavirus and a part of her stomach was found to have been infected by Black Fungus.

A senior city-based doctor said the fungus was spreading to the nose in two of the children. “We saw two girls infected with Black Fungus in the second wave (of Covid). Both were diabetic. After she came to us (the 14 years old), one of her eyes turned black within 48 hours. Luckily, it did not reach the brain. We treated her for six weeks; unfortunately, she lost her eye," Dr Jesal Sheth, Senior Consultant Paediatrician at Fortis Hospital, was quoted as saying.

“The 16-year-old child was healthy a month ago. She had recovered from Covid. She was not diabetic. But she came to us with diabetes suddenly. Her intestines started bleeding. We did an angiography and found that Black Fungus had infected blood vessels near her stomach," Dr Sheth said.

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The younger Covid-hit children, who were not diabetic, were admitted to Mumbai’s KBH Bachooali Ophthalmic and ENT Hospital.

Another doctor had the eyes not been removed, their life would have been danger. “Black Fungus was spreading in their eyes. They were already blind in one eye and it was hurting them badly. One child came to us in December last year. The second case came during the second wave," Dr Prithesh Shetty, Oculoplasty, Ocular Oncology and Ocular Prosthetic at the hospital, was quoted as saying.

Black Fungus that has been declared a notified disease under Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897, has spread across the country with several deaths being reported. So far, surgeons have had to remove patients’ nose, eyes or even their jaw to stop the disease from getting to the brain.

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first published:June 17, 2021, 19:01 IST