Even as the world gets into recovery mode post-pandemic, many people are still grappling with the symptoms of long Covid. According to the WHO, if you have recovered from Covid-19 but some symptoms stay stubborn, such as shortness of breath, brain fog, and fatigue, the condition is known as long Covid. Long Covid symptoms also include palpitations, insomnia, gastric problems such as bloating, acidity, irritable bowel, muscle weakness, and mobility issues.
Any microbe that enters the body causes toxicity, resulting in the imbalance of Doshas or bio-energies of one's body. Our bodies are prone to infectious diseases when we have a weak immune system, and Panchakarma along with other curative Ayurveda treatments helps to strengthen the immune system. In Ayurveda, the Panchakarma procedure is used as a prophylactic to prevent infectious diseases and incidentally can also help to prevent a relapse.
In the case of a Covid patient who has tested negative for the virus, the Vaidyas (doctors) at CGH Earth recommend the Panchakarma procedure to strengthen and fortify the body. However, such procedures cannot be administered soon after recovery, though other Ayurvedic treatments for insomnia, anxiety, stress-related disorders, and immune boosting can be done.
To do the Panchakarma cleansing procedures, it is recommended to allow the body to heal itself -- for up to say two months in order for the energy levels to get back to normal or near normal. This is the same recommendation that Ayurveda would give for a person who has undergone surgery or some serious illness; a gap of two or three months before undergoing the Panchakarma.
Meanwhile, the degree of long Covid symptoms varies from patient to patient and therefore the treatment protocols vary as well. The doctor will need to watch and assess when the patient is ready to undergo only one or multiple karmas which are part of the Panchakarma procedure.
Long Covid patients suffer from respiratory problems and also issues related to the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, cardiac-related conditions, neurological conditions, and brain and kidney issues. Covid also affects the sense organs wherein some people lose their sense of smell, taste, hearing, and vision for an extended period of time. Many, post Covid suffer from insomnia, brain fog, and anxiety.
Although Panchakarma has immense health benefits, it is critical that for post-Covid patients the energy level is checked prior to putting them on any treatments, as they are tiring processes that do initially lower one's energy. Panchakarma procedures include detoxification of the body. This is a necessary stage of treatment as the disease-causing microbes bring a lot of toxins into the body and if they remain in the body, Ayurvedic treatments cannot address the conditions that have manifested internally.
For Kapha-related lung infections, chest pain, and infected pleural cavities the patient is treated with Herbal drug-induced vomiting or Vamana (one of the deep cleansing Panchakarma procedures). Likewise for gastric infection or if the liver or pancreas is affected purgation is advised. Meanwhile, the main procedure for problems related to sensory organs like loss of smell or taste is Nasya i.e.: nasal treatment.
For those affected by arthritis, degenerating muscles, or skin lesions; Vasti or medicated enemas are prescribed. It is to be noted that this is not merely Colon cleansing but the administration of special medicines into the colon and rectum where the medications in them are easily absorbed internally.
Alongside the Panchakarma procedures, secondary treatments or "Upakarmas" are also administered to the patients. "Tharpanam" which is administered for the eyes and "Karnapuranam" for the ears are treatments that Ayurveda prescribes for patients who have long Covid conditions related to these sensory organs. Treatments like "Njavarakizhi" and "Pizhichil" also aid in correcting the Vata, Pitta, and Kapha imbalances and help rejuvenate and rebuild the body from the inside out.
Herbal medications are administered to improve the immune system. In particular, those with respiratory tract issues benefit from these prescribed herbal medicines by improving their lung capacity and removal of excess accumulation of phlegm or fibroids. These medicines are beneficial for those with GI tract issues.
Regularly strengthening the body with herbal preparations after a course of Panchakarma, helps to keep Covid and other infectious diseases at bay. In Ayurveda, the course of medication can last from three to six months and in some cases where the patient is very weak, it is prescribed for a year. (Dr. Firoz Varun is an Ayurveda Doctor at CGH Earth Kalari Rasayana Ayurveda Hospital)
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Double-masking might not protect against Covid-19, but rather raises the risk of infection as well as transmission, US researchers have claimed, in a study.
The study published in Physics of Fluids, suggests double masking with improperly fitted masks may "not significantly improve mask efficiency and produces a false sense of security".
"More layers mean a less porous face covering, leading to more flow forced out of the perimeter gaps (sides, top, and bottom) in masks with a less secure fit," argued researchers at Florida State University and Johns Hopkins University.
Double layers increase filtering efficiency only with good mask fit but could also lead to breathing difficulties.
According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, loosely woven cloth masks offer the least protection against Covid, and N95 and KN95 masks offer the most.
Still, after more than two years since the pandemic began, there is not a full understanding of mask characteristics for the most optimal protection.
In the study, the team used principal component analysis (PCA) along with fluid dynamics simulation models to show the crucial importance of proper fit for all types of masks and how face shape influences the most ideal fit.
The researchers modelled a moderate cough jet from the mouth of an adult male wearing a cloth mask over the nose and mouth with elastic bands wrapped around the ears.
They calculated the maximum volume flow rates through the front of the mask and peripheral gaps at different material porosity levels.
For a more realistic 3D face shape and size, the researchers used PCA that integrated 100 adult male and 100 adult female heads retrieved from head scan data at Basel University in Switzerland. PCA condenses large sets of variables while retaining most of the information.
Their model showed how the slight asymmetry typical in all facial structures can affect proper mask fitting. For example, a mask can have a tighter fit on the left side of the face than on the right side.
"Facial asymmetry is almost imperceivable to the eye but is made obvious by the cough flow through the mask," said co-author Tomas Solano, from Florida State University.
"For this particular case, the only unfiltered leakage observed is through the top. However, for different face shapes, leakage through the bottom and sides of the mask is also possible," he added.
Creating "designer masks" customised to each person's face is not practical at scale. Still, PCA-based simulations can be used to design better masks for different populations by revealing general differences between male and female or child versus elderly facial structures and the associated air flow through masks, the researchers said. (Agency)
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बच्चों और वयस्कों के लिए समय पर टीकाकरण की जरूरत पर जोर देते हुए विशेषज्ञों ने गुरुवार को कहा कि स्वस्थ और पौष्टिक भोजन और व्यायाम के अलावा, टीके लंबे जीवन के पोषण में भी महत्वपूर्ण भूमिका निभाते हैं। विश्व स्वास्थ्य संगठन (डब्ल्यूएचओ) ने अप्रैल के अंतिम सप्ताह को 24 से 30 अप्रैल के बीच विश्व टीकाकरण सप्ताह के रूप में चिह्न्ति किया है। इस वर्ष की थीम 'सभी के लिए लंबा जीवन' है।
डब्ल्यूएचओ के अनुसार, सप्ताह का उद्देश्य "आवश्यक सामूहिक कार्रवाई को उजागर करना और सभी उम्र के लोगों को बीमारी से बचाने के लिए टीकों के उपयोग को बढ़ावा देना है।" इसका अनुमान है कि समय पर टीकाकरण से दुनिया भर में लगभग 1.5 मिलियन मौतों को रोका जा सकता है।
पोलियो और चेचक जैसी कई बीमारियों को मिटाने में टीकाकरण सफल साबित हुआ है। टीकाकरण ने दस्त, खसरा, निमोनिया जैसे संक्रामक रोगों से जुड़ी बीमारी और मृत्यु को रोकने में मदद की है, और इसके परिणामस्वरूप शिक्षा और आर्थिक विकास में भी उच्च लाभ हुआ है। हाल ही में, कोविड-19 के खिलाफ विकसित शॉट्स भी अस्पताल में भर्ती होने और मृत्यु के जोखिम को कम करने में कारगर साबित हुए हैं।
सीएमआरआई, कोलकाता के पल्मोनोलॉजिस्ट डॉ. राजा धर ने आईएएनएस को बताया, "टीकों ने अपनी प्रभावशीलता बार-बार साबित की है और आज के समय में टीकाकरण करने वाले लोगों के पास बेहतर जीवन जीने की संभावना है।"
मुंबई स्थित पल्मोनोलॉजिस्ट डॉ. अगम वोरा ने कहा, "टीके सबसे महत्वपूर्ण निवारक उपाय हैं जो दीघार्यु में भी मदद करते हैं और रुग्णता दर को कम करते हैं। टीकों के बारे में बात करने का यह सबसे अच्छा समय है, क्योंकि 29 से अधिक वैक्सीन-रोकथाम योग्य संक्रमण मौजूद हैं। जब टीकाकरण समय पर दिया जाता है, तो प्रतिरक्षा मजबूत हो जाती है।"
हालांकि, महामारी से संबंधित व्यवधानों, टीकों तक पहुंच में बढ़ती असमानताओं और नियमित टीकाकरण से संसाधनों के विचलन ने बहुत से बच्चों को खसरा और अन्य टीका-रोकथाम योग्य बीमारियों से सुरक्षा के बिना छोड़ दिया है।
विशेषज्ञों का कहना है कि जहां बच्चों का टीकाकरण कराना चर्चा का एक सामान्य विषय है, वहीं वयस्क टीकाकरण भी समय की मांग है। (एजेंसी)
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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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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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New York: A team of researchers has provided important insights into how SARS-CoV-2 the virus responsible for Covid-19 can lead to long-term pain.
Using a hamster model of SARS-CoV-2 infection, the research team found that the infection left a gene expression signature in the dorsal root ganglia that remained even after the virus cleared. The signature matched gene expression patterns seen in pain caused by other conditions.
"A significant number of people suffering from long Covid experience sensory abnormalities, including various forms of pain," said researcher Randal (Alex) Serafini from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City.
"We used RNA sequencing to get a snapshot of the biochemical changes SARS-CoV-2 triggers in a pain-transmitting structure called dorsal root ganglia," Serafini added.
For the study, to be presented at the American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics' annual meeting, the research team involved a hamster model of intranasal Covid-19 infection that closely reflected the symptoms experienced by people.
The researchers observed that SARS-CoV-2-infected hamsters showed a slight hypersensitivity to touch early after infection, which became more severe over time, up to 30 days. They then performed similar experiments with the Influenza A virus to determine if other RNA viruses promote similar responses.
In contrast to SARS-CoV-2, Influenza A caused an early hypersensitivity that was more severe but faded by four days post-infection.
Analysis of gene expression patterns in the dorsal root ganglia revealed that SARS-CoV-2 caused a more prominent change in expression levels of genes implicated in neuron-specific signalling processes compared to influenza.
Additional experiments showed that four weeks after recovering from a viral infection, flu-infected hamsters had no signs of long-term hypersensitivity, while SARS-CoV-2-infected hamsters showed worsened hypersensitivity, reflecting chronic pain.
The hamsters that had recovered from SARS-CoV-2 had gene expression signatures similar to those seen in the dorsal root ganglia of mice affected by pain that was induced by inflammation or nerve injury.
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