Telangana declares black fungus a notifiable disease

Hyderabad: The Telangana government has declared fungal infection mucormycosis as a notifiable disease under Epidemic Diseases Act 1897.

All the government and private health facilities shall follow guidelines for screening, diagnosis and management of mucormycosis issued by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and Indian Council of Medical Research, says a notification issued by the Director of Public Health.

It is also made mandatory for all the government and private health facilities to report all suspected and confirmed cases of mucormycosis (also known as black fungus) to the health department.

Medical superintendents of all government and private hospitals have been directed to ensure strict compliance to the guidelines and send report on daily basis.

The move comes amid growing number of cases of black fungus, mostly seen in Covid-19 survivors.

Many patients are approaching Government-run ENT Hospital at Koti in Hyderabad, which has been designated to treat the fungal infection.

In view of shortage of medicine for the treatment of mucormycosis, the health authorities have regulated its sale.

State Minister K. T. Rama Rao is receiving several requests on Twitter from relatives of black fungus infected persons for Liposomal Amphotericin B Injection.

The Minister is suggesting all such individuals to send an email to the Director of medical Education in the prescribed format.

The health department has formed a committee to look into every request and provide the drug after due verification with the hospitals concerned.

Director of Medical Education K. Ramesh Reddy had said Tuesday that there are around 50 Mucromycosis cases at government hospitals and another 30-40 in private hospitals.

Stating that the disease is not contagious like Covid-19, he advised people not to panic.

He said those who have recovered from Covid-19 and have diabetes should be more cautious.

“Patients must look out for symptoms such as facial muscle pains, bloody discharge from nose, cold, and brown discoloration or spores in mucus,” Reddy said.

The Director of Medical Education said Covid-19 patients who have recovered still need to wear masks even at home for few months. Recovered patients, especially immune compromised ones, will have low immunity levels and thus will be vulnerable to the fungal infection.