Brussels, Dec 18 (IANS) European Council President Charles Michel has self-quarantined after French President Emmanuel Macron tested positive for the novel coronavirus, a spokesman for the top EU official confirmed.Michel had lunch with Macron on Monday, along with Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez and Secretary-General of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Angel Gurria, Xinhua news agency quoted spokesman Barend Leyts as saying in a statement late Thursday.Michel's self-quarantine is a precautionary measure as he was not considered to be a close contact to Macron, and he tested negative on Tuesday during a routine test, Leyts added.Sanchez and Gurria also self-quarantined after Macron's positive test result was made public on Thursday by his office."All my encouragements and best wishes to Emmanuel Macron to swiftly get back in health," Michel tweeted. Following his diagnosis, Macron joined a list of world leaders who tested positive for the virus.UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson was the first major political leader to test positive for the virus on March 27. On June 7, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaroo announced that he had contracted the disease. Two days later, Bolivia's former interim President of Bolivia Jeanine Anez, announced her positive test result. Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez and Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei also tested positive for Covid-19 in July and September, respectively.On October 2, US President Donald Trump announced that he had also contracted the virus.--IANSksk/
New Delhi, Dec 16 (IANS) Cipla has announced its partnership with the Premier Medical Corporation Private Limited for commercialisation of the rapid antigen test kits for Covid-19 in India. The company will commence supply from this week.This is Cipla's second launch in the diagnostics space after Elifast ELISA Test Kit. In this collaboration, Cipla will be responsible for the marketing and distribution of the Rapid Antigen Detection Test for the qualitative detection of SARS-CoV-2 antigen that will be manufactured by Premier Medical Corporation Private Limited. The test is a rapid point-of-care nasopharyngeal swab test that directly detects the presence or absence of coronavirus antigen in the patient's body, generating results within 15-20 minutes. Only authorised labs are permitted by ICMR to conduct the rapid antigen testing. The test will be marketed under the brand name ‘CIPtest'. CIPtest is a reliable high-performing kit that has been validated and approved by ICMR. It is found to have specificity and sensitivity of 98.09 per cent and upto 75 per cent respectively. The test is not only rapid with a quick turn-around time, but also enables easy interpretation of results without the need of any additional instrument. Cipla's expansive distribution network will help in ensuring supply of kits across the country. --IANSsan/in
New York. A simple eye examination combined with powerful artificial intelligence (AI) machine learning technology could provide early detection of Parkinson's disease, say researchers.
Parkinson's disease is a progressive disorder of the central nervous system that affects millions of people worldwide.
Diagnosis is typically based on symptoms like tremors, muscle stiffness and impaired balance -- an approach that has significant limitations.
"The issue with that method is that patients usually develop symptoms only after prolonged progression with significant injury to dopamine brain neurons," said study lead author Maximillian Diaz from the University of Florida in the US.
"This means that we are diagnosing patients late in the disease process," Diaz added.
In the new study, the research team deployed a type of AI called support vector machine (SVM) learning that has been around since 1989.
Using pictures of the back of the eye from both patients with Parkinson's disease and control participants, they trained the SVM to detect signs on the images suggestive of disease.
The results indicated that the machine learning networks can classify Parkinson's disease based on retina vasculature, with the key features being smaller blood vessels.
The proposed methods further support the idea that changes in brain physiology can be observed in the eye.
"The single most important finding of this study was that a brain disease was diagnosed with a basic picture of the eye," Diaz said.
"This is very different from traditional approaches where to find a problem with the brain you look at different brain images," Diaz added.
The research team noted that those traditional imaging approaches with MRI, CT and nuclear medicine techniques can be very costly.
In contrast, the new approach uses basic photography with equipment commonly available in eye clinics to get an image.
The images can even be captured by a smartphone with a special lens.
"The approach may also have applications in identifying other diseases that affect the structure of the brain, such as Alzheimer's disease and multiple sclerosis," Diaz noted. (IANS)
London, Nov 2 (IANS) The UK's Prince William had contracted the novel coronavirus in April, just days after his father Prince Charles and Prime Minister Boris Johnson were also diagnosed with the disease, but chose to keep it a secret in an effort to avoid alarming the country, a media report said.According to the Sun newspaper report published on Sunday, the 38-year-old Duke of Cambridge had told an observer at an engagement that "there were important things going on and I didn't want to worry anyone".The Duke was treated by palace doctors, and followed government guidelines by isolating at the family home Anmer Hall, in Norfolk, the report said."William was hit pretty hard by the virus - it really knocked him for six," a source told the Sun newspaper."At one stage he was struggling to breathe, so obviously everyone around him was pretty panicked."After seeing medics and testing positive - which was obviously quite a shock given how fit and healthy he is - William was determined it should be business as usual though."He was determined to fulfil his engagements," the source added.The source further said that after the news Prince Charles and Johnson's diagnoses broke, William was concerned that informing the country about his own plight would send everyone into panic mode. "The Queen delivered her 'We Will Meet Again' address, and he just didn't want to worry people. He felt there were more important things going on in the country."But as a result of his own experiences, he realises absolutely anyone can catch this awful disease - and knows how imperative it is that we all take this second lockdown seriously," the source told the Sun newspaper.Prince Charles isolated for two weeks in March with mild symptoms, while Johnson spent three nights in ICU after being hospitalised on April 5. The Kensington Palace was yet to officially comment on the development.--IANSksk/
Seeking timely diagnosis and treatment of psoriasis, while recognizing the symptoms, is advisable, says a renowned dermatologist ahead of the World Psoriasis Day marked on October 29.
According to many dermatologists, people living with moderate to severe psoriasis require access to high-quality treatment and regular screening of their condition. The flare-ups on the scalp, genital, and palmoplantar (that affect palms and soles) may go underdiagnosed by a general physician. Hence, it is important to only consult a dermatologist for correct treatment before the symptoms grow to an even more severe stage.
Contrary to the most prevalent perception of being as a mere 'skin disease', psoriasis is rather a chronic and an autoimmune condition which causes itchy, flaky, red patches with silvery scales on the skin and is often mistaken for being contagious.
It may resemble an ordinary rash. However, psoriasis occurs when the body's immune system attacks its own healthy cells. This causes an increase in new skin cells resulting in dry patches as skin cells build up on the skin's surface.
Dr. Brijes Nair, Consultant Dermatologist, Military Hospital, Jaipur said, "Out of various dermatological conditions, I diagnose around 20 new psoriasis patients every month. After the diagnosis of patients' current stage, they are advised with a treatment option that varies as per their disease activity. Topical treatment can be prescribed for mild psoriasis without arthritis. Whereas, effective therapies like DMARDs and biologicals can be prescribed for patients suffering from mild, moderate to severe psoriasis on sensitive areas like palms, face, genitals, etc. which have the potential to affect their quality of life adversely. Immediate attention from a rheumatologist is required in case the treating dermatologists detect joint pain, inflammation in tendons and fingers, axial pain, etc."
Although psoriasis has no absolute cure, advanced treatment options like biologics have proven to be a revolutionizing therapy for many people living with this condition. Also, this may also decrease the risk of developing co-morbid conditions. Dermatologists have observed that once patients start getting positive results, they tend to discontinue their ongoing treatment. However, it is significant to note that discontinuation of the treatment can increase the chances of developing critical co-morbidities including psoriatic arthritis, cardiovascular diseases, uveitis, etc. Approximately one in four people with psoriasis have psoriatic arthritis.
After the Covid-19 outbreak, it was presumed that people with an auto-immune condition like psoriasis would be more prone to contracting Covid-19. This raised several questions about treatment implications and limited access to the dermatologist even forced a few patients to halt their ongoing treatment. However, a recent research has found that discontinuation of the treatment can worsen a patient's existing condition and makes it difficult to manage the symptoms as they reach an advanced stage of severity.
"During the ongoing pandemic, we encourage people with psoriasis to stay in regular contact with their dermatologist and not discontinue their treatment regimen without the intervention of their treating dermatologist. As per the current recommendations, non-infected patients can continue their ongoing treatment and only Covid positive patients need to halt any systematic and biological medications as per dermatologist's advice," added Dr. Nair.
Although virtual channels can be utilized to address routine problems, people should not dismiss the need to visit the clinics when required after following proper precautions like hand hygiene, social distancing norms, etc.
If not managed properly in a timely manner, psoriasis may have a severe physical and emotional impact on the patient's overall health. Yet, the lack of awareness about this condition often leads to a long-term delay in diagnosis and treatment. While living with many misconceptions may negatively impact a patient's quality of life, however, being rightly educated about psoriasis management plays a huge role in the recovery process. Sometimes patients fall prey to false information and even rely on only home remedies, mostly suggested by friends and family, in the hope of getting quick relief from the psoriasis symptoms. This largely contributes to the prolonged diagnosis, and may also increase the risk of developing coronary artery disease, hypertension, diabetes, etc.
For people with psoriasis, seeking support and treatment is essential to a healthier lifestyle both physically and mentally. Therefore, an increased awareness will help psoriasis patients to recognize their symptoms subsequently resulting in timely diagnosis and treatment. Small but effective steps can facilitate the creation of an empathetic and supportive ecosystem for people living with psoriasis.
<br>If that version is correct, it means Trump was Covid positive on Wednesday morning (September 30). Here's the thing: Americans were informed of Trump's illness only after midnight on Thursday (October 1). At 12:54 a.m. on October 2, Trump tweeted that he and the First Lady Melania Trump had tested positive.This is swiftly becoming the 'who knew what and when did they know it?' story in parallel with being the political bombshell that it already is.All of Trump's engagements between the hours of Wednesday morning and Friday night are now under intense scrutiny because of the timeline mismatch between Trump and Conley's versions.Shortly before noon on Saturday, Conley delivered a sunny, upbeat report on Trump's health, saying he's "doing very well", "not on supplemental oxygen right now" and has been "fever free" for the last 24 hours.Minutes after that briefing, a person familiar with Trump's medical condition informed a White House pool reporter that Trump needed supplemental oxygen at the White House on Friday before he was hospitalised.A White House chopper transported Trump to the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on Friday evening.Trump's doctors did not confirm if the President had been on oxygen following his Covid-19 diagnosis. They only said that Trump was not on oxygen "at this moment" in the hospital.Conley reported that the hospital plans to complete a five-day treatment course for remdesivir. Trump has already got the first dose.The "big plan for today" is for Trump to "eat, drink and stay hydrated".Conley said that Trump was brought into the Walter Reed hospital "as a precautionary measure" so that he could get "state-of-the-art monitoring"."At this time, the team and I are extremely happy with the progress the President has made since Thursday. He had mild cough and some nasal congestion and fatigue, all of which are now resolving and improving," Conley said.Trump's cardiac function, kidney function and liver function are all "normal", his medical team at the Walter Reed said."And the President this morning is not on oxygen, not having difficulty breathing or walking around the White House medical unit upstairs," it said.Conley said Trump's blood oxygen level is 96 per cent, which is in the normal range.Trump has been treated with two experimental drugs, given intravenously. On Friday, Trump received a single dose of a drug made by Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc, which helps turbocharge the system with antibodies to help the immune system fight back.On Friday night, Trump was put on a five-day course of remdesivir, a Gilead Sciences drug that has been found to help shorten the course of Covid treatment."We're maximising all the aspects of his care, attacking the virus in multiple ways. I didn't want to hold anything back, if there was any possibility it would add value to his care," Conley said. Meanwhile, Trump's Twitter thumb is back in the zone. Shortly after Conley's briefing, Trump tweeted: "Nurses and ALL at the GREAT Walter Reed Medical Center, and others from likewise incredible institutions who have joined them, are AMAZING!!! Tremendous progress has been made over the last 6 months in fighting this PLAGUE. With their help, I am feeling well!"As on date, three Republican Senators -- Ron Johnson, Mike Lee of Utah and Thom Tillis of North Carolina -- have tested positive for coronavirus.--IANS<br>nikhila/arm
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