New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: India is officially now amidst two pandemics as the Central government asked states to make Black Fungus or mucormycosis a notable disease on Thursday. Invoking the Epidemic Diseases Act 1897, Joint Secretary Lav Aggarwal wrote to states to follow guidelines for screening, diagnosis, and management of Black Fungus in all government and private health facilities and medical colleges.

“You are requested to make mucormycosis a notifiable disease under Epidemic Diseases Act 1897, wherein all government and private health facilities, medical colleges will follow guidelines for screening, diagnosis, management of mucormycosis, issued by MOHFW and ICMR,” wrote Aggarwal in a letter dated May 19.

“Make it mandatory for all these facilities to report all suspected and confirmed cases to health department through district-level chief medical officer and subsequently to IDSP surveillance system,” the letter further read.

Why is Black Fungus declared a notable disease under Epidemic Diseases Act 1897?

Mucormycosis commonly known as the black fungus has increasingly been reported in India across different states. Earlier, it was only diagnosed in Covid-19 infected patients. However, now other people primarily with diabetes are also said to be prone to this fungal infection. Concerns over Black Fungus caused due to the quality of water used in oxygen concentrators that are being administered at home or small medical facilities have also raised alarm.

The increasing number of Black Fungus cases during the Second wave of Coronavirus in India is overwhelming the hospitals that are already burdened with treating Covid-19 patients. This infection may spread to other people using the same oxygen supply in a hospital which makes it a grave cause of concern. That is why the government has decided to declare this virus a notable disease so that all states can take timely measures to prevent its spread. Many states like Telangana and Rajasthan have already declared Black Fungus as a notable disease.

How will Black fungus be contained?

In the letter to the states, Aggarwal suggested taking a multidisciplinary approach to treating the virus. “The treatment of this fungal infection requires a multidisciplinary approach consisting of eye surgeons, ENT specialist general surgeon, neurosurgeon and dental maxillofacial surgeon et cetera and institution of amphotericin B as an antifungal medicine,” said Aggarwal.

Posted By: Talibuddin Khan