Assam: Health Dept issues directive for prevention of Black Fungus

A directive has been issued by the Assam Health and Family Welfare department to the Hospitals to ensure prevention of black fungus and contain the further spread of the disease.

Following the detection of some suspected cases, a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) has been issued which will come into effect immediately and will remain in force till further orders, said Assam Health and Family Welfare department.

It further said that a dedicated ward for mucormycosis or black fungus patients must be created in all hospitals with a separate waste disposal mechanism put in place by these facilities.

As per sources, early identification of COVID/Non-COVID patients at risk for the disease including those with diabetes mellitus, neutropenic patients with a history of blood transfusion and those with long standing chronic issues like kidney diseases must be ensured along with subsequent follow-up.

The Health department further said that the use of steroids and broad spectrum antibiotic has to be restricted and judiciously administered.

All high-risk patients with steroid treatment should be subjected to baseline neutrophil count, and then every third day until discharge.

If the count is found to be less than normal, then they should be screened for any fungal infections, it said.

Moreover, possible source of the infection in the hospitals like damp floor and walls, airconditioned filters, left-over food materials, contaminated oxygen cylinders, humidifiers, leakage in water pipes must be checked frequently to avoid infection.

The directive further stated that multi-speciality team that includes specialist from Oro-Facial maxilliary, ENT, Neurosurgery, Opthalmology and plastic surgery should be ready for immediate surgery as debridement of the infected tissue is the only confirmed treatment.

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