Tripura reports first case of 'black fungus' 

The patient has been undergoing treatment in a city-based hospital

Amid continuous efforts to tackle the COVID-19 surge in the state, Tripura reported the first case of Mucormycosis or "Black fungus" on Friday, May 21.

A 68-year-old woman, who has been undergoing treatment for COVID-19, was diagnosed with "Black fungus" at ILS Hospitals in Agartala, which is reportedly the first known case in Tripura, confirmed Minister Ratan Lal Nath in a press conference held on Friday evening.

Speaking at the conference, he said, "The Government of India on May 19 had asked the state government to include Mucormycosis as Epidemic Disease Act, 1987 and to report all suspected and confirmed cases in each district under all facility level which will be shared to health department through CMOS and subsequently to State Surveillance Unit, IDSP."

He also added that the guidelines for screening, diagnosis, management of mucormycosis issued by the ministry of health and family welfare and ICMR will be followed.

According to media reports, Dr Radha Debbarma, Director of Family Health and Preventive Medicines said that the central government has advised the states to include the "Mucormycosis" in the epidemic law and that they are prepared to deal with the situation.

"The Tripura government has prepared GBP Hospital and Tripura Medical College Hospital for the treatment of the disease. Necessary steps have already been taken after receiving the letter from the centre," said Dr Debbarma.

She mentioned that GBP Hospital and Tripura Medical Hospital are the two dedicated COVID hospitals for the treatment of Corona positive patients in the state.

According to her, patients infected with Black fungus will be treated in both hospitals.

Mucormycosis is a fungal infection triggered by COVID-19. People contract this infection by coming in contact with fungal spores in the environment. It can also develop after the fungus enters the skin through a cut, burn or other types of skin trauma. It has been the cause of infection and the death of patients in transplants, ICUs and immuno-deficient patients. 

The Union Health Ministry on Thursday asked the States and Union Territories to make Mucormycosis or Black Fungus a notifiable disease under the Epidemic Diseases Act 1897.

It may be mentioned that various states in India have reported a surge in cases of Black Fungus infections in COVID-19 patients recently.

States like Rajasthan, Haryana, Karnataka, Uttarakhand, Telangana, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh and Bihar have been reporting cases daily.

(Edited by Aparmita Das)

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