The World Health Organisation (WHO) has classified the new Covid variant detected in southern Africa this week as the 'Variant of Concern' following the Technical Advisory Group meeting on Friday.
"Based on the evidence presented indicative of a detrimental change in Covid-19 epidemiology, the TAG-VE has advised WHO that this variant should be designated as a Variant of Concern and the WHO has designated B.1.1.529 as a VOC, named Omicron", said the global health body in a statement.
The B.1.1.529 variant was first reported to WHO from South Africa on November 24, 2021. The epidemiological situation in South Africa has been characterized by three distinct peaks in reported cases, the latest of which was predominantly the Delta variant. The first known confirmed B.1.1.529 infection was from a specimen collected on November 9, 2021.
The WHO has asked the countries to enhance surveillance and sequencing efforts to better understand circulating SARS-CoV-2 variants and submit complete genome sequences and associated metadata to a publicly available database. The WHO has reminded to take measures to reduce their risk of Covid-19, including proven public health and social measures such as wearing well-fitting masks, hand hygiene, physical distancing, improving ventilation of indoor spaces, avoiding crowded spaces, and getting vaccinated.
The WHO said that this variant has a large number of mutations, some of which are of concern.
Preliminary evidence suggests an increased risk of re-infection with this variant, as compared to other VOCs. The number of cases of this variant appears to be increasing in almost all provinces in South Africa. Current SARS-CoV-2 PCR diagnostics continue to detect this variant. Several labs have indicated that for one widely used PCR test, one of the three target genes is not detected and this test can therefore be used as marker for this variant, pending sequencing confirmation. Using this approach, this variant has been detected at faster rates than previous surges in infection, suggesting that this variant may have a growth advantage, said the WHO.
The Technical Advisory Group on SARS-CoV-2 Virus Evolution (TAG-VE) is an independent group of experts that periodically monitors and evaluates the evolution of SARS-CoV-2 and assesses if specific mutations and combinations of mutations alter the behaviour of the virus. The TAG-VE was convened on 26 November 2021 to assess the SARS-CoV-2 variant: B.1.1.529. (agency)
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Statistically, 1 in 20 people who are infected with dengue fever may go on to develop severe dengue. This can result in shock, internal bleeding, and even be fatal causing death. Infants and pregnant women are at higher risk for developing severe dengue.
Yoga Builds Immunity
A strong immune system helps you prevent dengue which can be developed through holistic practices like yoga. But if you have dengue, yoga can help in quick recovery from dengue fever. Strong immunity will also treat the initial symptoms of dengue.
Take Care of Your Diet
Do not eat anything that is oily or spicy. Consume freshly cooked meals that have ingredients like black pepper and elaichi in them. Other immunity-boosting foods that you can add to your diet include citrus foods, garlic, almonds, turmeric and many more.
Practice the following asanas slowly. Do not hold for a long duration. You can also add pranayama exercises like Anulom Vilom and Brhamari pranayama to your routine.
Vajrasana - Thunderbolt Pose
Formation of the Posture:
Bring your knees down on your mat
Rest your pelvis on your heels
Keep your heels slightly apart from each other
Place your palms on your thighs
Straighten your back and look forward
Vriksh Asana-Tree Pose
Formation of the Posture:
Stand tall, and place one foot on the opposite inner thigh, either above or below the knee. Open the leg to the side, bring your hands to prayer, and stay for five to eight breaths.
Builds leg and abdominal strength
Works on hip mobility
Paschimottan Asana-Seated forward bend
Formation of the Posture:
Begin in Dandasana where your legs are stretched out forward
Keep your knees slightly bent if needed
Lift your arms up and keep your spine upright
Exhale and bend forward
Try to grip your toes with your fingers
Hold the posture for 10 seconds
Formation of the Posture:
Drop your knees to the ground gently and keep your upper body straight.
Start with Sukshma Vyayam or subtle exercises to warm up the body.
Stretch your arms up to the sky with palms hovering shoulder distance from and facing each other.
Look forward and hold
Begin on your stomach
Fold your knees to grab onto your ankles with your palms
Inhale and lift your legs and arms up as much as you can
Balance on your stomach
Look up and hold the posture
Sit in any comfortable pose (such as Sukhasan, Ardhapadmasan or Padmasana)
Straighten your back and close your eyes
Place your palms on your knees facing up (in Prapthi Mudra)
Place your thumbs on the 'Tragus', the external flap outside on your ear.
Place your index finger on your forehead; your middle finger on the Medial Canthus and ring finger on the corner of your nostril
Inhale and fill your lungs with air
As you exhale, slowly make a buzzing sound like that of a bee, i.e., "mmmmmmm...."
Keep your mouth closed the entire time and feel the vibration of the sound disseminate throughout your body
This particular practice of Siddhohum Kriya can be done as a remedy to fluctuation of moods. It helps you to balance your energies and stay in a pleasant temperament. One of the most important and wonderful benefits of this practice is that it helps you maintain this mood and upgrade from there. It helps you align your body mind and spirit. (Tips by Himalayan Siddha, Grand Master Akshar)
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कोविड-19 महामारी और 18-20 महीनों के लॉकडाउन के बाद दुनिया फिर से खुल गई है, लेकिन दक्षिण अफ्रीका में पाए गए कोरोना वायरस के एक नए वेरिएंट - बी.126.96.36.1999 ने एक बार फिर से चिंताएं बढ़ा दी है। इस नए वेरिएंट ने वैज्ञानिक समुदाय को और विश्वभर में लोगों को फिर से चिंतित कर दिया है, क्योंकि जानकारों को लगता है कि यह डेल्टा वेरिएंट से ज्यादा तेज रफ्तार से फैलता है और यह वैक्सीन को चकमा दे सकता है। यानी इस पर वैक्सीन बेअसर है।
दक्षिण अफ्रीका में इस वेरिएंट के 100 से अधिक मामलों का पता चला है, जहां नया स्ट्रेन धीरे-धीरे तेजी से फैलता जा रहा है।
इस सप्ताह पहली बार इस वेरिएंट की पहचान दक्षिण अफ्रीका में हुई। यह स्ट्रेन बोत्सवाना सहित आसपास के देशों में फैल गया है। यहां पूरी तरह से वैक्सीनेटेड लोग भी इससे संक्रमित हो गए हैं। बोत्सवाना में चार और दक्षिण अफ्रीका में 100 से अधिक मामलों को इस नए वायरस से जोड़कर देखा गया है। कोरोना के नए वेरिएंट का नाम बी.1.1.529 है जिसे 'बोत्सवाना वेरिएंट' भी कहा जा रहा है।
यहां पांच चीजें हैं जो आपको इस घातक सुपर कोविड संस्करण के बारे में जाननी चाहिए, जिसने यूके, इजराइल, इटली और सिंगापुर सहित कई देशों को दक्षिण अफ्रीका और इस क्षेत्र के अन्य देशों से यात्रा को प्रतिबंधित करने के लिए मजबूर किया है।
1. दक्षिण अफ्रीका के स्वास्थ्य अधिकारियों के अनुसार, 'बी.188.8.131.529' वेरिएंट में वैज्ञानिकों की अपेक्षा कई अधिक उत्परिवर्तन हैं, विशेष रूप से एक गंभीर तीसरी लहर के बाद, जो डेल्टा वेरिएंट द्वारा संचालित थी। कई उत्परिवर्तन इम्यून इवेसन और ट्रांसमिसिबिलिटी के लिए चिंता का विषय हैं।
2. बी.184.108.40.2069 अपने स्पाइक प्रोटीन में उच्च संख्या में उत्परिवर्तन करता है, जो मानव शरीर में कोशिकाओं में वायरस के प्रवेश में महत्वपूर्ण भूमिका निभाता है। बी.220.127.116.119 वैरिएंट में कुल मिलाकर 50 म्यूटेशन हैं, जिसमें अकेले स्पाइक प्रोटीन पर 30 से अधिक म्यूटेशन शामिल हैं जो कि अधिकांश वर्तमान कोविड टीकों का लक्ष्य है।
3. विश्व स्वास्थ्य संगठन (डब्ल्यूएचओ) ने कहा है कि नए वेरिएंट के प्रभाव को समझने में कुछ सप्ताह लगेंगे। वैज्ञानिकों ने कहा है कि यह अब तक का सबसे भारी उत्परिवर्तित वेरिएंट है, जिसका अर्थ है कि टीके, जो चीन में वुहान से मूल तनाव का उपयोग करके डिजाइन किए गए थे, हो सकता है कि वे उतने प्रभावी न हों। डब्ल्यूएचओ ने बी.1.1.529 पर चर्चा करने और यह तय करने के लिए एक बैठक बुलाई है कि क्या इसे आधिकारिक तौर पर चिंता का एक प्रकार नामित किया जाएगा।
4. इस सप्ताह पहली बार दक्षिण अफ्रीका में पहचाना गया, यह स्ट्रेन बोत्सवाना सहित आसपास के देशों में फैल गया है। इजराइल ने 'मलावी से लौटे एक व्यक्ति में' बड़ी संख्या में उत्परिवर्तन के साथ एक कोविड-19 वेरिएंट के मामले की पहचान की है। हांगकांग में दो मामलों का पता चला है। भारत ने दक्षिण अफ्रीका, बोत्सवाना और हांगकांग के यात्रियों की कठोर जांच का आहवान किया है।
5. अभी भी वैरिएंट की उत्पत्ति के बारे में अटकलें चल रही हैं। लंदन स्थित यूसीएल जेनेटिक्स इंस्टीट्यूट के निदेशक फ्रेंकोइस बेलौक्स के अनुसार, नया स्ट्रेन 'एक प्रतिरक्षा-समझौता व्यक्ति के पुराने संक्रमण के दौरान संभवत: एक अनुपचारित एचआईवी/एड्स रोगी में विकसित होने की संभावना है'। (एजेंसी)
यह भी पढ़े► डेल्टा वेरिएंट पूरी तरह से टीका लगाए गए व्यक्तियों को भी संक्रमित कर सकता है: अध्ययन
New York- Covid-19 infection during pregnancy leads to distinct immune changes in mothers and babies, according to a study.
The researchers found that Covid-19 dysregulates maternal immune response, with different immune signatures between mothers with asymptomatic and severe disease.
"We know that pregnancy increases maternal risk for Covid-19, but relatively little is known about the long-term consequences of in-utero exposure for infants," said Jae Jung, Director of the Cleveland Clinic Global Center for Pathogen & Human Health Research.
The study highlights "how important it will be for long-term follow-up after pregnancy to catch and hopefully prevent any unforeseen long-term health conditions related to prenatal infection,"Jung added.
For the study, published in the journal Cell Reports Medicine, the team involved 93 mothers with Covid-19 and 45 of their infant children who were exposed to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19.
The research team studied immune profiles for more than 1,400 cytokines and other inflammatory proteins collected from peripheral and cord blood samples.
The researchers compared maternal blood specimens collected close to the initial detection of SARS-CoV-2 and at different time points throughout pregnancy and delivery.
They found that compared to mild or moderate disease, pregnant women with severe Covid-19 exhibited significantly more inflammation and elevated levels of a protein called IFNL1 (interferon lambda 1) and the receptor it binds with, IFNLR1, which plays a critical role in protecting against viruses.
"This increase in interferon lambda signaling may help explain why we see relatively little direct transmission of Covid-19 between mother and baby during the period right before or after birth -- what we call vertical transmission," explained Suan-Sin (Jolin) Foo, a research associate in Dr. Jung's lab and co-first author on the paper.
Despite the lack of evidence for robust vertical transmission, the researchers found that SARS-CoV-2 infection alters maternal immunity at delivery and that gestational SARS-CoV-2 exposure alters infant immunity at birth.
At delivery, the women exhibited dysregulated levels of several cytokines that are associated with pregnancy complications, including MMP7, MDK, ESM1, BGN and CD209.
Among infants, prenatal exposure induced the expression of cytokines related to T cells, which are a type of immune cell involved in recognising and attacking specific antigens.
The majority of births within the cohort were healthy, but there was a high incidence of some complications, including preeclampsia and foetal growth restriction.
More research will be necessary to understand the extent to which the observed immune changes are related to these clinical outcomes, the team said.
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Did you know that over 40-year-olds might lose up to 8 per cent of their muscle mass every decade? After the age of 70, the pace of decrease may double.
Sarcopenia, or advanced muscle loss, affects roughly one-third of persons over the age of 50. Muscles are crucial for organ function, skin health, immunity and metabolism, as well as for common physical acts like picking things up, reaching for something, opening a jar or getting out of a chair. To put it another way, keeping muscle mass as you become older is critical to living a happy and healthy life.
"Muscle loss is an ageing factor that is rarely discussed, and people accept its signs, such as a loss of strength and energy, as a natural part of ageing," says Ganesh Kadhe, Associate Director Medical and Scientific Affairs at Abbott Nutrition.
"However, muscle fitness can often predict how we will age and remain active and independent."
The good news is that you may assist, prevent or delay muscle loss by taking the appropriate precautions. While muscle loss is unavoidable as we age, it does not have to be.
To stay strong as you age, start following the tips below to fuel and keep muscles fit for years to come!
1. Engage in regular exercise, including resistance training, to maintain muscles and strength.
2. Eat good source of protein from lean meats, eggs and beans; aim for 25-30 grams of protein at every meal.
3. Choose a balanced diet full of veggies, fruits, whole grains, proteins, healthy fats and key vitamins and minerals like calcium and vitamin D.
4. Consider taking other muscle health ingredients, like HMB.
5. Talk to your healthcare provider about nutrition, especially if you are ill, hospitalised or recovering from surgery, to manage illness-related muscle loss.
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The rise in air pollution, coupled with lousy lifestyle habits, is causing a spike in respiratory diseases. According to a Lancet report, the contribution of chronic respiratory diseases in India increased from 4.5 per cent in 1990 to 6.4 per cent in 2016. With respiratory issues on the rise, there is an increased demand for natural solutions to treat such issues. Instead of conventional medicine, people are turning to alternative medical therapies to find cures for ailments.
Common Lung Disorders
Bronchitis is a health condition that causes inflammation in the airways of the lungs. This leads to narrowing of the air pathways and excess mucus causes wheezing, coughing and difficulty breathing. It is a chronic condition that interferes seriously with daily life.
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
It is a chronic inflammatory lung disease that obstructs the airflow to the lungs. Symptoms of COPD include breathing difficulty, mucus (sputum) production, coughing, and wheezing. It can result from long-term exposure to irritating gases or particulate matter, most often from cigarette smoke. Those affected by COPD are at an increased risk of developing lung cancer, heart disease, and a variety of other conditions.
This is another variation of COPD. Bronchitis causes a similar build-up of mucus that can cause inflammation and coughing. The lungs' airways are constantly inflamed as chronic bronchitis often lasts for months on end. Symptoms of chronic bronchitis include incessant coughing, whistling sounds while breathing, wheezing and a tightening of the chest.
It is said that the cure for all ailments is available the natural way. Here are some of the alternative medicine approaches to treat respiratory disorders.
Alternative Medicinal Approaches to Treat Respiratory Disorders
Asthma is one of the most common lung diseases. One of the primary causes of asthma is allergies, which often result from the food consumed. It is crucial, therefore, to first prepare a diet that is suitable for an individual. Often, dairy products, meats, and certain nuts can increase the production of mucus.
Foods like these must be avoided. Also, antioxidants can prevent damage resulting from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Diet is important in this regard, as fruits and vegetables high in Vitamins A, C, and E can improve the condition of COPD patients.
Yoga and Exercise
Treatment of lung disorders often involves the use of the lungs to promote healthy breathing habits. Exercises like cycling, swimming, yoga etc. that create a need for full capacity breathing are of great importance. Exercising the diaphragm is important and simple activities can go a long way in the treatment of the same.
Pranayama, the practise of controlled breathing, is an integral part of alternative treatment for people suffering from respiratory issues. This extensive breathing practice helps to expand the lungs and improve the capacity of the lungs, which helps an individual breathe more freely.
Nasal irrigation systems like JalNeti using a Neti pot can help to rinse the sinuses, which may provide some relief from symptoms of respiratory allergies.
The traditional Chinese practice of acupuncture involves inserting thin needles into the skin to stimulate certain parts of the body. According to a study published in the journal Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, people with allergic rhinitis who were given acupuncture treatments twice a week for eight weeks had fewer symptoms than those administered placebo.
It is important to remember that no one complementary or alternative therapy works well for everyone with respiratory issues. Therefore, a proper assessment is done before deciding on the approach to the treatment plan. For those considering alternative medicine for their respiratory problems, it is recommended to speak to an expert first and discuss the approach that may work best. (Vinoda Kumary, Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Jindal Naturecure Institute)
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