Tripura reported its first case of Mucormycosis or Black Fungus in a COVID-19 patient, two days after the infection was declared an epidemic by the centre. Announcing the first case, Tripura Education Minister Ratanlal Nath said the infection was found in a 68-year old patient who was undergoing treatment for Covid at a private hospital in Agartala.
"The centre asked the state government to include Mucormycosis under Epidemic Diseases Act, 1987 and to report all suspected and confirmed cases in each district under all facility level which will be shared to the health department," Mr Nath said.
Mucormycosis is a rare opportunistic infection caused by the Black Fungi, which can harm the sinuses, nasal passages, oral cavity and brain.
The otherwise commonly found in the environment fungi rarely infects the human body. The chances of its infection, however, increase with diabetes and those in immunocompromised conditions, which is generally the case among Covid patients with diabetes as comorbidity.
Mr Nath said the guidelines for screening, diagnosis and management of Black Fungus issued by the Health Ministry and the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) will be followed.
"The Tripura government has prepared GBP Hospital and Tripura Medical College Hospital for treatment of the disease. Steps have been taken after receiving the letter from the centre," said Radha Debbarma, director of Family Health and Preventive Medicines.
According to her, there are two dedicated Covid hospitals - GBP Hospital and Tripura Medical Hospital. Black Fungus patients will be treated in both hospitals.
Black Fungus infection has been found in 7,256 patients and has killed over 219 in India.