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Black fungus, gangrene threats confine diabetics indoors

Chittoor district has so far reported close to 20 black fungus cases

The looming threat of black fungus and gangrene among people suffering from diabetes, including those who have recovered from COVID-19, has forced most of them to stay indoors.

According to traders, till the first week of May, the vegetable markets and meat shops used to be flooded with customers, mostly men in the age group of 40-65, while the supermarkets saw the rush of youth and women.

“Now the situation has changed. Black fungus and gangrene have played havoc with the psyche of the middle-aged and elderly suffering from diabetes, who are on pills or insulin. For three weeks, mostly young family members are being sent on errands, or the families have resolved to stop eating meat till the pandemic is over,” says Rafiuiddin, a meat shop owner in Nagari.

Chittoor district has so far reported close to 20 black fungus cases among those undergoing post-COVID treatment, the highest in the State so far. According to officials, a majority of the cases were diabetics and those under medication for life-threatening diseases. Among the 1,180 casualties in Chittoor since May last year, a vast number of cases were above 45 years with history of diabetes and comorbid conditions.

“This has a telling effect on the diabetics in Chittoor district, though they have not tested positive for COVID so far. Apart from individual care, the diabetics and elderly are being prevented from venturing out by their family members. More than COVID, now the people are worried about black fungus and gangrene. We have reports that the sale of glucometers online and at medical shops has increased manifold since the first week of May, post outbreak of black fungus,” said Gopi, a medical distributor in Chittoor.

Worried people above 45 years are now making a beeline to physicians to test their sugar levels, as a precautionary measure. “Prior to the pandemic, I used to get four or five new patients opting for sugar tests in a week. During the last one month, the number is gradually increasing. To avoid rush, we are using glucometers to record the levels, instead of the traditional blood tests. We are advising the elderly patients to purchase glucometers so that they could avoid coming to hospitals and clinics,” said a medical practitioner in Tirupati.

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