2 min read.Updated: 20 May 2021, 02:34 PM ISTMeghna Sen
In a letter to the states, Health Ministry Joint Secretary Lav Agarwal has said, 'All government and private health facilities and medical colleges have to follow guidelines for screening, diagnosis, management of mucormycosis'
The Central Government on Thursday directed all states and union territories to declare "black fungus" or mucormycosis an epidemic, stating that the infection is leading to prolonged morbidity and mortality amongst Covid-19 patients.
The Health Ministry has asked states and UTs to list under the "Epidemic Diseases Act" the rare but potentially fatal fungal infection.
In a letter to the states, Health Ministry Joint Secretary Lav Agarwal has said, "All government and private health facilities and medical colleges have to follow guidelines for screening, diagnosis, management of mucormycosis."
Now, all confirmed or suspected cases of mucormycosis, a condition seen in recovering Covid-19 patients, have to be reported to the Ministry of Health.
"And, make it mandatory for all these facilities to report all suspected and confirmed cases to health department through district-level chief medical officer and subsequently to Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP) surveillance system," the letter read.
After Rajasthan and Telangana, the Tamil Nadu government has also declared the black fungus as a notifiable disease under the epidemic act.
"We are making black fungus a notifiable disease under the Public Health Act. So now, we'll know what all cases are there. Luckily, we've officially only nine reported cases and all are stable. Now, we'll also get the data from private hospitals," Tamil Nadu Health Secretary J Radhakrishna said today.
The Telangana government earlier today declared the black fungus as a notifiable disease under the epidemic act.
"Fungal infection Mucormycosis is hereby declared as a notifiable disease under Epidemic Diseases Act 1897. All Government and private health facilities shall follow guidelines for screening, diagnosis and management of Mucormycosis issued by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India and Indian Council of Medical Research," read a notification issued by Office Of The Director Of Public Health And Family Welfare dated May 19.
The Rajasthan government too had on Wednesday declared mucormycosis an epidemic in the state.
At present, Rajasthan has around 100 black fungus patients and a separate ward has been made at Sawai Man Singh Hospital in Jaipur for their treatment, the state's Principal Health Secretary Akhil Arora has said.
The rare fungal infection, which was initially spotted among Covid-19 patients in Gujarat and Maharashtra, is on the rise in several parts of the country.
As per the Union Health Ministry, mucormycosis or black fungus is a complication caused by a fungal infection.
People catch mucormycosis by coming in contact with the fungal spores in the environment. It can also develop on the skin after the fungus enters the skin through a cut, scrape, burn, or other types of skin trauma.
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