Ailmemts & Remedies

Marburg virus

Marburg virus or simply Marburg is the common name for the genus of viruses Marburgvirus, which contains one species, Lake Victoria marburgvirus. The virus causes the disease Marburg Hemorrhagic Fever (MHF), also referred to as Marburg Virus Disease, and previously also known as green monkey disease due to its primate origin. Marburg originated in Central and East Africa, and infects both human and nonhuman primates. The Marburg Virus is in the same taxonomic family as Ebola, and both are identical structurally although they elicit different antibodies.


Ebola virus and Marburg virus live in animal hosts, and humans can contract the viruses from infected animals. After the initial transmission, the viruses can spread from person to person through contact with body fluids or contaminated needles.

Marburg virus is a severe and highly contagious form of haemorrhagic fever caused by a virus from the same family – the filoviruses – as Ebola haemorrhagic fever (EHF), although it’s not as deadly as its cousin.

No drug has been approved to treat Ebola virus or Marburg virus. People diagnosed with Ebola or Marburg virus receive supportive care and treatment for complications. Scientists are coming closer to developing vaccines for these deadly diseases.

The virus was first discovered in 1967, during simultaneous outbreaks at laboratories in the former Yugoslavia and Frankfurt and Marburg, Germany. Since 1967 sporadic small outbreaks have been reported but in 2004-5 a major outbreak in Angola led to more than 140 deaths from the Marburg virus.

During the incubation period, which lasts between five and ten days, no symptoms are apparent.

You may click to see:Marburg Virus Pictures from CDC

Signs and symptoms typically begin abruptly within five to 10 days of infection. Early signs and symptoms include:

*Severe headache
*Joint and muscle aches
*Sore throat

Over time, symptoms become increasingly severe and may include:

*Nausea and vomiting
*Diarrhea (may be bloody)
*Red eyes
*Raised rash
*Chest pain and cough
*Stomach pain
*Severe weight loss
*Bleeding from the nose, mouth, rectum, eyes and ears

The disease can then become increasingly damaging, causing:

•Liver failure
•Extensive haemorrhage from multiple sites, which can give rise to bloody diarrhoea and vomiting of blood (known as heamatemesis)

Many people infected with the virus die, usually from haemorrhagic shock or liver failure. In areas where medical support is poor, the death rate can be much higher. The infection can be difficult to diagnose, because many of the initial signs are similar to those of other infectious diseases, such as malaria or typhoid fever.

The virus appears to be rare and only found in Africa where cases have occurred in Uganda, Kenya, Zimbabwe and Angola. In the natural habitat the reservoir of the virus is the Egyptian fruit bat, which is found in Africa, but how the virus jumps from animals to humans is not known. Some people have developed the disease after visiting caves where the bats are found.

Transmission from animals to humans:
The virus can be transmitted to humans by exposure to an infected animal’s bodily fluids. Examples include:

*Blood. Butchering or eating infected animals can spread the viruses. Scientists who have operated on infected animals as part of their research have also contracted the virus.

*Waste products. Tourists in certain African caves and some underground mine workers have been infected with the Marburg virus, possibly through contact with the feces or urine of infected bats.

Transmission from person to person :
Infected people typically don’t become contagious until they develop symptoms. Family members are often infected as they care for sick relatives or prepare the dead for burial.

Once a human is infected they can pass the virus on to others through their body fluids, most commonly blood but also faeces, saliva and vomit. The virus may also possibly be spread via aerosols of tiny infected droplets produced when patients cough and splutter. However, the research suggests that sick humans don’t usually generate sufficient volumes of infectious aerosols to pose a significant hazard to those around them.

Medical personnel can be infected if they don’t use protective gear such as surgical masks and latex gloves. Medical centers in Africa are often so poor that they must reuse needles and syringes. Some of the worst Ebola epidemics have occurred because contaminated injection equipment wasn’t sterilized between uses.

There’s no evidence that Ebola virus or Marburg virus can be spread via insect bites.

Risk Factors:
For most people — including international travelers — the risk of getting Ebola or Marburg hemorrhagic fever is low. The risk increases if you:

*Travel to Africa. You’re at increased risk if you visit or work in areas where Ebola virus or Marburg virus outbreaks have occurred in the past.

*Conduct animal research. People are more likely to contract the Ebola or Marburg virus if they conduct animal research with monkeys imported from Africa or the Philippines.

*Provide medical or personal care. Family members are often infected as they care for sick relatives. Medical personnel also can be infected if they don’t use protective gear such as surgical masks and latex gloves.Prepare people for burial. The bodies of people who have died of Ebola or Marburg hemorrhagic fever are still contagious. Helping prepare these bodies for burial can increase your risk of developing the disease yourself.

Both Ebola and Marburg hemorrhagic fevers lead to death for a high percentage of people who are affected. As the illness progresses, it can cause:

*Multiple organ failure
*Severe bleeding

One reason the viruses are so deadly is that they interfere with the immune system’s ability to mount a defense. But scientists don’t understand why some people recover from Ebola and Marburg and others don’t.

For people who survive, recovery is slow. It may take months to regain weight and strength, and the viruses remain in the body for many weeks. People may experience:

*Hair loss
*Sensory changes
*Liver inflammation (hepatitis)
*Eye inflammation
*Testicular inflammation

Ebola and Marburg hemorrhagic fevers are difficult to diagnose because many of the early signs and symptoms resemble those of other infectious diseases, such as typhoid and malaria. But if doctors suspect that you have been exposed to Ebola virus or Marburg virus, they use laboratory tests that can identify the viruses within a few days.

Most people with Ebola or Marburg hemorrhagic fever have high concentrations of the virus in their blood. Blood tests known as enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (PCR) can detect specific genes or the virus or antibodies to them.

It is similar to Ebola using the Enzyme-Linked ImmunoSorbent Assay (ELISA) test. Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) technique has been successfully used for detection of Marburg virus. PCR detection for Marburg virus by Hänninen 2001

Treatment :
There is no cure for Marburg disease as there is no specific antiviral therapy indicated for treating Marburg, and hospital care is usually supportive in nature. Hypotension and shock may require early administration of vasopressors and haemodynamic monitoring with attention to fluid and electrolyte balance, circulatory volume, and blood pressure. Viral haemorrhagic fever (VHF) patients tend to respond poorly to fluid infusions and may develop pulmonary edema.

If a patient survives, recovery is usually prompt and complete, though it may be prolonged in some cases, with inflammation or secondary infection of various organs, including: orchitis (testicles), hepatitis (liver), transverse myelitis (spinal cord), uveitis (eyes), and parotitis (salivary glands) Recovered patients often have little or no memory of being sick, though only 40-60% survive.

Strict hygiene measures help to prevent spread when an outbreak occurs, and an experimental vaccine is currently being tested.

Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.This is purely for educational purpose


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Can’t Sleep Well?

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When left untreated, sleep apnoea can be potentially life threatening.
This is a dangerous problem and more so because of the length of these ‘apnoea’ ; sometimes up to a minute. When left untreated, sleep apnoea can be potentially life threatening. There are three main forms of sleep apnoea: central sleep apnoea, mixed sleep apnoea and obstructive sleep apnoea. Despite the different names they are all the same in effect – the patient stops breathing during sleep. The reason for the different terms is because the basic cause of each varies… & see

Obstructive sleep apnoea is the most common form and is caused by a blockage in the airways. This in turn is caused by the tissue at the back of the throat relaxing and closing during sleep.

Central sleep apnoea is a brain related problem in which the nerve signals are not sent to the breathing muscles resulting in breathing problems even when there is no airway blockage present. Mixed sleep apnoea is a mixture of the two – a soft tissue problem and a brain signal error. To ensure that the body receives enough oxygen to survive, the brain will wake the sleeping individual to ‘remind’ them to breath. As a consequence of this, sleep for sufferers of sleep apnoea can be unsatisfying. Fortunately, there are many treatment options available.

The main symptom of sleep apnoea occurs during sleep and as such the individual will often be unaware of the problem. The spouse, or partner, will often be the first to complain about the disturbance.

Most sleep apnoea treatment regimens begin with lifestyle changes, such as avoiding alcohol and medications that relax the central nervous system like, sedatives and muscle relaxant , losing weight and quitting smoking.

Some people with sleep apnoea are helped by special pillows or devices that keep them from sleeping on their backs to keep the airway open during sleep.

Source: The Times Of India

Sleep Apnea Cure

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Getting in Motion

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Each year more than two million people visit a doctor for dizziness. And, an untold number suffer from motion sickness, which is the most common medical problem associated with travel.

Motion sickness is a disturbance of the sense of balance and equilibrium as a result of different kinds of motion. Seasickness, carsickness and airsickness are all types of motion sickness. Nausea is the most common symptom. Children are particularly prone to motion sickness. Medications are available for the prevention and treatment of motion sickness, which is usually a mild, temporary

What causes motion sickness?
Motion sickness relates to the body’s sense of balance and equilibrium, or spatial orientation. We receive inputs about our movement and position in space from the following sensory receptors: Inner ear: monitors direction of motion and spatial position.

Eyes: observe where the body is in space and also the directions of motion. Skin pressure and muscle and joint sensory receptors: sense which parts of the body are touching the ground or moving, and where they are in relation to each other and force of gravity.

The central nervous system (brain and spinal cord) processes the information received from the above receptors. Motion sickness occurs when the central nervous system receives conflicting messages from the different sensory receptors. For example, if you are sitting in a moving car reading a book, your inner ear detects the motion of your travel, but your eyes see only the stationary pages of your book. This confuses your central nervous system and makes you feel

Who gets motion sickness and who is at risk?
Motion sickness is very common, and most people experience it at some time in their lives. It is especially common in young children, but most outgrow severe problems with motion sickness. Particular sensitivity of the equilibrium centre in the inner ear appears to be inherited, as some families suffer from motion sickness more than others do. If you tend to get motion sickness under one set of circumstances (e.g. you often get carsick), it is likely that you will also be prone to motion sickness generally.

What are the symptoms and signs of motion sickness?

Symptoms of motion sickness may include: nausea vomiting dizziness sweating malaise (a general feeling of discomfort and not feeling well), pallor (looking pale), feeling cold and clammy

How is motion sickness treated?
Antihistamine medications are commonly used to treat and prevent motion sickness, by reducing stimulation of the inner ear. These medications are only really effective if taken before motion sickness begins. Meclizine (e.g. Dramamine) is an antihistamine often used to treat motion sickness. Belladonna is another medication used, one formulation of which is the scopalamine medicated skin patch. It may be helpful to lie down and sip water until your stomach settles. Going to sleep, if you can, may also help. Some people find ginger (available in capsule form) and peppermints or mint-flavoured sweets useful in alleviating nausea caused by motion sickness, although these preparations will not prevent motion sickness itself.

What is the outcome of motion sickness?
Motion sickness is usually only a minor, temporary inconvenience. Some travellers, however, can find the condition incapacitating. The symptoms of motion sickness usually abate when the movement causing the problem ceases, and should disappear in about four hours. A few people suffer symptoms for a few days after the trip (called “mal d’embarquement” syndrome).

Can motion sickness be prevented?
If you are prone to motion sickness or if you are suffering from it, try the following: Position yourself where your eyes will see the same motion that your body and inner ears feel — In a car, sit in the front seat and look at distant scenery through the front window, not at objects passing on the side. On a ship, go on deck and watch the horizon. In a plane, choose a window seat and look outside.

Position yourself for the least amount of movement: Ask the driver of a bus or car to slow down. Sit near the middle of a boat or aeroplane (over the wings). Don’t read or do other close work. Don’t sit facing opposite the direction of movement. Don’t watch or talk to another person who is experiencing motion sickness. Try to get fresh air, for example, keep the car window open; go on deck on a ship. Avoid spicy or greasy foods, alcohol and carbonated foods during your trip and 24 hours before. Eat light meals before or during travel. A light meal consisting mainly of carbohydrate helps settle the stomach. Get sufficient sleep the night before your trip, and avoid travelling if you are not feeling well and rested. Avoid sea travel. Avoid amusement park rides, especially those that spin. Take motion sickness medication before travelling, as recommended by your doctor or pharmacist.

When to call the doctor
Most cases of motion sickness are mild and self-treatable-. However, if you or your child experience a very severe case of motion sickness or one that becomes progressively worse, you should consult a doctor.

Source:The Times Of India