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You need to be equally careful while recovering from coronavirus. Here are some of the tips that health experts share to covid-19 reinfection.

Like other countries in the world, India is also speculating that there might be cases of covid-19 relapse. There have been reports that patients who were cured of coronavirus, have been found infected again! Some doctors claim that this could be a case of relapse whereas others warn against letting one’s guard down after having recovered from covid-19—to avoid chances of covid-19 reinfection.

Here are some precautions you can take after covid-19 recovery

“Reoccurrence can happen in any disease. In covid-19 too, it’s there. We have seen many survivors in plasma donation centres with zero antibodies,” says Dr Shuchin Bajaj, director, Ujala Cygnus Healthcare Services.

“So, it’s important that the patients recovered from this virus should also be careful and adhere to all the guidelines. We have found a few confirmed relapse cases. If we have had coronavirus, we have to keep our immunity up with regular exercise, healthy eating, and practice SMS (santisation, mask, and social distancing) always! Stay away from junk food, too,” he adds.

You must adhere to guidelines—post and pre-covid state doesn’t matter

“Since a vaccine is not easily available, or procurable, so we have to take care that we don’t get a covid-19 infection again. Cases of covid re-infection have been reported from India and Singapore, difficult to say how true they are. But then the authenticity of these reports is definitely there,” explains Dr P Venkata Krishnan, Internal Medicine, Paras Hospital, Gurugram.

“Covid-19 reinfection is a possibility, and it’s serious because our lungs cannot take injuries again and again. What we can do is take the universal precautions that are advised for all people, as prevention for the virus stands true for all recovered patients. So, they have to follow the strict mask policy. Using hand sanitisers while going to common areas is a must. Frequently wash your hands especially before eating,” he says.

Diet plays a crucial role, not just during the recovery process but also after it

“Eat balanced meals that contain whole grains, good quality of fats, a variety of vegetables. Probiotics are a must after coronavirus as your gut health also suffers. So, have natural probiotics like homemade ginger turmeric pickle, lemon pickle, buttermilk, fermented rice and other foods,” says Twinkle Kansal, an integrated nutritionist.

“Spend sometime in the sun to improve bone and gut health. Keep a rainbow approach for fruits and vegetables to fulfil different rays of vitamins and minerals. Hydrate yourself with a variety of healthy beverages such as coconut water, herbal tea, lemon water, water, buttermilk, and warm soup. Still, your digestive system is a little weak during this time, so have at least one light meal like khichdi with desi ghee. Last but not least, rest is the best medicine to repair your body from this pandemic. Listen to your body and don’t go overboard with all the information available outside,” she adds.

“Post Covid-19 recovery, you need to give a lot of attention to your diet and rest,” says Paramita Singh, nutritionist and yoga coach, adding: “It majorly impacts the appetite, digestion, stamina and immunity. So, your diet must consist of protein, antioxidant-rich foods, lots of fluids, and foods to improve gut health.”

“At the virus-affected stage of treatment, the immunity system gets majorly impacted. Hence, fresh fruit and vegetable consumption is a must as they are rich in antioxidants such as vitamin C, E and A. Vegetables must be cooked in a manner that makes them easy to digest. Daily intake of nuts and seeds is also important as these are good sources of minerals and vitamins,” she says.

“Having protein-rich foods will help in replenishing the lost muscles. The body uses protein to build and repair tissues. Daily intake of legumes, dairy, soy, eggs, fish and chicken in each meal is recommended. As digestion is weak post covid, it’s important to eat fibre-rich foods, onions and garlic, and fermented foods such as yogurt to improve gut health. A healthy gut helps in effective digestion, nutrient absorption, and hence improves the immunity. Drinking eight to 10 glass of water is recommended for a speedy recovery,” Paramita concludes.

Follow these tips to avoid possible covid-19 reinfection and take care of your health. Source : ht

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Good sanitation stops stunting, child deaths

Written by Monday, 18 September 2017 08:40

Contaminated food and water cause more disease outbreaks than dengue, encephalitis, cholera and chikungunya.

More than 650 people were diagnosed with diarrhoea, and 43 of them were admitted to hospitals across six municipal wards in the south-eastern Kolkata on Sunday.

A week later, what caused the outbreak in India’s third-largest city is still not known.

Stool samples of the sick sent to the National Institute of Cholera and Enteric Disease (NICED) in Kolkata were unviable and threw up no conclusions.

“Sample collection and preservation guidelines were not followed at Bagha Jatin State General Hospital, where they were being treated, and the samples failed to give results,” said Dr Shanta Dutta, director of NICED.

The Kolkata outbreak sums up the diarrhoeal disease situation across India – millions are affected by this preventable water-and food-borne infection each year and thousands die, but life goes on in unhygienic surroundings, leaving people vulnerable.

Acute diarrhoeal disease and food poisoning accounted for a third of the 1,714 laboratory-confirmed disease outbreaks in 2017 – including dengue, encephalitis, cholera and chikungunya, among others, according to the Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP).

The IDSP data reflects a small fraction of the real numbers. With about 55% of India’s population seeking treatment outside the public sector — 51.4% in the private sector and 3.4% at home — the majority of cases treated at home and in private clinics do not make it to government surveillance records.

Unsafe drinking water, excreta-contaminated food, open defecation, unusable toilets, untreated sewerage and not using soap for handwashing made diarrhoea the third-biggest cause of premature deaths across ages in India in 2016, after heart and lung diseases, according to data from the Global Burden of Disease. It accounts for roughly 10% of the 962,830 deaths of children under five years old in India.

Contaminants galore

While most recorded diarrhoea deaths are from acute dehydration, the disease kills insidiously by causing chronic malnutrition and lowering immunity, which leads to frequent and potentially fatal infections.

“A malnourished and underweight child is more vulnerable to infections and has higher chances of dying of other infections, including pneumonia and tuberculosis,” said Dr Sanghita Bhattacharya, senior public health specialist at the Public Health Foundation of India.

Most malnourishment-related deaths occur in children between nine months and three years old, with infections and hunger — medically defined as “severe acute malnutrition” – claiming most lives.

Acute malnutrition is more common than one would think. About 38.4% children are stunted (low height for age) and 35.7% are underweight (low weight for age), according to the National Family Health Survey-4 (2015-16), which was released last year.

While the problems of stunting and underweight children fell marginally over the past decade, wasting (low weight for height) went up from 19.8% in 2006 to 21% in 2016.

“Poverty and social exclusion are the biggest barriers to preventing infection, which excludes people from the basic information – handwashing, oral rehydration as solution to treat diarrhoea, exclusive breastfeeding etc -- needed to save the child. Mothers care for and feed their children the best they can, but their best is often not enough,” said Dr Bhattacharya.

Simple solutions work, experts say. “Measures such as handwashing with soap are essential to bring down newborn deaths and increase maternal and child survival, and parents as primary caregivers. The community, including aganwadi workers and school teachers, must be involved. Children need a healthy start because by age 3, malnutrition is irreversible and children have already missed essential growth and developmental milestones,” said Dr Yasmin Ali Haque, a Unicef representative in India.

Clean-up act

While bacteria are the most common faecal contaminants, viruses, protozoa and helminths (parasitic worms) in the stools of infected people infect others through soil, water and food.

The absence of safe water, toilets and sewerage treatment facilities add to contamination.

Handwashing with soap and water prevents the transmission of bacteria that cause diarrhoea, show several studies, while using oral rehydration can prevent hospitalisation.

A comparison of handwashing with water, handwashing with soap, and no handwashing after touching door handles and railings in public spaces showed that bacteria of potential faecal origin remained after no handwashing in 44% of the samples, according to a global study published in International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.

Handwashing with only water reduced bacteria to 23%, while plain soap and water lowered it to 8%.

According to a more recent study of food handlers last year, handwashing with antimicrobial soap is more effective in removing bacteria (Escherichia coli and Enterococcus faecalis) from soiled hands than washing with water or plain soap.

“Toilets at anganwadis are filthy. Many do not have water  and there is often no soap and water for handwashing at schools, which feeds the cycle of infection,” said Bhattacharya.

“Apart from setting up Nutritional Rehabilitation Centres to treat severely malnourished children and providing nutritious midday meals to schoolchildren, strong monitoring of hygiene practices and toilets at both aganwadi centres and schools is a must to ensure children stay free of infections,” she said. Source : ht




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A sero survey is conducted to map the trend of infection and spread of the virus and to be able to carry out a comparative analysis of the data to device appropriate and effective action plan.

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has tested over than 10,000 people in the country’s financial capital under sero-survey and the result of the same are soon to be out. The survey was carried out in three wards - M-West (Chembur), F-North and R-North (Dahisar). The survey was conducted in collaboration with NITI Ayog and other institutes.

A sero survey is conducted to map the trend of infection and spread of the virus and to be able to carry out a comparative analysis of the data to device appropriate and effective action plan. The BMC is planning another survey next month to compare the findings from the two exercises. Maharashtra has over 327,000 coronavirus cases till date, of which over 182,000 have recovered while more than 12,000 patients have succumbed to death.

This comes after the sero survey findings in Delhi showed 23 percent of patients to have developed antibodies. The Delhi administration plans to conduct a sero survey every month to monitor the Covid-19 trend and work up an action plan to free the national capital from the menace of the virus.

Delhi health minister Satyendar Jain said that the exercise will be carried out from the 1st till the 5th of every month. The recent findings from Delhi’s sero surveillance suggest that the national capital has crossed its Covid-19 peak and that the fear of case explosion in the city is also gone.

Dr Sujeet K Singh, director of the Union health ministry’s National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), told HT that the findings from the sero surveillance serve as important data to guide containment strategies. He said that such an exercise needs to be done periodically to know the exact burden of the disease from time to time and device appropriate strategies. To establish a trend, this type of survey needs to be repeated and it will be repeated in coming months, Singh noted. Source : ht


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Bharat Biotech and Zydus were granted permission for Phase I and II clinical trials of Covaxin and ZyCoV-D respectively and the pharmaceutical companies have said the first doses of their vaccine candidates were administered to volunteers on July 15.

Volunteers across the country are being administered the indigenous vaccine candidates against the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) developed by Bharat Biotech International Limited (BBIL) and Zydus Cadila.

Bharat Biotech and Zydus were granted permission for Phase I and II clinical trials of Covaxin and ZyCoV-D respectively and the pharmaceutical companies have said the first doses of their vaccine candidates were administered to volunteers on July 15.

A third vaccine candidate developed by Oxford University and backed by AstraZeneca Plc will soon be tested in India. Serum Institute of India is in a manufacturing partnership with the UK’s AstraZeneca.

The Pune-based Serum Institute has said it will be starting trials of the Oxford University’s Covid-19 vaccine candidate by the end of August on up to 5,000 Indian volunteers after getting the necessary nods and launch it by June next year if all goes well.

Covaxin, which has been developed in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and the National Institute of Virology (NIV), will be tested at 12 institutes, including All India Institute of Medical Science (AIIMS) in Delhi and Patna, and PGI Rohtak.

Testing of Zydus’ ZyCoV-D is limited to its research centre in Gujarat’s Ahmedabad right now and will be extended to multiple cities across the country.

Zydus is looking to complete clinical trials of ZyCoV-D in seven months, the company’s chairperson said on Friday. The firm is looking to complete phase I and phase II clinical trials in the next three months and submit the data to the regulator, Zydus Cadila Chairman Pankaj R Patel said in a statement.

It could take a total of seven months for the trials to be completed and for the vaccine to be launched, depending on the study outcomes and if the data is encouraging and the vaccine is found to be effective during the trials, he added.


Covaxin trials have already begun in All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) Delhi, AIIMS Patna, Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences (PGIMS) in Haryana’s Rohtak, SRM Medical College Hospital and Research Centre in Kanchipuram and Nizam Institute of Medical Sciences in Hyderabad.

The centres are conducting simultaneous phase 1 and phase 2 clinical trials to study the safety and immunogenicity of different doses and adjuvant combinations of the vaccine developed by the biotechnology company, in collaboration with ICMR’s National Institute of Virology. An adjuvant is a compound that helps increase the effectiveness of a vaccine.

Vaccine trials are yet to start at King George Hospital in Visakhapatnam, Jeevan Rekha Hospital in Belgaum, Gillurkar Multispeciality Hospital in Nagpur, Rana Hospital in Gorakhpur, Kalinga Hospital in Bhubaneswar, Prakhar Hospital in Kanpur and CROM Clinical Research Private Ltd and Medical Tourism in Goa.


AIIMS Delhi administered its first dose of Bharat Biotech’s vaccine candidate to a 30-year-old healthy man on Friday as part of its combined phase 1 and 2 trials for the drug.

“The vaccine candidate was administered to the first trial participant — a healthy 30-year-old man — around noon on Friday. He was monitored for two hours to check for any adverse reactions. All trial participants will be monitored every day for the first seven days. They will then be followed-up on day 14 and day 28. They will be tracked for up to a year to observe any long-term impacts,” said Dr Puneet Misra, one of the investigators of the trial and a professor of community medicine at AIIMS.

The centre has received nearly 3,500 applications for the trials so far, and 100 healthy participants will be enrolled from among them. Participants have to be between the ages of 18 and 55 years and have no comorbidities like diabetes, hypertension, heart or kidney disease.

“Our priority is safety and hence we need healthy participants. Those who are called in for the trial have to undergo a battery of tests to determine their general health. They are tested for a current infection using RT-PCR test and for past infections using an antibody test. Participants are given the vaccine only if they are free of Covid-19. For now, we are also selecting participants only from Delhi and the National Capital Region for the ease of follow-ups,” said Dr Misra.

The vaccine is currently being administered in two doses — 0.3 and 0.5 microgram. In the 0.5 microgram dosage, the vaccine is being given with two different adjuvants. Of the 100 who will be enrolled, 80 will get different dosages and combination of the vaccine, and 20 participants will receive placebos.


PGIMS became the second facility in India after AIIMS Patna, to begin the human trials. Dr Savita Verma, the principal investigator of the trial, said they had administered the first dose of vaccine (0.5ml) to three volunteers on July 17.

“These volunteers were kept under observation for three hours. They tolerated the vaccine very well. Later, the volunteers were sent back home and a team of doctors will now examine their health every day. PGIMS, along with three other medical institutes, will conduct human trials on 50 volunteers in the first phase. The second phase will commence 14 days later after seeing the result of the vaccine in these volunteers,” she added.

Dr Verma said 17 individuals have undergone rigorous medical scrutiny so far to check whether they have been previously infected with the virus or suffered from any liver, lungs or kidney ailments and any other infectious diseases.

“Three of these volunteers, who were found eligible, were administered the vaccine today and the report of 13 is awaited,” she added.


Clinical trials for Covaxin began at the Nizam’s Institute of Medical Sciences (NIMS) in Hyderabad on July 20 with hospital authorities administering the first vaccine dose to two volunteers. In Hyderabad, as many as 30 volunteers have registered with the NIMS for the clinical trials.

“Of them, seven more subjects are available and they would be administered the vaccine in the next few days,” NIMS director Dr K Manohar said.

According to an official familiar with the development, the volunteers are being drawn from different parts of the state. These subjects would be administered two doses of the vaccine. There will be three types of vaccines — three micrograms, six micrograms and placebo. Each subject would be given the second dose of the same vaccine after 14 days.

For two days after administering the vaccine, the subjects would be monitored by a team of doctors in the Intensive Critical Care Unit (ICCU) before being discharged.

“Their health condition will be monitored from time to time. The doctors would also look into the interaction with the vaccine digitally as well as through frequent physical check-ups,” the official said.


Human trials at SRM Medical College Hospital and Research Centre began on Thursday with two volunteers being administered 0.05 ml of the vaccine each. They will get the next dose on day 14.

Other sites

King George Hospital (KGH) in Andhra Pradesh’s Visakhapatnam, which was also selected by the ICMR for clinical trials for Covid-19 vaccine, is yet to commence the exercise.

“We have got the approval from the ICMR, but are yet to get the clearance from the state government. We have written to the Director of Medical Education to give the nod for clinical trials and once we get it, we shall start,” Dr K Indira Devi, in-charge superintendent of the KGH, told Hindustan Times.

Institute of Medical Sciences and Sum Hospital, a privately-run medical college in Bhubaneswar, started screening prospective candidates on July 20.

Reports said Nagpur’s Gillurkar Multispecialty Hospital and Research Centre, the only site for human trials of Covaxin in Maharashtra, is expected to start Phase 1 by end of July or the first week of August.

Two private hospitals in Uttar Pradesh will also soon begin human trials of Covaxin, the Covid-19 vaccine developed by Bharat Biotech.

The two hospitals—Prakhar Hospital in Kanpur and Rana Hospital and Trauma Centre in Gorakhpur—are also among the 12 institutes across the country where the human trial of the vaccine candidate will be conducted.

Prakhar Hospital is looking at a sample size of 50 people in the first phase and another 150 in the second phase of the human trial. The Rana Hospital, meanwhile, is awaiting a safety certificate before the trials can begin. Source : ht


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MMC Act to be implemented in state to control mosquitoes

Written by Thursday, 14 September 2017 06:06

With mosquito-borne diseases on the rise in the state, the public health department is planning to expand the scope of the Mumbai Municipal Corporation Act (MMC Act), 1888, to the entire state to effectively act against offenders allowing mosquito breeding in private spaces.

In a meeting held by state Health Minister Deepak Sawant and senior state health officials on Monday, it was decided to seek the opinion of the law and judiciary department on enforcing sections of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s Act in state.

“This will be similar to Bombay Nursing Homes Registration Act initially limited to only Mumbai and later enforced in the entire state,” said Dr Satish Pawar, director at the Directorate of Health Services. The state government plans to pick specific sections from MMC Act, such as reporting of certain communicable diseases, sections on water and sanitation, and legal action taken for allowing mosquito breeding.

The most important section the state hopes to implement is Section 381 of MMC Act that allows civic body to prosecute a person found guilty of allowing mosquito breeding in public or personal space. The fine ranges between Rs 2,000-10,000. Section 381(B) of the Act deals with those who default on making water tanks mosquito proof.
In June, BMC found maximum mosquito breeding in public buildings.

The public works department buildings had 536 non-mosquito proof spots, central railways had 446 spots and central public works department was found with 252 breeding spots. Western railways owned 636 buildings, where 3.7 per cent tanks had no mosquito proofing. Central railways, which owns 577 premises, had a significant 23.5 per cent breeding spots. All government agencies were issued notices by BMC.

“The fine is minimal. Offenders are let off easily which is why we have been asking to increase it to prevent multiple offences,” Dr Rajan Naringrekar, insecticide officer, BMC, said. With monsoon receding and weather conducive for viral infection to multiply, the state is taking special efforts to control malaria and dengue, both spread by mosquito. In Mumbai itself, 271 malaria cases and 102 dengue cases were recorded since September 1.

While malaria is carried by anopheles, dengue is spread by aedes aegypti. Indoors, aedes mosquito breeds in feng-shui plants, flower pots, fish tanks, unused tyres and petri-dishes. “We are expecting a spike in dengue, leptospirosis and gastroenteritis in the coming days because of flooding in Mumbai. Steps have been taken to ensure medicines are adequately stocked,” a civic official said. Dr Pradeep Awate, state epidermiologist, said H1N1 cases have also been high. In the state, 4,628 have been diagnosed with H1N1 infection, including 488 who succumbed until August end.




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Member of Parliament (MP) Kirron Kher has submitted proposals to Union Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare Ashwini Kumar Chaubey, regarding setting up of a 300-bedded trauma centre in Chandigarh, apart from construction of a sports injury centre at Government Medical College and Hospital(GMCH), Sector 32.
A statement issued Tuesday said Kher met Chaubey Monday and submitted the proposals.

“In one of the letter addressed to Chaubey, she mentioned that the Trauma Centre already running at PGIMER is over burdened and not sufficient to cater to the needs of the region (i.e Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu & Kashmir). Construction of the proposed trauma centre is need of the hour. In a separate letter, she has written that Chandigarh Administration has proposed to construct sports injury centre in GMCH, Sector-32,” the statement said. It further said that the project report has already been submitted to the Director General Health Services, Government of India, for approval.

Kher, during the meet, requested Chaubey to look into the matter and arrange requisite approval for the project.
The MP also told Chaubey that Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has already granted its approval regarding setting up of a Trauma Centre as an extension of GMCH. “Chandigarh Administration has already earmarked a plot measuring 9.6 acres for setting up of a Trauma Centre in Sector 53, Chandigarh, and a detailed Project Report (DPR) of the Trauma Centre has also been prepared. Whereas the project related to construction of Sports Injury Centre is pending with the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, New Delhi, since April 2013,” the statement said.

The statement further stated that GMCH has established itself in the region in the field of sports injuries and on an average is performing 100 surgeries on elite players of different games coming from all over the country.

“Presently, there is only one dedicated Sports Injury Centre in the country which is based at Safdarjung Hospital, New Delhi. Chandigarh Administration has already earmarked a plot measuring 1.43 acres for setting up of this centre. Accordingly, a Detailed Project Report (DPR) of the proposed centre has been prepared. It is felt that setting up of a similar centre in Chandigarh, which caters to the needs of Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, Jammu & Kashmir and Uttarakhand, will go a long way in restoring the health of athletes in the region so that they can go back to the pre-injury level of games at the earliest,” the statement added.




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CHENNAI: AIADMK general secretary V K Sasikala's husband M Natarajan is in a critical condition after sufferingmultiple organ failure on Sunday. Natarajan, 74, has been admitted to Gleneagles Global Health City in Perumbakkam, where he is under intensive care.

According to a medical bulletin released by the hospital administration, Natarajan suffers from chronic liver disease and has been receiving treatment for it for the past six months. "He is admitted at the Liver Intensive Care Unit with decompensated liver disease leading to liver and kidney failure and lung congestion. He is receiving dialysis and other intensive care therapies," the hospital statement said.

Natarajan has been registered with the Tamil Nadu Organ Sharing (TNOS) waiting list for deceased donor liver transplantation. "He is being taken care by a multidisciplinary team of liver specialists headed by Prof. Mohamed Rela," the hospital note said.

According to hospital sources, Natarajan had undergone a dialysis session for more than eight hours on Sunday. This is not the first-time Natarajan has been hospitalised this year. On February 5, he was brought to Apollo Hospitals on Greams Road after complaining of breathing problems.




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Swine flu spurts in Delhi: 1,066 cases last month

Written by Saturday, 19 August 2017 06:15


Swine flu has surged sharply in the capital with 1,066 cases being confirmed in the last one month, which is more than four times the number reported during the rest of this year.

The total number of cases till August 13 this year stands at 1,307, more than six times the corresponding period of 2016.

Nationally, 18,855 cases of theH1N1 influenza have been reported this year, claiming 929 lives.

But despite the spurt in cases in the capital, the number of deaths has not risen significantly. "Only four deaths have been reported: two from Delhi and two patients from outside have died," Delhi health minister Satyendra Jain said in the assembly last week. At a review meeting on Friday , Delhi health department officials told their counterparts in the Centre that the city has sufficient training and stocks of medicines to tackle the swine flu outbreak.

Health experts said there was no cause for panic over the sudden spurt in swine flu in Delhi. "People should not panic if they suffer normal viral infection. The high risk groups include people with heart diseases, pregnant women, children below eight years of age, senior citizens, diabetics and kidney disease patients. These patients need special treatment," said a doctor.

Dr Jagdish Prasad, director general of health services, told TOI that the Centre had offered to train doctors of Delhi government and private hospitals on treating swine flu cases. "If any hospital wants training, we can send our doctors," he said. Delhi health minister Sandar Jain said in the as tyendar Jain said in the assembly last week that the government had enough stocks of medicines and vaccines to tackle the outbreak.

"Adequate facilities for treatment are available in Delhi. We have placed orders for advance purchase of medicines," Jain said. He added that there were reserved beds for patients in government hospitals and not even 5% of these beds had been occupied.

The spike in the cases at this time of the year has come as a surprise because swine flu usually peaks in the postmonsoon season and early winter. Some health conscious people have started maintaining caution when they are in public places because the H1N1 virus, which causes swine flu, transmits from human to human.

"The spike in swine flu at this time is also due to infection coming in from states where a very high number of cases have been reported.Such a big outbreak in the month of August is a matter of concern since swine flu usually rises in October and November," said Dr K K Aggrawal, national president of the IMA. The association has planned to launch a poster campaign against swine flu."






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A study has warned that cloudy drinking water is linked to increased cases of gastrointestinal illness. Cloudiness in water is caused by material floating in it. The undissolved particles may actually provide some protection for harmful pathogens against disinfectants.

Researcher Anneclaire De Roos from Drexel University in Philadelphia, US found associations between acute gastrointestinal illness (AGI) and water turbidity, a term meaning cloudiness or opacity. Turbidity is the cloudiness or haziness of a fluid caused by large numbers of individual particles that are generally invisible to the naked eye, similar to smoke in air.

The results revealed that exposures through drinking water caused a low but detectable number of AGI cases in the regions. There is no clear, alternative explanation for the patterns of associations — particularly when a similar pattern was seen multiple times. Acute gastrointestinal illness could be caused by waterborne pathogens like norovirus, Giardia, or Cryptosporidium and carry symptoms like diarrhoea and vomiting. Researchers looked into a collection of studies that had been done on the topic.

These studies were designed to evaluate risks from contamination of source waters (usually rivers in the cities studied), before the water entered cities’ distribution systems. They found that turbidity of drinking water was linked to increased AGI in multiple studies, and not just when there was increased cloudiness. “As expected, the association between turbidity and AGI was found in cities with relatively high turbidity levels, often in unfiltered drinking water supplies,” De Roos noted.




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AHMEDABAD: Gujaratgovernment and theAhmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) once again got a rebuke from Gujarat high court on Wednesday "for taking its direction lightly" in response to a petition seeking prompt measure to curb spread of swine flu, which has already claimed over 200 lives across the state.

A bench headed by Justice M R Shah told government's law officers that everything looks all right on paper, but the reality is different. The court asked the state government to state what measures have been taken to curb the spread of the disease.

The court said that so many people dying of the disease is really serious, and the authorities must take prompt steps in public interest. The court has sought a report in this regard by Monday.

The court also expressed concern about testing facilities and commented whether there is a provision to provide this facility free of cost to the poor.

The court's chiding came after advocate K R Koshti urged the court to issue directions to arrest further damage due to swine flu spread in absence of proper facilities. By adding the issue of swine flu in his last year's PIL to curb vector-borne diseases, the lawyer submitted that the state government and AMC machinery was never prepared to fight against H1N1 virus, and to prevent loss of life.

The PIL has demanded appointment of a committee of experts for field visit to take stock of the situation and to report to the court about the reality.

It seeks directions for creating facilities of diagnosis and free treatment for the poor. It has also asked for compensation for the victims.

Meanwhile, Justice Shah recalled the directions issued last week to AMC to clear roads of stray cattle and garbage.

The judge said that heaps of garbage have not been removed yet, though the authorities had promised to bring in visible change in a week's time.

The PIL stated that despite World Health Organization (WHO) warning, no effective measure has been chalked out by the administration to tackle the outbreak. Till August 15, 208 people died out of total 1,883 swine flu patients in Gujarat.

The petitioner complained that the government has not set up laboratories at districts across the state for testing the virus, and delay caused in diagnosis proves fatal in most cases. The PIL has complained that AMC does not have enough staff in its health department to deal with the situation.





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