Govt asks states told to notify black fungus as an epidemic

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All government and private health facilities and medical colleges would have have to follow guidelines for screening, diagnosis, management of mucormycosis, Agarwal said.

The government on Monday has asked state governments to notify mucormycosis as an epidemic. The mucormycosis fungal infection has been spreading across the country with the number of infections growing in Maharashtra, Telangana, Rajasthan and Delhi.

Lav Agarwal, joint secretary, ministry of health and family welfare, has written to the state governments to make mucormycosis a notifiable disease under Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897. It has become mandatory for all of them to report all suspected and confirmed cases to the health department through district level chief medical officer and subsequently to the Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme system. All government and private health facilities and medical colleges would have have to follow guidelines for screening, diagnosis, management of mucormycosis, Agarwal said.

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Mucormycosis has emerged as a new challenge in Covid-19 patients, especially those on steroid therapy and uncontrolled sugar levels, and the fungal infection was leading to prolonged morbidity and mortality among the patients, he said.

The treatment suggested for this fungal infection requires multidisciplinary approach consisting of eye surgeons, ENT specialists, general surgeon, neurosurgeon and dental maxillo facial surgeon, among others, and institution of Amphotericin-B injection as an anti-fungal medicine, the letter said.

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