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Assam Health Dept tells hospitals to take steps to contain spread of black fungus


Guwahati, Jun 10: The Assam Health and Family Welfare department has issued a directive to hospitals to ensure prevention of Mucormycosis or black fungus and to contain the further spread of the disease, officials said on Thursday.

An Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) has been issued following the detection of some suspected cases and it will come into effect with immediate effect and will remain in force till further orders, they said.

A dedicated ward for Mucormycosis patients must be created in all hospitals and a separate waste disposal mechanism must be put in place by these facilities, it said.

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 use of steroids and broad spectrum antibiotic has to be restricted and judiciously administered. All high-risk patients who had 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. Possible source of the infectiom 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.

A 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, the order stated.

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