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The unconquered enemy

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We humans think of ourselves as intelligent and rational. We have successfully evolved, subdued the lower animal species and conquered the world. We could not be more wrong.

The simple, single-celled bacterium has been around longer than we have, and has effectively survived the ice age, floods, drought and the chemical onslaught of antibiotics.

The medical community thought that it had finally conquered bacteria and infectious diseases after Alexander Fleming discovered penicillin in 1928. Doctors couldn’t have been more naive.

Bacteria have offensive, defensive, stealth fighter and commando manoeuvres that no human army can match. They hide in areas like pus, thick layers of skin, bone and cartilage that antibiotics can’t penetrate. They adapt and change faster than a speeding bullet. They are not bound by narrow-minded considerations like race or ethnicity; they join forces enthusiastically with bacteria of other species. When all else fails they copulate, and during the process, exchange genetic material that provides resistance to antibiotics.

Immunisation is a powerful weapon that boosts the body’s own defence mechanism

Unfortunately, human beings are collaborating in this warfare, unwittingly aiding bacterial victory. Fifty per cent of the total antibiotic production is used for animals. Farmers rearing cows, sheep, goats, chicken and fish often use animal feed fortified with antibiotics to keep their livestock healthy. Sometimes the antibiotics are administered as regular supplements. These antibiotics contaminate the environment. The sub-optimal quantities administered to the animals aren’t enough to kill all the targeted bacteria. Genetic mutations occur and resistant bacteria emerge. These eventually find their way into the human community. Treatment with the antibiotic recommended for that particular infection will then fail, requiring more potent and expensive drugs.

Sometimes doctors may be at fault. They may fail to calculate the correct dosage, particularly in case of children where it is based on the body weight. Sometimes the dosage intervals may be incorrect and the next dose is administered later than required, after the drug has been totally eliminated from the body. Also, in the absence of investigations, the chosen antibiotic may be inappropriate for that particular infection. Instructions to patients may be incomplete, without specifications on whether it is to be taken before or after food, as food may help or impede absorption.

Surgery or ICU admissions raise the spectre of post operative infection, although this should not be the case if proper sterilisation techniques are followed. To prevent this, antibiotics are administered prophylactically prior to, during and after surgery. This aids the development of resistance, as the targeted organism may not be the same as the infecting one.

Often patients, too, have unrealistic expectations. They are not willing to accept the fact that antibiotics do not work against viral infections. They find it difficult to follow a “wait and watch” policy. They fail to realise that it is antipyretics (like paracetemol) and not ad hoc doses of antibiotics that reduce fever. They tend to “doctor shop” till they find someone who will prescribe the antibiotics they want.

Diseases that compromise host immunity allow bacteria to gain a foothold and thrive. In such a scenario, higher and longer doses of antibiotics have to be used. Some of these diseases, like diabetes, can be controlled with a little effort, diet control and exercise.

Our drug control policy is somewhat lax. Pharmacies freely dispense unprescribed schedule H antibiotics in irrational combinations OTC (over the counter). Although this is illegal, their activities cannot be faulted, as “supply meets demand.”

As educated responsible citizens, we should not self medicate and perpetuate this menace. Immunisation is a powerful weapon that boosts the body’s own defence mechanisms. As soon as the invading bacteria launch an attack, the sentries and foot soldiers (white blood cells and immunoglobulins) sound the alarm, engulf and annihilate the bacteria. Immunisation is available against diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (whooping cough), H. influenzae (meningitis, ear infections, bronchitis), Pneumococcus (pneumonia, ear infections, meningitis), Meningococcus (meningitis) and typhoid.

Researchers are trying to discover newer and stronger antibiotics to combat the menace of bacterial resistance. They cost crores to discover and test before they can be finally used. We therefore need to conserve and use what we already have. Once the rate of discovery ceases to keep pace with the mutation in the bacteria, we have lost the battle to the microbes.

So, I strongly believe that people should rely more on alternative therapy like yoga,meditation,herbal medications etc. for maintaining a good health unless there is any medical emergency .

Source:The Telegraph(Kolkata,India)

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Ailmemts & Remedies

Measles

ID#: 712 Description: Rash of rubella on skin ...
Image via Wikipedia

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Definition

Measles is a highly contagious viral illness.Measles, also known as rubeola, is a disease caused by a virus, specifically a paramyxovirus of the genus Morbillivirus.

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Reports of measles go back to at least 600 BCE, however, the first scientific description of the disease and its distinction from smallpox is attributed to the Persian physician Ibn Razi (Rhazes) 860-932 who published a book entitled “Smallpox and Measles” (in Arabic: Kitab fi al-jadari wa-al-hasbah).

Measles is spread through respiration (contact with fluids from an infected person’s nose and mouth, either directly or through aerosol transmission), and is highly contagious—90% of people without immunity sharing a house with an infected person will catch it. Airborne precautions should be taken for all suspected cases of measles.

The incubation period usually lasts for 4–12 days (during which there are no symptoms).

Infected people remain contagious from the appearance of the first symptoms until 3–5 days after the rash appears.

Immunity to the disease occurs after vaccination or active infection:
Before widespread immunization, measles was so common during childhood that the majority of the population had been infected by age 20. Measles cases dropped over the last several decades to virtually none in the U.S. and Canada because of widespread immunization, but rates have crept up again recently.

Some parents are refusing to have their children vaccinated because of fears that the MMR vaccine, which protects against Measles, Mumps, and Rubella, can cause autism.

Large studies of thousands of children have found no connection between this vaccine and the development of autism, however, lower vaccination rates can cause outbreaks of measles, mumps, and rubella — which can be serious.


Symptoms

sore throat
runny nose
cough
muscle pain
fever
bloodshot eyes
tiny white spots inside the mouth (called Koplik’s spots)
photophobia (light sensitivity)
rash
appears around the fifth day of the disease
may last 4 to 7 days
usually starts on the head and spreads to other areas, progressing downward
maculopapular rash — appears as both macules (flat, discolored areas) and papules (solid, red, elevated areas) that later merge together (confluent)
itching of the rash
Note: The period between the appearance of the earliest symptoms and the appearance of a rash or fever is usually 3 to 5 days.

The classical symptoms of measles include a fever for at least three days, and the three Cs—cough, coryza (runny nose) and conjunctivitis (red eyes). The fever may reach up to 105° Fahrenheit/ 40° Celsius. Koplik’s spots seen inside the mouth are pathognomonic (diagnostic) for measles but are not often seen, even in real cases of measles, because they are transient and may disappear within a day of arising.

The characteristic measles rash is classically described as a generalized, maculopapular, erythematous rash that begins several days after the fever starts. It starts on the head before spreading to cover most of the body, often causing itching. The rash is said to “stain”, changing colour from red to dark brown before disappearing. notice that there is German Measles, that it’s rash never spreads allover the whole body as measles… it is important to differentiate it from German type.

Signs and tests
viral culture (rarely done)
a measles serology.

Diagnosis
A detailed history should be taken including course of the disease so far, vaccination, history, contact history, and travel history.
Clinical diagnosis of measles requires a history of fever of at least three days together with at least one of the three Cs. Observation of Koplik’s spots is also diagnostic of measles.

Alternatively, laboratory diagnosis of measles can be done with confirmation of positive measles IgM antibodies or isolation of measles virus RNA from respiratory specimens. In cases of measles infection following secondary vaccine failure IgM antibody may not be present. In these cases serological confirmation may be made by showing IgG antibody rises by Enzymeimmunoasay or complement fixation

Positive contact with other patients known to have measles adds strong epidemiological evidence to the diagnosis.

Treatment
There is no specific treatment or antiviral therapy for uncomplicated measles. Most patients with uncomplicated measles will recover with rest and supportive treatment. Though some children may require supplementation with Vitamin A. Symptoms may be relieved with bed rest, acetaminophen, and humidified air.

Histologically, a unique cell can be found in the paracortical region of hyperplastic lymph nodes in patients affected with the measles. This cell, known as the Warthin-Finkeledey cell, is a multinucleated giant with eosinophilic cytoplasmic and nuclear inclusions.

Some herbal medicines
:
1.Termeric roots are dried in the sun andground to a fine powder.The powder is mixed with a few drops of honey and juice of few bitter groud leaves and taken with beneficial results.

2.Cinnamon (dalchini) is used as a prophylatic agent to control German measles.

Ayurvedic Treatment for Measles

Home Remedies for the treatment of Measles
Homeopathic early stage treatment for Measels
Measels-Homeopathic Remedy

Complications:
Associated bacterial infection may cause otitis media, bronchitis. Encephalitis occurs in approximately 1 out of 1,000 measles cases.

Complications with measles are relatively common, ranging from relatively common and less serious diarrhea, to pneumonia and encephalitis (subacute sclerosing panencephalitis). Complications are usually more severe amongst adults who catch the virus.

The fatality rate from measles for otherwise healthy people in developed countries is low: approximately 1 death per thousand cases. In underdeveloped nations with high rates of malnutrition and poor healthcare, fatality rates of 10 percent are common. In immunocompromised patients, the fatality rate is approximately 30 percent.

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.

Help taken from: healthline.com/adamcontent/measles, en.wikipedia.org & Miracles of herbs

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Ailmemts & Remedies

Lice

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Lice (singular: louse), also known as fly babies, (order Phthiraptera) are an order of over 3,000 species of wingless phthiraptra. They are obligate ectoparasites of every mammalian and avian order, with the notable exceptions of Monotremata (the duck-billed platypus and the echidna or spiny anteater) and Chiroptera (bats).

A louse egg is commonly called a nit. Lice attach their eggs to their host’s hair with specialized saliva which results in a bond that is very difficult to separate without specialized products. A nit comb is a comb with very fine close teeth that is used to scrape nits off the hair.

The order has traditionally been divided into two suborders; the sucking lice (Anoplura) and chewing lice (Mallophaga), however, recent classifications suggest that the Mallophaga are paraphyletic and four suborders are now recognised:

Anoplura: sucking lice, including head and pubic lice (see also Pediculosis or Head lice)
Rhyncophthirina: parasites of elephants and warthogs
Ischnocera: avian lice
Amblycera: chewing lice, a primitive order of lice
Lice are highly specialized based on the host species and many species specifically only feed on certain areas of their host’s body. As lice spend their whole life on the host they have developed adaptations which enable them to maintain a close contact with the host. These adaptations are reflected in their size (0.5 mm to 8 mm), stout legs, and claws which are adapted to cling tightly to hair, fur and feathers, wingless and dorsoventrally flattened.

Lice feed on skin (epidermal) debris, feather parts, sebaceous secretions and blood. A louse’s color varies from pale beige to dark grey; however, if feeding on blood, it may become considerably darker.

The picture depicts the chewing louse Damalinia limbata found on Angora goats. The male louse (right) is typically smaller than the female (left), whose posterior margin of the abdomen is more rounded than those of male lice.

Lice are a highly contagious disease of humans. Lice have been traced back in time over thousands of years. An infestation of lice is referred to as Pediculosis. There are three species of lice, they all live off of human blood, and are not found on cats, dogs, birds, or other animals. The Head Lice (Pediculus humanus capitis) is the most common form. The Body Lice (Pediculus humanus humanus) occurs less frequently, and the third type of louse, Pubic Lice (Pthirus pubis), commonly known as Crabs, are generally considered to be a sexually transmitted disease.

Lice infestations are common, found worldwide, and affects between 6-20 million people every year. Lice do not discriminate based on wealth or cleanliness. They affect all races, however, they are more prevalent in Caucasians in the United States due to the round shape of the hair shaft.

Other contributing factors are age, family size, clothing care, personal hygiene, and overcrowded conditions.

Head lice live from three weeks to six weeks, depending on temperature and humidity. During their lifetime, a female can lay up to 100 eggs at a rate of about 6-7 a day. Of those eggs, only the ones that have been fertilized will hatch. Lice must feed on human blood every day in order to survive. Once they are dislodged from there host, they will die within 45 minutes. The nits can survive for 4-10 days off of a host, but once hatched they must feed on a human host within 24 hours, or they will die.

 

Head lice outbreaks are most common among school age children, especially girls. This is because they like to play  dress up, do each others hair, and have sleepovers.

Body Lice live on the body and in the clothing or bedding of infested humans. Body lice infestations spread rapidly under crowded conditions where hygiene is poor and there is frequent contact among people. Infestation is unlikely to persist on anyone who bathes regularly and who regularly has access to freshly laundered clothing and bedding.

Pubic Lice (Crabs) can live in almost any form of human hair, but is found most commonly in pubic hair. Its legs are adapted to climbing along relatively widely spaced hairs, and so it can be found in eyebrows, pubic hair, beards, moustaches, and even underarm hair. Pubic lice are usually spread through sexual contact. Rarely, infestation can be spread through contact with an infested person’s bed linens, towels, or clothes.
Lice are transmitted from person to person by close personal and prolonged skin contact, including sexual contact. It can be common in families, dormitories, nursing homes, hospitals, schools and other institutions. It is also possible to acquire a lice infestation via inanimate objects, such as contaminated items of clothing, hats, bedding, towels, combs and brushes, coats, scarves, and upholstered furniture.

Treatment of human head lice:
There are various methods for treating head lice, developed since ancient Egyptian times when lice first became a problem for humans.

Shaving the Head
Shaving off all the hair is a viable solution.This can be performed alone using mirrors to see all sides of the head, although it is easier to have someone else help with the procedure. A completely shaven head is necessary, a mere buzz cut is not sufficient.

Shaving the head gives the lice little to grasp to stay attached to the head. In addition to head hair, lice may infest facial hair or eyebrows, and these may also need to be removed for effective treatment.

While effective, some patients may find the hair removal aesthetically unappealing.

Chemical solutions
Human head lice can be killed by a 1% permethrin or pyrethrin (neurotoxic) or Lindane lice shampoo. As the lice live very close to the scalp, there is no need to coat the entire length of the hair. The hair must be combed with a fine-toothed comb after treatment to remove the nits.

Chemical solutions generally require at least three weeks of treatment.

Combing
Combing, also called nitpicking, is a particularly effective method for removal of lice without the use of any medicine, special shampoos, or meticulous visual inspections.

A special comb can remove nymphs and adult lice, but not their eggs. Black combs are frequently used to ease visual inspection, but metal combs may be used as well. Plastic combs may become ineffective due to the separation of the teeth after use. Combing takes approximately 10 days to clear the head of lice.

Fabric cleaning
In addition to removal of lice from the hair, it is common to clean items such as bedding and clothing which the lice may also have infested. The items can be cleaned in hot water. Head lice do not survive in bedding and clothing for more than 24 hours.

Risks
Resistance to commercially available anti-lice shampoos such as the above is becoming increasingly common. Pesticides like these can be dangerous to humans, and raising pesticide levels can be problematic due to concerns about the current level being toxic. Some studies suggest an elevated risk of childhood acute leukaemia following exposure.

Alternative treatment

Natural solutions
Natural solutions permeate the Internet and are also sold in some retail stores. Their effectiveness is not always supported by research studies.

Neem seed extracts

Shampoos based on Neem seed extracts can also be efficient if used properly.

Traditional Use of Neem to Treat Lice

Electric combs
One alternative to insecticidal treatments, particularly where resistance is common, is to use an electric comb such as the RobiComb. Alternating teeth carry a high voltage (though the developable current is small, and so the device is safe). Fine combing causes any contact with the lice to result in their electrocution. This allows diligent combing to eradicate an infestation.

Essential oil shampoos
Another procedure is to shampoo the hair with pure essential oils of two parts tea tree and 1 part peppermint oil. The process is repeated once every two days over a period of eight days.

Bugbusting
Bugbusting, involves combing wet hair covered with ordinary hair conditioner using special combs: the conditioner immobilises the lice so they can be detected easily. Used properly, this method appears to be as effective in practice as poison; lice cannot develop resistance to it, and it is economical and safe. But the process is tedious, particularly on curly hair, and must be repeated diligently four times over a two week period to cover the full life cycle of the lice.

Prevention

Natural oil
Humans’ first natural line of defense against head lice is their own natural hair oil. The oil interferes with the louse’s ability to cling to hair shafts and lay eggs (which are attached around the hair shaft). Clean hair is therefore more vulnerable to human head lice.

Hairstyle
Ponytails and tight braids tend to reduce the likelihood of acquiring a head lice infestation among those with long hair. Head lice crawl slowly; they cannot fly or leap. Therefore proximity to people who may be infested is not risky, but one must avoid sharing hats, hooded jackets, and hair decorations.

Lice also have a genetic preference to the shape of hair common in their region of origin; African head lice thrive better with oval hair, North American head lice with round hair.

Homeopathic Gel may sometimes work well.

Head lice Home Remedy— effective natural remedy .

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.

www.dermatechrx.com/lice and en.wikipedia.org

Categories
Pediatric

Is there a way to help your child avoid the common cold?

In the late 19th century Sir William Osler, one of the founding doctors of the Johns Hopkins Medical School, said that colds should be treated with contempt. It’s not known if Dr. Osler was suffering from a cold at the time, but this fact is known – we all get them from time to time and some kids get more than their share. It is nearly impossible for your child to avoid catching a cold. Adults average 2 to 3 colds per year and children 6 to 10, depending on their age and exposure. Youngsters are particularly susceptible to colds because of their close contact with other children, they have yet to learn good personal hygiene, such as hand washing and covering coughs and sneezes, and they constantly have their hands in their mouth and nose.

Yet, there are some things that can be done to reduce the frequency of colds in children (and adults, as well)
. First, parents should get to know their enemy, how we are infected, and if we can discover any weaknesses in our opponent. Second, parents should do all they can to keep their child’s immune system strong.

The enemy is one of over 100 different viruses, with strange sounding names like rhinovirus and adenovirus. The viruses first contaminate the hands of a child or adult with a cold as a result of nose blowing, covering sneezes, and touching the nose. The virus also contaminates objects (particularly toys) and surfaces in the environment of the cold sufferer. Casual contact transfers the virus to the hands of a non-infected child or adult, who then infects his or her self by touching their nose or rubbing their eyes (virus deposited in the eye promptly goes down the tear duct into the nose). Touching contaminated toys and surfaces, where they can survive up to three hours, can also pick up the virus. Less often, an adult or child can be infected when they breathe virus-containing droplets that were recently expelled in coughs and sneezes by an infected person (did you know that airborne droplets can travel up to 25 feet?).

Once infected, it takes only 8-12 hours for the viruses to begin multiplying and another 10-12 hours for cold symptoms to begin. Therefore, the only defense against the virus is to prevent this uninvited guest from entering the body in the first place.


Teach Your Kids to Wash Their Hands.
80% of all infectious disease could be eliminated by more frequent and proper hand washing with soap and water. This is the first line of defense against colds. It takes lots of soap, hot water, and 15 seconds of scrubbing to do any good. Remind your kids that they should never put their hands in their eyes or to their nose without washing them first.

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Encourage your kids to use tissue instead cloth handkerchiefs
Handkerchiefs catch and retain the viruses. Encourage your youngster to use paper facial tissue instead, and then throw them away immediately after each use. And remember to remind them to wash your hands after blowing your nose. Infectious disease specialists encourage parents to tell their kids to “blow, throw and wash” theory. After they blow their nose, be sure that they throw the tissue away…don’t carry it around… and then, wash your hands.

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Reduce your child’s social life. If you know that there is a high incidence of colds in your community, try to keep your child’s contact with other children to a minimum. Limit your youngster’s time they spend with infected kids.

Get some fresh air
During the cold season, kids tend to stay indoors and the germs spread faster this way. By opening windows and doors for a few minutes, and allowing air to circulate, you can push out airborne viruses. Viruses love stagnant air.

Help keep your child’s nasal passages clear Artificial heating tends to be very drying, so consider using a humidifier in the home to keep their air moist enough so as not to dry out the mucus membranes of the nose. Likewise, an air filter in an indoor environment, especially a HEPA type filter, can help remove airborne dust and germs.

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Eliminate Cigarette Smoke from Your Child‘s Environment Children exposed to passive cigarette smoke will get five times the number of colds when compared to youngsters who live in a smoke-free home.

Get Plenty of Sleep Our moms were right on when they encouraged us to get enough sleep. Although researchers have not directly proven that sleep deprivation causes more colds, some studies have sleep loss of three to four hours can cause a 50 percent decline in immune response.

When possible avoid closed-in spaces. Airplanes are virus-breading grounds. Cold viruses can’t escape these poorly ventilated areas. In addition, these areas are notorious for providing low humidity. This dries our mucous membranes that normally trap and dispose of viral invaders. A closed in space is just one more opportunity for the virus to spread to your child.

Source:kidsgrowth.com