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Dr K K Aggarwal

Common Cold

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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  1. Common cold is a benign self–limiting syndrome caused by several viruses.
  2. It is one of the most frequent acute illnesses.
  3. The term ‘common cold’ refers to a mild upper respiratory viral illness presenting with sneezing, nasal congestion, nasal discharge, low grade fever, headache and malaise.
  4. Common cold is not the same as influenza or common sore throat, which can also involve the heart.
  5. Common cold affects a pre–school child 5–7 times in a year and adult 2–3 times in a year.
  6. It can spread by direct contact with the infected person or by indirect contact with a contaminated environmental surface.
  7. It can also spread by small particle droplets that become airborne from sneezing or coughing.
  8. It can also be transmitted via large particle droplets that typically require close contact with infected person.
  9. Most important is hand to hand transmission of the virus.
  10. Infection can also spread through circulating air in commercial airline passenger cabins.
  11. Saliva does not spread any cold.
  12. The disease is most infectious on the 2nd and 3rd day of illness.
  13. However, a person may be infectious for up to two weeks.
  14. Normal cold may last for 8–10 days.
  15. The diagnosis is based on clinical findings.
  16. Common cold can exacerbate asthma in susceptible individuals.

Typhoid fever

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Typhoid fever is caused by a bacteria Salmonella typhi and is transmitted through the ingestion of food or drink contaminated by the feces or urine of infected people.

Flying insects feeding on feces may occasionally transfer the bacteria through poor hygiene habits and public sanitation conditions. Though the cases occur all through the year, the number is higher during the summer and rainy seasons.

Symptoms usually develop 1 to 3 weeks after exposure, and may be mild or severe. They include high fever, malaise, headache, constipation or diarrhea and enlarged spleen and liver. A healthy carrier state may follow acute illness.

Typhoid fever can be treated with antibiotics. However, resistance to common antimicrobials is widespread. Healthy carriers should be excluded from handling food.

Sanitation and hygiene are the critical measures that can be taken to prevent typhoid.

  1. Typhoid does not affect animals and therefore transmission occurs only from human to human.
  2. Typhoid can only spread in environments where human feces or urine are able to come into contact with food or drinking water.
  3. Careful food preparation and washing of hands are crucial to preventing typhoid.
  4. Typhoid fever in most cases is not fatal.
  5. Prompt treatment of the disease with antibiotics reduces the case-fatality rate to approximately 1%.
  6. When untreated, typhoid fever may persist for three weeks to a month.
  7. Resistance to common antibiotics is now common.
  8. Typhoid that is resistant to common antibiotics is known as multidrug-resistant typhoid (MDR typhoid).
  9. Ciprofloxacin resistance is an increasing problem, especially in the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia.
  10. Typhoid vaccine taken every three years is the best preventive approach.

Avoid food poisoning by thorough washing and proper cooking

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Thorough washing and proper cooking of fruits and vegetables can eliminate most bacteria that cause food poisoning.

Food borne illnesses or food poisoning usually occurs due to eating food that is contaminated withbacteria or their toxins.

Virus and parasites can also be cause food poisoning.

People have known for long that raw meat, poultry and eggs can also harbor diseases causing microbes.

But in recent years most outbreaks of food borne illnesses have been due to fresh fruits and vegetables.

Food poisoning can cause abdominal pain, nausea, headache, fatigue, vomiting, diarrhea and dehydration.

Symptoms may appear several hours to several days after eating tainted food.

For example, Salmonella bacteria will cause illness 12 hours to 3 days after ingestion lasting about 4-7 days.

The most common way to treat food poisoning is to drink plenty of fluids.

The sickness usually subsides within a few days.

Is Caffeine Good For The Health?

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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  1. Caffeine is the most consumed stimulant in the world,
  2. It is consumed in the form of coffee and tea.
  3. At present there is no scientific data for promoting or discouraging coffee and/or tea consumption in the daily diet.
  4. Short term benefits include mental alertness and improved athletic performance.
  5. Short term adverse effects including headache, anxiety, tremors, and insomnia.
  6. Long term adverse affects include generalized anxiety disorder and substance abuse disorders.
  7. Long–term benefits are dose–dependent. Caffeine is associated with a reduced risk of Parkinson disease, Alzheimer disease, alcoholic cirrhosis, and gout. Both caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee are also associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes.
  8. Heavy coffee intake may trigger coronary and arrhythmic events in susceptible individuals, although coffee intake is not considered a long–term risk factor for myocardial disease.
  9. Most studies show a modest inverse relationship between coffee consumption and all–cause mortality.
  10. Caffeine withdrawal is a well–documented clinical syndrome with headache being the most common symptom. (Source: Uptodate)

Poor hygiene habits may lead to typhoid

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Typhoid fever is caused by a bacterium called Salmonella typhi, which is transmitted via ingestion of food or drink that has been contaminated by the feces or urine of infected people. Flying insects feeding on feces may occasionally transfer the bacteria through poor hygiene habits and public sanitation conditions.

Though the cases occur round the year, more cases are seen during the summer and rainy seasons.

Symptoms usually develop 1–3 weeks after exposure, and may be mild or severe. They include high fever, malaise, headache, constipation or diarrhea and enlarged spleen and liver. A healthy carrier state may follow acute illness.

It can be treated with antibiotics. However, resistance to common antimicrobials is widespread. Healthy carriers should be excluded from handling food.

Sanitation and hygiene are the critical measures that can be taken to prevent typhoid.

Few salient facts about Typhoid fever

  1. Typhoid does not affect animals and therefore transmission is only from human to human.
  2. Typhoid can only spread in environments where human feces or urine are able to come into contact with food or drinking water.
  3. Careful food preparation and washing of hands are crucial to preventing typhoid.
  4. Typhoid fever in most cases is not fatal.
  5. Prompt treatment of the disease with antibiotics reduces the case–fatality rate to approximately 1%.
  6. When untreated, typhoid fever persists for 3 weeks to a month.
  7. Resistance to common antibiotics is now common.
  8. Typhoid that is resistant to common antibiotics is known as multidrug–resistant (MDR)-typhoid.
  9. Ciprofloxacin resistance is an increasing problem, especially in the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia.
  10. Typhoid vaccine taken every three years is the best preventive approach.

OTC drug does not mean it can be taken without a doctors advice

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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An over–the–counter antacid is often used to relieve mild cases of heartburn or acid reflux. Though they are available without a doctor’s prescription they should be taken only under a doctor’s advice.

As per American Academy of Family Physicians

  1. Different types of antacids work in different ways.
  2. To manage an ulcer, an antacid may need to be taken in conjunction with an antibiotic.
  3. If one needs more calcium to help strengthen bones, prefer an antacid that contains calcium carbonate.
  4. Antacids may have minor side effects in some such as nausea, headache, diarrhea or constipation.
  5. Read the label carefully to make sure that you are not allergic to any of the ingredients.
  6. People with kidney disease may not be able to take all types of antacids.
  7. An antacid may interact with other medications. So, talk to the doctor before taking an antacid.

Poor hygiene habits may lead to typhoid

By Dr K K Aggarwal
Filed Under Wellness | Tagged With: , , , , , , , | | Comments Off on Poor hygiene habits may lead to typhoid

Typhoid fever is caused by a bacteria Salmonella typhi and is transmitted through the ingestion of food or drink contaminated by the feces or urine of infected people. Flying insects feeding on feces may occasionally transfer the bacteria through poor hygiene habits and public sanitation conditions. Though the cases occur all through the year, the number is higher during the summer and rainy seasons. Symptoms usually develop 1 to 3 weeks after exposure, and may be mild or severe. They include high fever, malaise, headache, constipation or diarrhea and enlarged spleen and liver. A healthy carrier state may follow acute illness. Typhoid fever can be treated with antibiotics. However, resistance to common antimicrobials is widespread. Healthy carriers should be excluded from handling food. Sanitation and hygiene are the critical measures that can be taken to prevent typhoid.

  1. Typhoid does not affect animals and therefore transmission occurs only from human to human.
  2. Typhoid can only spread in environments where human feces or urine are able to come into contact with food or drinking water.
  3. Careful food preparation and washing of hands are crucial to preventing typhoid.
  4. Typhoid fever in most cases is not fatal.
  5. Prompt treatment of the disease with antibiotics reduces the case–fatality rate to approximately 1%.
  6. When untreated, typhoid fever may persist for 3 weeks to a month.
  7. Resistance to common antibiotics is now common.
  8. Typhoid that is resistant to common antibiotics is known as multidrug-resistant typhoid (MDR typhoid).
  9. Ciprofloxacin resistance is an increasing problem, especially in the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia.
  10. Azithromycin is a new drug for drug–resistant typhoid.
  11. Typhoid vaccine taken every three years is the best preventive approach.

Typhoid fever

By Dr K K Aggarwal
Filed Under Wellness | Tagged With: , , , , , | | Comments Off on Typhoid fever

Typhoid fever is caused by a bacteria Salmonella typhi and is transmitted through the ingestion of food or drink contaminated by the feces or urine of infected people.

Flying insects feeding on feces may occasionally transfer the bacteria through poor hygiene habits and public sanitation conditions. Though the cases occur all through the year, the number is higher during the summer and rainy seasons. Symptoms usually develop 1 to 3 weeks after exposure, and may be mild or severe. They include high fever, malaise, headache, constipation or diarrhea and enlarged spleen and liver. A healthy carrier state may follow acute illness. Typhoid fever can be treated with antibiotics. However, resistance to common antimicrobials is widespread. Healthy carriers should be excluded from handling food. Sanitation and hygiene are the critical measures that can be taken to prevent typhoid.

  1. Typhoid does not affect animals and therefore transmission occurs only from human to human.
  2. Typhoid can only spread in environments where human feces or urine are able to come into contact with food or drinking water.
  3. Careful food preparation and washing of hands are crucial to preventing typhoid.
  4. Typhoid fever in most cases is not fatal.
  5. Prompt treatment of the disease with antibiotics reduces the case-fatality rate to approximately 1%.
  6. When untreated, typhoid fever may persist for three weeks to a month.
  7. Resistance to common antibiotics is now common.
  8. Typhoid that is resistant to common antibiotics is known as multidrug-resistant typhoid (MDR typhoid).
  9. Ciprofloxacin resistance is an increasing problem, especially in the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia.
  10. Typhoid vaccine taken every three years is the best preventive approach.

Avoid Food Poisoning by thorough washing and proper cooking

By Dr K K Aggarwal
Filed Under Wellness | Tagged With: , , , , , , , , , , | | Comments Off on Avoid Food Poisoning by thorough washing and proper cooking

Thorough washing and proper cooking of fruits and vegetables can eliminate most bacteria that cause food poisoning.

Food-borne illnesses or food poisoning usually occurs due to eating food that is contaminated with bacteria or their toxins. Virus and parasites can also be cause food poisoning. People have known for long that raw meat, poultry and eggs can also harbor diseases causing microbes. But in recent years most outbreaks of food borne illnesses have been due to fresh fruits and vegetables.

Food poisoning can cause abdominal pain, nausea, headache, fatigue, vomiting, diarrhea and dehydration. Symptoms may appear several hours to several days after eating tainted food. For example, Salmonella bacteria will cause illness 12 hours to 3 days after ingestion lasting about 4-7 days.

The most common way to treat food poisoning is to drink plenty of fluids. The sickness usually subsides within a few days.

Is caffeine good for the health?

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Caffeine is the most consumed stimulant in the world. It is consumed in the form of coffee and tea. At present there is no scientific data for promoting or discouraging coffee and or tea consumption in the daily diet. Short term benefits include mental alertness and improved athletic performance. Short term adverse effects including headache anxiety tremors and insomnia. Long term adverse effects include generalized anxiety disorder and substance abuse disorders. Long term benefits are dose dependent. Caffeine is associated with a reduced risk of Parkinson s disease Alzheimer s disease alcoholic cirrhosis and gout. Coffee both caffeinated and decaffeinated is also associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes. Heavy coffee intake may trigger coronary and arrhythmic events in susceptible individuals although coffee intake is not considered a long term risk factor for myocardial disease. Most studies show a modest inverse relationship between coffee consumption and all cause mortality. Caffeine withdrawal is a well documented clinical syndrome with headache being the most common symptom. Source Uptodate

Is caffeine good for health?

By Dr K K Aggarwal
Filed Under Wellness | Tagged With: , , , , , | | Comments Off on Is caffeine good for health?

Caffeine is the most consumed stimulant globally. It is consumed in the form of coffee and tea. At present there is no scientific data for promoting or discouraging coffee and or tea consumption in the daily diet. Short term benefits include mental alertness and improved athletic performance. Short term adverse effects including headache anxiety tremors and insomnia. Long term adverse effects include generalized anxiety disorder and substance abuse disorders. Long term benefits are dose dependent. Caffeine is associated with a reduced risk of Parkinson disease Alzheimer disease alcoholic cirrhosis and gout. Both caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee are also associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes. Heavy coffee intake may trigger coronary and arrhythmic events in susceptible individuals although coffee intake is not considered a long term risk factor for myocardial disease. Most studies show a modest inverse relationship between coffee consumption and all cause mortality. Caffeine withdrawal is a well documented clinical syndrome with headache being the most common symptom. Source Uptodate

Flu in children

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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The classical features of uncomplicated flu in children include abrupt onset of fever headache muscle pain and malaise affected by manifestation of respiratory tract illness sore throat cough and nasal discharge But all these features may not be present in all children Flu sometimes may last for more than a week in children Ear discharge progression to asthma and pneumonia are common complications in children Complicated pneumonia may be severe and rapidly fatal especially if the bacterium is Staph During winter a diagnosis of flu should be considered in all children with fever children with fever and acute onset of respiratory illness children with fever and exhilaration of underlying chest condition children with pneumonia and children with fever of more than 100 with severe cough or sore throat Fever is present in over 95 of cases often more than 39 C Cough is present in over 77 patients Nasal discharge is present in more than 78 patients Headache is present in more than 26 patients Muscle pain is present in more than 71 patients Incubation period is 1 4 days with high transmissibility The treatment is often symptomatic Cough hygiene should be practiced.

Avoid food poisoning by thorough washing and proper cooking

By Dr K K Aggarwal
Filed Under Wellness | Tagged With: , , , , , , , , , , , | | Comments Off on Avoid food poisoning by thorough washing and proper cooking

Thorough washing and proper cooking of fruits and vegetables can eliminate most bacteria that cause food poisoning.
Food-borne illnesses or food poisoning usually occurs due to eating food that is contaminated with bacteria or their toxins.
Virus and parasites can also be cause food poisoning. People have known for long that raw meat, poultry and eggs can also harbor diseases causing microbes. But in recent years most outbreaks of food borne illnesses have been due to fresh fruits and vegetables.
Food poisoning can cause abdominal pain, nausea, headache, fatigue, vomiting, diarrhea and dehydration. Symptoms may appear several hours to several days after eating tainted food. For example, Salmonella bacteria will cause illness 12 hours to 3 days after ingestion lasting about 4-7 days.
The most common way to treat food poisoning is to drink plenty of fluids. The sickness usually subsides within a few days.

Swine Flu is back but no panic

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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• Swine flu presents with fever of more than 1000 F with cough or sore throat in the absence of any other main cause. • The diagnosis is confirmed with a lab test using rRT/PCR technique. • Mild or uncomplicated flu is characterized by fever, cough, sore throat, nasal discharge, muscle pain, headache, chills, malaise and sometimes diarrhea and vomiting. In mild cases, there is no shortness of breath. • Progressive swine flu is characterized by the above symptoms along with chest pain, increased respiratory rate, decreased oxygen in the blood, labored breathing in children, low blood pressure, confusion, altered mental status, severe dehydration and exacerbation of underlying asthma, renal failure, diabetes, heart failure, angina or COPD. • Severe or complicated swine flu is characterized by respiratory failure, requirement of oxygen or ventilator, abnormal chest x-ray, inflammation of the brain, lowering of blood pressure to less than 60 and involvement of the heart muscle. These patients will have persistent high fever and other symptoms lasting more than three days. • Most patients will remain asthmatic with illness lasting 3-7 days. • The characteristic features are presence of chills, muscle pain and joint pain. • In the pregnant women, flu can cause more serious complications including death of fetus. • Mild cases do not require admission but progressive cases need to be admitted. • Underlying, organ disease and requirement of mechanical ventilation is the indication for admission. • Oseltamivir phosphate is the treatment of choice but it should be taken under medical supervision. It has to be given in the first 48 hours. It is given in severely low patients, pregnant women, underlying organ disease or age less than 5 years. • Flu vaccine can be given to all. It should be given to all high-risk patients. • The virus spreads through droplet infection and spreads with a person coughs, sneezes, sings or speaks. The virus can cover only a distance of 3 to 6 feet. • Stay 3 feet away from the person who is coughing. • The standard prevention is respiratory hygiene, cough etiquette and hand hygiene. • Hand washing should be performed before and after every patient contact or infectious material and before putting and after removing gloves. • Hand hygiene can be performed by washing with soap and water or with alcohol based hand drops. • If hands are visibly soiled, they should be washed with soap and water. • Patients should be placed in a private room or area. The health care staff should wear a face mask while entering the patient’s room. When leaving the room, the health care workers should remove the face mask, dispose it off and then perform hand hygiene. • Patients should wear a surgical mask and should be aware of respiratory hygiene, cough etiquette and hand hygiene. • Droplet precaution should be taken for seven days after illness onset or 24 hours after resolutions of fever and respiratory syndrome. • One should not cough in the hands, handkerchief but instead cough either in the tissue paper and dispose it off or in the side of the arm. • Swine flu causes fewer deaths than normal seasonal flu. • Hong Kong Study of H1N1 (Between April and December 2009]: Overall attack rate was 10.7 percent, case-hospitalization rate was 0.47 to 0.87 % among people aged 5 to 59 years, case-ICU rate was 7.9 cases per 100,000 infections in children aged 5 to 14 years, case-ICU rate was 75 cases per 100,000 infections in adults aged 50 and 59 years, case-fatality rate was 0.4 cases per 100,000 in children aged 5 to 14 years and case-fatality rate 26.5 cases per 100,000 in adults aged 50 to 59 years. • Case fatality is 0.4 – 26.5 cases per 100,000. That means 10 deaths would occur if one lac people gets fly. For getting 95 deaths we need almost one crore people getting infected with flu. This again means 10% of the society suffering from flu or two patients per family. Either the figure 95 is wrong or the figure number of positives deaths is wrong. • Two third of deaths occur in people with underlying chronic illness. • In seasonal flu more deaths are in people above 65 years of age and in H1N1 flu more deaths are in 50-64 years old age group.

Is caffeine good for health?

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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• Caffeine, as tea or coffee, is the most consumed stimulant in the world, • There is insufficient data to either encourage or discourage consumption of coffee and/or tea in the daily diet. • Short-term benefits include mental alertness and improved athletic performance. While short-term adverse effects including headache, anxiety, tremors and insomnia. • Long-term adverse effects include generalized anxiety disorder and substance abuse disorders. • Long–term benefits are dose–dependent. Caffeine is associated with a reduced risk of Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, alcoholic cirrhosis and gout. Coffee, both caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee, reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. • Heavy coffee intake may trigger coronary and arrhythmic events in high risk persons, although coffee intake is not considered a long–term risk factor for myocardial disease. • A modest inverse relationship has been observed between consumption of coffee and all–cause mortality. • Caffeine withdrawal is a well–documented clinical syndrome; the most common symptom is headache. (Source: Uptodate