Mucormycosis now ‘notifiable’ disease in Telangana, all cases to be reported to govt

The announcement comes a day after the Director of Medical Education said there was ‘unnecessary hype’ around the disease in Telangana.
Medics inspecting patients at a COVID isolation ward
Medics inspecting patients at a COVID isolation ward
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Amid reports of rising mucormycosis infections in Telangana, the fungal infection has been declared a notifiable disease in the state by the Director of Public Health. It has been made mandatory for all government and private health facilities to report all suspected and confirmed cases of mucormycosis to the Health Department. The declaration was made only a day after the Director of Medical Education Ramesh Reddy said that there was “unnecessary hype” over the disease in Telangana. 

"There is unnecessary hype about black fungus (mucormycosis) in Telangana. Telangana government hospitals have reported 50 cases of Mucormycosis and private hospitals have around 30-40 cases. An expert committee has been set up to regulate the drugs," the DME had said on Wednesday.  Director of Public Health Fungal G Srinivasa Rao declared mucormycosis as a notifiable disease under the Epidemic Diseases Act 1897. 

“All government and private health facilities shall follow guidelines for screening, diagnosis and management of mucormycosis issued by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India and Indian Council of Medical Research,” the notification said. Medical superintendents of all government and private hospitals are now required to send daily reports with details of patients who may have the black fungus infection.   

Amid shortage of Liposomal Amphotericin B used to treat mucormycosis, there have been several reports of black marketing of the drug. On Wednesday, five men were held by the Hyderabad police for allegedly procuring and selling 50 mg vials of Amphotericin B illegally at Rs 50,000 per vial (while the MRP is around  Rs 315). The accused persons were all MBBS medical practitioners, police said, who used their credentials to target gullible kin of mucormycosis patients. 

Earlier this week, drug control authorities in Telangana made approval by a government committee compulsory for sale of Amphotericin B. Director of Drug Control Administration told all manufacturers and distributors of the drug that it can be sold to hospitals where patients are undergoing treatment only after recommendation from the government panel. The government committee is headed by DME Ramesh Reddy. 

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