New Delhi: Amid the rising cases of mucormycosis (black fungus) reported in various parts of the country, the Union Health Ministry on Thursday directed all states to declare it as an epidemic and list it under the “Epidemic Diseases Act”
This means that all confirmed or suspected cases of black fungus, a condition seen in recovering COVID-19 patients, have to be reported to the health ministry.
“In recent times, a new challenge in the form of a fungal infection namely mucormycosis has emerged and is reported from many states among COVID-19 patients especially those on steroid therapy and deranged sugar control,” Health Ministry Joint Secretary Lav Agarwal wrote in a letter to the states.
“This fungal infection is leading to prolonged morbidity and mortality among COVID-19 patients,” NDTV reported quoting the letter,
Agarwal added that the treatment for the rare but potentially fatal infection needs a multi-disciplinary approach comprising eye surgeons, ENT specialists, general surgeons, neurosurgeons, dental facial surgeons and a special anti-fungal medicine, Amphotericin.
“All government and private health facilities and medical colleges have to follow guidelines for screening, diagnosis, management of mucormycosis,” ythe official wrote.
The disease, which can lead to blackening or discolouration over the nose, blurred or double vision, chest pain, breathing difficulties and coughing blood, is linked to diabetes.