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Pakistani Doctor Warns of Black Fungus in COVID-19 Patients

An ENT physician at the Khyber Teaching Hospital (KTH) in Peshawar has cautioned that the use of substandard and improperly cleaned oxygen cylinders may lead to the spread of Black Fungus disease among COVID-19 patients.

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In a letter to the Board of Governors (BoG) of KTH, the ENT physician reported that 12 cases of Sinusitis, one of the earliest symptoms of Black Fungus in which severe sinus pain is caused by inflammation or swelling of the tissue lining the sinuses, have been reported over the past two months.

The ENT physician also contacted the KTH Board of Governors (BoG) to ensure that oxygen cylinders are properly cleaned to remove Black Fungus spores from their bases.

Imtiaz Hussain Shah, KP’s health secretary, has ordered the provincial health department to ensure thorough cleaning of all oxygen cylinders in public and private hospitals throughout the province.

Early symptoms of mucormycosis include sinus pain or nasal obstruction on one side of the face, a headache on one side of the head, facial swelling or numbness, toothache, and loosening of the teeth.

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Black Fungus causes discoloration or blackening of the nose, blurred or double vision, chest pain, breathing difficulties, and bloody coughing. These symptoms of mucormycosis are strongly associated with diabetes, which can be exacerbated by the use of steroids, such as dexamethasone, used to treat severe COVID-19.

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