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Treatment Protocol for Black Fungus Issued, Be Vigilant on Signs and Symptoms, Advices Health Deptt

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mucormycosis in Himachal Pradesh

Shimla-Health and Family Welfare Department, Himachal Pradesh, on Monday informed that the State Covid Clinical Committee has taken out a detailed treatment protocol for Mucormycosis/ Black Fungus. The department has urged people to be vigilant on all the signs and symptoms of black fungus so that a timely medical aid can be sorted for. So far, Himachal has reported at least three cases of Mucormycosis. 

Mucormycosis is a fungal disease which generally affects the nose, eyes and cerebral area in a human body. The immunosuppressive treatments such as steroids being used in Covid-19 patients result in decrease in immunity. The chronic respiratory disease, intubation, mechanical ventilation and coexistence of other infections during COVID-19 also increase chances of mucormycosis, the department informed.

The department said that uncontrolled diabetes mellitus, immunosuppression by steroids, prolonged ICUs stay, comorbidities like malignancy, post transplant are the major risk factors for this fungal disease.

Also Read: Himachal Pradesh Reports First Case of Black Fungus, Centre Writes to States to Declare It An Epidemic

Major Symptoms of Mucormycosis

The major symptoms that a person can be vigilant for this infection are headache, nasal obstruction which is persistent and not responding to medicines, nasal crusting and discharge, pain or loss of sensation over face, discolouration of skin, loosening of teeth, ulceration of palate or bridge of nose, black necrotic eschar in the nasal cavity and sinusitis, it informed.

In addition, the intra oral symptoms include intra oral pus discharge, ulceration of mucosa, loosening of teeth and unhealed tooth socket, mobility of maxilla. This fungal disease also affects eyes which can result in swelling and redness of eyes, double vision, loss of vision, pain in the eye, drooping eyelid.

How Mucormycosis Is Diagnosed 

Laboratory investigations that are done to confirm the disease are blood investigations, nasal endoscopic examination, X-ray, CT scan, biopsy, nasal crust sampling, bronco alveolar lavage etc, the department said.

Treatment of Mucormycosis

After recovering from COVID-19, one should closely monitor and should not miss any warning signs and symptoms mentioned above, as the fungal infection is found to emerge even weeks or months after recovery. One should make judicial use of steroids as per doctor’s advice to avoid risk of infection. Early detection of the disease can ease the treatment of the fungal infection.

“The medical management of mucormycosis is known and the disease is completely curable if detected early. This disease can be treated by injectable Antifungal amphotericin B and other medicines. The treatment also includes surgical debridement of the involved tissue,” the Health and Welfare department clarified.

The disease is preventable and controlling hyperglycaemia, monitoring blood glucose level in post Covid phase, using steroid judiciously, using mask, wearing shoes, long trousers, long sleeves, gloves while handling soil, moss or manure can ensure prevention of this disease, it added.

The Health Dept. also emphasised the patients who are on oxygen therapy or are using humidifier to ensure to use clean sterile and boiled tap water for humidifiers. Mineral water should not be used and the water should be changed in the humidifier on daily basis, it said.

A regular follow-up should be ensured in the initial three months, the Health and Family Welfare department informed.

Mucormycosis Not Contagious, 

The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Monday said that the Fungal infection observed in COVID-19 patients is mostly Mucormycosis. It further said that the infection is not contagious. 

“Mucormycosis is one of the general fungal infections being seen in recovering or recovered COVID-19 patients. The number of cases being reported is increasing, but it is not a communicable disease, meaning it does not spread from one person to another, like COVID-19 does,”Dr Randeep Guleria, Director, AIIMS, New Delhi, at a media briefing 

Dr Guleria says it is better not to use the term black fungus while talking of mucormycosis, as it leads to a lot of avoidable confusion. “Black fungus is another family; this term got associated with mucormycosis due to the presence of black dots among the culture of white fungal colonies. In general, there are various types of fungal infections such as candida, aspergillosis, cryptococcus, histoplasmosis and coccidioidomycosis. Mucormycosis, candida and aspergillosis are the ones observed more in those with low immunity.”

There is no definite link between oxygen therapy and catching the infection, he said. 

“90% – 95% of mucormycosis patients are either diabetic and/or taking steroids,” Dr Guleria informed.

Who is at Higher Risk of Developing Mucormycosis Infection:

  1. Uncontrolled diabetes
  2. Weakening of immune system due to use of steroids
  3. Prolonged ICU/hospital stay
  4. Co-morbidities / post organ transplant / cancer
  5. Voriconazole therapy (used to treat serious fungal infections)

Types of Mucormycosis

Mucormycosis can be categorized depending on which organ of the human body it attacks.  Signs and symptoms of the infection also vary depending on the affected body part.

Rhino orbital cerebral Mucormycosis: It infects the nose, orbit of eye / eye socket, oral cavity and can even spread to the brain. Symptoms include headache, nasal congestion, nasal discharge (green colour), pain in sinus, bleeding nose, swelling on face, lack of sensation on face and skin discoloration.                                         

Pulmonary Mucormycosis: This fungal infection affects the lungs. Causes fever, chest pain, cough and coughing of blood.

The fungus can also infect the gastrointestinal tract.

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Shimla Police Nabs Escaped Murder Accused from Tara Devi Forest After Two Days

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escaped accused from shimla captured

Shimla Police has nabbed the undertrial accused of murder who had escaped from the custody of policemen on Wednesday. The accused was re-captured from the forests near the Tara Devi temple after a search operation of two days. The teams of police used drone cameras and search dogs in this search operation.

On November 17, 2021, Dadi Ram aka Sagar (37) – a Nepalese who was booked for the rape and murder of his mother-in-law on July 31, 2020, in Theog, Shimla district, and was kept at the Model Central Jail Kanda – had ditched two policemen near Tavi mod (curve) while he was being taken to the court for a hearing. He had jumped down the forest and was at large since then.

CCTV footage from a nearby building had also appeared in which the accused was seen escaping the custody of policemen. The incident had drawn flak for the Shimla Police, and several questions were raised on the working of the police. The people raised various questions; like why a murder accused was not handcuffed? Why the police didn’t use a vehicle to take him to court?

According to the district police, after the accused escaped, teams of police from Boileauganj and other concerned police stations were formed and deployed in re-capturing him. The teams also included jawans from the 6th India Reserve Battalion and Rapid Action Force. Alongwith search operations in Forests around Taradevi and Shoghi, checking of buses and vehicles at barriers and trains was also conducted regularly.

As per the police, on November 19, 2021, the accused was spotted in the forest near Tara Devi through a drone camera. The teams of police cordoned the forest and searched for the accused. Eventually, the teams succeeded in capturing the accused. He has been brought to the Boileauganj police station.  

 

 

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Negligence of HP University in Mark-Sheet Evaluation Allegedly Costs One Year Loss to Student, HC Issues Notice to Varsity on PIL

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HP University pil in high court

Shimla-Himachal Pradesh University is again in the news after a student of Government College, Hamirpur, filed a Public Interest Litigation in the State High Court alleging loss of one year to his career due to negligence of the varsity in evaluating his answer sheet.

It’s pertinent to mention that, varsity administration, especially Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Sikandar Kumar, is already under fire for allegedly tweaking rules to allow admission of his ward and wards of a couple of other officials to PhD by bypassing mandatory entrance exams/NET/JRF.

In the current case, a Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Mohammad Rafiq and Justice Sabina issued notices to the Registrar and the Controller of Examination of  HP University, Shimla.

As per the petitioner, Keshav Singh, he was a student of B.Sc (Maths) in the Government College, Hamirpur, for the session 2017-2020. He appeared in the examination for the 5th semester in November 2019.  In February 2020, he appeared in IIT Jam and scored 40.33 marks out of 100 and became eligible to get admission in M.Sc(PG Course) NIT.

However, in June 2020, the results of the 5th semester were declared and he was given only 5 marks out of 70 in one of the subjects, due to which he could not get admission to the NIT.  He has further said that he had a good academic record and attempted most of the questions in this exam. He applied for rechecking of his paper.  After re-checking, 42 marks were enhanced and he scored 47 marks in that subject. But the re-evaluation result was declared after counselling for the M.Sc. By that time, all the seats were filled up and he couldn’t get an admission.

Though he again cleared the exam for  IIT Jam, 2021, the student alleged that the mental harassment and mental distress he faced was irreparable. He lost one year during the era of this cut-throat competition and thousands of people overtook him, he said. He also alleged that due to negligence of the respondent University, he remained deprived of investing his one year for making his career bright as he could not attend any counselling of IIT/NIT JAM and could not fill up any forms for any competitive exam. For this loss,  the varsity is liable to pay compensation to him, he pleaded.

The petitioner has prayed in the court to direct the respondents to pay him adequate compensation and to adopt a fair and proper manner of checking the answer sheets so that in the future no one faces the same situation as has been faced by him.

The HP High Court directed the respondents (varsity) to file their reply within three weeks and posted the matter for December 8, 2021.

 

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The Himalayan Expedition “Silk Route – Chapter Hatu” Trek & Run Competition Concludes Successfully

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himalayan silk route trekking and run

Shimla-As a joint venture, ‘The Himalayan Expedition Silk Route’ – a new trek and run competition- was organized at Narkanda, Shimla district, Himachal Pradesh on 14th, November 2021. Organized by Adventure North, Kawasaki Advertisers, Deodar Cottage, and Homeland Himalaya; the inaugural event was entitled ‘Chapter Hatu’. During this first trek, the participants had to trek 4.5 km uphill to the Hatu Peak – at an altitude of 3400 meters. Followed by a downhill trek of 9 km for the Adventure category.

However, the competitive runners, including two girl athletes, had to run another 14 km to Khadarala to complete the race.

A total of 31 people, from children aged 8-years-old to senior citizens, participated in the inaugural leg.

hatu trek competition

The event was flagged off from the Sili Kandli at 8:19 am.

The race was organized in two categories; “Adventure” for the trekking enthusiasts and the “Competitive” category for the endurance challengers.

himalayan silk route chapter hatu

Along the entire route, 13 teams were available at hydration desks placed at every two kilometers. Also, a well-equipped ambulance with a medic team of three, including a female, was in place.

Rahul Beakta of Theog, Shimla, won the competition by completing 26.5 km in 2 hours 56 minutes. He was followed by Bappan, Shimla, and Captain Vineet Sharma, Kathlee Ghat. The entire competitive and adventure leg was completed successfully, without any injury.

winners of silk route trekking

“It was the first promotional event for a trek and run of 300 km to scale the old ‘Silk Route from Narkanda to Namgia (near China border)’ with a minimal carbon footprint. We plan the second chapter with an additional 60 km in 2022,” the organizers informed.

“This marathon goes through the apple belt of the mid-Sutlej region all along the silk route to Shipki La. Be a part of this heritage and run along the paths and trails of this lost era, ‘The Silk Route’, which has lost its prominence in the modern world, the organizers further added.

The second leg of The Himalaya Expedition is scheduled for October 2022.

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