Apollo Health Blog
Try and make a habit of following Food Safety Tips
Buy Quality food
- Buy fresh food from reliable suppliers with clean premises.
- Always check expiry dates of raw material and processed food.
- Do not buy products in damaged, dented, puffed or leaking cans and tetra packs.
Cleanliness is a must
Follow the below Tips:
- Wash your cutting boards, dishes, utensils and counter tops with soap and hot water before and after cooking. Use separate cutting boards for fruits/vegetables and raw meat, poultry and seafood.
- Do not use cutting boards with cracks or scars.
- Keep the refrigerator clean and dry.
- Clean the lids of canned foods before opening.
- Wash kitchen cloth towels daily with soap and hot water and dry them before using. Damp and dirty towels are breeding grounds for harmful bacteria.
- Clean kitchen, sink drains thoroughly, daily as they could harbor harmful bacteria.
- Do not leave food around as it may attract insects, bacteria or vermin.
- Do not allow pets in the kitchen. Keep kitchen free of insects and pests.
Store food correctly
- Do not leave cooked food at room temperature for more than two hours.
- Always store food in covered containers in the refrigerator or freezer.
- Do not over-stuff the refrigerator or freezer. Good airflow inside the refrigerator is important for effective cooling and keeping food safe.
- Keep the refrigerator temperature at or below 5 °C.
- Separate raw meat, poultry, seafood and eggs from other food in your grocery bags and in your refrigerator.
- Refrigerate or freeze meat, poultry, eggs, seafood and other perishables within 2 hours of cooking or purchasing and in summers, even sooner.
- Separate raw and cooked food.
- Clean and clear the refrigerated regularly to ensure that the stored food is either used or discarded.
Defrost the right way
- Never thaw food at room temperature. Defrost food in the refrigerator, cold water or in the microwave.
- Cook food immediately after thawing.
- Keep meat and seafood in the refrigerator while marinating.
Cook food thoroughly
- Always use safe water and fresh raw material to cook food.
- Cook food thoroughly to kill germs that cause food poisoning.
- If you are not sure about the quality of the drinking water, boil water for at least 5 minutes.
Tips on Food Safety is published by World Health Organisation on the occassion of World Health Day
AMI (commonly known as ‘Heart Attack’), is one of the common medical emergencies a Cardiologist is called to handle. The condition, caused by a sudden blockage of blood flow in the coronary arteries (supplying blood to the heart) can be fatal in nearly 50% cases within the first hour and many lives may be lost by delay in diagnosis and treatment. Though most of the victims suffer from chest pain (usually described as a severe heaviness or pressure across the chest, many may feel no pain (silent attack) or may only have breathlessness or sweating as the first symptom. Immediate shifting of the patient to a hospital and an urgent Electrocardiogram (ECG) is essential to the early diagnosis of AMI. If the patient with AMI can be treated with a thrombolytic (clot-dissolving) drug like Streptokinase or Tenecteplase within the first 6 hours of the chest pain, he can expect a rapid improvement in symptoms as well as survival.
For patients who can reach a cardiology centre with catheterization laboratory within the ‘Window period’, immediate coronary angioplasty (Primary Coronary Angioplasty) and restoring blood flow to the ischaemic myocardium within the first 24 hrs, may yield very satisfying results with early discharge from hospital and rapid return to work.
Dr. Col. Sitaram, MBBS, Md,Dm(CARD), FISE,FICC
Cardiologist, Apollo Health City, Hyderabad.
Book online Appointment with Dr.Col.Sitaram – Click Here
Vitamin D is produced in our bodies when our body is exposed to sun rays.
Facts of Vitamin D
- Vitamin D also helps to decrease the levels of inflammatory chemicals (like TNF-alpha, IL-6) in our body which are implicated in the development of atherosclerosis (thick and stiff arteries due to cholesterol deposition).
- Vitamin D improves bone density and reduces fracture risk in elderly patients.
- Vitamin D helps to regulate our immune system and helps us to fight infections. Hence, you may be prone to develop autoimmune diseases or the control of your autoimmune disease may be better with adequate vitamin D levels like in the case of lupus.
- Vitamin D is needed for adequate absorption of calcium from our diet.
- Vitamin D is not present adequately in our normal diet.
- There is a growing body of evidence which suggests that vitamin D deficiency increases the risk of hypertension, heart attacks, infections, diabetes, overall mortality and certain cancers (colon, breast, prostate).
- Adequate vitamin D levels also can reduce the incidence and mortality (death) from colon, breast and prostate cancer. Vitamin D is anti-proliferative (reduces the growth and division of abnormal cells), promotes cellular maturation and induces apoptosis (programmed cell death) in cancer cells.
Sources of Vitamin D
- Salmon Fish
- Egg Yolks
- Dairy Products like milk, cheese, panner, butter, curd, etc
Deficiency of Vitamin D
- Vitamin D deficiency can cause low bone density and weak bones which can fracture with trivial injury.
- Vitamin D deficiency can lead to muscle pain and proximal muscle weakness (especially thighs).
- Other symptoms of vitamin D deficiency include fatigue, tiredness, muscle aches and cramps and bone pain.
Prevention & Diagnosis of Vitamin D
Prevention of vitamin D deficiency can be by two ways – adequate sun exposure or oral supplementation. A consultation with by a Rheumatologist is needed if you have any of the above symptoms. And with a simple blood test vitamin D deficiency can be ruled out.
Consultant an Rheumatologist to know more here —> click here
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic disease which affects roughly 1% of the population. Women are three times more likely to get it than men. It occurs more commonly in smokers. It can occur at any age even in children or elderly but the peak incidence of RA occurs in patients aged 40-60 years. RA causes pain, swelling and stiffness of multiple joints especially the joints in the hands and feet. The immune system which helps us to fight infections starts attacking our healthy joints in RA. Apart from joints, RA can affect other organs like lungs, heart, kidneys, eyes and nerves. The duration of joint pains before treatment is initiated determines the response of treatment. The earlier the treatment is started, the better the outcome and damage to joints is prevented. Hence early diagnosis is crucial. The diagnosis is made by clinical examination followed by investigations including blood tests like ESR, Rheumatoid factor and Anti-CCP and x-rays.
Various treatment options are now available in the form of tablets and injections. Your rheumatologists will explain the benefits and side effects of these drugs and the expected treatment outcomes. The anchor drug in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis is Methotrexate. Rheumatoid arthritis if diagnosed in the early phase can go into remission by the available drugs. Newer medications called “Biologics” have improved the arthritis control in difficult to treat patients with RA, however they are expensive and should be tried after the first line medications have failed to control symptoms adequately. Most people with rheumatoid arthritis can lead an active life while on treatment. The window of opportunity lies in diagnosing the condition early and starting treatment before joint damage has been established.
A key to successful control of any disease is living an active lifestyle and eating balanced diet. Endeavor to exercise half an hour everyday and eat a good balanced diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables and dairy products. Learn to protect your joints from injury and cope with your pain and limitations. Feel free to ask your Rheumatologists about ways in which you can improve your general and emotional health. Seek help when you feel frustrated or angry due to your condition.
Take home message: If joint pains persist for more than 6 weeks and early morning stiffness lasting for more than 30 minutes is present, consultation with a rheumatologist should be sought to evaluate for underlying Rheumatoid arthritis.
Dr Manish Dugar, Rheumatologist MD, FRACP
Consultant – Apollo Health City
To make an appointment call 60601066 or write us apollohealthcity@
COPD: Early Detection, Improved Function
The epidemic of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary (or lung) Disease (COPD) is like the iceberg that struck the Titanic. We know it’s out there but cannot see the large number of patients who have lungs that are slowly getting injured. Dust, indoor air pollution from smoke due to home cooking and heating fuels, tobacco smoke, hookah, industrial pollution, occupational dusts and chemicals can all cause lung damage. At this time there is no way to reliably increase the amount of lung tissue- so once it is damaged it is lost forever. The bigger problem is that the destruction leaves in its wake severe symptoms- cough, phlegm, breathing difficulty, loss of muscle power, weakness and ultimately can kill the patient. The lung structure is damaged and there is less lung tissue to perform the vital role of supplying oxygen and removing carbon dioxide from the blood.
Since 2002 the Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease has observed World COPD Day with an aim to raise awareness and improve COPD care globally. The theme for 2016 is ‘Breathe in the Knowledge’.
Early diagnosis can be done when the history suggests COPD. Spirometry, which is a measure of lung capacity will help detect and classify the severity of COPD. Typically patients have shortness of breath or dyspnea which worsens with time, is persistent and gets worse with exercise. Some may have a chronic cough which may be intermittent and sometimes produces phlegm and this may be chronic also.
The presence of a ‘post-bronchodilator FEV1/FVC ratio’ below 70% confirms persistent airflow limitation and thus COPD. In simple terms this is an indicator of the air that a person can blow out in one second as a fraction of all the air they can blow out with a maximum effort. Research has shown that if the fraction is below the 70% threshold the patient has COPD- this is because all the air is not coming out as it should and this because of the structural changes in the lung and air tubes from COPD. The spirometry test is done after giving a ‘bronchodilator’ which relaxes the air tubes and allows a good test to be performed.
COPD is classified based on the spirometry data – for example GOLD Grade 2 is moderate disease and the patient has the FEV1 between 50 and 80% of predicted for that person’s demographic criteria. These predictions for what is normal and what is abnormal are based on large population based studies the have been done over the years to create reference normal values for various groups of people.
The patient with COPD may have exacerbations every so often and this is due to worsening of the baseline limitation in lung capacity. The shortness of breath can also be objectively evaluated by various scales.
The management of this disease is multidisciplinary and involves addressing accompanying diseases like diabetes, weak muscles, heart disease, osteoporosis, depression and lung cancer.
The treatment will depend on the severity of the disease and the goal is to reduce symptoms and reduce risk. Specifically this may involve improving exercise tolerance and treating exacerbations. Various medications which relax the air passages are available and these may be short or long acting. Inhaled medications are preferred as they are more efficacious and have less side effects. Some patients need other medications like steroids. Several other newer medications are available now and research progress has been steady.
Tobacco cessation remains a key factor in prevention of the disease and decreasing exacerbations. In addition, attention to nutrition, use of assisted breathing devices like noninvasive ventilators for management of an exacerbation as well as the role of exercise, oxygen therapy and lung rehabilitation are now part of the comprehensive treatment approach.
In summary COPD is a global killer- in fact predicted to be the fourth largest killer by 2030. It is prevalent around the world – even as high as 19% in some countries. Asthma may became COPD over time and there may be some overlap between both diseases. Imaging with chest x-ray or CT scan may be required. Severe cases of COPD even end up needing lung transplantation. In India the burden of COPD is severe and preventive measures dealing with improvement in the quality of air, tobacco cessation and access to treatment are critical issues needing social efforts and partnership.
For further assistance in this regard, consult an experts at Ask Apollo.
The world blood donor day is celebrated on 14th June every year. This event was first started in the year 2004, to increase public awareness about the need for safe blood donation. Blood donors are the key role players as they donate a life-saving gift of blood to a needy patient. At the present time, there is no substitute for blood. This year the theme of world blood donor day is “Blood connects us all ”
Which patients require blood?
According to the World Health Organization, the world over about 234 million major surgical procedures are performed every year, with 63 million people undergoing surgery for traumatic injuries, 31 million people as a part of cancer therapy and another 10 million for pregnancy-related complications. Modern medicine has conquered various diseases like cancer and complex surgical procedures such as liver, pancreatic and heart transplantation are performed with blood transfusions playing a key role to support such programs. Thalassemia children depend on blood for their very survival.
Where does the blood come from?
Blood transfusion is a core service within health care systems and individuals who donate their blood provide a unique contribution to the health and survival of others. Every country faces an ongoing challenge to collect sufficient blood from safe donors to meet national requirements. Blood donation by voluntary non-remunerated blood donors is recognized as being crucial for the safety and sustainability of national blood supplies. In India states like West Bengal and Maharashtra have a good voluntary donor system while other states strive to achieve 100% voluntary blood donations and are still dependant on the replacement donation by the family and friends of patients. Building a sustainable base of safe blood donors requires a long-term approach that requires the establishment of an effective voluntary blood donor program as well as improved public awareness and acceptance of the importance of blood donation
Why should one donate blood?
According to a 2012 World Health Organisation (WHO) report, In India nine million units are collected annually, while the need is for 12 million units having a deficit of 3 million units. In order to make up this deficit, there must be a good voluntary donor movement and every healthy individual must take it upon himself/herself to donate blood, in fact with a population touching one billion in our country, there should never be a dearth of blood donors
Basic facts on blood donation
A healthy person between the age of 18-65 can donate blood. The individual fills up a health questionnaire, undergoes a basic medical examination and if found fit, is allowed to donate blood either 350ml or 450 ml of blood. The blood thus donated is screened for blood-borne infectious agents such as HIV, HBV, HCV, syphilis and malaria and if found to be free of these pathogens, the unit can be transfused to a patient.
Blood is separated into blood components like packed cells, fresh frozen plasma, platelets etc.
Essentially from one single donation three components are prepared and thus it is said one blood donor saves three precious lives!
To know more visit. https://hyderabad.apollohospitals.com/
Dengue cases are on the rise again. While it is natural to feel panicked, you can minimise your chances of contracting dengue by educating yourself on preventive measures. Knowing how to recognise the signs and symptoms of the disease and knowledge of the right disease management and treatment approaches are other requisites for being well-armed in your battle against dengue.
Cause of dengue
Dengue is caused by the dengue virus. The dengue virus spreads through the bite of an infected female mosquito of the Aedes aegypti species, and to a lesser degree, from the bite of a female mosquito from the Aedes albopictus species. The mosquito can transmit dengue to other humans after 8-10 days of biting a dengue-infected person. Dengue is not transmitted from person-to-person.
The Aedes genus of mosquitoes is distinctive owing to black and white markings on their body and legs. They are active and bite during daytime. The peak biting periods are early in the morning and in the evening, just before dusk. The most common biting spots are just below the elbow and below the knee.
Dengue symptoms can be seen 4-6 days after being bitten by an infected mosquito. The patient gets sudden, high-grade fever as well as some or all of the following symptoms:
- Severe muscle and joint pain
- Pain behind the eyes
- Loss of appetite
- Nausea and vomiting
- A red rash starting on the chest, back or stomach and spreading to the limbs and face
Sometimes, a patient contracts a more severe form of dengue, known as Dengue Haemorrhagic Fever (DHF). The patient may display signs and symptoms of severe dengue 3-7 days after the onset of the typical dengue symptoms. The symptoms of DHF include a drop in temperature below 38°C/100.4°F. Other symptoms may include easy bruising, abdominal pain, frequent vomiting, respiratory distress, black stools and bleeding from body orifices (nose, mouth and ears).
Dengue Shock Syndrome (DSS) is a severe complication of dengue characterised by abnormally low blood pressure, rapid weak pulse and bleeding under the skin.
If you experience any of the symptoms of dengue, DHF or DSS, you must visit a doctor immediately. The doctor would prescribe requisite diagnostic tests and symptomatic treatment.
Dengue fever is an illness that resolves spontaneously, with or without specific treatment, with a very low mortality rate. The mortality rate of dengue haemorrhagic fever, on the other hand, is 2-5% with treatment and as high as 50% without treatment.
As dengue is a viral illness, there exist no medicines or antibiotics to cure it. Symptomatic treatment is administered to provide relief from dengue symptoms. Paracetamol, tepid sponging and fanning can be used to bring fever down. Aspirin and Ibuprofen must be avoided as they can increase the risk of bleeding.
To avoid dehydration, plenty of fluids such as water, juice, soup and milk must be consumed. Intravenous fluid resuscitation may be required in patients who are unable to tolerate oral fluids and are vomiting frequently. IV fluid replacement is also required in patients who continue to have a high haematocrit level despite consuming fluids.
Patients with DHF and DSS may require fresh frozen plasma and platelet transfusion. According to the Indian Medical Association, “Death in patients with dengue fever is due to dehydration and organ failure and not due to fall in platelet counts. The rising haematocrit can be treated by any fluid replacement. Fall in platelets is self-limiting and requires no replacement unless associated with active bleeding.” The IMA also says, “Giving platelet transfusions or increasing platelets counts without taking care of dehydration will cause no good.”
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Mosquito control is the primary aspect of controlling the spread of this disease. The Aedes mosquitoes lay their eggs in stagnant, preferably clean water. They can fly up to 400m to find stagnant water. One must avoid water stagnation by cleaning out coolers, vases and other containers and objects in which water might collect. The Aedes mosquitoes’ favourite sites for laying eggs also include used tires and plastic containers.
Remember, a mosquito does not need a lot of water to lay eggs. Even stagnant water in a small plastic bottle cap may be enough!
Public health mosquito control programs target killing adult mosquitoes by spraying insecticides.
Dengue Care Plan
Although following the right preventive measures tends to minimise your chances of contracting dengue, it is wise to be prepared for an alternate scenario. There are certain factors that amplify the risk of contracting dengue. One of these is that dengue is mostly present in urban and semi-urban areas, implying that it is not a disease sustained by lack of hygiene. Also, the Aedes mosquitoes bite during daytime. Most of us use mosquito repellents and nets liberally at night but are too occupied to take caution during the day.
Dengue treatment can be costly. The dengue test alone, although capped by state authorities at Rs.600 in certain states, continues to cost between 1,200- Rs.2,500 at many private laboratories. Consultation fees and pharmaceutical expenses can add several thousands to the outpatient treatment cost.
In case of hospitalisation, drugs, platelet procurement & transfusion, room rent and other hospitalisation costs can together amount to Rs. 40,000 to Rs. 1 lakh or more in a private hospital. In such a case, having an exclusive health insurance cover for dengue can help cover the unexpected costs.
Apollo Munich Health Insurance, a health insurance venture between Apollo Hospitals and Munich Health, launched a first of its kind exclusive dengue health insurance plan called Dengue Care in July, 2015.
Dengue Care offers two sum insured options of Rs.50,000 and Rs.1 lakh at affordable premiums of Rs. 444 and Rs. 578 respectively. Dengue Care Plan does not only cover hospitalisation costs but outpatient treatment up to Rs.10,000 as well. As not all dengue patients need hospitalisation, we deemed it practical to include this outpatient treatment benefit in our plan.
Get Dengue Care for yourself and your family and secure yourself from the rising treatment costs of dengue.
Be vigilant and safe. Here’s wishing you a dengue-free life!
To know more visit. https://hyderabad.apollohospitals.com/
Smokers are at higher risk for Rheumatoid Arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic disease which affects roughly 1% of the population. Women are three times more likely to get it than men. It occurs more commonly in smokers. It can occur at any age even in children or elderly but the peak incidence of RA occurs in patients aged 40-60 years. If there is a family history of arthritis in first or second degree female relatives like daughter, sister, etc the risk of developing RA or arthritis is increased. RA causes pain, swelling and early morning stiffness of multiple joints especially the joints in the hands and feet. The immune system which helps us to fight infections starts attacking our healthy joints in RA. Apart from joints, RA can affect other organs like lungs, heart, kidneys, eyes and nerves. The duration of joint pains before treatment is initiated determines the response of treatment. The earlier the treatment is started, the better the outcome and damage to joints is prevented. Hence early diagnosis is crucial. The diagnosis is made by clinical examination followed by investigations including blood tests like ESR, Rheumatoid factor and Anti-CCP and x-rays.
Various treatment options are now available in the form of tablets and injections. Your rheumatologist will explain the benefits and side effects of these drugs and the expected treatment outcomes. The anchor drug in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis is Methotrexate. RA if diagnosed in the early phase can go into remission by the available drugs. Newer medications called “Biologics” have improved the arthritis control in difficult to treat patients with RA, however they are expensive and should be tried after the first line medications have failed to control symptoms adequately. In special circumstances Biologics can be initiated as first line therapy for RA on the discretion of your Rheumatologist. Most people with rheumatoid arthritis can lead an active life while on treatment. The window of opportunity lies in diagnosing the condition early and starting treatment before joint damage has been established.
A key to successful control of any disease is living an active lifestyle and eating balanced diet. Endeavor to exercise half an hour every day and eat a good balanced high fiber rich diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables and dairy products. Learn to protect your joints from injury and cope with your pain and limitations. Feel free to ask your Rheumatologists about ways in which you can improve your general and emotional health.
Take home message: If joint pains persist for more than 6 weeks and early morning stiffness lasting for more than 30 minutes is present, consultation with a rheumatologist should be sought to evaluate for underlying Rheumatoid arthritis.
Dr Manish Dugar,
MBBS; MD (Medicine, CMC Vellore), FRACP (Rheumatology, Australia),
Here are 10 tips that would help you tide through this monsoon:
1. Keep yourself hydrated
You might wonder why you need to drink more water during monsoon. Here is the answer – In monsoon, sweat does not evaporate quickly as the humidity levels are high and this prevents the body from releasing heat. Therefore, keeping a bottle of water handy is always advisable. Avoid carbonated drinks as they reduce mineral levels which stop the enzymes from functioning efficiently resulting in indigestion. Instead drink warm beverages such as ginger tea. Always drink boiled and cooled water.
2. Have a balanced diet
As digestion during monsoon is slow, eat moderately and only when hungry. Eating when you are not hungry can lead to indigestion and sometimes to jaundice.
Vegetables such as bitter gourd, bitter herbs like neem and haldi (turmeric) are rich in antioxidants and the medicinal properties in them can help in preventing infections.
Make it a point to have fruits like cherries, bananas, apples, pomegranates, plums, litchis, pears and vegetables like carrots, radish and fenugreek a part of your regular diet. Spices such as pepper, asafoetida (hing), turmeric and coriander improve immunity and at the same time help in digestion.
3. Eat clean, fresh food
Make sure that you wash all your fruits and vegetables before consuming them, especially leafy vegetables. Steam the leafy vegetables and your cauliflower in order to kill the germs. Contaminated food might lead to illnesses such as jaundice.
Eating freshly cooked food is recommended. Soups and stews are helpful, as they are light and nutritious, but filling. Try and eat cooked food instead of uncooked vegetables and salads, unless they are organic.
4. Keep monsoon ailments at bay
Chasing away the mosquitoes during the monsoon is very important to keep malaria at bay. Stagnant water is a breeding place for mosquitoes.
Draining out those flower vases and coolers which are not in use is the first step in controlling mosquitoes from breeding. Next, use mosquito nets, repellents and creams available in the market to protect yourself from mosquito bites. You can also use camphor or cloves from you kitchen counter to keep away insects such as flies and termites during monsoon.
5. Eating out is a strict NO!
Eating out, especially street food should be avoided. Snacks like chaat, sandwiches, fried items, golas, juices and kulfis are very tempting during monsoon. However, they may contain bacteria which cause indigestion. Cut fruits sold on the road side are the main cause for food poisoning and should be avoided.
6. Avoid puddles
Avoid getting your feet wet. In case you do end up walking into one of those puddles, immediately clean and dry them with a soft, dry towel. Dampness can lead to fungal infections and athlete’s foot. These infections might affect your toes and nailsand if you are diabetic, you will have to take special care of your feet. Keep your shoes, socks and raincoats clean and dry at all times.
Using the fumes of dry neem leaves to dry your clothes is said to be helpful.
7. Exercise and rest during monsoon
The drizzles and showers during mornings and evenings might hamper your exercise routine. However, that can be taken care of by exercising at home. You can do a few simple stretch exercises, sit-ups, waist and knee bends in your drawing room to flex your muscles. Yoga is another method of exercise which can be performed indoors and it is known to help reduce respiratory problems during monsoon.
And if you are not in the mood for exercises, take up the cleaning of cupboards, shelves and your kitchen which you have been postponing. However, avoid excess physical exertion. Also, avoid sleeping during day time.
8. Care for kids and elderly
Children love the rain and infections love children. Kids take maximum advantage of the evening showers on the way back from school. Hence, a hot water bath with a good dash of antiseptic is recommended. Avoid junk food which could lead to infections and repeated visits to the doctor. Homemade soups and stews will give them the required nutrition.
The other class of people who require special attention during monsoon are the elderly. Avoiding walks in the parks immediately after a downpour or in places where rainwater forms puddles is advisable. This might lead to falls on slippery areas leading to serious injuries. Also, try and stock medicines for at least a fortnight, just in case you cannot step out of the house due to rain.
9. Eye care during monsoon
Some of the common eye problems during monsoon are conjunctivitis, dry eyes, corneal ulcers. Here are a few precautions with which you can avoid these infections from troubling you:
- Wash your hands after you touch your face or eyes.
- Do not share your eye medicines, contact lens solutions/containers, towels and handkerchiefs with others
- Avoid eye makeup when you have an infection
- Use an antibacterial lotion
- Try not to use your contact lenses when you have an infection
10.Clothes and footwear
Loose, cotton clothes are the best duringmonsoon. It is advisable to avoid jeans as they do not dry quickly. Also, use talcum/prickly heat power in areas which are more prone to fungal infections. Do not wear wet shoes as this might lead to more infections. Invest in another pair of shoes, so that you have an alternate pair handy. Avoid walking bare footed.
World Hepatitis Day – July 28th
This year WHO has taken a significant step to eliminate Hepatitis by 2030- “NOHep Campaign 2030”.
What is Hepatitis?
Hepatitis is the liver infection and inflammation (swelling) caused commonly by various viruses, Hepatitis A, B, C, D, E. A and E type are short term infection and known as acute infection however B, C and D type are long-term infection and called as chronic hepatitis. Second one may lead to some life threatening complications including cirrhosis means liver scarring, liver cancer, liver failure requiring liver transplant.
Why is it important?
More than 400 million population are infected with these deadly viruses and off them 95% are not aware of this. Every year a new 10 million people are infected with this virus which is massively increasing the burden of the disease. In fact this virus is 4 times more common than the HIV virus. Because this virus does not cause any symptoms like pain, only 1% of the infected patients seek for treatment. By the time patient gets symptoms like jaundice, swelling of tummy, blood vomiting, it is too late and the permanent damage has already happened. The only permanent treatment then would be transplant. Hence it is important that we test for this virus and treat it.
How is this virus transmitted?
Hepatitis A and E viruses are transmitted through contaminated food and water. Generally they cause harmless, self limiting infections but very rarely they cause acute liver failure. Hepatitis B, C and D are transmitted through blood or body fluid contact like through sharing needles, razors, brushes, equipment injecting cosmetic substances, blood transfusions, dialysis and also commonly sexually transmission. Mother to baby transmission particularly in Hepatitis B is well known hence it is important that pregnant women should be tested and treated for this virus and also the baby should be vaccinated. Vaccines are available for both type hepatitis A and B.
Are treatments available for Hepatitis?
Yes there are. For Hepatitis A &E, general supportive measures, no specific treatment needed. For Hepatitis B &C, there are new drugs which are available now and have excellent cure rates.
World Hepatitis Day- NOHep
We are at a turning point for viral hepatitis. We have the tools; we have the commitment; what we need now is action. The movement, called “NOhep”, aims to unite people working in the field of hepatitis and others throughout the world around one common purpose: the elimination of viral hepatitis. This strategy has been fully endorsed by WHO’s 194 Member States, who signed on to the goal of eliminating hepatitis B and hepatitis C as public health threats by 2030.
We at Apollo hospitals have recently conducted a mass Hepatitis campaign at 29 districts on the 19th June 2016. At some districts the incidence of virus was almost 10%. These patients are getting actively treated as part of our initiative. We also have dedicated liver specialised clinics and also active liver transplant program.
Dr Naveen Polavarapu
MBBS, MRCP(Edin), MRCP (London), FRCP(Gastro), CCST(Gastro)
Consultant Medical Gastroenterology & Transplant Hepatology, Apollo Hospital, Jubilee Hills Hyderabad