Apart from healthy and nutritious food, and exercise, vaccines also play an important role in nurturing long life, said experts on Thursday, pressing the need for timely vaccination for children as well as adults.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) marks the last week of April, between April 24 and 30, as World Immunisation Week. This year, the theme is 'Long Life For All'.
According to the WHO, the Week "aims to highlight the collective action needed and to promote the use of vaccines to protect people of all ages against disease". It estimates that about 1.5 million deaths worldwide can be prevented due to timely vaccination.
Vaccination has proved to be successful in eradicating many diseases, such as polio and smallpox. Vaccinations have helped in preventing sickness and death associated with infectious diseases such as diarrhoea, measles, pneumonia, and have also resulted in higher gains in education and economic development. Recently, the shots developed against Covid-19 have also proved to curb the risk of hospitalisation and death.
"Vaccines have proven their efficacy time and again and in today's time vaccinated people have chances of leading a better life," Dr Raja Dhar, Pulmonologist from CMRI, Kolkata, told IANS.
"Vaccines are the most important preventive measure that also helps in longevity and reduces the morbidity rates. This is the best time to talk about vaccines as more than 29 vaccine-preventable infections are present. When vaccination is given timely, the immunity gets stronger irrespective of age," added Mumbai-based pulmonologist Dr Agam Vora.
However, pandemic-related disruptions, increasing inequalities in access to vaccines, and the diversion of resources from routine immunisation have left too many children without protection against measles and other vaccine-preventable diseases.
In 2020, 23 million children missed out on basic childhood vaccines through routine health services, the highest number since 2009 and 3.7 million more than in 2019. As a result, the world is also seeing outbreaks in infectious diseases such as measles and hepatitis.
"The Covid-19 pandemic has interrupted immunisation services, health systems have been overwhelmed, and we are now seeing a resurgence of deadly diseases including measles. For many other diseases, the impact of these disruptions to immunisation services will be felt for decades to come," said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the WHO, in a statement recently.
"Now is the moment to get essential immunisation back on track and launch catch-up campaigns so that everybody can have access to these life-saving vaccines," he added.
The WHO noted that reported worldwide measles cases increased by 79 per cent in the first two months of 2022, compared to the same period in 2021. The global health agency also recorded at least 169 cases of acute hepatitis of unknown origin in about 12 countries.
While children getting vaccinated is a common topic of discussion, adult immunisation is also the need of the hour, the experts said.
Adults, and elderly people with underlying conditions such as respiratory disease, diabetes, hypertension, and kidney diseases, among others are more vulnerable to infections that can be effectively prevented by vaccines, which would also help increase life expectancy.
As per a National Statistical Office Report, India's elderly population is going to increase by 41 per cent, with more people being vulnerable to diseases, the greatest benefit of vaccination would be reduced hospitalisation and severity, Dhar said.
"To increase immunisation coverage in India, everybody needs to take ownership of getting themselves vaccinated according to the schedule. Only then will we be part of a healthy community," he added. (Agency)
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जेनेवा: विश्व स्वास्थ्य संगठन (डब्ल्यूएचओ) ने चेतावनी दी है कि भले ही वैश्विक स्तर पर कोविड-19 के मामलों और मौतों की संख्या में गिरावट जारी है, लेकिन महामारी अभी खत्म नहीं हुई है। कोविड-19 के मामलों में कमी का कारण बड़े पैमाने पर परीक्षण दरों (टेस्टिंग रेट्स) में गिरावट भी बताया जा रहा है।
डब्ल्यूएचओ के महानिदेशक ट्रेडोस एडनॉम घेब्येयिसस ने मंगलवार को एक प्रेस वार्ता में बताया कि पिछले हफ्ते, डब्ल्यूएचओ को सिर्फ 15,000 से अधिक कोरोना वायरस से संबंधित मौतों की सूचना मिली है, जो मार्च 2020 के बाद से सबसे कम साप्ताहिक संख्या है।
उन्होंने कहा कि हालांकि इस उत्साहजनक प्रवृत्ति की सावधानी से व्याख्या की जानी चाहिए, क्योंकि कई देशों ने टेस्टिंग पर वापस कदम रखा है और इसके परिणामस्वरूप डब्ल्यूएचओ को ट्रांसमिशन और सीक्वेंसिंग के बारे में कम जानकारी मिल रही है।
ट्रेडोस ने कहा कि यह हमें संचरण और इसके फैलाव (ट्रांसमिशन एंड एवोलूशन) के पैटर्न के प्रति अंधा बना देता है, लेकिन यह वायरस सिर्फ इसलिए नहीं जाएगा, क्योंकि देशों ने इसकी तलाश करना बंद कर दिया है। यह अभी भी फैल रहा है, यह अभी भी बदल रहा है और यह अभी भी जान ले रहा है।
उन्होंने चेताते हुए कहा कि जब एक घातक वायरस की बात आती है, तो अज्ञानता सही नहीं है। डब्ल्यूएचओ सभी देशों से निगरानी बनाए रखने का आह्वान करता रहता है।
कोविड-19 महामारी के एक नए आपातकाल के बाद के चरण में प्रवेश करने के यूरोपीय संघ के हालिया फैसले पर प्रतिक्रिया देते हुए, डब्ल्यूएचओ स्वास्थ्य आपात कार्यक्रम के कार्यकारी निदेशक, माइक रयान ने आगाह किया कि यह समय वायरस पर से ध्यान हटाने का नहीं है और न ही इसके विकसित होने की क्षमता को हल्के में लिया जाना चाहिए।
उन्होंने चिंता जताते हुए कहा कि तथ्य यह है कि हम अभी तक इससे बाहर नहीं निकले हैं।
समाचार एजेंसी सिन्हुआ की रिपोर्ट के अनुसार, डब्ल्यूएचओ के हेल्थ इमर्जेंसी प्रोग्राम की टेक्निकल लीड मारिया वैन केरखोव ने कहा कि हाल के पॉजिटिव मामलों में रुझानों के बावजूद, उन्हें टेस्टिंग से जुड़ी रणनीतियों में बड़े पैमाने पर बदलाव और दुनिया भर में किए जा रहे परीक्षणों की संख्या में भारी कमी के कारण विश्व भर में रिपोर्ट किए जा रहे मामलों की संख्या में कम ही विश्वास है।
उन्होंने कहा, सकारात्मक पक्ष की बात की जाए तो हम एक बदलाव जरूर देख रहे हैं। हम निश्चित रूप से इस महामारी के एक अलग चरण में हैं, लेकिन हम अभी भी इस महामारी के बीच ही हैं और यह अभी भी एक वैश्विक समस्या बनी हुई है।
उन्होंने निष्कर्ष निकालते हुए कहा कि अब समय आ गया है कि हमने जो किया है उसे वास्तव में मजबूत करें और यह सुनिश्चित करें कि हम लोगों को सलामत रखें और हम अपनी अर्थव्यवस्थाओं को पटरी पर लाएं और हम लोगों की आजीविका बचाएं। (एजेंसी)
यह भी पढ़े► दमे की दवा कोरोना वायरस के स्पाइक प्रोटीन को रोकने में सक्षम
New York: People hospitalised during the pandemic both for Covid and other conditions have a higher rate of antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections compared to patients hospitalised before the pandemic, according to a study.
An estimated 1.2 million people worldwide died in 2019 from antibiotic-resistant infections, and this number is predicted to increase ten-fold by 2050.
There have been studies reporting that the pandemic was associated with antimicrobial resistance (AMR) secondary infections, possibly due to the increase in the use of antibiotics to treat Covid-19 patients and disruptions to infection prevention and control practices in overwhelmed health systems.
The study, presented at this year's European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (ECCMID) being held in Portugal, evaluated the pandemic's impact on antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in 271 hospitals across the US.
The researchers assessed AMR rates per 100 hospital admissions before and during the Covid pandemic, and examined whether drug-resistant infections were acquired in the community-onset setting (defined as a culture collected less than two days after admission) or in the hospital-onset setting (more than two days after admission).
In total, 1,789,458 patients were admitted to the hospital in the pre-pandemic period and 3,729,208 during the pandemic.
The number of patients admitted to the hospital with at least one AMR infection was 63,263 in the pre-pandemic period and 129,410 during the pandemic.
Patients who tested positive or negative for Covid had higher levels of AMR than patients before the pandemic, 4.92 per 100 admissions and 4.11 per 100 admissions, respectively.
For hospital-associated infections, the AMR rate was 0.77 per 100 admissions before the pandemic and 0.86 per 100 admissions during the pandemic, and highest at 2.19 per 100 admissions in patients with Covid-19.
When looking at community-onset infections, the AMR rate was 2.76 per 100 admissions in the pre-pandemic period, and 2.61 per 100 admissions during the pandemic.
"These new data highlight the importance of closely monitoring the impact of Covid-19 on antimicrobial resistance rates, said Dr Karri Bauer from the US pharmaceutical company Merck.
"It is particularly worrying that antibiotic resistance has been rising during the pandemic in both SARS-CoV-2 positive and negative patients. Hospital-acquired infections are a major concern, with antimicrobial resistance rates significantly higher during the pandemic than before," he added. (Agency)
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Six in 10 people with SARS-CoV-2 still have at least one symptom of long Covid a year later, with fatigue, shortness of breath and irritability being the most common, a new study has shown.
The study, being presented at this year's European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (ECCMID) in Portugal, found that Covid-19 symptoms that don't clear up after 15 weeks are likely to last at least a year.
An estimated 25-40 per cent of people with Covid-19 develop long Covid, persisting symptoms that can affect multiple organs and include mental health problems.
Most of the data to date, however, is based on patients who were hospitalised with Covid-19 and it isn't clear how it applies to Covid-19 cases more generally.
To find out more, Aurelie Fischer and colleagues at the Luxembourg Institute of Health in Luxembourg, surveyed almost 300 people a year after they were diagnosed with Covid.
The 289 participants (50.2 per cent women) had an average age of 40.2 years and were divided in three groups, based on the severity of their initial infection: asymptomatic, mild and moderate/severe Covid-19.
They were asked to fill in a detailed questionnaire about whether they were experiencing 64 common long Covid-related symptoms.
A third (34.3 per cent) were experiencing fatigue a year on, 12.9 per cent said respiratory symptoms were affecting their quality of life and more than half (54.2 per cent) had ongoing sleep problems.
Participants who had moderate/severe Covid-19 were twice as likely to still have at least one symptom a year on than those whose initial infection was asymptomatic. Having had moderate/severe Covid-19 was also associated with more sleep problems after a year than being asymptomatic (63.8 per cent vs. 38.6 per cent).
"Participants with a mild form of the acute illness were more likely than those who'd been asymptomatic to have at least one symptom at one year, and to have sleep problems, but to a lesser extent than those with a moderate or severe acute illness," Fischer said.
One in seven participants (14.2 per cent) said they could not envisage coping with their symptoms long-term.
Further, the analysis also revealed that some groups of symptoms tend to occur together, suggesting that there are multiple different types of long Covid.
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अमेरिकी शोधकर्ताओं ने पाया है कि लॉन्ग कोविड-19 के लिए असामान्य रूप से कमजोर इम्यून सिस्टम जिम्मेदार हो सकता है। कोविड बीमारी से उबरने वाले व्यक्तियों में कई लक्षण बने रहते हैं, जैसे कि थकान, मानसिक आलस्य और सांस की तकलीफ। ये सभी लक्षण महीनों तक बने रह सकते हैं।
इसे आम तौर पर लॉन्ग कोविड के रूप में वर्गीकृत किया जाता है, हालांकि लक्षण व्यापक रूप से अलग-अलग होते हैं। हालांकि, इसके कारणों की सीमित समझ इलाज करने के तरीके खोजना खासतौर पर कठिन बना देती है।
कैलिफोर्निया विश्वविद्यालय-लॉस एंजिल्स के शोधकतार्ओं ने लेरोनलिमैब का एक छोटा परीक्षण किया। जिसमें पाया गया कि लॉन्ग कोविड वाले कुछ लोगों में कोविड 19 से उबरने के बाद वास्तव में सक्रिय प्रतिरक्षा प्रणाली हो सकती है। यूसीएलए के डेविड गेफेन स्कूल ऑफ मेडिसिन में प्रोफेसर डॉ ओटो यांग ने समीक्षा की।
आठ हफ्तों के दौरान उन्होंने लॉन्ग कोविड से जुड़े लक्षणों में होने वाले बदलाव को ट्रैक किया। जिसमें गंध, स्वाद, मांसपेशियों, जोड़ों में दर्द और मस्तिष्क का नुकसान शामिल था।
शोधकर्ताओं ने मूल रूप से सोचा था कि एंटीबॉडी के साथ सीसीआर 5 को ब्लॉक करने से कोविड -19 संक्रमण के बाद अतिसक्रिय प्रतिरक्षा प्रणाली की गतिविधि कम हो जाएगी।
यांग ने कहा, लेकिन हमने इसके ठीक विपरीत पाया।
यांग ने कहा, यह नई परिकल्पना की ओर जाता है कि कुछ व्यक्तियों में लॉन्ग कोविड प्रतिरक्षा प्रणाली के दबने से संबंधित है, लेकिन अतिसक्रिय नहीं है। यह एंटीबॉडी कोशिका की सतह पर सीसीआर 5 अभिव्यक्ति को स्थिर कर सकती है, जिससे अन्य प्रतिरक्षा रिसेप्टर्स या कार्यों का अपचयन होता है।
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The SARS-CoV-2 virus can directly infect a specialised type of kidney cell, explaining why acute kidney injury is one of the main complications observed in patients with severe Covid-19, finds a study.
Primarily known to infect cells in the respiratory tract, physicians were surprised to see that many patients, especially those with severe Covid, were also developing injuries to their kidneys.
"It was shocking to hear doctors describe how patients who were healthy suddenly developed kidney injury and needed to go on dialysis after contracting SARS-CoV-2," said Samira Musah, assistant professor of biomedical engineering and medicine at Duke University.
"It was clear that the virus was doing something to the kidneys, but it was so early in the pandemic that nobody was sure what was going on," she added.
For the new study, described in the journal Frontiers in Cell and Developmental Biology, the team worked worked with a pseudovirus version of SARS-CoV-2 on a previously developed model of podocyte cell, a specific type of kidney cell that helps control the removal of toxins and waste from the blood.
When the pseudovirus was introduced to the podocyte cell model, the team discovered that the spike protein of the virus could directly bind to numerous receptors on the surface of podocytes.
"We found that the virus was especially adept at binding to two key receptors on the surface of the podocytes, and these receptors are abundant in these kidney cells," explained Titilola Kalejaiye, a postdoctoral fellow at Duke.
"There was a strong uptake of the virus initially, and we also found that when you increased the dose of the virus, the uptake would increase even further. The virus seemed to have a strong affinity for these kidney cells."
Further, the team tested their podocyte model with the real SARS-CoV-2 virus.
Just like with the pseudovirus, the team observed that the live version of the virus had a strong affinity for podocytes.
Once the virus infected the cells, it damaged the podocytes, causing their long, finger-like structures, which help filter blood, to retract and shrivel. If the injuries to the cells were too severe, the podocytes would die.
"Beyond the structural damage, we saw that the virus could hijack the machinery of the podocytes to produce additional viral particles that could spread to infect additional cells," said Maria Blasi, Assistant Professor of medicine at Duke.
Now the team hopes to expand their work to study how the different variants of SARS-CoV-2 behave in kidney cells.
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