Pharmacies struggle with a shortage of antifungal drugs as cases of black fungus on a rise in India
India is still figuring out ways to deal with the increasing Covid-19 cases and it has already started witnessing another life-threatening scare as cases of black fungus are also on a rise in the country. `
Patients who have recovered from Covid-19 are getting symptomatic to blacg fungus, for which, one of the extreme signs is losing eyesight. Relatives of patients are now tensed about how to tackle this emerging issue. One of the patients from Andhra Pradesh lost one of his eyes three days after covid recovery and now his other eye has also started hurting.
Private hospitals are also a huge concern for them as many of them have financial issues and are unable to avail certain medications or treatments in these high profile hospitals. The doctors advised these patients to wait for two days for the medications to work properly.
Black fungus is a rare infection that a person catches when fungal spores are inhaled and it is known to affect breathing patterns of an individual by impacting lungs. Brains, eyesights essentially the nervous system are also affected by it. There are many reasons why one catches the fungus and it may range from long ICU stays or high blood sugar levels, claimed health advisory.
Last year, withe Covid-19 pandemic, the country did not face any additional threat to the patient but with the incoming of second wave, the level of threat in the country has increased as the hospital stays of patients have also increased. Prolonged illness is resulting in a patient catching black fungus.
Most cases of black fungus have been reported in Maharashtra with over 2,000 patients showing symptoms and Gujarat closely follows the total with 1,163 cases. The fight is no more restricted to receiving treatments or recovery of the patient. The concern is also about the availability of the medicines used to treat fungal infections.
The antifungal drug–Amphotericin B, which is being used to treat black fungus is running short. This is the case with even the biggest pharmacy in Delhi. The pharmacy is situated near hospitals like AIIMS and Safdarjung and the medicine is nowhere to be found. “I have been searching for Amphotericin for the past 2.5 hours but did not get it anywhere. Neither shops at Green Park nor in Yusuf Sarai have Amphotericin,” said Tarun Wadhera, who is looking for the drug for his friend’s father.
The Union Health Ministry released a directive saying that it has identified only five suppliers of Amphotericin and is not trying to allocate the drug as and where the requirement proceeds. The circular added that the center is also making efforts to import the drug in the coming days.