Amid rising black fungus cases, Uttarakhand govt declares mucormycosis as an epidemic
Photo Credit: ANI

With black fungus cases rising, the Uttarakhand government on Saturday declared mucormycosis or black fungus to be an epidemic in the state.

According to the Uttarakhand health department, a large number of patients infected with black fungus are coming to the state, due to which the state government has been declared black fungus an epidemic. According to news agency ANI, a total of 65 patients have been infected with black fungus in Uttarakhand. Of which, 61 are admitted to AIIMS Rishikesh, the Uttarakhand Health Department said.

A notifiable disease is required by law to be reported to the government authorities. The collection of information allows the authorities to monitor the disease and provides early warning of possible outbreaks.

The state government also issued an SOP on Saturday for the judicious distribution of Amphotericin B, a drug used in treating black fungus patients.

Amphotericin B should be provided to only government medical colleges, institutions, and Covid-dedicated hospitals on payment after they formally requisition for its supply on the prescribed format giving details of the patients and nature of the infection.

Mucormycosis or black fungus is a complication caused by a fungal infection. 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.

(With inputs from ANI and PTI)

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