Monthly Archives: September 2018

Scrub Typhus, The Condition That Claimed 12 Lives – know More

In the last couple of weeks, this bacteria called Orientia tsutsugamushi has created a havoc in Nagpur area and already claimed 12 lives. The District Health Organization is already on high alert and the officer has directed the gram panchayats already to go for a pesticide treatment in the affected areas as well as surrounding ones. The disease is caused when a tiny insect called Chigger Mites bites someone. Chigger mite is found over bodies or large animals, grass or bushes and is of 0.2mm to 0.4 mm in size. Over 50 percent of the people who get infected by this bacteria need to seek immediate medical attention or they are most probably bound to die of it.

In Nagpur the cases of scrub typhus are on the rise wherein 38 patients in the government medical college and hospital have tested positive already besides 44 more patients in the Nagpur division itself. Nagpur is not the first place to get affected by this bacteria. This disease spread its wings across Japan for the first time in 1899 and in Russia during the first world war, where it claimed lives of over 30 lac people.

Scrub Typhus

The symptoms of scrub typhus include the following:

  • Severe headache
  • Confusion
  • Body Ache
  • Rashes or red spots over body
  • High Temperatures

When the condition turns severe or worse, then bleeding and multiple organ failure could happen too.

Diagnosis and Treatment
Based on the symptoms, blood tests are carried out to diagnose the condition and based on the symptoms the doctor will direct the treatment. So, if you experience one or more of the above symptoms while living in an area or surrounding area where Scrub Typhus is common then do get yourself checked. The best idea is to protect yourself from this deadly health condition by using full sleeves clothes, mosquito repellents of 20 to 30 DEET.

As per the health minister of the state, though it is deadly in nature there are medicines available to treat the disease and hence people in and around Nagpur and hence there is no need of panic around it.

All You Need to Know Carpal Syndrome in Pregnancy

Carpal syndrome is a very common syndrome that many women experience during pregnancy. Statistics of 2015 say that between 30 to 60 percent women across the world suffer from this condition during their pregnancy. Though no exact reason is known still, experts do believe that this syndrome is a result of swelling due to hormones. Carpal syndrome is a result of swelling similar to that of swelling of ankles and fingers due to fluid retention during pregnancy.

Here’s more on causes, symptoms, treatment and risk factors associated with Carpal Syndrome -

Carpal Syndrome in Pregnancy

CAUSES
Carpal syndrome is caused when the median nerve passing through the carpal tunnel within the wrist becomes compressed. This nerve is responsible for controlling feelings in fingers. The carpal tunnel is made up of tiny carpal bones and ligaments. The pain is caused because due to swelling the tunnel gets narrower thereby compressing the nerve. This in turn causes hand pain as well as numbness or finger burning.

SYMPTOMS

  • Swelling on fingers
  • Thumping sensation across fingers, wrists and hands
  • Tingling and numbness in fingers, hands, wrist that worsens at night
  • Problems holding objects and other motor skill bases routine activities

DIAGNOSIS
The doctor will examine you on the basis of your symptoms and may also ask you to do electro-diagnostic tests for confirmation. This test records and analyzes the signals send and received by the nerves with the help of thin needles or electrodes. In order to check for any nerve damage, tinel’s sign is used. These tests are safe to be done during pregnancy.

TREATMENT
Most doctors while treating CTS take the conservative approach because they have to take into consideration the pregnancy factor. Mostly patients suffering from this condition get relief within weeks or months post-delivery.

  • Avoid Wrist Bending Activities – Activities like throwing the ball or typing on the keyboard need to be reduced or if possible avoided.
  • Cold Therapy – Using ice bags or towel wrapped in ice and massaging it over the wrist for 10-15 minutes at regular intervals can help in decreasing the swelling.
  • Keep Wrists at an elevated position – Using pillows try to keep your wrists elevated.
  • Do Yoga – Yoga is a good idea because it does help to give you relief in terms of pain and help with bettering your grip.
  • Take Pain killers – If you feel pain frequently and is irritable then you may take pain killers on doctor’s advice
  • Take Rest – Take rest whenever you feel pain or fatigued.

One Blood Test to Diagnose 8 Different Cancers

A recent study has revealed the ability of one blood test to detect as many as eight types of cancers with perfection. The study was carried out by a team of researchers at the John Hopkins University of Medicine, Baltimore and even published in the Science Journal. The study was carried out over 1000 people with the disease and showed high specificity and sensitivity as well.

Today, even with many innovations and advances in science, Cancer is still not having a cure. While research is on, the estimated death toll by 2030 across the world due to cancer can go up to a staggering 8-13 million range.

One Blood Test to Diagnose 8 Different Cancers

Because, cure is still to be found, the effectiveness of the treatment is limited to restricting the spread of the cancer cells and increasing life span. An early diagnosis is always beneficial in cancer but sadly, by the time you become aware of the cancer in your body, it is too late and its spread to other parts. The reason is lack of advanced tools for diagnosis. But, here’s some good news from the research team at John Hopkins University could crack the code to simple way to detect cancer that too in the early stages.

The idea is to detect small fragments of mutated DNA as well as proteins that the cancerous tumors release in the blood stream, when they are formed, thus helping to detect cancer through a blood test. The researchers revealed that the new blood test has the ability to identify 16 gene mutations as well as 8 proteins linked to eight different cancer types.

The cancers include colorectal cancer, lung cancer, breast cancer and five others that even today do not have routine screening tests for people with average risk namely pancreatic cancer, liver cancer, esophageal cancer, stomach cancer and ovarian cancer.

As per the Cristian Tomasetti, associate professor of oncology and biostatistics of John Hopkins University, the uniqueness of this classification method in observing different levels of Proteins together with DNA mutations in order to reach to a final decision.

The Cancer SEEK test was performed on 1005 individuals in total and successfully identified 70% of the cancers with high sensitivity ranging from 33% in breast cancer cases and upto 98% in ovarian cancer cases. In the five cancers which do not have routine screenings, the test performed even better showing a sensitivity of 69% to 98%.

As far as specificity is concerned the range was 99% and out of the 812 people tested, it only showed seven false results. What’s more the test was even able to detect the location of the tumor in over 80% of the patients.

As per the researchers, it will take further study to determine its efficacy as a routine screening test for cancer detection but the results are encouraging and definitely paves the way towards improving quality of life of cancer patients through early detection.

VIMS is one of the best cancer hospital in India, with 300 beds exclusively for cancer patients.Oncology department in the hospital has got qualified and well experienced doctors

TB Patients to be provided Free Drugs Even in Private Pharmacies Soon

Many of us aren’t aware that the government of India provides free TB medicines to people at government authorised centres like government hospitals, DOTS providers, Community directly observed Treatment as a part of their efforts to eradicate TB completely from country. Further, there is good news around it. The highest drug advisory of India has considered relaxing the rules under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act.

India has had a high number of TB cases and hence the government felt the need to make the TB drugs accessible faster. By taking private pharmacies into the circle of free stocking and dispensing of TB medicines will definitely increase the reach. The idea was popped last year with and objective of increasing the accessibility of the medicines for the people in need. Furthermore, the pharmacists will have to keep a stock of it also because they came under Schedule H1, as per the director general of health services.

TB Patients - Free Drugs

The proposal is to amend the rule 65(18) of Drugs and cosmetics act by proviso insertion on distribution as well as stocking of anti-TB drugs by taking private pharmacies into the Revised National TB Control program (RNTCP) of the government of India.

By establishing linkages with the private sector the objective is to establish linking between the private and the government for not only distribution of free drugs but for patient support services and counselling as well. The national TB control program is on a mission of providing universal access to TB patients as the latest global TB report released by the world health organisation showed India topping the charts.

Another other reason for trying to make TB drugs accessible at private pharmacies is to shun away the stigma around the condition in some sections of the society. So, if you know of someone having TB or just share this information on with your maids and other servants, it just might help them or people they know dealing with the condition.