Mucormycosis (black fungus), which is primarily affecting people recovering from Covid, has been declared an epidemic in Rajasthan on 19 May 2021. Currently, the state has around 100 black fungus patients and a separate ward has been made at Sawai Man Singh (SMS) Hospital in Jaipur for their treatment.

What

  1. Mucormycosis has been notified as an epidemic and a notifiable disease in the state under the Rajasthan Epidemic Act 2020, according to a notification issued by state's Principal Health Secretary Akhil Arora.
  2. The step was taken to ensure integrated and coordinated treatment of black fungus and the coronavirus.
  3. According to experts, people with diabetes are more prone to getting the black fungus infection.

What is the cause of mucormycosis?

  1. Mucormycosis is a serious but rare fungal infection caused by a group of molds called ‘Mucormycetes’.
  2. Mucormycetes live throughout the environment and is ubiquitous in nature.
  3. It can affect areas from where it can be inhaled—through the nose/ sinus/ lungs.
  4. If it enters from a wound or skin, then it can cause local infection, but if it enters from the sinus, it can affect the eyes and the brain.
  5. Poor control of diabetes is the biggest cause for the rising numbers, especially post-Covid. A
  6. lso, patients with immunocompromised systems, or those who have undergone a transplant, are on immunosuppressants, or have been on a ventilator for a long period of time, are at higher risk.