Hope for India as world's first anti-dengue vaccine approved
At a time when India is struggling with rising number of dengue cases with each passing year, the Mexican government has approved the world's first anti-dengue vaccine which is designed to protect people in the 9-45 age group from nine to 45 years from all four subtypes of the virus.
 
Called Dengvaxia, the vaccine has been developed by France-based Sanofi Pasteur and is the result of an extensive clinical development programme running for almost two decades.
 
Today, with this first marketing authorisation of Dengvaxia, we have achieved our goal of making dengue the next vaccine-preventable disease, said Olivier Brandicourt, Sanofi's managing director and chief executive officer, in a statement on Wednesday.
 
This is a historic milestone for our company, for the global public health community and, most importantly, for half the world's population who lives at risk of dengue," he added.
 
While dengue affects nearly 400 million people in endemic areas, mostly in tropical and subtropical countries in Latin America and Asia, India saw one of the worst outbreak of the deadly disease this year with 32 deaths recorded in New Delhi alone till October.
 
With the total number of dengue cases in the capital reaching over 12,000 in October, Delhi recorded the highest number of patients of the viral disease in 19 years, according to health authorities.
 
Even as Dengvaxia has become the first vaccine to be licensed in the world for the prevention of dengue, the dengue toll in West Bengal has touched 12 with the last death reported on November 5, according to state health officials.
 
The disease is prevalent throughout India in most of the metropolitan cities and towns. 
 
According to the National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme, there were more than 90,000 dengue cases reported in the country till November this year and more than 180 people died of the disease. Outbreaks have also been reported from rural areas of Haryana, Maharashtra and Karnataka.
 
The WHO has called on endemic countries to reduce dengue mortality by 50 percent and morbidity by 25 percent by 2020.
 
Dengvaxia is, therefore, seen "as major innovation and a public health breakthrough".
 
According to a statement issued by the Mexico's health ministry, the new vaccine is 60.5 percent effective against dengue and 93.2 percent effective against severe dengue treatment.
 
The approval of Dengvaxia by Mexico's 's Federal Commission for the Protection against Sanitary Risks (COFEPRIS) is based on results from an extensive clinical development programme involving over 40,000 people of different ages, geographic and epidemiological settings and ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds living in 15 countries.
 
Dengue-endemic regions of Mexico participated in all three phases of the clinical development programmes for the vaccine.
 
This vaccine can prevent more than 8,000 hospitalisations, 104 deaths annually, and save 1.1 billion pesos ($64 million) each year in reduced costs tied to medical attention, the ministry statement added.
 
In Mexico, a total of 32,100 cases were registered last year, including 8,668 cases of severe dengue, which cost the country over 3.2 billion pesos ($187 million).
 
In India, too, a new inexpensive dengue vaccine has been developed by scientists at New Delhi-based International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB), which is in animal trial stage. But human trials can start only after its efficacy has been proved.
 
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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    Shun Facebook to kill loneliness before it eliminates you
    If you think that no other age group is more vulnerable to loneliness than the elderly, go check your backyard. The mammoth rise of the internet and emergence of various social media platforms have left many young Indians - some as young as 14 - socially isolated, lonely and, eventually, in the grip of chronic depression that can take their lives.
     
    Not just leading to suicidal tendencies, the feeling of being lonely can make you sick, very sick if not addressed clinically and socially well in time.
     
    According to Dr. Samir Parikh, director, (mental health and behavioural sciences) at Fortis Healthcare in the capital, loneliness can be a trigger to self-suicidal ideation in young people. It can also affect their overall well-being.
     
    "Loneliness can affect you physically and psychologically - draining people and leaving a huge vacuum in their life, thus putting them at suicide risk," Parikh told IANS.
     
    Although in some cases, forming communities and groups on social media can be helpful but the social media can never be a substitute for the real human experience, he added.
     
    "Total social isolation in young people can lead to depression, increases chances of Alzheimer's later in life and chances of death by suicide or increased physical ailments," Dr. Madhuri Singh, a leading psychiatrist from Nanavati Super Specialty Hospital in Mumbai, said.
     
    In the virtual world, such lonely souls will, in fact, drift further away from the real interaction which is a must for the healthy functioning of mind and body, she added.
     
    The rise in internet and smartphone addiction among children is fast becoming a worrying trend for Indian parents.
     
    "I recently came across 14-year-old Tanay who was admitted to the psychiatric ward at the hospital as he could not switch off his mobile and was addicted to the social media. He was treated for screen de-addiction or else he could have suffered a serious mental disorder," Dr. Sandeep Govil, consultant (mental health and behavioural sciences) at Saroj Super Speciality Hospital in New Delhi, noted.
     
    According to a global research, loneliness leads to fight-or-flight stress that can ultimately affect the production of white blood cells.
     
    Essentially, lonely people had a less effective immune response and more inflammation than non-lonely people, a team from the University of Chicago and the University of California-Los Angeles found.
     
    "The 'danger signals' activated in the brain by loneliness ultimately affect the production of white blood cells. The resulting shift may both propagate loneliness and contribute to its associated health risks," the researchers noted in a paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
     
    According to Dr. Sameer Malhotra, director (mental health and behavioural sciences) at Max Super Specialty Hospital, loneliness can add to distress, can be associated with self neglect and can trigger a host of psychosomatic problems.
     
    "Mind and body are closely intertwined through an array of neurochemicals, hormones and immune system. Stress associated with loneliness can lead to a host of physical problems. Unhealthy diet can also trigger physical problems," Malhotra told IANS.
     
    If not tackled, loneliness can kill. "Loneliness can damage your mental and physical health condition. Medical research has proven the fact of association between poor mental condition and the rate of suicides. A disturbed mental condition increases the risk of suicide in such patients," Dr. Govil stressed.
     
    Recently, a 20-year-old student, Nitin, came to Dr. Malhotra. He was feeling lonely and homesick and had symptoms of depression and anxiety. Being on the social media did not help but actually aggravated his condition.
     
    "He was not eating properly and had lost five kg weight in a span of a month. Complaining of frequent crying spells, anxiety episodes, disturbed sleep and decreased concentration, he had started questioning the very purpose of life," Dr. Malhotra recalled.
     
    He was assessed in detail and the family was involved in the treatment process. Bonding with the family - alongside medication support - helped him get out of the state of loneliness within a month.
     
    According to Dr. Malhotra, limit your time with smartphones and other gadgets as the vibes shared via direct personal communication have their own merit.
     
    Transitionally, being on Facebook may make a difference to your wellbeing.
     
    "But the virtual world is also a replica of the world around us. As a result, people at times feel more distressed in the virtual world as they are less in tune with the reality. Thus, we run the same risk of getting hurt or distressed in the virtual world as in the real life," Dr. Govil emphasised.
     
    Loneliness takes a toll on your physical health as well where you tend to survive on unhealthy diets. Stress can culminate in the form of binge eating which is dangerous as you tend to eat unhealthy food. It can also lead to a condition of hypertension and lethargy.
     
    People who live alone have a lower diversity of food intake and consumption of core food groups like fruits, vegetables and fish.
     
    For example, a lack of motivation and enjoyment in cooking and/or eating alone often leads to people preparing simple or ready-made meals lacking key nutrients.
     
    The remedy is simple: invest in relationships and stay out of the virtual world as much as possible.
     
    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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    COMMENTS

    Mahesh S Bhatt

    4 years ago

    Generation brought on 24*7 TV/Internet/Social media is exposed to approx 75000 rapes/130000 murders/240000 frauds & cheating ways/heart breaks.

    So what shall we have.

    Virtual pleasures real pains no losses no Gains

    Modi sole non-Bollywood celebrity in Twitter Top 10 popularity chart
    Prime Minister Narendra Modi is the sole non-Bollywood celebrity who has made the cut to the top 10 slots of most-followed Indians on Twitter in 2015, otherwise led by legendary actor Amitabh Bachchan, the micro-blogging site said on Monday.
     
    Bachchan with 18.1 million followers till Dec 4, 2015 was followed the most, while Shah Rukh Khan was next with 16.5 million. Narendra Modi was ranked a close third with 16.4 million, while the 10th position was held by A.R. Rahman -- 9.5 million.
     
    The other actors in the list include Aamir Khan, Salman Khan, Deepika Padukone, Hrithik Roshan, Priyanka Chopra and Akshay Kumar, in that order.
     
    Twitter also pointed out some interesting new accounts that were opened in 2015: The Taj Mahal, former cricketer Kapil Dev, Tamil actor Suriya, and even the Delhi Police Commissioner and Safe City India.
     
    The social media facilitator said while each Tweet was unique, only one could be termed as 2015 “Golden Tweet” in terms of the same being re-posted many times -- a selfie by Shah Rukh Khan with British boyband One Direction's former member, Zayn Malik at the Asian Awards in London in April.
     
    It took Twitter by storm with over 141,000 retweets and viewed nearly 18.3 million times globally as fans were thrilled to see the two together in this rare selfie.
     
    Popular Twitter hashtag trends in India saw a mix of sports, entertainment, political and social activism movements. Led by IPL, it was followed by SelfieWithDaughter, BiharResults, SaalEkShuruaatAnek (Modi's e-governance and digital diplomacy initiative) and DDLJ20Years (20 years of the movie "Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge").
     
    The most influential moments were the Cricket World Cup #INDvsPAK, DelhiElections, HappyDiwali, ChennaiRains and Independence Day. The year also saw many firsts from users, partners and brands -- experimenting, innovating and campaigning on the platform.
     
    In November, the "Make in India" -- one of the largest economic development initiatives of the Indian government - became the first non-US brand to get its own Twitter emoji for a worldwide audience. 
     
    Given the millions of cricket fans in India, Twitter also created a special cricket timeline for the World Cup and Indian Premier League as a platform for tweets, commentary, expert analysis, photos and videos from the sidelines of the world’s biggest cricketing events.
     
    From the corporate world, JetInstant was a first of its kind Twitter-based innovation that was introduced to help passengers check the lowest fares or view flight status with just a single Tweet.
     
    Also introduced was SmartCare -- a Twitter-based customer service allowing 120 million Reliance Communications users to access and manage their mobile phone accounts using #SmartCare, with options to pay bills, recharge, view and buy best deals, track usage and check the balance.
     
    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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