Sao Paulo, July 28 (IANS) A 28-year-old Covid positive man who developed orbital cellulitis -- a severe skin infection in the orbital area (around the eye) -- may represent an unusual complication of the infectious disease.Sinusitis related to Covid-19 may be a source of facial infection, suggested Vinicius Almeida Carvalho and his team at the State University of Londrina, Parana, Brazil.A few weeks before being presented to the craniofacial surgery department, the patient had developed mild illness with fatigue and loss of smell and taste, the team reported in The Journal of Craniofacial Surgery.He didn't seek medical care until he developed a headache and swelling around the eye, and loss of smell, which got progressively worse. At his local emergency department, he was diagnosed with Covid-19, as well as sinusitis. However, despite antibiotics and other treatments for sinusitis, the facial pain and swelling worsened -- even as the patient's Covid-19 symptoms improved.By the time Carvalho's department saw him, the patient's eye was swollen and tightly shut. A computed tomography (CT) scan revealed a fluid collection that was putting pressure on the globe (eyeball), which was fortunately not yet damaged.The CT scan found no evidence of pneumonia or other respiratory involvement from Covid-19.The patient was diagnosed with cellulitis -- severe infection under the skin -- which was thought to have spread from the sinuses to the orbital area. Because of the danger to the eye, Carvalho and colleagues performed urgent surgery, using a small incision to drain the collection of fluid and pus.The swelling around the eye decreased immediately after the procedure. The patient remained in the hospital for several days, including treatment with intravenous antibiotics. A few weeks later, his pain and swelling had resolved and the eye was functioning normally.A previous US paper reported sinus infection and orbital cellulitis as "atypical conditions" associated with Covid-19. Sinusitis is known to be an important cause of infections spreading to the orbital area."It is not clear whether SARS-CoV-2 itself is a contributing factor to the pathogenesis [development] in these cases," Carvalho said.Their case findings suggest that Covid-19 may contribute to sinus infection with the potential to spread to the area around the eye - even in an otherwise-healthy young patient with mild Covid-19 symptoms. Whatever the course of the infection, the researchers emphasise the need for early surgery in patients with severe, vision-threatening orbital cellulitis.--IANSrvt/arm
London, July 20 (IANS) A 61-year-old Caucasian man in the UK experienced facial palsy after each dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid vaccine, suggesting a strong link between the jab and Bell's palsy, according to the doctors at the National Health Service.
Bell's palsy -- a facial nerve palsy of unknown cause, where muscles on one side of the face become weak or paralysed.
In the journal BMJ Case Reports, the doctors describe the first such case to be reported in the medical literature of two separate unilateral facial nerve palsies, occurring shortly after each dose of a Covid-19 vaccine.
The man had no previous history of facial nerve palsy, but had a high Body Mass Index, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and Type-2 diabetes. Both doses of the vaccine were administered to the left arm, reported the doctors.
The first episode of facial nerve palsy developed five hours after administration of the first dose and the second two days after administration of the second dose administered six weeks later.
Investigations at initial presentation to the emergency department were unremarkable, and the patient was diagnosed with Bell's palsy on both occasions, the doctors said.
The patient attended the emergency department after the first episode, unable to close his left eye properly or move the left side of his forehead and was diagnosed with Bell's palsy. Routine bloods and a CT head scan showed nothing of concern and he was discharged with a course of steroids, and the facial nerve palsy completely resolved.
The second episode was a more severe left-sided facial nerve palsy. The symptoms included dribbling, difficulty swallowing and inability to fully close his left eye. He went to the emergency department, where he was again prescribed a course of steroids. He was also referred to the emergency ENT (Ear Nose and Throat) clinic, which continued the steroids and referred him to ophthalmology, the doctors reported.
"We describe the first case of Bell's palsy occurring after each dose of any UK-approved Covid-19 vaccine. Single episodes of unilateral facial nerve palsies have been reported in clinical trials and in subsequent case reports. There has been no evidence, however, of an episode after each dose," said Dr Abigail Burrows, ENT, Royal Surrey County Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Guildford, UK.
"We also describe the earliest onset of symptoms from the timing of administration of the vaccine, further suggesting Bell's palsy was associated with the vaccine," she added. However the doctors noted that a causal relationship cannot be established.
The doctors report that his symptoms have greatly improved and the patient is almost back to normal.
Single episodes of unilateral facial nerve palsies were reported in the initial clinical trials of the three major Covid-19 vaccines approved for use in the UK -- Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and Oxford/AstraZeneca -- and there have been subsequent case reports.
In Phase-III trials, four cases of Bell's palsy were reported in volunteers who received the Pfizer vaccine compared with none in those who received the placebo vaccine, and three cases were reported in volunteers who received the Moderna vaccine compared with one in the placebo group.
Three cases of facial nerve palsy were also reported in volunteers who received the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine during clinical trials, and there were three cases in volunteers who received the placebo vaccine.
Perhaps the biggest lifestyle drawback of this lockdown was the extra 'fat' that we all have seemed to gain. With no access to gyms and parks, people have gained many kilos. Though the body fat can still be hidden while clicking selfies, one can't hide the facial fat.
Thanks to the stressful life and ongoing pandemic, that we look more aged than we actually are. If you have also accumulated fat around the chin area, then these simple facial exercises by Fitness Coach and Sports Nutritionist, Hasti Singh can be of use.
Chin Pull: This is a very basic exercise that can help your face look slim. Sit in a comfortable position and try pulling your chin in an upwards position looking at the ceiling or the sky. This will help in stretching your nerves that will help in toning the chin area.
Try Making Fish Face: Just suck your cheeks in like you do while contouring the face in your make-up sessions. Hold the position for five seconds and try smiling with that face. This pose will not only remove your facial fat but will give you a selfie worth face.
Lift Your Face: Another best way to get rid of facial fat easily, place your hand in a punch form just beneath your chin and hold the posture for few seconds. Repeat the exercise and you are done.
Mouth Washing Exercise: A very simple exercise which can be done while you go to brush your teeth. You just have to fill the air in your mouth and then bounce it from one side to another. Repeat the process for 20-30 seconds and relax for a bit. This process will help in enhancing the laugh lines and reduce the bubbliness around the cheek.
Rock and Roll: This effective and simple activity not only tones your chin, jawline, and neck muscles but also tightens the neck area, and helps in reducing the sagging skin. All you need to do is sit comfortably and keep your head facing forward. Now, bend your head towards one side in line with your chin and turn your head in a circular motion. Keep your back straight and shoulders down while doing so. Make the motions in both clockwise and anticlockwise directions for a few minutes.
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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 protected] ) --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)