Telangana government releases guidelines for control of Mucormycosis

Circular focuses on prevention of Black Fungus

Published - May 15, 2021 07:42 pm IST - HYDERABAD

Telangana Health department has issued ‘Urgent precautionary measures to prevent Mucormycosis during COVID’ to all private hospitals in the State on Saturday.

The Black Fungus (Mucormycosis) was a rare infection. However, it is increasingly being detected among post-COVID patients, including in Telangana.

Detailed guidelines on preventing Mucormycosis (Black Fungus) in COVID-19 patients, and an eight-point SOP on maintenance of humidifiers were issued by Director of Public Health G. Srinivasa Rao, noting the importance of preventive measures.

“Mucormycosis is a fungal infection that mainly affects people who are on medication for other health problems that reduces their ability to fight environmental pathogens. Sinuses or lungs of such individuals get affected after fungal spores are inhaled from the air,” according to an advisory developed by National Task Force for COVID-19 and experts.

In the guidelines issued to prevent Mucormycosis in COVID-19 patients, Dr. Srinivasa Rao suggested — 1) Better control of the sugar levels during COVID with or without steroids; 2) Judicious use of steroids observing correct timing, correct dose and correct duration; 3) Judicious use of antibiotics or antifungals; 4) To use clean, sterile water for humidifiers during the oxygen therapy.

Pointing out that Mucormycosis is often reported due to poor maintenance of humidifiers, he has also issued SOP for strict adherence. He has directed private hospitals to always use distilled or sterile water, never use unboiled tap water or mineral water, fill up to about 10 mm below the maximum fill line, check the water level twice daily and top it up as necessary.

“Once a week (for the same patient) and in between patients, all the components of the humidifier should be soaked in a mild antiseptic solution for 30 minutes, rinsed with clean water and dried in air. Medical superintendents of all private hospitals shall ensure strict implementation of above guidelines,” the Director Public Health directed.

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