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Dr K K Aggarwal

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.

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.

Tips on Water Hygiene

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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  1. Travelers should avoid consuming tap water.
  2. Avoid ice made from tap water.
  3. Avoid any food rinsed in tap water.
  4. Chlorination kills most bacterial and viral pathogens.
  5. Chlorination does not kill Giardia cysts.
  6. Chlorination does not kill amoeba cysts.
  7. Chlorination does not kill Cryptosporidium.
  8. Boiled/treated water is safe.
  9. Carbonated drinks, wine and drinks made with boiled water are safe.
  10. Freezing does not kill the organisms that cause diarrhea. Ice in drinks is not safe unless it has been made from adequately boiled or filtered water.
  11. Alcohol does not sterilize water or the ice. Mixed drinks may still be contaminated.
  12. Hot tea and coffee are the best alternates to boiled water.
  13. Bottled drinks should be requested without ice and should be drunk from the bottle with a straw rather than with a glass.
  14. Boiling water for 3 minutes followed by cooling to room temperature will kill bacterial parasites.
  15. Adding two drops of 5% sodium hydrochloride (bleach) to quarter of water (1 liter) will kill most bacteria in 30 minutes.
  16. Adding 5 drops of tincture of iodine to 1 liter of water will kill bacteria within 30 minutes.

Prevention of water-borne diseases during the monsoon season

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Rains bring much-welcome relief from the scorching summer, but they also increase susceptibility to diseases that are common during the season. The incidence of water-borne diseases including diarrhea, typhoid, and cholera rise during the rainy reason. These diseases are 100% preventable, and a threat to life can be avoided with timely diagnosis and treatment of the diseases. The body’s intestinal and digestive system becomes weak during the rainy season, which makes a person highly susceptible to all kinds of infections. People should take necessary precautions. They must avoid drinking water that is not properly boiled and stored and avoid consuming food that is exposed to the surroundings for quite a long time, for instance, street food, pre-cut fruits, and vegetables. A person’s diet during the monsoon season should consist of light and non-spicy food. Greasy, fried and fatty foods have thermal effect on our body and make us feel sluggish and so should be avoided. Contamination of water and unhygienic conditions are very often the cause of many monsoon ailments. Skin conditions, asthma, and arthritis also get aggravated because of excess humidity. Here are a few tips to prevent water-borne diseases this monsoon: • Drink only filtered/boiled water • Store water in a clean container • Water jars/containers should be washed daily. • Always wash hands before and after preparing food or eating. Likewise, children should be educated about the importance of washing their hands effectively and regularly • It is mandatory to wash one’s hands with soaps or use hand sanitizers after using a washroom, changing a child’s diaper, or after visiting unclean and infection prone areas such as public washrooms, hospitals • Consume warm and home cooked foods and avoiding consuming street food • Wash food thoroughly before cooking. • Always keep foods/beverages covered • Make sure that the pipes and tanks that supply water to your house are properly maintained and clean. • Travelers should only drink bottled water and avoid uncooked food. • People suffering from water-borne diseases should not go to work until fully recovered to avoid spreading the infection • Avoid using ice made from tap water. • Freezing does not kill the organisms that cause diarrhea. Ice in drinks is not safe unless it has been made from adequately boiled or filtered water • Alcohol does not sterilize water or the ice. Mixed drinks may still be contaminated. • Hot tea and coffee are the best alternates to boiled water

Water Hygiene

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Safe water is an essential commodity for prevention of most water and food-borne diseases like diarrhea, typhoid and jaundice. These diseases are 100% preventable. All of them can be lethal if not prevented, diagnosed or treated in time. Transmission of parasitic infections can also occur with contaminated water. Here are a few tips:

• Travelers should avoid consuming tap water.

• Avoid ice made from tap water.

• Avoid any food rinsed in tap water.

• Chlorination kills most bacterial and viral pathogens.

• Chlorination does not kill giardia or amoeba cysts.

• Chlorination does not kill Cryptosporidium.

• Boiled/Treated/Bottled water is safe.

• Carbonated drinks, wine and drinks made with boiled water are safe.

• Freezing does not kill organisms that cause diarrhea. Ice in drinks is not safe unless it has been made from adequately boiled or filtered water.

• Alcohol does not sterilize water or the ice. Mixed drinks may still be contaminated.

• Hot tea and coffee are the best alternates to boiled water. • Bottled drinks should be requested without ice and should be drunk from the bottle with a straw rather than with a glass.

• Boiling water for 3 minutes followed by cooling to room temperature will kill bacterial parasites.

• Adding two drops of 5% sodium hydrochloride (bleach) to quarter of water (1 liter) will kill most bacteria in 30 minutes.

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

By
Filed Under Wellness | Tagged With: , , , , , , | | Comments Off on OTC drug does not mean it can be taken without doctors advice

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

  • There are different types of antacids that work in different ways.
  • One should talk to the doctor before taking an antacid.
  • To manage an ulcer, an antacid may need to be taken in conjunction with an antibiotic.
  • If one needs more calcium to help strengthen bones, one should prefer an antacid that contains calcium carbonate.
  • In some, antacids may have minor side effects such as nausea, headache, diarrhea or constipation.
  • One should read the label carefully to make sure that one is not allergic to any of the ingredients.
  • People with kidney disease may not be able to take all types of antacids.
  • An antacid may interact with other medications.

Water Hygiene

By
Filed Under Wellness | Tagged With: , , , , | | Comments Off on Water Hygiene

Safe water is an essential commodity for prevention of most water and food-borne diseases like diarrhea, typhoid and jaundice. These diseases are 100% preventable. All of them can be lethal if not prevented,diagnosed or treated in time.

Transmission of parasitic infections can also occur with contaminated water. Here are a few tips:

i.      Travelers should avoid consuming tap water.
ii.     Avoid ice made from tap water.
iii.    Avoid any food rinsed in tap water.
iv.     Chlorination kills most bacterial and viral pathogens.
v.      Chlorination does not kill giardia cysts.
vi.     Chlorination does not kill amoeba cysts.
vii.    Chlorination does not kill cryptosporidium.
viii.   Boiled water is safe.
ix.     Treated water is safe.
x.      Bottled water is safe.
xi.     Carbonated drinks, wine and drinks made with boiled water are safe.
xii.    Freezing does not kill the organisms that cause diarrhea. Ice in drinks is not safe unless it has been made from adequately boiled or filtered water.
xiii.   Alcohol does not sterilize water or the ice. Mixed drinks may still be contaminated.
xiv.    Hot tea and coffee are the best alternates to boiled water.
xv.     Bottled drinks should be requested without ice and should be drunk from the bottle with a straw rather than with a glass.
xvi.    Boiling water for 3 minutes followed by cooling to room temperature will kill bacterial parasites.
xvii.   Adding two drops of 5% sodium hydrochloride (bleach) to quarter of water (1 liter) will kill most bacteria in 30 minutes.
xviii.  Adding five drops of tincture of iodine to a quarter of water (1 liter) will kill bacteria within 30 minutes.

India unveils rota virus vaccine

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Indian scientists unveiled an affordable vaccine (a dollar a vaccine) against a deadly diarrhea-causing virus, Rota virus that kills some 100,000 children in India every year. Rotavirus is globally responsible for some 453,000 deaths annually. Rota virus is blamed for causing up to 884,000 hospitalizations a year in India, at a cost to the country of 3.4 billion rupees.

K Vijayaraghavan, Secretary ofIndia’s Department of Biotechnology said it was a product of international cooperation. For the first time Indian scientists have taken a vaccine from the earliest discovery to every stage of development.

The vaccine named Rotavac will be manufactured by Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech. Each vaccination consists of three doses.

Each dose of licenced vaccines from GlaxoSmithKline and Merck costs around 1,000 rupees.

Dr M K Bhan pioneered the project after local scientists discovered a localized rotavirus 23 years ago in aNew Delhihospital.

This vaccine would prevent 25 percent of all diarrheal admissions. More than 300,000 babies die within 24 hours of being born inIndiaeach year from infections and other preventable causes.

NIH has also congratulated the Program for Appropriate Technology in Health (PATH), Bharat Biotech International, Ltd., and the scientists, government and people ofIndiaon the important results from the ROTAVAC rotavirus vaccine study.

An oral vaccine, Rotavac will be administered to infants in three dose course at the age of  6, 10 and 14 weeks. It will be given along with routine immunizations recommended at these ages.

Why a Rota vaccine?

  1.  Rotavirus is the single most important viral cause of severe gastroenteritis in children.
  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), theAmericanAcademy of Pediatrics (AAP), theAmericanAcademy of Family Physicians (AAFP), the European Society for Paediatric Infectious Diseases, and the European Society for Paediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition, recommend universal immunization of infants against rotavirus disease.
  3. The two currently available oral vaccines for the prevention of rotavirus disease are pentavalent human-bovine reassortant rotavirus vaccine (RV5, PRV, RotaTeq) and attenuated human rotavirus vaccine (RV1, HRV, Rotarix). These vaccines have different doses and schedules for administration.
  4. Whenever possible, the rotavirus vaccine series should be completed with the same vaccine product, but vaccination should not be deferred if the product used for previous doses is not known. This problem will not come once the Indian vaccine is available.
  5. Rotavirus vaccine is contraindicated in infants who are allergic to any of the ingredients of the vaccine, those who had an allergic reaction after a previous dose and those with a history of intussusception.
  6. The vaccine should not be administered to infants with immunodeficiency.
  7. RV1 is contraindicated in infants with a history of severe hypersensitivity reaction to latex, but RV5 may be administered to such infants.

Conditions that are precautions for administration of rotavirus vaccine include acute moderate or severe illness, preexisting chronic gastrointestinal disorder, and receipt of blood products.

What is the rotavirus?

  1. When a virus infects the intestines and causes diarrhea and vomiting it is called “viral gastroenteritis.”
  2. Rotavirus is a virus that can infect the intestines and cause diarrhea and vomiting.
  3. In children, rotavirus is the most common cause of viral gastroenteritis.
  4. Children can get a rotavirus infection if they touch an infected person or a surface with the virus on it, and then do not wash their hands or when they eat foods or drink liquids with the virus in them.
  5. If people with a rotavirus infection don’t wash their hands, they can spread it to food or liquid they touch.
  6. Adults can also be infected, but rotavirus infection is much more common in children.
  7. A rotavirus infection commonly causes vomiting, diarrhea that is watery (but not bloody) and fever.
  8. If the child has vomiting or diarrhea, his or her body can lose too much water leading to dehydration.
  9. Symptoms of dehydration can include fewer wet diapers, or dark yellow or brown urine; no tears when a child cries; a dry mouth or cracked lips; eyes that look sunken in the face and a sunken fontanel (a fontanel is a gap between the bones in a baby’s skull).
  10. When babies are dehydrated, the fontanel on the top of their head can look or feel caved in.
  11.  Call your child’s doctor or nurse if your child has any symptoms of dehydration; has diarrhea or vomiting that lasts longer than a few days; vomits up blood, has bloody diarrhea, or has severe belly pain; is passing urine much more than usual; hasn’t had anything to drink in a few hours, or can’t keep fluids down; hasn’t needed to urinate in the past 6 to 8 hours (in older children), or hasn’t had a wet diaper for 4 to 6 hours (in babies and young children)
  12. Most children do not need any treatment, because their symptoms will get better on their own.
  13. It is important to make the child drink enough fluids so that he or she does not get dehydrated. You will know that you are giving your child enough fluids when his or her urine looks pale yellow or clear, or when the baby has a normal amount of wet diapers.

To prevent dehydration

  1. Give your baby or young child an “oral rehydration solution (ORS). You can buy this in a grocery store or pharmacy. If your child is vomiting, you can try to give him or her a few teaspoons of fluid every few minutes. Oral rehydration solution works better than juice, because juice sometimes makes diarrhea worse.
  2. Continue to breastfeed your baby, if he or she is still breastfed.
  3.  Do not give your child medicines to stop diarrhea (anti-diarrhea medicines). These medicines can make the infection last longer.
  4. If the child has a severe infection and gets dehydrated, he or she might need to be treated in the hospital.

Rotavirus infection be prevented

  1. All babies are given a vaccine to prevent the rotavirus infection.
  2.  If your child has a rotavirus infection, you can prevent spreading the infection by: washing your hands with soap after you change your child’s diaper; not changing your child’s diaper near where you prepare food; putting diapers in a sealed bag before you throw them out and cleaning the diaper changing area with alcohol or with a bleach and water mixture.

Workshop for Teachers on Proper Hygiene in schools

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While conducting a workshop on health and hygiene organized by Heart Care Foundation of India and DAV School, Kailash Hills, Padma Shri & Dr. B.C. Roy National Awardee, Dr. KK Aggarwal, President, Heart Care Foundation of India, said that school education must focus on health and hygiene. This will take care of the burden of communicable diseases and provide healthy and correct lifestyle and prevent most non-communicable diseases.

He said that to start with, children should clean their teeth properly as chronic poor oral health and tooth loss is associated with modest increases in future heart blockages and paralysis. This effect persists even after adjustment for known cardiovascular risk factors.

Keeping the environment clean can prevent a large number of communicable diseases. Environment hygiene includes air hygiene, water hygiene and food hygiene. Most food-borne diseases are direct food or water-borne illnesses. Typhoid fever is caused by a bacterium, Salmonella typhi, and is transmitted through the ingestion of food or drink contaminated by the feces or urine of infected people. Houseflies or other 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, typhoid occurs more often during summer and rainy seasons.

Do not eat fruits and vegetables that are cut and sold open as they can cause diseases such as typhoid, diarrhea, cholera and jaundice. Cut open fruits and vegetables, especially watermelon, sold on the streets and sugarcane juice attract flies and other infective organisms. Any food stored at room temperature for over two hours gets spoiled and may grow organisms. Cut open fruits on the road often remain in this state for hours together. In summer, precautions should also be taken while eating cut salad and uncovered food in the tiffin. The best fruits to eat in such situations are bananas and oranges.

Healthcare-associated infections are also becoming common. Therefore, one should avoid visiting a hospital for a formality.

A heart attack may occur at the age of 40 but the process of heart artery blockages starts in school age and early college life. To prevent the rising burden of obesity, diabetes, heart diseases, prevention must begin in school age.

Teachers from over 50 schools participated in the event. The participants included teachers, vice-principals and principals of various schools. Speaking on the occasion, Ms Era Khanna, Principal of DAV,KailashHillsSchool said that the teachers who are trained in this workshop will work like trainers for other teacher and school children. She said that every school must have a teacher who is trained to educate children on health and hygiene.

The subjects covered in the workshop were food hygiene, hand hygiene, water hygiene, respiratory hygiene and sexual parts hygiene.