A week after the state declared mucormycosis/black fungus as a notifiable disease, as many as 181 cases have been reported in Tamil Nadu. Health Secretary J Radhakrishnan said efforts are underway to eradicate the disease from the state.
Addressing the reporters in Thoothukudi, Health Minister Ma Subramanian said they have formed a 10-member multidisciplinary research committee comprising deans, the director of public health and preventive medicine, doctors from various disciplines including NET, diabetology, microbiology, etc to analyse the cause of the infection and the steps needed to resolve it.
“There are diverse opinions. Few of them say that the infection is caused when steroids are administered to people with diabetes, to those undergoing dialysis, but European countries have rejected it. Another theory is that the infection is caused when people inhale industrial oxygen and there is a threat even when contaminated water is present inside Oxygen cylinders. So the committee will analyze all these theories and conduct research and then only we can arrive at a decision,” he said.
The minister visited the area and few more neighbouring districts to review the Covid-19 operations and vaccine drive.
Health Secretary said the hospitals have been instructed to allocate a separate ward for those infected with black fungus. He also said they have urged the centre to supply Liposomal Amphotericin B drug required to treat those affected with the fungal infection and hope they will receive it soon.
Madurai MP Su Venkatesan also has appealed to Union Minister Harsh Vardhan to immediately import the drug to save lives.
Mucormycosis is declared an epidemic and fast spreading in India. The treatment requires Liposomal Amphotericin scarcely available now. The centre should immediately import this medicine freely available in many foreign countries. @drharshvardhan #Covid19 #BlackFungus pic.twitter.com/AFibddvDZB
— Su Venkatesan MP (@SuVe4Madurai) May 25, 2021
In his letter, Venkatesan said the southern states including Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka, Telengana, and Andhra Pradesh are still showing a significant rise in Covid-19 infections and the black fungus is causing further woes.
“Many states including Tamil Nadu have understood the gravity of the situation and made this as a notified disease. Even though the numbers are much less than the corona infections, mucormycosis causes a significant increase in mortality rate and is considered a serious disease to treat,” the letter read.