A list of states that have declared mucormycosis notifiable disease: On May 20, the centre wrote a letter to all the states and Union Territories asking them to make Black Fungus or mucormycosis a notifiable disease under the Epidemic Diseases act 1897. Several states have indeed declared the fungal infection as a notifiable disease in the last 24 hours, following the governments advisory.
What is a notifiable disease?
A notifiable disease can be any disease that is required by law to be notified to the government authorities, which in turn allows the authorities to collect information and monitor the disease and provide an early warning of possible outbreaks.
According to the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) Internal Health Regulations, 1969, the notifiable disease is also required to be reported to the WHO for its global surveillance.
Why is making a disease legally notifiable important?
Making a disease legally notifiable makes it easier to intervene and control the spread of any highly infectious disease. After the disease is declared to be notifiable, it needs to be notified by a medical practitioner verbally/through phone within 24 hours, and in a proper form within three days.
Here is a list of the states that have declared Black Fungus as a notifiable disease so far:
Haryana declared mucormycosis or Black Fungus as a notifiable disease in the state on May 15 and made it imperative that the health officials inform about any case of the disease to the government authorities. The step will allow the government to track and manage any possible outbreaks.
The Health Minister of the state Minister Anil Vij said that doctors are now required to report such cases to the district Chief Medical Officers.
Telangana declared Black Fungus as a notifiable disease on the morning of May 20. The government of the state made it mandatory for all the health facilities, be it government or private, to report any case of the mucormycosis to the health department.
The state government of Odisha also declared mucormycosis as a notifiable disease under the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897. The step was taken after the state reported its first case of Black Fungus on May 10.
The state government has also constituted a state-level task force for early detection and management of the cases of the disease, which suggested a protocol for identification, treatment and follow up action against the disease.
The Health Minister of Karnataka K Sudhakar has also declared mucormycosis as a notifiable disease in the state and said that any hospital or medical centre that has the capacity to provide the treatment for the disease should not deny admission to patients.
Earlier this week, the minister said that the total reported Black Fungus cases of the disease in the state reached 97 but hinted that the number of cases could be more.
The state government of Tamil Nadu declared mucormyosis as a notifiable disease after nine people were found to be affected by the disease in the state.
The health secretary of the state, J Radhakrishnan talked to the reporters and said that currently 9 cases of the disease are being treated among which six cases are old and three are new.
Due to the rise in cases of Mucormycosis, the Rajasthan government declared black fungus as an epidemic on Wednesday, May 19. The Health Minister of the state Raghu Sharma said that the government has issued the order to purchase 2,500 vials of drug used for the treatment of the disease.
After the statement of the Union Health Ministry, the state government of Gujarat also declared Black Fungus as a notifiable disease as per the Epidemic Disease Act. All the medical facilities of the state will have to report all suspected cases of the disease accordingly.
You can read more about mucormycosis or Black Fungus here.