Speaking to IANS Professor Srinath Reddy, president Public Health Foundation of India said: "While the virus can spread by air even in the open, the flow of air currents will not allow large viral clouds to form and hang around while such clouds can form easily and waft around slowly in closed spaces." He stressed on wearing proper mask and eye protection to prevent from virus entering through nose, mouth or eyes, and ventilation a key ally in keeping the viral load low. Excerpts from the interview:Q: A report recently published in The Lancet stated SARS-CoV-2, is an airborne pathogen, isn't it worrying? If Covid is airborne, wouldn't it require an overhaul of modification of established Covid-19 safety protocols. A: I believe that both droplet and aerosol modes of transmission are important. Droplet transmission occurs in close proximity in open or closed spaces while airborne infection is more likely as viral clouds form in closed rooms. While the virus can spread by air even in the open, the flow of air currents will not allow large viral clouds to form and hang around while such clouds can form easily and waft around slowly in closed spaces. In either case, wearing a proper mask and eye protection is likely to prevent the virus from entering through nose, mouth or eyes. Ventilation is a key ally in keeping the viral load low. Q: The Lancet paper said, "Long-range transmission of SARS-CoV-2 between people in adjacent rooms but never in each other's presence has been documented in quarantine hotels." If this report is accepted by the broad scientific community, then it will have major implications on how people fight Covid-19? A: Viral clouds forming in closed buildings can drift between rooms. Ventilation and facial protection are still the best safeguards. We will need better quality masks or double masking. Indoor ventilation systems have to be improved. Open cross ventilation is ideal. Q: With infectious variants emerging, which can escape the immunity and vaccines, even after a year into the Covid pandemic. Do you think there is a possibility of a third wave, or things would finally begin to settle after this second wave? A: It is difficult to predict the levels of infectivity and vaccine escape future variants will have. We must hope that the inactivated virus vaccine (Covaxin), which presents a bigger platter of viral antigens for invoking an immune response than vaccines which focus only on the spike protein, will have less threat of vaccine escape from variants which develop spike protein mutations. Whether there will be a third wave of serious infections will depend on how fast we strengthen our public health system and how widely we vaccinate. Q: According to genome sequencing data "double mutant" has become the most common variant. However, patterns have not emerged to establish that the double mutant is driving spike in cases amid the on-going second wave. Do you think double mutant will become a dominant variant similar to Kent variant? A: It is possible that a variant which exhibits greater infectivity than the original wild virus will become dominant over time. Given different variants operating now in different parts of India, it is possible that may see patterns of regional dominance by different variants in different parts of the country. The emerging patterns will also depend on how effectively we can contain transmission from now on, within and between states.Q: In the first wave, the cases peaked in September, almost one lakh every day for weeks, but later it declined. Today, there are more than two lakh cases every day. Is it the peak of the second wave and when will it begin to decline? A: This time the pandemic resurfaced in a fully open society, with high levels of mobility and crowded events. Last time the unlocking was in stages and some restrictions continued for several months. So, the surge soared swiftly. How long it will last will not merely depend on models of how the virus behaves but on how we behave. If we can all wear the right kind of masks the right way whenever away from home and crowded events are curbed with resolve, we can see a downward trend in a few weeks. Otherwise, this wave can get stretched over some months. Q: Today, the government claims to have a fairly good idea about which mutated variant is prevalent where, but all of them are increasing. Isn't it a worrying situation? A: A batsman like Rahul Dravid, with a sound 'Wall' like defence, can face a left arm bowler with as much confidence as he faces a right arm bowler. If we wear the right kind of facial protection the right way and avoid super spreader events involving crowds, we can block both the wild virus and its variants from entering our body. If we expose ourselves and play carelessly, we can be bowled leg stump or off stump. We have to determinedly play the right kind of defence- for some months to come. (Sumit Saxena can be contacted at email@example.com ) --IANS <br>ss/dpb
New York, Dec 24 (IANS) The use of face coverings to keep Covid-19 in check is not preventing kids from understanding facial expressions, says a study.The research, published in the journal PLOS ONE, showed that chidlren were not too bad at identifying emotions such as sadness, anger and fear from faces covered with masks."We now have this situation where adults and kids have to interact all the time with people whose faces are partly covered, and a lot of adults are wondering if that's going to be a problem for children's emotional development," said Ashley Ruba, a postdoctoral researcher in University of Wisconsin-Madison's Child Emotion Lab in the US.The researchers showed more than 80 children, ages 7 to 13, photos of faces displaying sadness, anger or fear that were unobstructed, covered by a surgical mask, or wearing sunglasses. The kids were asked to assign an emotion to each face from a list of six labels. The faces were revealed slowly, with scrambled pixels of the original image falling into their proper place over 14 stages to better simulate the way real-world interactions may require piecing things together from odd angles or fleeting glimpses.The kids were correct about the uncovered faces as often as 66 per cent of the time, well above the odds (about 17 per cent) of guessing one correct emotion from the six options.With a mask in the way, they correctly identified sadness about 28 per cent of the time, anger 27 per cent of the time, and fear 18 per cent of the time."Not surprisingly, it was tougher with parts of the faces covered. But even with a mask covering the nose and mouth, the kids were able to identify these emotions at a rate better than chance," said Ruba.--IANSgb/sdr/
New York - Facial recognition technology created after the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic shows that some software developers have made demonstrable progress at recognizing masked faces, says a study.
The findings by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), measures the performance of face recognition algorithms developed following the arrival of the pandemic.
A previous report from July explored the effect of masked faces on algorithms submitted before March 2020, indicating that software available before the pandemic often had more trouble with masked faces.
"Some newer algorithms from developers performed significantly better than their predecessors. In some cases, error rates decreased by as much as a factor of 10 between their pre and post-Covid algorithms," said study author Mei Ngan from NIST.
"In the best cases, software algorithms are making errors between 2.4 and five per cent of the time on masked faces, comparable to where the technology was in 2017 on non-masked photos," Ngan added.
The new study adds the performance of 65 newly submitted algorithms to those that were tested on masked faces in the previous round, offering cumulative results for 152 total algorithms.
Using the same set of 6.2 million images as it had previously, the team tested the algorithms' ability to perform "one-to-one" matching, in which a photo is compared with a different photo of the same person - a function commonly used to unlock a smartphone.
The researchers revealed that software can handle images regardless of whether or not the faces are masked. The algorithms detect the difference automatically, without being told. (IANS)
New York, Nov 20 (IANS) Researchers have found that eating Ataulfo mangoes, also known as honey or Champagne mangoes, may reduce facial wrinkles in older women with fairer skin.The study, published in the journal Nutrients, revealed that mangoes, like other orange fruits and vegetables, are rich in beta-carotene and provide antioxidants that may delay cell damage.The researchers found that postmenopausal women who ate a half cup of Ataulfo mangoes four times a week saw a 23 per cent decrease in deep wrinkles after two months and a 20 per cent decrease after four months."That's a significant improvement in wrinkles," said study lead author Vivien Fam from the University of California, Davis in the US."Women who ate a cup and a half of mangoes for the same periods of time saw an increase in wrinkles. This shows that while some mangoes may be good for skin health, too much of it may not be," Fam added.Researchers said it's unclear why consuming more mangoes would increase the severity of wrinkles but speculate that it may be related to a robust amount of sugar in the larger portion of mangoes.The randomised clinical pilot study involved 28 postmenopausal women with Fitzpatrick skin types II or III (skin that burns more easily than tans).Women were divided into two groups: one group consumed a half cup of mangoes four times a week for four months, and another consumed a cup and a half for the same period of time.Facial wrinkles were evaluated using a high-resolution camera system."The system we used to analyze wrinkles allowed us to not just visualize wrinkles, but to quantify and measure wrinkles," said study researcher Robert Hackman."This is extremely accurate and allowed us to capture more than just the appearance of wrinkles or what the eye might see," Hackman added.The study looked at the severity, length and width of fine, deep and emerging wrinkles.The researchers said the group that consumed a half cup of mangoes saw improvements in all categories.The team said further research is needed to learn the mechanisms behind the reduction in wrinkles."It may be due to the beneficial effects of carotenoids (orange or red plant pigments), and other phytonutrients that could help build collagen," the authors noted.--IANSbu/bg
Jerusalem, Nov 17 (IANS) The stress and anxiety experienced by the general population during Covid-19 lockdown brought about a significant rise in facial and jaw pain, as well as jaw-clenching in the daytime and teeth-grinding at night, say researchers.The study, published in the Journal of Clinical Medicine, also found that women suffered more from these symptoms more than men and that 35- to 55-year-olds suffered most."We believe that our findings reflect the distress felt by the middle generation, who were cooped up at home with young children, without the usual help from grandparents, facing financial problems and often required to work from home under trying conditions," said the researchers from Tel Aviv University (TAU) in Israel.The study examined questionnaires that assessed the presence and possible worsening of these symptoms in the general population during the first Covid-19 lockdown, due to the national emergency and rise in anxiety levels.The questionnaire was answered by a total of 1,800 respondents in Israel and Poland.During Israel's first lockdown, the general population exhibited a considerable rise in orofacial pain, as well as jaw-clenching in the daytime and teeth-grinding at night - physical symptoms often caused by stress and anxiety.The prevalence of symptoms rose from about 35 per cent pre-pandemic to 47 per cent, the prevalence of jaw-clenching in the daytime rose from about 17 per cent to 32 per cent, and teeth-grinding at night rose from about 10 per cent to 36 per cent.The findings showed that people who had suffered from these symptoms before the pandemic exhibited a rise of about 15 per cent in their severity.Altogether a rise of 10 to 25 per cent was recorded in these symptoms, which often reflect emotional stress, the team noted.--IANSbu/in
Countless times we have realized, no matter how observant, knowledgeable or well-ensured one is at maintaining ones face, we will never be as skilled as someone who does it for a living. Thats the reason-ideally once a month but, more realistically, a few times a year-one needs to get a facial with a certified professional.
There is a mind-set that men don't need facials. Times are changing, one little spa day is not going to harm ones strong masculinity. In case you need a little more convincing, here are some reasons why you need to suck it up and see a trained skin-magician.
Seema Nanda, Cosmetologist and founder, Estetico- The Facial Bar explains why men should go for facials and how to go about it.
Skin is thicker in men compared to women. Thus, male skin usually has larger pores and is oilier, making it more susceptible to acne. Moreover, testosterone in men causes skin to produce more oil than female faces. The main difference to a man's facial is it involves a deeper cleanse and detoxifying element due to the nature of the skin.
Unclogging and clearing out a man's pores will prevent breakouts and reduce enlarged pores. A facial should be like any other health-focused routine.
Facial includes: cleansing and analysing your skin, exfoliating away dead skin cells, performing extractions to clear out clogged pores, and moisturizing to add a healthy, hydrated glow.
Facials have deep exfoliation of skin. Exfoliation helps skin to release trapped ingrown hairs underneath the skin and removes dead skin cells so one can get a closer shave. The constant routine of shaving takes a toll on the skin which can lead to bumps and irritations. The thorough process of cleansing leads to a smoother, cleaner, and less painful shave afterwards. Moisturizing and brightening the skin during a facial is also important to maintaining healthy skin.
Facials are an opportunity to release stress and relax. A facial massage stimulates blood flow and using pressure points will put you into a state of relaxation lower cortisol and aiding in stress relief.
Blood circulation which is very important for skin can be achieved through the massage in a facial. When our blood circulation slows our skin's health is compromised which results in a dull and tired looking complexion.
Healthy glowing skin doesn't happen overnight. Discipline a series of facials every two months. Facials should feel clean, fresh and hydrated.
(Puja Gupta can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)