The Central government has advised the States and the Union territories to announce Mucormycosis, commonly known as the ‘black fungus’ disease, as a notifiable disease under the Epidemic Diseases Act 1897.
What is Mucormycosis?
Mucormycosis is a complication that is caused by a fungal infection. The disease is contracted by coming in contact with the fungal spores present in the environment. It can also develop on the skin through a cut, scrape, burn, or other types of skin trauma.
The disease has been detected among patients who are either recovering from COVID-19 or have already recovered. People suffering from diabetes or weak immune systems need to be on the guard against Mucormycosis.
How is Mucormycosis related to COVID-19?
The body’s immune system fights against fungal infections and COVID-19 affects the immune system of a human body. During the treatment of COVID-19, patients intake drugs like dexamethasone, which suppresses their immune system response. Therefore, COVID-19 patients face a risk of being attacked by organisms like mucormycetes.
What are the common symptoms?
Mucormycosis causes skin infection in the pockets located behind the forehead, nose, cheekbones, and in between the eyes and teeth. This infection also spreads to the eyes, lungs and brain. One of its major causes is blackening or discoloration over the nose, double vision, chest pain, breathing difficulties and coughing of blood.
Rational Use of Medicines
ICMR suggested that controlling diabetes is one of the foremost prevention methods of Mucormycosis. Member (Health), NITI Aayog, Dr V.K. Paul ascribed that, “Steroids should never be administered at an early stage of COVID-19”. He also informed that, “Steroids should be taken only after the sixth day of infection.
He also advised the patients to stick to appropriate doses of the drugs and take the drug for a specific number of days as prescribed by the doctors. He also mentioned that In order to avoid any side effects, rational use of medicines should be ensured.
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