Doctor Speaks: ‘Self Administered Steroids Trigger Mucormycosis’

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Dr Suman Kotwal

JAMMU: Endocrinologist at Government Medical College Jammu, Dr Suman Kotwal has urged diabetic patients to strictly keep their blood sugar levels under check. Diabetes is one major cause of high morbidity and mortality among Covid patients, he says.

Dr Kotwal has advised such patients to religiously follow their medication routines and keep stock of their medicines in advance. Diabetic patients must always have their medicines stocked as it is not advisable for them to frequently go out into the market for purchases amid widespread Covid infection, he said.

Similarly, in case of medical needs, patients must prefer consulting their doctor telephonically instead of meeting in person.

Reassuring, Dr Kotwal says, ‘Even if a diabetic person becomes Covid positive, still there is no need to worry. In some cases their blood sugar might rise during treatment, which is later controlled with insulin injections’.

‘Similarly, some non-diabetic persons may develop diabetes during Covid treatment which needs to be controlled with medicines and insulin. Most of such patients get rid of the medicines post recovery’, underlines Dr Kotwal.

The doctor also shed light on Black Fungus and said that it is not related to Covid directly and may also occur due to high blood sugar, cancer, low immunity or post organ transplant. ‘It just happens and infects some Covid patients, and persons who have self administered high doses of steroids without doctor’s advice. Moreover, even steroids have always been given to patients with a number of non-Covid health issues’, he told. In Covid patients, the fungus can infect during treatment or post recovery also.

‘Black Fungus is not communicable, ie. It does not infect by simply coming in contact with a person suffering from Black Fungus. Keeping in touch with a doctor and avoiding self medication can largely provide protection from it’, informs Dr Kotwal.

The symptoms of Rhino-oculo Cerebral Mucormycosis, the medical term for Black Fungus Infection, includes stiffness or blood stained/ black discharge from nose; pain, bulging (proptosis), restriction in movement, drooping of eye/s, swelling, black lesion around eye/s and loss of vision; and death if in case the infection reaches brain.

All Covid-related queries and doubts are answered on helpline number 0191 2571616. Phone numbers of the Divisional Control Room at 0191-2520982, 2549676, 2674444, 2674115, 2674908 can also be reached for the purpose.

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