The Rajasthan Government today declared Black Fungus as an epidemic in the State. After the declaration it will be mandatory for each doctor in the state to report such cases immediately to health authorities. A notification was released in this regard on DIPR.
According to the state’s Principal Health Secretary Akhil Arora, Considering the rising number of Mucormycosis (Black-Fungus) patients in the state and the disease being identified as. side effect of Corona, the State Government has notified this as an epidemic and a notifiable disease in the state under the Rajasthan Epidemic Act 2020. This will help in providing integrated and coordinated treatment of black fungus and the coronavirus to the patients.
Currently, the state has around 100 black fungus patients and a separate ward has been made at Sawai Man Singh (SMS) Hospital in Jaipur for their treatment.
On 12th March 2020, the State Government had declared Covid-19 as an epidemic in the State.
Later, the state government also announced that treatment for the disease will be free in the state. The state health department has also issued its medical protocol as recommended by the Mucormycosis board comprising experts from 11 departments. The protocol will focus on prevention, symptoms, treatment and investigation of the black fungus.
“The state along with creating awareness among masses related to its symptoms and precautions has also made arrangements of its free treatment across all districts of the state.”Shri Ashok Gehlot, Chief Minister of Rajasthan
On Friday, the state government also declared that disease will also be covered under the Mukhyamantri Chiranjeevi Yojana for free treatment. Additionally, the government has also capped admission and treatment charges for patients suffering from the disease at private hospitals (read more on charges cap).
What is Mucormycosis or Black Fungus ?
Mucormycosis is a very rare infection. It is caused by exposure to mucor moulds called ‘Mucormycetes’. Mucormycetes live throughout the environment and is ubiquitous in nature, commonly found in soil, plants, manure, and decaying fruits and vegetables.
It affects the sinuses, the brain and the lungs and can be life-threatening in diabetic or severely immunocompromised individuals, such as cancer patients or people with HIV/AIDS.
According to experts, people with diabetes are more prone to getting the black fungus infection.