Center ask states and UTs to make 'black fungus' noticable under Epidemic Act

Picture of black Fungus

Image Source - The New Indian Express

On Thursday, The Union Health Ministry in a letter has asked the States and Union Territories to make Mucormycosis or black fungus a notifiable disease under the Epidemic Diseases Act 1897.

In the letter, the Ministry states, "The treatment of this fungal infection requires multidisciplinary approach consisting of-

Eye Surgeons, ENT specialists, General surgeons, Neurosurgeons, Dental Maxillofacial surgeons, etc., and the institution of Amphotericin B is an antifungal medicine.

You are requested to make mucormycosis a notifiable disease under Epidemic Diseases Act 1897."

Under this all the government and private health facilities, medical colleges will follow guidelines for screening, diagnosis, management of mucormycosis, issued by the union health ministry and Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).

The Ministry has also asked to make it mandatory for all these facilities to report all suspected and confirmed cases to Health Department through the district level Chief Medical Officer and subsequently to the Integrated Disease Surveillance Project (IDSP) surveillance.

The letter also stated, "In recent times a new challenge in the form of a fungal infection namely Mucormycosis has emerged and is reported from many states amongst COVID 19 patients especially those on steroid therapy and deranged sugar control.

This fungal infection is leading to prolonged morbidity and mortality amongst COVID 19 patients."

On May 18, the Haryana government also formed regulations called, "The Haryana Epidemic Diseases (Mucormycosis) Regulations, 2021".

Till date, cases of black fungus have been reported in various parts of the country including Karnataka, Uttarakhand, Telangana, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Haryana, and Bihar.

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