Mrunal Manmay Dash

Bhubaneswar: In a major development concerning public health, the Odisha government on Thursday declared Black Fungus (Mucormycosis) a Notifiable Disease under epidemic act.

A notice was issued by the Odisha Health and Family Welfare department in this connection that read, “After careful consideration, the government includes mucormycosis (black fungus) as a modifiable disease under Section-2 of the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897.”

Earlier in the day, the Union Health Ministry had appealed to all states and Union Territories (UTs) to declare mucormycosis or black fungus as a notifiable disease.

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 department has advised some preventive measures to be taken by all to keep the fungal infection away. They are as follows:

• Environmental cleanliness to have no exposure to decaying organic matters

• To use masks while visiting dusty construction sites

• During gardening use shoes, long trousers, long sleeve shirts and gloves.

• Maintain personal hygiene including thorough scrub bath.

• Strict Control of Hyperglycaemia and Diabetic ketoacidosis

• Monitoring of Glucose in Covid-19 patient requiring steroid

• Optimal Steroid use- Right time of initiation, Right dose, Right duration ( Short course)

• Antibiotics/ Anti-fungals only when indicated

• Monitoring and judicious use of 02 therapy. Strict protocol for infection prevention & control for Oxygen cylinders, Tubes, Cannulla/Mask and humidifiers as per Protocol.

• Regular cleaning / mopping of wards and ICU as per IPC protocol.

It is pertinent to mention here that, Telangana and Rajasthan governments have already declared Black Fungus a disease that is primarily affecting COVID-19 recovered patients as notifiable disease on Thursday and Wednesday, respectively.