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RIMS told to set up expert panel on black fungus

Mucormycosis now a notifiable disease in Jharkhand, state to maintain all records
While cases of Covid-induced mucormycosis have been on the rise in Jharkhand, there are no official records as of now on fatalities and cases occurring every day.
While cases of Covid-induced mucormycosis have been on the rise in Jharkhand, there are no official records as of now on fatalities and cases occurring every day.
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Our Correspondent   |   Ranchi   |   Published 24.05.21, 04:28 PM

Jharkhand government has asked Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS) in Ranchi to constitute a technical expert group comprising doctors from different areas of expertise in order to tackle growing cases of mucormycosis in the state and also function as the nodal centre for treatment of the fungal infection.

In a letter addressed to RIMS Director Dr Kameshwar Prasad and superintendent Dr Vivek Kashyap late on Sunday late evening, state health secretary Arun Kumar Singh directed the premiere government-run healthcare facility to include microbiologists, internal medicine specialists, intensivists, neurologists, ENT specialists, ophthalmologists, dentists, plastic surgeons, neurosurgeons and biochemists in the TEG for all-round treatment of patients infected by black fungus.

“In order to ensure quality of health care services for mucormycosis patients, effective adherence to the best clinical management standards as well as uniform treatment protocol and to reduce morbidity and mortality, RIMS-Ranchi being the centre of excellence for the state, has been identified as nodal centre for the management of mucormycosis patients in the state. This will also help in preventing misuse of the drug used for treatment of the said disease,” the letter, a copy of which is in possession of The Telegraph Online, stated.

While cases of Covid-induced mucormycosis have been on the rise in Jharkhand, there are no official records as of now on fatalities and cases occurring every day. Hospitals treating patients of black fungus claim that roughly half a dozen people have died of the fungal infection in Ranchi alone.

In order to get a clearer picture of the situation and address cases of black fungus in Jharkhand, the health department has also asked the Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP) to maintain official records related to mucormycosis cases and fatalities in the state.

In a letter addressed to the deputy commissioners and civil surgeons of all the 24 districts, National Health Mission (NHM) Director Ravi Shankar Shukla said that all the private and government hospitals should share details regarding mucormycosis cases with the IDSP by 5pm every day.

“As per directions from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, all states have been requested to declare mucormycosis as notifiable disease. In this regard, you are requested to identify suspected cases of Mucormycosis infection for timely clinical management. The daily reporting of cases shall be initiated under IDSP through District Surveillance Unit,” the letter stated.

Mucormycosis, also called black fungus, is a rare infection caused by exposure to mucor mould found in soil, plants, manure and decaying fruits and vegetables. This infection usually affects the lungs, the nasal tract and the sinus of the patient and has a fatality rate of 50 per cent, say doctors. Diabetics and people with immunocompromised conditions are at a higher risk of infection.



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