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GUJ DECLARES MUCORMYCOSIS AN EPIDEMIC
Ahmedabad: Mucormycosis, or the black fungus infection, has spread across the nation, and the Centre, on Thursday, directed the state governments to declare it an epidemic.
Following the directive, the Gujarat government declared mucormycosis an epidemic under the Epidemic Disease Act, 1857.
The government has directed all hospitals treating the disease to follow Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) guidelines and inform the Centre about confirmed cases. In Gujarat, more than 800 patients have been diagnosed with this deadly fungal infection.
Meanwhile, a new fungus strain that is believed to be four times deadlier than mucormycosis has surfaced.
Simply called the ‘white fungus’, medical experts believe that it can spread faster than black fungus and is capable of infecting various parts of the body including lungs, skin, nails, oral cavity, stomach, intestines, kidneys, genitals, and even the brain.
According to health experts, COVID-19 patients are at high risk as the infection spreads due to deficiency in the immune system.
How black and white fungus infections spread is quite similar. Anyone with a weak immune system, diabetes, or someone who has consumed antibiotics and steroids can become infected. Most cancer patients are also at higher risk, and even newborn infants.
Symptoms appear in the form of diaper candidiasis. It looks like a white spot in children and causes oral thrush (a fungal infection inside the mouth).
The infection is the leading cause of leukorrhea (vaginal discharge of mucus) in women. Although symptomatic patients’ reports are found negative even in HRCT scans
Some of the precautions determined by medical experts include sterilization of all ventilators and oxygen pipes used by patients to avoid infection, sterilized water usage for oxygen cylinder humidifiers.
The oxygen that reaches a patient’s lungs must also be sterile. Patients should be given a rapid antibody test, and their saliva should also be medically tested.