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'Dutch Kit' is Helping People of Bengaluru to Detect Black Fungus Sooner; Here’s How

Representational image.

Representational image.

The efficacy of the test in a Dutch kit is equal to RTPCR for Covid 19, explains Dr. Shetty.

Any disease is best treated with an accurate diagnosis. Black fungus or Mucormycosis is nothing different. Delayed diagnosis is fatal in this infection. Many times patients end up losing eyes or life just because of a late diagnosis. Dr. K Bhujang Shetty, Chairman, Narayana Nethralaya, and team have come up with a quick solution for mucormycosis. They call it the ‘Dutch Kit’.

The efficacy of the test in a Dutch kit is equal to RTPCR for Covid 19, explains Dr. Shetty. “We are seeing lot of patients who rush to the hospital in panic mode even with a slight nose block. There is no quick tool to diagnose if a certain person is infected by mucormycosis.

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Present methods take at least 10 to 15 days for confirmation since the fungi will have to be cultured in the lab before knowing the exact group. So we brought in this Dutch kit. As the name indicates, it is imported from The Netherlands. The kit as a whole efficiently detects fungal infection in 24 to 48 hours. All we need is the patient’s blood sample and lesion if possible. There are 5 main varieties of mucormycosis and it can be detected and differentiated easily through this method. And the accuracy is 100%” explains Dr Shetty.

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Narayana Nethralaya has already tested 25 patients who were doubtful about fungal infection. The kit costs around 7000 rupees and is a big relief for people who want to get tested when doubtful. Several other hospitals are looking into this as a good option since the results are quicker.

Mucormycosis can be treated and cured only if diagnosed earlier. Any delay is fatal. 52-year-old Usharani developed a severe headache a week after she tested negative for covid 19. She was just home after a long and hiatus stay at the hospital for covid treatment. Being diabetic, her headache brought her more stress thinking of various post covid complications.

“Black fungus was the first thought that crossed my mind. I panicked and rushed to the hospital. Even if it was not a black fungus, I wanted to hear it from the doctor. They mentioned this imported kit and I immediately went for it. The 24 odd hours, until the results came, were the deadliest. And then the hospital called and said I tested negative for fungal infection. I can’t explain the relief I felt at that moment. And surprisingly my headache vanished soon after. Looks like the thought of another infection pushed me into stress resulting in headache”, says a much relieved Usharani.

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first published:June 11, 2021, 10:39 IST