The Union government has asked the States to declare mucormycosis, the fungal infection being reported in COVID-19 patients, an epidemic under Epidemic Diseases Act 1897.
- In a letter to the States, Health and Family Welfare Ministry declaring the black fungus infection seen in COVID-19 patients an epidemic would lead to health facilities screening for it and reporting all such cases to the government.
- 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 infection is leading to prolonged morbidity and mortality amongst COVID-19 patients.
- Rajasthan, Telangana and Tamil Nadu have declared it an epidemic.
- In Maharashtra black fungus had claimed 90 lives in the State so far. Eight people had died of the infection in Haryana, which has reported 316 cases. Rajasthan has 100 patients, while Tamil Nadu has reported nine cases.
- The States that the treatment of mucormyosis required a multi-disciplinary approach that involved eye surgeons, ENT specialists, general surgeons, neurosurgeons and dental maxilo facial surgeons and the use of Amphotericin B as an anti-fungal medicine.
Source : The Hindu