People who survived severe Covid-19 infections are more than twice at risk of dying over the following year, compared with those who experience mild or moderate disease or remain uninfected, finds a study.
The study, published in the journal Frontiers in Medicine, showed that the increased risk of death was greater for patients who are under 65.
Researchers at the University of Florida, in the US, found that severe Covid-19 patients aged under 65 demonstrated a 233 per cent increased chance of dying, compared with the uninfected.
This was larger than the increased chance of dying experienced by severe Covid-19 patients aged over 65, compared with the uninfected. As these deaths frequently occurred long after the initial infection had passed, they may never have been linked to Covid-19 by the patients' families or doctors.
Moreover, 80 per cent deaths that occurred in severe Covid-19 survivors were not linked with common complications from the disease, such as respiratory or cardiovascular issues. This suggests that the patients had experienced an overall decline in their health that left them vulnerable to various ailments, the researchers said.
Mild or moderate Covid-19 patients did not have a significantly increased mortality risk compared with the uninfected, highlighting the importance of reducing the chances of severe disease through vaccination.
"Since we now know that there is a substantial risk of dying from what would likely be considered to be an unrecognised complication of Covid-19, we need to be even more vigilant in decreasing severe episodes of Covid-19,a said lead author Prof Arch Mainous of the University of Florida.
"Taking your chances and hoping for successful treatment in the hospital doesn't convey the full picture of the impact of Covid-19. Our recommendation at this point is to use preventive measures, such as vaccination, to prevent severe episodes of Covid-19."
For the study, the team tracked electronic health records of 13,638 patients who underwent a PCR test for Covid-19, with 178 patients experiencing severe Covid-19, 246 mild or moderate Covid-19 and the rest testing negative. All patients included in the study recovered from the disease, and the researchers tracked their outcomes over the next 12 months.
Read More► Omicron Covid Variant Ups Reinfection Risk by Three-Fold: Study
The winter comes with its own set of hassles. New moms have to be careful because they have to take care of themselves and their babies. It becomes imperative to protect babies from the harsh season.
The immune system of newborn babies is developing, which makes them susceptible to respiratory infections. But, you can take preventive measures to keep your child warm and safe. Newborn babies need extra care until their immune system becomes stronger to protect their bodies from the harmful effects of viruses and bacteria that usually become more active in the winter season. A drop in the temperature can aggravate different processes in the body, therefore, moms need to take extra care of newborn babies during winters.
New moms can follow the given tips to take care of their little ones and protect them from the harmful effects of harsh winds blowing outside.
Keep The Temperature Warm in The Baby's Room
Use a portable heater in the baby's room to keep the temperature warm. The air becomes dry due to the excessive use of a heater. Therefore, keeping a humidifier to balance the moisture levels.
The baby's skin is very sensitive and the harsh, dry, and cold air can make the skin dry. Therefore, apply a good moisturizer to keep it soft and smooth. Choose a moisturizer made of milk cream and butter, especially for children. This will keep the skin of your baby soft.
Massage is important to keep your baby's skin soft and healthy. Massage helps to improve the blood circulation in the body that helps in boosting strength. Use a natural oil to massage the body of your child. Make sure the room is warm where you massage the baby.
Avoid Using Heavy Blankets
You can comfort your baby by laying a light blanket to keep your baby warm. Avoid using a heavy blanket to cover your baby during winters because your baby would not be able to move his arms and legs while sleeping. In this process, your baby may pull it up on its face and this can cause respiratory distress. Thus, use a light blanket and keep the room temperature optimum.
Dress Your Baby Comfortably
Choose comfortable dressing for your baby. Avoid wrapping your baby in thick sweaters, gloves, and socks. This will restrict its movement and he/she will become irritable. Choose clothes depending on the room temperature. The clothes should cover his/her baby but should not restrict movement. You can use light gloves and socks to cover your hands and feet to keep your baby warm at night.
Breastfeeding is the most important activity that can keep your baby healthy. Breast milk consists of required nutrients and antibodies that will enhance the immune system of your baby and will protect him/her against diseases. During breastfeeding your baby will feel warm and cosy that will also give him comfort.
Maintain Proper Hygiene
Mothers should be careful when handling newborn babies in winters. You will be the first point of contact for your baby. Therefore, make sure you keep yourself clean and healthy. Wash your hands before handling your baby. Germs can easily enter your baby's body through your dirty hands. Therefore, make sure you wash your hands or sanitize them before attending to your baby. Also, ask visitors to wash their hands.
Take Care Outdoors
If you want to take your child outdoors make sure it is not freezing temperature. Take your child out for fresh air only if the temperature is not too cold and remember to cover your baby properly before taking them out. Taking your baby out will help to give fresh air and will improve their health.
Common Issues That May Arise in Newborn Babies During Winters
Winter brings flu and other viruses that can easily spread and affect anyone. Common issues that may arise in newborn babies during winters include the following:
Parents can take care of their newborn babies from various diseases that may affect them in the winters in the following ways:
If your baby suffers during the winter season, you should consult a paediatrician.
You can give a homemade solution if your baby suffers from a cold. Check with the doctor and you can only give a saline solution or nasal drops.
Keep your baby well hydrated. Keep breastfeeding your baby and also give water if necessary.
Cuddle your baby lovingly and give him warmth along with other precautions.
In the first winter, you can take preventive measures to take care of your little ones and keep them safe. Maintain proper hygiene and keep your house warm. Avoid visitors if your child is not feeling well.
How often to give a bath to your baby in winter?
It is not necessary to give a bath to your baby every day. You can bathe your baby after 2-3 days in winter. You can sponge bathe your newborn every other day in winter.
Check the temperature of the room before giving a bath to your baby. The room temperature should be warm and comfortable for your baby.
Check the temperature of the water. Make sure the water is not too hot or cold. The temperature of the water should be right for the body of your baby. Check the temperature by touching the water with your elbow or wrist.
Use mild soap and shampoo to bathe your baby in winter. Also, apply oil and moisturizer to the skin to keep it soft and prevent skin allergies. (Dr Anil Batra, Director, Pedeatrics, Madhukar Rainbow Hospital)
Read More► Top 10 Winter Skincare Swaps
New York- Covid-19 infection during pregnancy leads to distinct immune changes in mothers and babies, according to a study.
The researchers found that Covid-19 dysregulates maternal immune response, with different immune signatures between mothers with asymptomatic and severe disease.
"We know that pregnancy increases maternal risk for Covid-19, but relatively little is known about the long-term consequences of in-utero exposure for infants," said Jae Jung, Director of the Cleveland Clinic Global Center for Pathogen & Human Health Research.
The study highlights "how important it will be for long-term follow-up after pregnancy to catch and hopefully prevent any unforeseen long-term health conditions related to prenatal infection,"Jung added.
For the study, published in the journal Cell Reports Medicine, the team involved 93 mothers with Covid-19 and 45 of their infant children who were exposed to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19.
The research team studied immune profiles for more than 1,400 cytokines and other inflammatory proteins collected from peripheral and cord blood samples.
The researchers compared maternal blood specimens collected close to the initial detection of SARS-CoV-2 and at different time points throughout pregnancy and delivery.
They found that compared to mild or moderate disease, pregnant women with severe Covid-19 exhibited significantly more inflammation and elevated levels of a protein called IFNL1 (interferon lambda 1) and the receptor it binds with, IFNLR1, which plays a critical role in protecting against viruses.
"This increase in interferon lambda signaling may help explain why we see relatively little direct transmission of Covid-19 between mother and baby during the period right before or after birth -- what we call vertical transmission," explained Suan-Sin (Jolin) Foo, a research associate in Dr. Jung's lab and co-first author on the paper.
Despite the lack of evidence for robust vertical transmission, the researchers found that SARS-CoV-2 infection alters maternal immunity at delivery and that gestational SARS-CoV-2 exposure alters infant immunity at birth.
At delivery, the women exhibited dysregulated levels of several cytokines that are associated with pregnancy complications, including MMP7, MDK, ESM1, BGN and CD209.
Among infants, prenatal exposure induced the expression of cytokines related to T cells, which are a type of immune cell involved in recognising and attacking specific antigens.
The majority of births within the cohort were healthy, but there was a high incidence of some complications, including preeclampsia and foetal growth restriction.
More research will be necessary to understand the extent to which the observed immune changes are related to these clinical outcomes, the team said.
Read More► How Covid-19 Exposed Vulnerability in People With Diabetes
अत्यधिक संक्रमित कोरोना डेल्टा वेरिएंट उन व्यक्तियों को भी संक्रमित कर सकता है, जिन्हें वायरस के खिलाफ पूरी तरह से टीका लगाया गया है। ये जानकारी एक अध्ययन से सामने आई है। ये अध्ययन भारतीय सार्स-सीओवी-2 जीनोमिक्स कंसोर्टियम (आईएनएसएसीओजी), वैज्ञानिक और औद्योगिक अनुसंधान परिषद (सीएसआईआर) और दिल्ली के दो अस्पतालों में राष्ट्रीय रोग नियंत्रण केंद्र ने आयोजित किया गया था।
अध्यन में यह पता चला कि टीकाकरण अस्पताल में भर्ती होने और संक्रमण की गंभीरता से बचाता है लेकिन बहुत कमजोर व्यक्तियों को यह संक्रमित कर सकता है।
आईएनएसएसीओजी और सीएसआईआर के शोधकर्ताओं ने कम्प्यूटेशनल दृष्टिकोण का उपयोग करते हुए महामारी विज्ञान और वायरस जीनोम अनुक्रम डेटा से एक संभावित संचरण नेटवर्क का निर्माण करके स्वास्थ्य कार्यकर्ताओं के बीच 113 संक्रमण पर डेटा का विश्लेषण किया।
अध्ययन ने पूरी तरह से टीकाकरण वाले लोगों के बीच भी संक्रमण नियंत्रण उपायों की आवश्यकता पर जोर है।
इसने उन व्यक्तियों के बीच संभावित वायरस संचरण की उच्च संभावना के बारे में भी बताया, जिन्होंने टीकों की दोनों खुराक प्राप्त की है।
इस बीच, आईएनएसएसीओजी ने अपने आखिरी बुलेटिन में कहा कि डेल्टा स्ट्रेन भारत में चिंता का कारण (वीओसी) बना हुआ है।
"डेल्टा (बी.1.617.2 और एवाई.एक्स) भारत में मुख्य वीओसी बना हुआ है। कोई नया वीओआई या वीओसी नोट नहीं किया गया है और डेल्टा के अलावा अन्य वीओसी और वीओआई अब भारत से डेटा अनुक्रमित नहीं हैं।"
यह भी पढ़े► श्वेत रक्त कोशिकाएं कोविड की गंभीरता को दर्शाती है - शोध
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
While most people have been affected by Covid-19 infections, some have naturally resisted the infectious disease, despite clearly being exposed to the virus.
According to researchers at the University College London, understanding this mechanism of resistance can lead to the development of universal vaccines against the debilitating virus, the BBC reported.
In the study published in the journal Nature, the team closely monitored hospital staff during the first wave of the pandemic -- including by taking regular blood samples.
The results showed one-in-10 had signs of being exposed, but never had symptoms, never tested positive, and never developed Covid-fighting antibodies in their blood.
This Covid-immunity likely came from the body learning how to fight viruses. Part of their immune system was able to get on top of the virus before it managed to take hold -- what's known as an "abortive infection", the team said.
Blood samples showed these people already had (as in before the pandemic) protective T-cells, which recognise and kill cells infected with Covid.
Their immune systems were already "poised" to fight the new disease, Dr Leo Swadling, one of the researchers was quoted as saying.
These T-cells were able to spot a different part of the virus than the bit most of the current vaccines train the immune system to find, the report said.
Vaccines are largely aimed at the spike protein, which covers the outer surface of the Covid virus. However, these rare T-cells were able to look inside the virus and find the proteins that are necessary for it to replicate.
"The healthcare workers that were able to control the virus before it was detectable were more likely to have these T-cells that recognise the internal machinery before the start of the pandemic," Swadling said.
These internal proteins are very similar in all related species of coronavirus, including the ones that are widespread and cause common cold symptoms. It means targeting these proteins with a vaccine could give some protection against all coronaviruses and new Covid variants.
Read More► People Inhale Up to 7,000 Microplastic Particles Daily: Study