Corona Virus (COVID19) FAQs: ICMR answers all you want to know about killer Corona
The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has Come up with an easy frequently asked questions (FAQ) to dispel myths and bring out facts about the Coronavirus. Here's a quick look.
 
1. Are patients with heart disease, diabetes or hypertension at increased risk to get coronavirus infection?
 
No, people with hypertension, diabetes or heart diseases are at no greater risk of getting the infection than anyone else.
 
2. Among people with above diseases is there an increased risk of severe illness or complications once infected?
 
The majority, which is 80 per cent of people diagnosed with COVID-19 will have mild symptoms of a respiratory infection (fever, sore throat, cough) and make a full recovery. Some of the people with diabetes, hypertension and heart diseases including Heart Failure may develop more severe symptoms and complications. Therefore, they require extra care.
 
3. Are people with diabetes more prone to Covid-19 ?
 
In general, you know that people with uncontrolled diabetes are at increased risk of all infections. People with diabetes are not at higher risk for acquiring the infection, but some individuals are prone to more severe disease and poorer outcomes once infected.
 
Hence, follow your diet and exercise routine (to the extent possible), take your medications regularly and test your sugar levels frequently so as to keep your diabetes under control. When diabetic patients become sick, they may require frequent monitoring of blood glucose and adjustment of drugs including insulin, small frequent meals and adequate fluids.
 
4. What about reports about BP medications increasing severity of COVID-19 ?
 
After review of the available information the consensus of various scientific societies and expert group of cardiologists is that currently there is no evidence that the two group of drugs- ACE inhibitors (For instance, Ramipril, Enalapril and so on) and angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs) (Namely, Losartan, Telmisartan and so on) increase the susceptibility or severity of COVID-19.
 
These drugs are very effective for heart failure by supporting your heart function, and controlling high blood pressure. It may be harmful to stop these medications by yourself. This can worsen your heart condition.
 
5. What can I take pain or fever?
 
Some type of painkillers like Ibuprofen is found to worsen the COVID-19. Such drugs are known to be harmful to heart failure patients and may increase your risk of kidney damage. Avoid NSAIDs or take them only when prescribed by your doctor. Paracetamol is one of the safest pain killers to use if needed.
 
6. What should I do if I get symptoms suggestive of COVID-19?
 
In case you get fever, cough, muscle pain without shortness of breath, call your doctor and seek advice on phone. You need to stay at home (at least for 14 days) and avoid close contact with other family members and maintain hand hygiene and correctly wear a medical mask. If there is shortness of breath or worsening symptoms like excessive fatigue call or visit a doctor.
 
But, at the end of the end it's all about prevention rather than cure. That leads to the final question.
 
7. What should you do to prevent COVID- 19?
 
Covid-19 is spread by coughs and sneezes, through what are called droplets ( tiny amount saliva or other secretions expressed through cough/sneezing or even after a hearty laugh) and through touch. When you touch an object that has the virus particles on it, the virus may get onto hands and when one touches his or her face, they may get infected.
 
Virus particles can persist upto 3 days and therefore it is important to maintain hygiene of ones surroundings. "Wash the rooms, tables and other surfaces with floor cleaners or even simple soap solution and sanitize your hands with hand sanitizers or by washing when you touch unknown or suspicious surfaces," instructs the ICMR.
 
There are at least 606 confirmed coronavirus cases in India as of Wednesday, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said. Of this, 553 are active COVID19 cases, 42 patients have recovered and discharged from the hospital and 10 people have lost their lives. The active cases include 563 Indian nationals and 43 foreign nationals.
 
India has already issued a 21 days nationwide lockdown to prevent the spread of the virus.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.
 
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    COVID-19: Study Maps How a Patient’s Immune System Fights Back
    Researchers have mapped immune responses from one of Australia's first COVID-19 patients, showing the body's ability to fight the virus and recover from the infection. The study shows how the immune system of an otherwise healthy person was able to fight the virus, within days. 
     
    Published in Nature Medicine, researchers, from the University of Melbourne at the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity in Australia, have found that while some people who have contracted COVID-19 experience serious symptoms, others are able to recover after a fairly short period of time. 
     
    Using information about one of Australia’s first COVID-19 patients, they were able to conduct a comprehensive case study. The female patient was experiencing mild-to-moderate symptoms of the infection when she sought care; but was noted to be healthy in all other respects. This was the reason researchers first became interested in finding out how an otherwise healthy adult’s immune system is able to react to an infection with new virus. 
     
    “We showed that even though COVID-19 is caused by a new virus, in an otherwise healthy person, a robust immune response across different cell types was associated with clinical recovery, similar to what we see in influenza,” says the study’s co-author Prof Katherine Kedzierska.
     
    “This is an incredible step forward in understanding what drives recovery of COVID-19. People can use our methods to understand the immune responses in larger COVID-19 cohorts, and also understand what’s lacking in those who have fatal outcomes,” she adds. 
    The patient had sought specialised care four days after the onset of viral infection symptoms. These symptoms included lethargy, a sore throat, a dry cough, pleuritic chest pain, some shortness of breath and a fever. She was discharged from the hospital and entered herself into self-isolation for 11 days, after the onset of symptoms, and was found to be symptom-free by day 13. 
     
    For the study, researchers analysed blood samples that healthcare professionals had collected from the patient on four different occasions—on days 7, 8, 9 and 20, following the onset of symptoms. 
     
    “We looked at the whole breadth of the immune response in this patient using the knowledge we have built over many years of looking at immune responses in patients hospitalised with influenza,” explains the study’s co-author Dr Oanh Nguyen.
     
    They found that during day-7 to day-9 following the onset of symptoms, there was an increase in immunoglobulins, the most common type of antibodies, rushing to fight the virus. This increase in immunoglobulins persisted up to day-20 after the onset of symptoms, according to the analysis. 
     
    At day-7 today-9 following the symptom onset, a large number of specialised helper T-cells, killer T-cells and B-cells—all of which are crucial immune cells -- were also active in the patient’s blood samples. This suggested that the patient’s body had been using many different ‘weapons’ effectively against the virus.
     
    “Three days after the patient was admitted, we saw large populations of several immune cells, which are often a tell-tale sign of recovery during seasonal influenza infection, so we predicted that the patient would recover in 3 days, which is what happened,” notes Dr Nguyen. 
     
    The researchers also report that their investigation’s efficient timelines are much owed to the fact that the patient had enrolled into Sentinel Travellers and Research Preparedness for Emerging Infectious Disease (SETREP-ID). This is a research platform from the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity. 
     
    “When COVID-19 emerged, we already had ethics and protocols in place so we could rapidly start looking at the virus and immune system in great detail,” says study’s co-author Dr Irani Thevarajan, praising the importance of SETREP-ID. It has already been established at a number of Melbourne hospitals and the researchers are now planning to roll out SETREP-ID as a national study. 
     
    “We hope to now expand our work nationally and internationally to understand why some people die from COVID-19, and build further knowledge to assist in the rapid response of COVID-19 and future emerging viruses,” Dr Thevarajan added. 
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    Eating Eggs Moderately Does Not Increase Risk of Cardiovascular Disease, Finds Study
    Although eggs are an affordable source of high-quality protein, iron and unsaturated fatty acids, their cholesterol content has always given them a bad reputation. The association of egg consumption and cardiovascular disease risk has been a topic of intense debate over the past decade. However, now egg lovers can rejoice once again.
     
    A massive new meta-analysis suggests that consumption of one egg per day may not increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. The data analysed for this study was collected over a period of three decades and has been published in the scientific journal The BMJ. Researchers, including those from Harvard University in the US, analysed health data of 173,563 women and 90,214 men who were free of cardiovascular heat disease, type-2 diabetes and cancer. 
     
    For the study, researchers used repeated measures of diet and followed it up over a period of 32 years to gain a detailed picture of potentially confounding lifestyle factors such as correlation of high body mass index (BMI) and red meat consumption. In this process, they managed to conduct the largest meta-analysis of this topic, including 28 prospective cohort studies, with up to 1.7 million participants. 
     
    During the follow-up period, there were 14,806 cases of cardiovascular disease, including 9,010 cases of coronary heart disease and 5,903 cases of stroke. Most people ate between one to five eggs per week and those with a higher egg intake had a higher BMI, were less likely to be treated with statins and ate more red meat. After adjusting for age, lifestyle and dietary factors, no association was found between egg intake and risk of cardiovascular disease. 
     
    The results supported the finding that moderate egg consumption is not associated with increased risk of heart disease in Americans and Europeans. However, researchers observed moderate egg consumption was associated with a slightly lower cardiovascular disease risk in Asian populations. This may be due to the fact that eggs are consumed in a variety of dishes in Asian cultures. 
     
    “Recent studies reignited the debated on this controversial topic, but our study provides compelling evidence supporting the lack of an appreciable association between moderate egg consumption and cardiovascular disease,” said lead author Dr Jean-Philippe Drouin-Chartier.
     
    It is also important to note that, while moderate egg consumption can be part of a healthy eating pattern, it is not essential. “There is a range of other foods that can be included in a healthy breakfast, such as whole grain toast, plain yogurt and fruits,” said Dr Shilpa Bhupathiraju, research scientist at the Harvard Chan School Department of Nutrition and associate epidemiologist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.
     
    Readers should be aware that this was an observational study and, as such, cannot establish cause. The study’s authors have also pointed to some limitations, including the fact that the participants of the study were health professionals and, therefore, the findings may not be reflective of the general population. 
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