Declare mucormycosis an epidemic, Centre tells States

A nurse treats a Black Fungus infected patient at Mucormycosis ward of government ENT hospital in Hyderabad on May 19, 2021.   | Photo Credit: G. Ramakrishna

The Union government has asked the States to declare mucormycosis, the fungal infection being reported in COVID-19 patients, an epidemic.

In a letter to the States, Health and Family Welfare Ministry Joint Secretary Lav Agarwal said declaring the black fungus infection seen in COVID-19 patients an epidemic would lead to health facilities screening for it and reporting all such cases to the government.

Declare mucormycosis an epidemic, Centre tells States

“A new challenge in the form of a fungal infection, namely mucormycosis, has emerged and is reported from many States amongst COVID-19 patients, especially those on steroid therapy and deranged sugar control. This infection is leading to prolonged morbidity and mortality amongst COVID-19 patients,” he stated.

Rajasthan, Telangana and Tamil Nadu have declared it an epidemic. Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope said black fungus had claimed 90 lives in the State so far. Eight people had died of the infection in Haryana, which has reported 316 cases. Rajasthan has 100 patients, while Tamil Nadu has reported nine cases.

Lav Agarwal, Joint Secretary, Health Ministry, has told the States that the treatment of mucormyosis required a multi-disciplinary approach that involved eye surgeons, ENT specialists, general surgeons, neurosurgeons and dental maxilo facial surgeons and the use of Amphotericin B as an anti-fungal medicine.

Watch | What is mucormycosis or black fungus?

“You are requested to make mucormycosis a notifiable disease under Epidemic Diseases Act 1897, wherein all government and private health facilities, medical colleges will follow guidelines for screening, diagnosis, management of mucormycosis, issued by MoHFW and ICMR and make it mandatory for all facilities to report suspected and confirmed cases to Health Department and to the Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme,” he wrote.

(With PTI inputs)

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Printable version | Jul 28, 2021 11:45:50 PM |

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