A sudden seasonal flu outbreak and an increase in Covid-19 cases have surprised many just as we were beginning to get used to the normalcy of a life without many constraints before the Covid virus.
An unavoidable flu wave generally coincides with a change in season. However, this season has witnessed an unanticipated increase in such cases-nearly doubling from last year in some areas-as well as harsher, Covid-like symptoms.
The spike of Covid-19 cases, the upcoming holiday season, and all of this together create a situation that specialists warn calls for ongoing precautions.
"Masks are the first line of defence against Covid-19 as well as other respiratory infections. With a spike in the number of infections, we must adhere to wearing masks when we step out in public areas. With the festive season right here and large gatherings inevitable, wearing masks are highly effective at reducing your risk of getting Covid as well as seasonal flu. Wearing the right kind of mask, the right way, is also extremely important," says Dr SC Ajmani, General Physician.
Your masks' kind and fit have a significant impact on how effective they are. According to research conducted by the Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self Organization in Germany, FFP2 masks that fit snugly offer 75 times more protection than surgical masks. By selecting these masks over common surgical or fabric masks, you greatly boost your protection and can leave the house more confidently, especially in crowded areas.
Protection from viruses, bacteria, dust, pollutants, allergens, and pollen (>= 0.3 micron) is offered by a BIS-approved FFP2 S mask like Savlon. These masks offer 95% protection from aerosols with particles larger than 0.3 micron. In comparison to standard masks, these masks include melt blown filters that are electro statically charged to provide enhanced filtering. The comfort and suitability of these masks for different skin types are also tested. Masks made with Savlon FFP2 S are BIS Certified.
According to BIS guidelines, each batch is put through rigorous testing for quality performance and efficacy. The effects of viruses, bacteria, dust, pollution, pollen, and allergies can be significantly minimised and the wearer's general health can be improved by donning a high-quality, properly fitted mask.
The correct masks are adjusted to perfectly fit on the bridge of your nose and to properly enclose your mouth and nose. We are aware that when an infected individual sneezes or coughs in a crowded environment, the Covid-19 virus as well as the seasonal influenza can spread quickly. First-level protection is unquestionably provided by donning a N95 or FFP2 S mask, especially for those with allergies, co-morbidities, impaired immune systems, or a higher propensity for experiencing severe symptoms.
The use of masks should become a way of life. We must continue using tried-and-true health strategies, like using masks in public. Keep your hygiene and health in mind.
Read More► Intermittent Fasting May Reduce Complications From Covid-19: Study
भारतीय वैज्ञानिकों के एक दल ने पाया है कि देश में फैल रहा मंकीपॉक्स वायरस स्ट्रेन यूरोप के उस 'सुपरस्प्रेडर' स्ट्रेन से अलग है, जिससे इस बीमारी का वैश्विक प्रकोप हुआ है।
इंडियन काउंसिल ऑफ मेडिकल रिसर्च-नेशनल इंस्टीट्यूट ऑफ वायरोलॉजी (आईसीएमआर-एनआईवी), पुणे की टीम ने केरल से मंकीपॉक्स के दो मामलों की जेनेटिक सीक्वेंसिंग (आनुवांशिक अनुक्रमण) की।
डेटा से पता चला कि देश में मौजूद वायरस स्ट्रेन ए.2 है, जो हाल ही में मध्य पूर्व से भारत में पहुंचा है। यह पहले थाईलैंड और अमेरिका में 2021 के प्रकोप के दौरान मौजूद था। हालांकि, यूरोप में सुपरस्प्रेडर घटनाओं का कारण बनने वाला स्ट्रेन बी.1 रहा है। इसलिए वैज्ञानिकों ने कहा है कि विदेशों में प्रकोप मचाने वाले स्ट्रेन से भारत में फैल रहा स्ट्रेन अलग है।
सीएसआईआर-इंस्टीट्यूट ऑफ जीनोमिक्स एंड इंटीग्रेटिव बायोलॉजी (आईजीआईबी) के वैज्ञानिक विनोद स्कारिया ने ट्वीट किया, "माना जाता है कि मंकीपॉक्स वायरस का वर्तमान निरंतर मानव से-मानव संचरण यूरोप में सुपरस्प्रेडर घटनाओं के माध्यम से हुआ है, जिसमें 16,000 से अधिक मामले दर्ज किए जा चुके हैं और यह अब 70 से अधिक देशों में फैल चुका है। यह बड़े पैमाने पर वायरस के बी.1 वंशावली के रूप में दर्शाया गया है और 2022 में जीनोम के लिए प्रमुख वंशावली को शामिल करता है।"
उन्होंने कहा कि ए.2 दुनिया भर में अधिकांश जीनोम के विपरीत है, जो बी.1 वंशावली से संबंधित हैं और भारत में देखा जाने वाला ए.2 क्लस्टर, 'सुपरस्प्रेडर घटना का सूचक नहीं है'।
स्कारिया ने लिखा, "इसका मतलब है कि देश में मामले संभवत: यूरोपीय सुपरस्प्रेडर घटनाओं से जुड़े नहीं हैं।"
उन्होंने आगे कहा, "हम मानव-मानव संचरण के एक अलग समूह को देख सकते हैं और संभवत: वर्षों से अपरिचित हो सकते हैं। अमेरिका से क्लस्टर में सबसे पहला नमूना वास्तव में 2021 से है, यह सुझाव देता है कि वायरस काफी समय से प्रचलन में है और यह यूरोपीय घटनाओं से पहले से ही है।"
उन्होंने देश में जीनोमिक निगरानी बढ़ाने का सुझाव दिया है, क्योंकि अधिक मामले सामने आ रहे हैं।
स्कारिया ने कहा, "सार्वजनिक स्वास्थ्य उपायों और संचार को इन नई अंतर्²ष्टि को ध्यान में रखना होगा। व्यापक परीक्षण और जागरूकता कई और मामलों को उजागर कर सकती है।" (एजेंसी)
यह भी पढ़े► लीवर की बीमारी डिमेंशिया से जुड़ी : शोध
The lesions and blisters caused by monkeypox virus are, although, very painful, and lead to hospitalisation, the diseases may not be as deadly as Covid-19 for the general public, health experts contended on Wednesday.
The monkeypox virus has, so far, infected over 16,000 people across 75 countries and caused five deaths in Africa.
The disease is not sexually transmitted, but the latest outbreak has been reported among men who have sex with men. However, it can spread among the general population through direct contact with infectious skin or lesions, including face-to-face, skin-to-skin, and respiratory droplets.
Although the disease may typically start with just fever and skin lesions, if left untreated, it can get complicated "by affecting the lungs", Dr. Laxman Jessani, Consultant and Infectious Disease Specialist at Apollo Hospital in Navi Mumbai told IANS.
"If the disease is not controlled, then the disease can go on to infect the lungs, and there can be pneumonia and with pneumonia, there can be increased mortality as well," Jessani said.
"I will not say that all cases turn out to be complicated, but there are a few cases of monkeypox if left untreated, they can have complications like pneumonia," he added.
A 2010 study by the US Pacific Northwest National Laboratory also claims that the monkeypox virus might damage lungs during infection. Not only does the infection from monkeypox virus increase production of proteins involved in inflammation, but it decreases production of proteins that keep lung tissue intact and lubricated, revealed the study published in the journal 'Molecular and Cellular Proteomics'.
However, the co-chairman of IMA national task force on Covid, Dr. Rajeev Jayadevan, disagreed saying that monkeypox may not be dangerous to the people living in good health.
"The person who's in good health, if gets monkeypox is at no greater risk as far as the evidence we have from developed Western nations.
"But extremely rare complications are possible, although such incidents have not been reported, so far," he said.
Monkeypox is a rare viral disease, related to smallpox and cowpox. The virus generally causes pimples or blister-like lesions and flu-like symptoms such as fever. The lesions typically concentrate on the arms and legs, but in the latest outbreak, they're showing up more frequently on the genital and perianal area.
Transmission can also occur from contaminated materials such as linens, bedding, electronics, clothing, that have infectious skin particles. Touching objects that have been contaminated by monkeypox lesions or fluids may also risk the spread.
Jessani said the risk of transmission is only "if one is coming in close contact with infected patients or animals".
"Otherwise the risk is not so much. If you use basic infection control measures like hand hygiene, maintaining social distance, wearing a mask, then the infections cannot transmit that easily," he said.
The experts noted there is "no need to panic" but "to remain vigilant".
According to Jessani, if you notice any symptom like fever or skin lesions, "make sure to report it to the concerned authorities" and get proper treatment. (Rachel V Thomas)
Read More► What is Monkeypox, How Does It Spread, How to Avoid
Monkeypox virus, that has crossed over 16,000 cases worldwide, is now a declared public health emergency of international concern like Covid and polio.
Four cases of the infectious disease have also been confirmed in India, including New Delhi.
Monkeypox is a rare viral disease, related to smallpox and cowpox. The virus generally causes pimples or blister-like lesions and flu-like symptoms such as fever.
The lesions typically concentrate on the arms and legs, but in the latest outbreak, they're showing up more frequently on the genital and perianal area.
It is transmitted from infected animals to humans via indirect or direct contact.
Human-to-human transmission can occur through direct contact with infectious skin or lesions, including face-to-face, skin-to-skin, and respiratory droplets.
Transmission can also occur from contaminated materials such as linens, bedding, electronics and clothing that have infectious skin particles.
Touching objects that have been contaminated by monkeypox lesions or fluids may also increase the risk of spreading.
"We should all know about the transmission root of this virus. It spreads by close contact, skin to skin contact and droplet infection. So, we have to be careful about all these factors," Dr Satish Koul, Director of Internal Medicine at Fortis Memorial Research Institute, said.
The disease has also been reported among three children two in the US and one in the Netherlands.
Monkeypox, even though is not a sexually transmitted disease, in the latest outbreak, it has mostly been spreading among men who have sex with men, according to Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky.
"We do have seen now two cases that have occurred in children. Both of those children are traced back to individuals who come from the men who have sex with men community, the gay men community," Walensky was quoted as saying in an interview with the Washington Post.
Monkeypox is usually considered mild and most people recover within four weeks without treatment.
However, the disease is frequently uncomfortable or painful, and can sometimes lead to complications that require close medical follow-up.
If one has "fever after travelling recently, or you have come in contact with somebody who has manifested symptoms of monkeypox, you should immediately seek consultations from your physician. As of now, prevention is the cure," Koul said.
According to Dr Manisha Arora, Senior Consultant in Internal Medicine at Sri Balaji Action Medical Institute, avoid coming in contact with an ill person.
The primary measures to control the outbreak are contact tracing and isolation.
It is also important that people confirmed with monkeypox disclose their contacts so they can be alerted to monitor for symptoms.
"Always wash hands properly and use an effective alcohol-based sanitiser. Never avoid using masks," Arora said.
Read More► New Gene Therapy May Reduce Bleeding Risk for Haemophilia Patients
बेंगलुरु: भारतीय विज्ञान संस्थान (आईआईएससी) के नये शोध से यह खुलासा हुआ है कि दमे की एक दवा कोरोना वायरस के स्पाइक प्रोटीन को रोकने में कारगर साबित हुई है।
आईआईएससी ने सोमवार को जारी आधिकारिक विज्ञप्ति में कहा कि 'मोंटल्यूकास्ट' नाम की दमे की दवा पिछले 20 साल से बाजार में है और इसका इस्तेमाल दमा, हे फीवर और हाइव्स से ग्रसित मरीज करते हैं। यह अमेरिका के एफडीए से अनुमोदित दवा है।
आईआईएससी का यह शोध ईलाइफ में प्रकाशित हुआ है। शोध के दौरान पता चला कि यह दवा कोरोना वायरस के प्रोटीन एनएसपी1 के एक अंतिम सिरे यानी 'सी टर्मिनल' से मजबूती से जुड़ जाती है। यह उन पहले वायरल प्रोटीन में से एक है, जो मानव शरीर में प्रवेश करती है।
यह प्रोटीन राइबोजोम से जुड़ सकता है, जो हमारी रोग प्रतिरोधक कोशिकाओं के भीतर होती है और वायरल प्रोटीन की सिंथेसिस को बंद कर सकता है। इसकी वजह से रोग प्रतिरोधक क्षमता कमजोर पड़ जाती है। इसी वजह से एनएसपी1 को लक्षित करने से वायरस के कारण होने वाली क्षति को कम किया जा सकता है।
शोधकर्ताओं ने एफडीए से अनुमोदित 1,600 दवाओं की स्क्रीनिंग की थी ताकि एनएसपी1 से तेज जुड़ने वाली दवा का पता लगाया जा सके। उन्होंने इस तरीके से 12 दवाओं को शॉर्टलिस्ट किया, जिनमें से मोंटल्यूकास्ट और एचआईवी की दवा साक्वि नाविर भी शामिल है।
शोध में पाया गया कि यह दवा लंबे समय तक प्रोटीन से जुड़ी रहती है। एचआईवी की दवा भी जुड़ती अचछे से है लेकिन यह प्रभाव देर तक नहीं रह पाता है। (एजेंसी)
यह भी पढ़े► लॉन्ग कोविड से जुड़ा है हमारा इम्यून सिस्टम
London: Though SARS-CoV-2, virus causing Covid-19, majorly causes infections of the respiratory tract, it also affects other organs of the human body such as the eyes and brain.
While there is growing evidence to show that coronaviruses can enter the retina of the eye, German researchers have now shown that the virus can also replicate in human eyes.
According to the study, published in the Stem Cell Reports, SARS-CoV-2 actually infects retinal cells, especially retinal ganglion cells, but also light-sensitive cells.
Furthermore, the researchers show that coronaviruses can also replicate in these cell types. This finding is new and underlines the need to monitor retinal pathologies as a possible consequence of 'Long Covid'.
A team of researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Biomedicine and the Westfalische Wilhelms-Universitat Munster utilised organoids, an organ-like model system, of the retina from human reprogrammed stem cells to study SARS-CoV-2 infection of the retina.
The retinal organoids were incubated with SARS-CoV-2 viruses and then using quantitative PCR analysis, the researchers succeeded in detecting Covid mRNA in the organoids, indicating that cells in the organoids were indeed infected by the virus.
To measure the active virus concentrations produced by the infected organoids after different incubation times, the researchers used an assay called a "viral plaque assay". Indeed, the assay showed that new viral progeny has been formed in the retinal organoids.
"This is the first demonstration that SARS-CoV-2 replicates in human retinal cells," said Thomas Rauen from Max Planck.
To find out which cells in the retinal organoids are affected, the researchers analysed the organoids under a fluorescence microscope. With the help of different immune markers for the different cell types of the retina and with a fluorescent antibody against the nucleoprotein (N-protein) of SARS-CoV-2, they found that mainly two cell layers - inner and outer - of the retinal organoids were infected.
The outer nuclear layer of the organoids contains the cell bodies of the photoreceptors -- the cones and rods that convert incoming light into nerve impulses.
"However, the cell type in which we most frequently detected the N-protein of Sars-CoV-2 is retinal ganglion cells," Yotam Menuchin-Lasowski from the Institute.
These cells are located in the innermost cell layer of the retina and transmit all signals from the retina to the brain via the optic nerve.
Interestingly, many of the retinal symptoms associated with Covid-19 are related to retinal ganglion cells, but these have previously been associated predominantly with secondary effects of other Covid-induced disease symptoms, such as damage to blood vessels or an increase in eye pressure.
"However, our current retina-organoid study shows that infection with SARS-CoV-2 can have direct pathological consequences for retinal ganglion cells, even though visual impairment is not common in patients with Covid-19," Rauen said.
"But our data give us reason to believe that so-called long-Covid symptoms may include degenerative retinal disease." (agency)
Read More► Natural Covid Antibodies Last 7 Months in Children: Study
Dear Patron, Please provide additional information to validate your profile and continue to participate in engagement activities and purchase medicine.