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Two states declare mucormycosis as an ‘epidemic’

As the cases of mucormycosis or black fungus rise affecting people recovering from Covid 19, the Rajasthan government on Wednesday declared it an epidemic and a notifiable disease. It will be mandatory for the health facilities to report every case of the disease in the State.

Presently, Rajasthan has more than 100 black fungus patients, for whom a special ward has been established at the Sawai Man Singh Government Hospital here. More of these cases are being reported from Jaipur, Jodhpur, Sirohi and Kota districts.

The declaration of mucormycosis as an epidemic would ensure its “integrated and coordinated” treatment along with the treatment for COVID-19. The notification was issued under the Rajasthan Epidemic Act, 2020, said Principal Health Secretary Akhil Arora, according to The Hindu report. 

However, the cases of mucormycosis are on a rise in a number of other states as well. As cases of mucormycosis skyrocket in Telangana, Telangana also declares mucormycosis as an epidemic after Rajasthan.

According to a notification issued by the Director of Public Health and Family Welfare, it is a notifiable disease under Epidemic Diseases Act 1897.

As part of this, all government and private health facilities will have to report suspected cases and confirmed cases to the Health department daily.

The screening, diagnosis and management of mucormycosis will have to be uniform and in compliance with MOHFW and ICMR guidelines.

The Haryana government has already declared black fungus as a notified disease. Under this, the Haryana government has formed regulations called ‘The Haryana Epidemic Diseases (Mucormycosis) Regulations, 2021’. The healthcare facilities, both government and private in Harayana will follow the guidelines for screening, diagnosis, management of mucormycosis, issued by the Centre and state governments and amended from time to time. Haryana health minister Anil Vij said 115 cases of black fungus have been detected in the state till now.

To know more about this make sure to check out our previous coverage- Hearing About Mucormycosis Lately, Know What It Means

Likewise, the Punjab government Wednesday declared it a notified disease under the Epidemic Diseases Act. This makes it mandatory for all government and private healthcare facilities across the state to report every suspected/confirmed case of the disease. 

As per the notification issued by Punjab government’s Department of Health and Family Welfare, “….the state of Punjab is threatened with the outbreaks of dangerous epidemic disease namely Mucormycosis among Covid-19 patients being treated with steroids and that ordinary provisions of law for the time being in force are insufficient for the purpose. Now therefore in exercise of the powers conferred under Section 2, 3 & 4 of the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897…The Governor of Punjab is pleased to make the regulation namely ‘The Punjab Epidemic Diseases Mucormycosis among Covid-19 Patients Regulations, 2021..”

Other states which have reported d cases of black fungus are Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Maharashtra.

In Madhya Pradesh, the state government has decided to launch a ‘nasal endoscopy’ campaign in view of a rise in the cases of mucormycosis or black fungus among Covid-19 patients. This campaign is aimed at the early detection and treatment of black fungus.

Mucormycosis appears as a side effect among COVID-19 patients who are put on oxygen support through liquid medical oxygen cylinders or oxygen concentrators.

Furthermore, the Union Health Ministry on Thursday urged the state governments to make ‘mucormycosis’ or black fungus a notifiable disease under the Epidemic Diseases Act 1897.

“All Government and private health facilities, medical colleges should follow guidelines for screening, diagnosis, management of mucormycosis, issued by MoHFW & ICMR,” the Union Health Ministry said, according to news agency ANI.

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