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Black fungus scare: Rajasthan govt declares mucormycosis as an epidemic, separate treatment ward set up in Jaipur

Principal Health Secretary Akhil Arora has issued a notification wherein mucormycosis has been notified as an epidemic under the Rajasthan Epidemic Act 2020.

On Wednesday (May 19), the Rajasthan government has declared mucormycosis an ‘epidemic’ in the State. Also known as black fungus, it is affecting individuals who have recovered from the Coronavirus infection.

As per reports, Rajasthan has witnessed over 100 black fungus patients. The situation has been so grim that the government has set up a separate ward for the treatment of such individuals at the Sawai Main Singh hospital in Jaipur. As such, Principal Health Secretary Akhil Arora has issued a notification wherein mucormycosis has been notified as an epidemic under the Rajasthan Epidemic Act 2020.

While speaking about the matter, he said that the move is meant to carry out a coordinated treatment of both Coronavirus infection and mucormycosis. Earlier on Friday (May 14), Rajasthan Medical Services Corporation Limited (RMSCL) said orders had been issued for the procurement of 2500 vials of liposomal amphotericin B, which is used in the treatment of black fungus. The orders were placed with Vaccines Limited and Bharat Serums.

Union Health Ministry had issued guidelines about Mucormycosis

So far, cases of black fungus have been reported from Bihar, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Uttarakhand, Rajasthan, and Telangana. In a statement, the Union Home Ministry informed that one can contract black fungus after coming in contact with its spores. The fungus then enters the body through cuts or burns on the skin. The Ministry said that it has been detected in patients who have recovered from Coronavirus infection.

The Ministry further added, “Moreover, anyone who is diabetic and whose immune system is not functioning well needs to be on the guard against this. The disease is caused by a set of micro-organisms known as mucormycetes, which are present naturally in the environment, seen mostly in soil and in decaying organic matter like leaves, compost, and piles,” the Ministry said. Conditions such as prolonged ICU stay, co-morbidities, weak immune system due to the use of steroids and Voriconazole therapy can increase the chances of being susceptible to mucormycosis.

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