On Wednesday, May 19, the Rajasthan government declared Mucromycosis (black fungus), which is affecting people recovering from the coronavirus, an epidemic.
Hospitals in several regions across the country are witnessing a rise in cases and deaths due to the rare but potentially fatal infection, reported The Times of India.
Presently, the state has around 100 patients suffering from the infection. A separate ward has been set up at the Sawai Man Singh Hospital in Jaipur for their treatment. The infection has been notified as a notifiable disease under the Rajasthan Epidemic Act 2020.
Telangana Follows Suit
On Thursday, May 20, the Telangana also declared black fungus as a notifiable disease under the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1987. All and private health facilities have to report all suspected and confirmed cases of the deadly infection to the health department. The state government has designated the Gandhi General Hospital and government-run ENT Hospital as nodal centres for the treatment of the condition reported Money Control.
Since the first week of May, the rare fungal infection is on the rise among recovering and recovered but vulnerable COVID patients in India.
What is Mucromycosis?
Mucromycosis is caused by exposure to a group of molds called mucormycetes that is present naturally in the environment. It affects the sinuses, the brain and the lungs. Experts believe that the indiscriminate use of steroids to treat the virus is behind the rising cases of deadly infection in the country. This fatal infection starts in the nose, spreads to the eye and then attacks the brain.
Steriods help reduce inflammation in the lungs. But overuse of these drugs can result in a weakened immune system and high sugar levels. Such conditions leave diabetic patients more vulnerable to such infections. And for a country like India, it is a cause of huge worry as the country is second in the list of countries with the most diabetics.
The states that have recorded back fungus cases so far are Karnataka, Uttarakhand, Telangana, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Haryana and Bihar.