Sunday May 27, 2018

More than 800 cases of jaundice reported in Shimla, 1 dead

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Shimla: More than 800 cases of jaundice have been reported so far in Shimla, prompting Himachal Pradesh Health Minister Kaul Singh to review on Wednesday the steps taken to tackle the disease.

An official statement quoting the minister said effective steps have been taken by the departments concerned and the Shimla Municipal Corporation to check further spread of the disease.

It said 817 cases of jaundice were reported in the town and one man lost his life due to the water-borne disease.

 

Kaul Singh said priority has been given by the government to supply clean and safe drinking water to people. All major water storage tanks have been cleaned and water is being chlorinated on a regular basis.

Municipal corporation commissioner Pankaj Rai said action has been initiated against 107 households for not discharging sewage properly.

The civic authorities suspect that mixing of sewage with potable water has caused the spread of the water-borne disease.

Deputy Mayor Tikender Panwar told IANS that effluents from the sewerage treatment plant in Malyana, located in the vicinity of the Ashwani Khud drinking water scheme, was mainly responsible for water contamination.

The government has banned the procurement of water from the Ashwani Khud.

In 2007, 2010 and 2013, a large number people in the town tested positive for Hepatitis E, a liver problem caused by consumption of water contaminated by sewerage.

Planned for a maximum population of 16,000, Shimla is home to 170,000 people as per the 2011 census and generates 30.09 million litres per day of sewage. (IANS)

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Study: Partial Dose of Yellow Fever Vaccine Provides Protection

A full dose of yellow fever vaccine provides lifelong immunity. Researchers will continue to study how long people who received partial doses are protected

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Yellow fever is a mosquito-borne viral disease found in tropical Africa and South and Central America.
Yellow fever is a mosquito-borne viral disease found in tropical Africa and South and Central America. Wikimedia Commons
  • Yellow fever is a mosquito-borne viral disease
  • Severe cases can cause jaundice and death, but most cases involve fever, muscle pain and vomiting
  • More than 350 people have become infected with yellow fever in Brazil since late last year

When stockpiles of yellow fever vaccine run low, partial doses are effective, according to a new study.

The report on the vaccine, which currently is in short supply, comes as officials in Brazil attempt to contain an outbreak with what they describe as the largest-ever mass vaccination campaign using partial doses.

Yellow fever is a mosquito-borne viral disease found in tropical Africa and South and Central America. Severe cases can cause jaundice and death, but most cases involve fever, muscle pain and vomiting.

Also Read: Tips That Will Help In Recovery From Surgery

Congo outbreak, experiment

During a major outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 2016, the government aimed to prevent the disease from spreading in the capital, Kinshasa. Health officials launched a mass vaccination campaign targeting 7.6 million people.

But the outbreak had depleted vaccine stockpiles. Hoping to stretch the available supply, the World Health Organization reviewed the small number of available studies on using reduced doses and recommended using one-fifth of a dose per person.

It seemed to work.

Health officials have launched a campaign targeting nearly 24 million people with a one-fifth dose of the vaccine. Wikimedia Commons
Health officials have launched a campaign targeting nearly 24 million people with a one-fifth dose of the vaccine. Wikimedia Commons

Researchers took blood samples from more than 700 people before and after they received the partial dose. In the new study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, nearly all of those vaccinated with the lower dose developed enough antibodies to the virus to prevent infection.

“That was the encouraging thing, that this can be done as a potential way — when there’s supply limitations on the vaccine — to help potentially control an outbreak,” said study co-author Erin Staples at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Hundreds infected

More than 350 people have become infected with yellow fever in Brazil since late last year, and health officials have launched a campaign targeting nearly 24 million people with a one-fifth dose of the vaccine.

Also Read: A spurt in Unneeded Medical Interventions for Healthy Pregnant Women: WHO Study

Staples says the new study is good news for controlling outbreaks like Brazil’s in the short term. But, she notes, “We still need some information about how long immunity will last.”

A full dose of yellow fever vaccine provides lifelong immunity. Researchers will continue to study how long people who received partial doses are protected. (VOA)

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