Health Ministry appeals states, UTs to declare black fungus an epidemic



New Delhi: The Union Health Ministry had urged all the states and Union Territories to declare mucormycosis, commonly known as black fungus,  as a notifiable disease under the Epidemic Disease Act 1897.

The ministry has also suggested that all government and private health facilities, as well as medical colleges should follow guidelines issued by it and the ICMR on screening, diagnosis and management of mucormycosis.

“It must be mandatory for all these facilities to report all suspected and confirmed cases to the health department through chief medical officer and subsequently to IDSP surveillance system,”  Lav Agarwal, the joint secretary of the Union health and family welfare, wrote in a a letter. 

The black fungus is caused by the steroid administered in the treatment of Covid-19 infection.

Last week, Haryana declared Mucormycosis as a notified disease and the state health department called a meeting on ways to deal with the fungal infection that is rapidly rising among Covid-infected patients. 

As cases of mucormycosis skyrocket in Telangana, the Health Department officially declared it an epidemic on Thursday. According to a notification issued by the Director of Public Health and Family Welfare, it is a notifiable disease under Epidemic Diseases Act 1897. 

The Rajasthan government on Wednesday announced that black fungus will not be recognised as an epidemic and a notifiable disease,  It will be mandatory for the health facilities to report every case of the disease in the State. At present, Rajasthan has over 100 cases of black fungus.

Cases of black fungus have also been reported in other parts of the country including Karnataka, Uttarakhand, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh and Bihar.

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