[Vol 2] Medi-Scene: Your Weekly Health News Update

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Medi Scene

1. Coronavirus at High Global Risk: WHO

The World Health Organisation on 27th January (Monday) acknowledged an error in its evaluation of the global risk of a deadly virus in China, saying it was “high” and not “moderate”. The Geneva-based WHO had, in a situation report issued that the risk was “very high in China, high at the regional level and high at the global level.” Fadela Chaib, WHO spokeswoman said that there had been “an error in the wording.” WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, on Thursday said: “This is an emergency in China, but it has not yet become a global health emergency.” WHO is taking cautious steps when it comes to informing about diseases that could be deadly to avoid criticism they faced during 2009 H1N1 swine flu pandemic for sparking panic-buying of vaccines with its announcement that year, which later turned out that the virus was not nearly as dangerous as first thought.Even during Ebola epidemic in 2014, WHO was faced with harsh criticism for downplaying the acuteness of the virus that claimed more than 11,300 lives by the time it ended in 2016. To summarize it, the WHO described that it had expressed “incorrectly” in its previous reports on Thursday, Friday and Saturday that the global risk was “moderate”.

2. Pediatric Dentistry can Pre-diagnose Signs or Diseases at Early Stages

Many research shows that oral health is directly linked to heart health, stroke, uncontrolled diabetes and many more. Paediatric dentistry is the future of not just dentistry but health in general. It is said that it could help in identifying around 120 health problems. Dr Srivats Bharadwaj, founder, CEO & Chairman at Vatsalya Dental, strongly feels that in the past 30-35 years, pediatric dentistry has seen a rise. Paediatric dentistry is an intriguing branch, which focuses mainly on prevention and preventive aspects. It not just identification of the medical conditions by signs and symptoms orally, but also poor oral health leads to poor general health. Paediatric dentistry, if practiced well, can seize the signs or diseases at an early stage and hence stopping not just oral health issues but also prevent general health issues. India accounts for almost 30% – 40% of the young population. The effect that paediatric dentistry can have is huge. 

3. Significant Revolution in the Treatment of Congenital Heart Disease 

Dr Anil Kumar Singhi, Senior Consultant Interventional Cardiologist, Medica Superspecialty Hospital, Kolkata says, “In the last two decades, there has been a significant revolution in the diagnosis and the treatment of Congenital Heart Disease. The new ways include fetal cardiology, like diagnosing in the mother’s womb.” Early detection  of congenital heart diseases has seen a significant rise not only in its awareness but also its treatment. When it comes to latests advancements, Dr Anil quoted, “Heart disease can be treated not only by surgeries but also by less invasive ways. The disease can be tackled by transit catheter therapy by devices putting stents inside the infant’s heart and that is very cost-effective.”

4. India Gets Next-gen Cancer Therapy 

So far, everyone is aware of the chemotherapy used for treatment of cancer. Tomotherapy, the next-gen therapy comes as a boon since it has a higher degree of precision, speed and accuracy. On Friday, Indraprastha Apollo Hospital introduced one of the most advanced version of TomoTherapy Radixact X9. It is considered one of the smartest radiation therapy to treat complicated cancer tumours. The Managing Director of Apollo Hospitals Group, Suneeta Reddy said,”The launch of the most advanced version of the Tomotherapy technology is truly a remarkable development in the field of Radiation Oncology. This will be a revolutionary step in the treatment of cancer. With this system we can deliver both fractionated radiotherapy as well as SBRT and Radiosurgery.” Tomotherapy is successful in treating cancer, regardless of the stage, mostly multiple metastasis. The best results are for treatment of bilateral breast cancer, paediatric oncology & other forms of cancer.

5. Your Waist Size can Reveal a Lot about Your Health

A new research has found that survivors of heart attack who put on weight around their waist are at a higher risk of getting another heart attack. This is one of the reasons why measuring waist size is more important than stepping on a weighing scale. “Abdominal obesity not only increases your risk for a first heart attack or stroke, but also the risk for recurrent events after the first misfortune,” said Dr. Hanieh Mohammadi of the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, in a news release. Even if you are taking regular medicines and are living a healthy lifestyle, it is very important to keep your waist size in check. The healthy waist size for men is 90 cm (35.43 inches) and for women is 80 cm (31.4 inches). Maintaining this waist size also keeps the blood sugar levels in check for a person who is already diagnosed with diabetes. The fat that is deposited around the belly can easily be turned into cholesterol that can start collecting along for hardening your arteries, perhaps ultimately leading to a heart attack or stroke.

6. Sleep Apnea Troubling You? Check Fat in Your Tongue

Most of you might think that how can my tongue probably affect my sleep. Well, the tongue and several other tissues of mouth cavity can affect sleep by obstructing airways, resulting in disturbed sleep apnea. A sleep disorder, OSA (Obstructive sleep apnea) causes not just snoring, but also repeatedly interrupts breathing which stops and restarts. Researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at University of Pennsylvania recently found that improvements in sleep apnea symptoms appear to be linked to reduction of fat in one unexpected body part, the tongue.

7. First Treatment of Thyroid Eye Disease Approved by FDA

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently approved a drug called Tepezza (teprotumumab-trbw) for treatment of thyroid eye disease in adults. It’s a rare disease where fatty tissues and muscles behind the eye are inflamed, causing the eyes to be pushed forward and protrude outwards (proptosis). Wiley Chambers, M.D., deputy director of the Division of Transplant and Ophthalmology Products in the FDA’s Center quoted, “Today’s approval marks an important milestone for the treatment of thyroid eye disease. Currently, there are very limited treatment options for this potentially debilitating disease. This treatment has the potential to alter the course of the disease, potentially sparing patients from needing multiple invasive surgeries by providing an alternative, non surgical treatment option.” 

8. Is Your City Healthy? New Survey Reveals

As per the new GOQii India Fit Report for the year 2020, it was found that Chandigarh was the healthiest city in India whereas Kolkata was low on the list. This was a year-long study that was conducted on 5 million people across India to get an overview of lifestyle and health. The overall study also found that only 38% of Indians are healthy. Maximum lifestyle diseases like diabetes, thyroid, cholesterol and high blood pressure were found in Kolkata (18%) followed by Surat and Bhopal. Mumbai was in the 15th position when it came to overall health of people. Pune recorded the least amount of people suffering from allergies while Chennai ranked the worst in BMI (Body Mass Index). Bhopal recorded the highest percentage of people consuming alcohol. Vishal Gondal, founder and CEO, GOQii, said “The GOQii India Fit report is an important marker for India’s fitness. Our study indicates that people who report being happy and satisfied with their lives are more likely to enjoy longer life span with good health and fewer long-term limiting health concerns. Bonding with family and friends appears to enhance health, and even increase longevity.” 

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