New Delhi: The Union Health Ministry has appealed to all the states and Union Territories (UTs) to declare mucormycosis or black fungus as a notifiable disease under the Epidemic Disease Act 1897.
The Ministry has also advised 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.
The Ministry said mucormycosis or black fungus is a complication caused by a fungal infection. People catch mucormycosis by coming in contact with the fungal spores in the environment. Mucormycosis can also develop on the skin after the fungus enters the skin through a cut, scrape, burn, or other types of skin trauma.
According to the ministry, the disease is being detected among patients who are recovering or have recovered from Covid-19.
Telangana and Rajasthan have already declared mucormycosis as an epidemic.
Cases of black fungus have been reported in various parts of the country including Karnataka, Uttarakhand, Telangana, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Haryana and Bihar.
Mucormycosis, which is primarily affecting people recovering from Covid-19, as per sources, has also infected several people in the national capital as it is caused by the steroid administered in the treatment of coronavirus.
On May 18, the Haryana government also framed regulations called, "The Haryana Epidemic Diseases (Mucormycosis) Regulations, 2021".
Meanwhile, the northeast recorded its first death due to mucormycosis, commonly known as 'black fungus' when a 27-year-old man died at a private hospital here after his recovery from Covid, health officials said on Thursday.
According to the officials, the man hailed from central Assam's Nagaon district. They said that the Assam government reported the first black fungus death to the Union Health and Family Welfare Ministry on Wednesday.
The man was a diabetic and tested positive for Covid-19 on May 6 after which he was admitted to a Covid care centre (CCC) in Nagaon district.
The patient tested negative for the virus through the Rapid Antigen Test on May 12 and was discharged from the district CCC.
He was later admitted to a private hospital in Guwahati on May 16 in a critical condition after he developed decreased vision in both eyes and other post-Covid complications.