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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आगरा (21 नवंबर, 2021)- आधुनिक जीवनशैली और पर्यावरण में लगातार हो रहे बदलाव ने मानव स्वास्थ्य के सामने गंभीर संकट पैदा कर दिया है। वायु प्रदूषण अपने सबसे खतरनाक स्तर पर पहुँच चुका है। स्वास्थ्य पर प्रतिदिन इसका प्रतिकूल असर पड़ रहा है। लेकिन ये समझ में नहीं आ रहा कि इस वैश्विक स्वास्थ्य समस्या से अपनी और अपने परिवार की सुरक्षा कैसे की जाए? ऐसे में आयुर्वेद का प्राचीन विज्ञान आशा की किरण बनकर उभरा है। आयुर्वेद के माध्यम से इस स्वास्थ्य चुनौती का मुकाबला बखूबी किया जा सकता है क्योंकि इस चिकित्सा पद्धति में रोगों से लड़ने और प्राकृतिक घटकों के माध्यम से उसके निवारण की अद्भूत क्षमता निहित है। यही वजह है कि आयुर्वेद को स्वास्थ्य सेवाओं का भविष्य कहना अतिशयोक्ति नहीं होगी।
प्रसिद्ध आयुर्वेद चिकित्सक और पंचकर्म की विशेषज्ञ डॉ. मीनल गुप्ता ने उपरोक्त बाते निरोगस्ट्रीट द्वारा आगरा में आयोजित संगोष्ठी में कही जिसमें बड़ी संख्या में चिकित्सकों ने भाग लिया। डॉ. मीनल ने आयुर्वेद की महत्ता को रेखांकित करते हुए कहा कि आयुर्वेद उन सभी समस्याओं और कमियों का समाधान है जो वर्तमान स्वास्थ्य प्रणाली को कमजोर बनाती है। आयुर्वेद बिरादरी को पूरे पारिस्थितिकी तंत्र को बेहतर बनाने और दुनिया भर के रोगियों के लाभ के लिए इसे और अधिक सक्षम बनाने के साथ-साथ नियमित रूप से इस तरह के संगोष्ठियों और परिचर्चा को आयोजित करते रहने की जरूरत है।
यह भी पढ़े► कोरोना महामारी के दौरान आयुर्वेद के महत्व को दुनिया ने स्वीकारा
'आधुनिक दुनिया के परिप्रेक्ष्य में आयुर्वेद' (आधुनिक दुनिया में आयुर्वेद की प्राचीन प्रक्रियाएं) विषय पर आयोजित चिकित्सकों की संगोष्ठी में 'कोरोनावायरस' के बाद की स्वास्थ्य चुनौतियों और आयुर्वेद में उसकी भूमिका पर भी विस्तृत चर्चा हुई जिसमें बड़ी संख्या में चिकित्सकों ने भाग लिया। चर्चा के केंद्र में बिगड़ती हुई पर्यावरणीय परिस्थितियों में स्वस्थ जीवन के लिए आयुर्वेद की महत्ता रही जिसमें ये बात उभर कर सामने आयी कि 'प्रौद्योगिकी' (टेक्नॉलजी) के साथ 'आयुर्वेद' ग्लोबल हेल्थकेयर के भविष्य को पूरी तरह से बदल सकता है।
देश के सबसे बड़े आयुर्वेद चिकित्सकों के प्लेटफॉर्म 'निरोगस्ट्रीट' द्वारा आयोजित इस संगोष्ठी को व्यापक सफलता मिली जिसमें आगरा के साथ - साथ देशभर के 50 चिकित्सकों ने अपनी सहभागिता दर्ज कराई। पंचकर्म केरली आयुर्वेद केंद्र के चिकित्सकों ने भी संगोष्ठी के दौरान अपने विचार रखे।
यह अंग्रेज़ी में भी पढ़े► Medical Fraternity meet in Agra: Ancient Procedures of Ayurveda in the Modern World
While wearing double masks, which helps create a strong barrier against Covid-19 infection spread via airborne viral particles, has become the new normal, prolonged wearing of masks can develop hydration issues or other nagging breathing troubles, health experts said on Wednesday.
There has been enough evidence through the pandemic to show the importance of masks for effective pandemic control. At the start of the pandemic, it was seen that countries (primarily Asian nations) which enforced early masking had lesser mortality rates as compared to countries in the West where compulsory mask wearing was introduced quite late.
"Prolonged mask wearing can be associated with certain problems the most common being headaches, dehydration, acne and difficulty in breathing," Radhika Banka, Consultant Pulmonologist at P.D. Hinduja Hospital & MRC, Mumbai, told IANS.
Breathing issues are "usually seen in mouth breathers and in people with underlying respiratory problems such as COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease)", she added.
According to Ravi Shekhar Jha, Additional Director and HOD, Pulmonology, at Fortis Escorts Hospital, Faridabad, wearing double mask for long hours can also lead to dryness.
"It is because natural humidification of nasal mucosa gets impaired," Jha said.
There are various masks available in the market, including cloth masks, surgical masks and respirators such as N-95s.
The cloth mask has the least protection and the US Centre of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends wearing a disposable surgical mask along with a cloth mask for additional protection. For surgical masks, the knotted technique (that is knotting the ear loops to provide better fit and prevent leakage from the sides) is recommended.
But with full vaccination rolled out in most countries, are double masks still required?
"Even after double dose vaccination, people can get breakthrough infections and can still be asymptomatic carriers and spread the infection. Hence masking is important even after double vaccination," Banka said.
The health experts stated that for people living in India, double masks become more important as vaccination of children has not yet begun in the country, and asymptomatic transmission is the highest from children. Added to this is a high population density, where social distancing is not practically possible in many cases.
Most of the countries which have made masks voluntary are those in the West with low population density, where social distancing is feasible. These countries have managed to vaccinate more than 80 per cent of their population with two doses. Also, masks in these countries are still recommended in enclosed spaces, public transports, healthcare facilities etc.
"With only 48 per cent of our population being vaccinated with one dose and 25 per cent being vaccinated with two doses, I do not think India can yet take the risk of removing the mandatory use of masks," Banka said.
However, according to Jha, "A single mask, if worn properly, is sufficient."
"People who wear double masks, have this tendency of adjusting their masks repeatedly due to breathing issues, and that way the whole purpose of wearing a mask is defeated," he said.
Jha added that for someone like a healthcare worker, who is in an area with high concentration of Covid viral droplets, an N-95 mask should be worn all the time. For other situations, a normal surgical mask (single) is sufficient.
"We need to ensure that masks are worn properly, with proper seal at nose. Improperly worn masks are more dangerous. It is also important to keep in mind that a mask alone may not protect. One needs to follow hand hygiene as well as maintain social distancing," Jha advised.
Although several countries have loosened mask restrictions citing vaccine efficacy, various studies and health experts have stressed on the need for continuing wearing masks, even after being fully vaccinated, including booster shots; and following other protective measures such as physical distancing and handwashing.
A recent study led by researchers from the Monash University and the University of Edinburgh analysed more than 30 studies from around the world and found a statistically significant 53 per cent reduction in the incidence of Covid with mask wearing, and 25 per cent reduction with physical distancing. Handwashing also indicated a substantial 53 per cent reduction in Covid incidence.
Most people are able to wear masks fairly well for a few hours, but if your job requires you to wear masks for a prolonged period, it is essential to take adequate breaks to hydrate oneself and prevent any skin problems, Banka suggested. (Agency)
Read More► 4 Ways Psoriasis Can Worsen If Not Managed Well
आयुर्वेद में शारीरिक व्याधियों के लिए त्रिदोषों को प्रमुख कारक माना गया है। वात, पित्त और कफ के असंतुलन से त्रिदोष उत्पन्न होता है। ऋतुकाल के हिसाब से यदि आहार-विहार में परिवर्तन न किया जाए तो यह असंतुलन और अधिक बढ़ जाता है। मसलन शीतऋतु में पित्त दोष कम होता है लेकिन कफ दोष बढ़ने की संभावना बढ़ जाती है। लेकिन आयुर्वेद के कुछ कारगर उपायों को अपनाकर सर्दियों में अपने स्वास्थ्य की रक्षा की जा सकती है। आइए ऐसे ही कुछ उपायों के बारे में संक्षेप में जानते हैं।
आयुर्वेद की मदद से सर्दियों में स्वास्थ्य की देखभाल - Health care in winter with the help of Ayurveda in Hindi
सर्दी-ज़ुकाम - ठंढ के मौसम में सर्दी-जुकाम होना आम बात है। यदि गले में खराश और सर्दी ज़ुकाम आदि जैसी समस्या आपको हो जाए तो तत्काल 1 छोटा चम्मच अदरक में थोड़ा-सा शहद और काली मिर्च पाउडर मिलाकर मिश्रण तैयार करें। फिर इस मिश्रण को आधा सुबह और आधा रात में सोते समय खाएं। इससे राहत मिलेगी।
एसिडिटी और कब्ज़ - सर्दियों में अग्नि तेज रहती है और कई बार ज्यादा खाने - पीने की वजह से एसिडिटी और कब्ज की समस्या पैदा हो जाती है। ऐसी स्थिति में जब सीने में जलन या एसिडिटी की समस्या महसूस हो तो रात को सोते समय आधा कप ठंडे दूध में आधा कप पानी मिलाकर पीने से एसिडिटी की समस्या दूर होती है। दूसरी तरफ कब्ज़ की समस्या है तो खाने के 2-3 घंटे बाद लगभग 1 छोटा चम्मच ऐलोवेरा के गूदे को 1/2 कप गुनगुने पानी के साथ रात में सोते समय खाने से कब्ज़ दूर हो जाएगा। इसके अलावा सोते समय 1 छोटा चम्मच ईसाबगोल की भूसी को दही में मिलाकर खाने से भी पेट साफ़ होता है। लेकिन ध्यान रहे कि चिकित्सकीय परामर्श के बिना लंबे समय तक इसका सेवन नुकसानदेह साबित हो सकता है। गर्भवती स्त्रियों को इसका प्रयोग बिल्कुल भी नहीं करना चाहिए इससे गर्भस्राव हो सकता है।
जोड़ों का दर्द - सर्दियों में कई लोगों को खासकर बुजुर्गों को घुटने, पीठ या हाथ में दर्द बना रहता है। इसके लिए तिल के तेल में लहसुन की कलियां,अदरक, अजवाइन डालकर पकाएं और फिर उसे प्रभावित हिस्सों पर लगाएं। दर्द में आराम मिलेगा। (मूलतः दैनिक भास्कर में प्रकाशित)
यह भी पढ़े ► बीमारियों का कारण है विरुद्ध आहार
Winter skincare and summer skincare regimens are poles apart. The products that work for summer certainly don't do the trick in winter, and how you use your products too is very different.
Here are the top swaps you need to introduce in your beauty regimen for the cold season:
Utilize Lukewarm Water
When the temperature drops, it's very tempting to take a hot shower. However, if you care about your skin, you should avoid them. Instead, shower and wash your face with lukewarm water. Hot showers quickly dry your skin, and if you don't moisturise it right away, your skin can develop cracks and winter eczema.
In the winter, whether inside or outside, the air is drier. As a result, water evaporates quickly from your body. So, you must keep your skin hydrated. You can also control the humidity in your home by installing a humidifier. This will undoubtedly keep your skin happy.
Choose Skin Care Products Carefully
What makes your skin happy in the summer can make it sad in the winter. As a result, you should adjust your skincare products accordingly. Using gentle skincare products is the key to healthy, glowing winter skin. To avoid stripping your skin's natural moisture barrier, use cleansers that contain moisturisers. If you have acne or breakouts, use ceramides, hyaluronic acid, hydration serums, and glycerin-containing products to help repair your skin's moisture barrier.
Avoid Exfoliating Very Regularly
Exfoliating the skin aids in the removal of dead cells. You must exercise caution during the winter months because your skin's barrier is already compromised due to the dry and cold weather. Exfoliating your skin once a week is sufficient; this aids in skin regeneration and product absorption. You should also exfoliate depending on your skin type. Exfoliate your skin lightly if you have very dry skin. Once a week is sufficient if you have a combination of oily skin.
Moisturize Often, Especially Your Hands
The pores and skin in your palms have fewer oil glands compared to the pores and skin on every other body component. That's why moisture escapes from your hands speedy, making them prone to cracks and itchiness. Follow a moisturizer before you leave home.
Take Care of Your Feet
Pick out glycerin-primarily based creams and petroleum jelly to moisturize your feet. Additionally, make sure you exfoliate the pores and skin of your feet every so often in order that it could soak up the moisturizer without problems.
Maintain A Daily Skin Care Routine
It doesn't have to be fancy. Right here's very simple and easy skincare recurring that all of us can comply with to preserve their skin happy all through the winter. Cleanse your skin once or twice a day, ideally within the morning and earlier than going to bed. After washing your face in the morning, follow a light day by day moisturizer to lock the moisture in. Use a heavy moisturiser or overnight cream at night. This should be executed on damp pores and skin due to the fact simply-washed pores and skin absorbs moisture better.
Wear Sunscreen Even on Cloudy Winter Days
Applying sunscreen in the harsh winter weather is just as important as it is in the summer. Don't be fooled by darker, dreary winter days, either. UV rays from the sun can penetrate clouds and cause damage. Apply a moisturising, broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher to all exposed areas of your body before going outside.
Balm For Your Lips
Rather than using lip colours that take away your lips' natural beauty, keep your pout pretty with moisturising lip balms that come in colour.
The Presence of Serum Versus The Absence of Serum
Serums are thinner in consistency and contain hyaluronic acid, making them one of the best winter skincare products. It does not give up easily and adheres to the surface of your skin to provide deep and long-lasting hydration. It is also anti-ageing and should be applied before moisturiser. (Karan Bhaskar Skincare & Makeup Expert, Clinique India)
Read More► Get Your Skin Winter Ready
Some people believe that psoriasis is just a common cosmetic, skin problem. Many believe it is contagious, making it one of the most stigmatized of all skin conditions and cannot be managed. So, which is it?
Psoriasis occurs when one's immune system is overactive and attacks healthy skin tissue, causing inflammation and speeding up skin cell growth. As a result, the skin becomes itchy, painful and scaly, with inflamed red plaques (patches) or silvery scales. These can appear across the body, often on the scalp, knees, back or elbows. Still, many believe these patches cannot hurt them.
Shrichand G. Parasramani, Dermatologist, Anisha Clinic, Mumbai said, "Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease which can be controlled but has no cure. It can go into remission. Patients and their families have several misconceptions of the disease, such as it are infectious in nature and they have to live with it lifelong.
It affects the patient's quality of life to a large extent which increases his level of stress. Many patients are drawn towards alternative medicine such as Ayurveda or homoeopathy due to the failure of conventional therapy and at times high cost of treatment. This leads to irregularity in treatment, resulting in a flare-up of the disease or treatment failure.
However, patients must understand the importance of addressing the disease so as to avoid the progression of psoriasis and its underlying complications. They must be told that with newer treatment options patients can lead an almost near-normal life."
Here are 4 ways Psoriasis can worsen if not managed:
Inflammation: Psoriasis is a chronic autoimmune disease that causes inflammation. What's especially important to note is that even mild psoriasis can be a sign of significant inflammation in the body. This inflammation, in turn, can contribute to other associated health conditions.
Given that dermatologists are the key medical experts responsible for treating psoriasis, it is important to consult one to understand the condition and suitable and advanced treatment options such as biologics
Increased Risk of Health Complications: People living with psoriasis are at a higher risk of developing associated conditions or comorbidities. The most common of these is psoriatic arthritis which affects 30 per cent of psoriasis patients. It is a chronic and inflammatory disease of the joints, resulting in stiffness, pain, throbbing, swelling and tenderness in joints. If this is not treated, long-term joint damage can result.
People with psoriasis, particularly in more severe cases, are also more likely to have other inflammatory conditions, including heart attack, stroke, type-2 diabetes, and inflammatory bowel disease. Other related health issues can also include obesity, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, metabolic syndrome, hypertension, kidney or liver disease uveitis, and sleep apnea.
Treatment to Prevent Flare-Ups: If unmanaged, psoriasis can lead to plaques and scales that continue to build and spread. Over time, these can become quite painful, causing severe itching. Without adequate treatment to prevent flare-ups, these can increase in severity and frequency. This can even happen to patients who begin medication but suddenly discontinue adhering to their recommended prescription.
It's important to remember that psoriasis can be treated. By adopting advanced therapies, such as biologics, the disease, as well as flare-ups, can be effectively managed.
Mental Health & Quality of Life: Another long-term effect of psoriasis is its effects on an individual's mental health and across one's overall quality of life. Physical symptoms, especially in commonly visible areas like the face or hands can lead to distress and affect one's self-esteem. Psoriasis, which is highly stigmatized, can be isolating or even affect social relationships.
It is also associated with psychological conditions, including depression and anxiety. These place an individual in a vicious cycle increased plaques can lead to anxiety or depression, and such stressors act as common triggers for a psoriasis flare.
By striving to address one's psoriasis, while also attempting to manage stress such as through counselling or lifestyle changes or community support groups individuals may begin noticing improvements in their overall health and well-being.
What Steps You Should Take
First and foremost, consult a dermatologist. Typically, psoriasis can be diagnosed with a simple physical examination with the doctor taking a look at one's skin, scalp and nails.
Once diagnosed, adopting a holistic treatment plan depending on the severity of one's psoriasis is key. If previously taking medication for psoriasis with limited effects, this responsiveness to treatment may also be used to find an approach more suited to the individual, especially considering recent advancements in psoriasis treatment.
It is important to remember to treat psoriasis as a chronic condition with longer-term implications, as opposed to one with temporary treatment solutions. The main aim of psoriasis treatment is to reduce inflammation and plaques. Currently, there are newer, advanced and innovative treatments, including biologics to safely and effectively treat and manage psoriasis. These work by blocking reactions in the body that cause psoriasis and its symptoms.
Biologics are important treatment options, particularly for people with moderate-to-severe psoriasis. While they may believe their condition cannot be improved or are distressed about other treatments failing, biologics can have life-changing impacts, especially in controlling one's symptoms. (Shrichand G. Parasramani, Dermatologist, Anisha Clinic, Mumbai)
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