NEW DELHI, Sept 16, 2016: The central government has agreed to reserve 10 percent of the beds in its hospitals for treatment of dengue and chikungunya patients, according to Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain.
Jain’s remarks came after meeting Union Health Minister J.P. Nadda at his office here on Friday.
“We had requested Mr Nadda to reserve at least 10 percent beds (1,000 beds) in the central government-run hospitals, like All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Safdarjung Hospital, Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital, etc., for treatment of dengue and chikungunya cases, to which he (Nadda) agreed,” Jain told reporters after the meeting.
Earlier, Jain had sought an appointment with Nadda and also written him a letter requesting the Union Minister to convene a meeting of the health ministers of neighbouring states.
A skin cream used to treat warts and skin cancer could help protect people against viral diseases such as Zika and dengue, according to new study.
The cream, called imiquimod or Aldara, is commonly used to treat genital warts and some forms of skin cancer.
“This study shows that a clinically approved, widely used skin cream has the potential to be repurposed as a valuable protector against insect-borne diseases,” said study lead author Clive McKimmie, from the University of Leeds in UK.
For the findings, published in the journal Science Translational Medicine, researchers studied four types of virus transmitted by mosquitos and found that applying a cream within an hour of a mosquito bite dramatically reduced infection rates in their models.
They used two different models to understand the effect of the skin cream – human skin samples and mice. In both cases, applying the skin cream acted like a warning signal which caused a rapid activation of the skin’s immune response that fights any potential viral threats. This prevented the virus from spreading around the body and causing disease.
“What is especially encouraging about our results is that the cream was effective against a number of distinct viruses, without needing to be targeted to one particular virus,” McKimmie said. “If this strategy can be developed into a treatment option then we might be able to use it to tackle a wide range of new emerging diseases that we have not yet encountered,” McKimmie added.
There are hundreds of viruses spread by biting mosquitoes which can infect humans. These include the dengue virus, West Nile virus, Zika virus and chikungunya virus, which have all had large outbreaks in recent years. At present, there are no anti-viral medicines and few vaccines to help combat these infections.
According to the researchers, when a mosquito bites the skin, the body reacts in a very specific way to try and mitigate the physical trauma of the skin being punctured. The bite causes a wound healing repair mechanism to begin, however, the skin does not prepare itself to respond to viral attack. This means mosquito-borne viruses that enter the skin through a bite are able to replicate quickly with little anti-viral response in the skin and then spread throughout the body, the study said.
By applying skin cream after a bite, researchers found that they could pre-emptively activate the immune system’s inflammatory response before the virus becomes a problem. The cream encouraged a type of immune cell in the skin, called a macrophage, to suddenly spring into action to fight off the virus before it could spread around the body.
“By boosting the immune system and not targeting a specific virus, this strategy has the potential to be a ‘silver bullet’ for a wide range of distinct mosquito-borne viral diseases,” said study co-author Steven Bryden. (IANS)
People living in Delhi can now avail 30 more services at their doorstep, including adding members in ration card, paying the motor vehicle tax and getting a DTC pass, taking the total number of such services to 70. The second phase of the doorstep delivery of public services, the official launch of which is yet to take place, has been rolled out.
Residents can dial 1076 and get the service by paying Rs 50 extra, an official from Delhi’s Administrative Reforms told IANS. The new services include booking a tour package through Delhi Tourism and Transportation Development Corp.
In September 2018, the Delhi government had launched the doorstep delivery of 40 public services to make things easy for the common man. In the first phase, people got certificates of marriage, caste, domicile, income, births and deaths among others at their doors.
Driving license, new water or sewer connection and disconnection were also provided under the scheme which functions between 8 a.m. and 10 p.m. through a ‘Mobile Sahayak’. The government had planned to roll out more services by February but they got delayed.
“Once the second phase is on track, steps to start the third phase will be initiated,” the official said. Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has plans to have at least 100 services delivered at people’s doorsteps, the official said.
Aam Aadmi Party leader Atishi told IANS: “The plan initially was to take things online but we realised that people find it more easy to call a number and get the services instead of doing things online.” The tenure of the Kejriwal government will end on February 2020. (IANS)
The Philippines stood firm Tuesday on its ban on the world’s first dengue vaccine while declaring a nationwide epidemic from the mosquito-borne disease that it said has killed hundreds this year.
Dengue incidence shot up 98% from a year earlier to 146,062 cases from January 1 to July 20, causing 662 deaths, Health Secretary Francisco Duque told a news conference in which he announced a “national dengue epidemic.”
Manila banned the sale, import and distribution of the Dengvaxia vaccine in February following the deaths of several dozen children who were among more than 700,000 people given shots in 2016 and 2017 in a government immunization campaign.
Duque said Thursday the government is studying an appeal to allow French pharmaceutical firm Sanofi to put the vaccine back in the Philippine market, but ruled out using the drug to combat the ongoing epidemic, which has hit small children hard.
“This vaccine does not squarely address the most vulnerable group which is the 5-9 years of age,” Duque said.
The vaccine, now licensed in 20 countries according to the World Health Organization, is approved for use for those aged nine and older.
Duque said the United Nations agency also advised Manila that the vaccine was “not recommended” as a response to an outbreak, and it was anyway “not cost-effective” with one dose costing a thousand pesos (about $20).
Dengue, or hemorrhagic fever, is the world’s most common mosquito-borne virus and infects an estimated 390 million people in more than 120 countries each year — killing more than 25,000 of them, according to the WHO.
Duque on Tuesday called on other government agencies, schools, offices and communities get out of offices, homes and schools every afternoon to take part in efforts to “search and destroy mosquito breeding sites”. (VOA)