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Black Fungus: Jharkhand govt mulling to declare Mucormycosis an epidemic

News Agencies | Updated on: 23 May 2021, 12:34 IST

Following the suit of several states, the Jharkhand government is too planning to declare Mucormycosis or black fungus as an epidemic in the state.

Looking at the severity of the disease, Jharkhand Health Minister Banna Gupta will propose to declare black fungus as an epidemic in the Cabinet meeting scheduled to be held on Monday.

The state government has already started taking precautionary measures including setting up the dedicated black fungus wards in every district.

"We are seriously concerned about black fungus and taking all necessary steps. We are setting up special black fungus wards in districts. We will be screening the patients who recently recovered from COVID-19 infections. We have also issued a letter to health officials instructing to make available the medicine essential for the treatment of black fungus," Gupta said.

As per information shared by the state health department, Jharkhand has recorded 17 confirmed cases of black fungus so far.

Out of 17, 10 patients are admitted at Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS), three at a private hospital of Ranchi, and four in Jamshedpur.

Mucormycosis or black fungus is a complication caused by fungal infection. People catch mucormycosis by coming in contact with the fungal spores in the environment. It can also develop on the skin after the fungus enters the skin through a cut, scrape, burn, or other type of skin trauma, as per the Union Health Ministry.

The disease is being detected among patients who are recovering or have recovered from COVID-19. Moreover, anyone who is diabetic and whose immune system is not functioning well needs to be on the guard against this.

Looking at the rising cases of Mucormycosis or 'black fungus', the Union Health Ministry on Saturday said the availability of Amphotericin-B, the key drug to treat the deadly disease is now being increased and the ministry is in touch with five additional manufacturers.

The ministry further stated that the treatment of COVID-19 patients involves the intake of drugs like dexamethasone, which suppresses our immune system response. Due to these factors, COVID-19 patients face a renewed risk of failing the battle against attacks mounted by organisms such as mucormycetes.

States like Rajasthan, Bihar, Gujarat, Punjab, Haryana, Karnataka, Odisha, Telangana and Tamil Nadu have already declared it a 'notifiable' disease under the Epidemic Diseases Act, thereby making it mandatory to report every Mucormycosis case to the state government.


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First published: 23 May 2021, 12:34 IST