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Ailmemts & Remedies

SARS (Severe acute respiratory syndrome)

Description:
SARS, or Severe acute respiratory syndrome, is the disease caused by SARS coronavirus. It causes an often severe illness marked initially by systemic symptoms of muscle pain, headache, and fever, followed in 2–10 days by the onset of respiratory symptoms,[3] mainly cough, dyspnea, and pneumonia. Another common finding in SARS patients is a decrease in the number of lymphocytes circulating in the blood.

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Virus classification:-

Group: Group IV ((+)ssRNA)

Order: Nidovirales

Family: Coronaviridae

Genus: Coronavirus

Species: SARS coronavirus

SARS coronavirus is a positive and single stranded RNA virus belonging to a family of enveloped coronaviruses. Its genome is about 29.7kb, which is one of the largest among RNA viruses. The SARS virus has 13 known genes and 14 known proteins. There are 265bp in the 5’UTR and 342bp in the 3’UTR. SARS is similar to other coronaviruses in that its genome expression starts with translation of two large ORFs 1a and 1b, which are two polyproteins.

The functions of several of these proteins are known:  ORFs 1a and 1b encode the replicase and there are four major structural proteins: nucleocapsid, spike, membrane and envelope. It also encodes for eight unique proteins, known as the accessory proteins, with no known homologues. The function of these accessory proteins remains unknown.
In the SARS outbreak of 2003, about 9% of patients with confirmed SARS infection died. The mortality rate was much higher for those over 50 years old, with mortality rates approaching 50% for this subset of patients.

Coronaviruses usually express pp1a (the ORF1a polyprotein) and the PP1ab polyprotein with joins ORF1a and ORF1b. The polyproteins are then processed by enzymes that are encoded by ORF1a. Product proteins from the processing includes various replicative enzymes such as RNA dependent polymerase, RNA helicase, and proteinase. The replication complex in coronavirus is also responsible for the synthesis of various mRNAs downstream of ORF 1b, which are structural and accessory proteins. Two different proteins, 3CLpro and PL2pro, cleave the large polyproteins into 16 smaller subunits.

SARS-Coronavirus follows the replication strategy typical of the Coronavirus genus.

In the SARS outbreak of 2003, about 9% of patients with confirmed SARS infection died. The mortality rate was much higher for those over 50 years old, with mortality rates approaching 50% for this subset of patients.

Causes:
SARS is caused by a strain of coronavirus, the same family of viruses that causes the common cold. Until now, these viruses have never been particularly dangerous in humans, although they can cause severe disease in animals. For that reason, scientists originally thought that the SARS virus might have crossed from animals to humans. It now seems likely that it evolved from one or more animal viruses into a completely new strain.
 
How do SARS spread:
Most respiratory illnesses, including SARS, spread through droplets that enter the air when someone with the disease coughs, sneezes or talks. Most experts think SARS spreads mainly through face-to-face contact, but the virus also may be spread on contaminated objects — such as doorknobs, telephones and elevator buttons.

Symptoms:
Once a person has contracted SARS, the first symptom that they present with is a fever of at least 38°C (100.4°F) or higher. The early symptoms last about 2–7 days and include non-specific flu-like symptoms, including chills/rigor, muscle aches, headaches, diarrhea, sore throat, runny nose, malaise, and myalgia (muscle pain). Next, they develop a dry cough, shortness of breath, and an upper respiratory tract infection.

SARS typically begins with flu-like signs and symptoms — signs and symptoms include:

*Fever of 100.4 F (38 C) or higher
* Dry cough
*Shortness of breath

Complications:
The main complication of SERS  is that most people develop pneumonia. Breathing problems can become so severe that a mechanical respirator is required. SARS is fatal in some cases, often due to respiratory failure. Other possible complications include heart and liver failure.

People older than the age of 60 — especially those with underlying conditions such as diabetes or hepatitis — are at highest risk of serious complications.

Risk Factors:
In general, people at greatest risk of SARS have had direct, close contact with someone who’s infected, such as family members and health care workers.

Diagnosis:
At that time, a chest x-ray is ordered to confirm pneumonia. If the chest appears clear and SARS is still suspected, a HRCT scan will be ordered, because it is visible earlier on this scan. In severe cases, it develops into respiratory failure and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), and in 70-90% of the cases, they develop lymphopenia (low count of lymphocyte white blood cells).

The incubation period for SARS-CoV is from 2–10 days, sometimes lasting up to 13 days, with a mean of 5 days.  So symptoms usually develop between 2–10 days following infection by the virus. As part of the immune response, IgM antibody to the SARS-CoV is produced. This peaks during the acute or early convalescent phase (week 3) and declines by week 12. IgG antibody is produced later and peaks at week 12.

Tests:
When SARS first surfaced, no specific tests were available to help doctors diagnose the disease. Now several laboratory tests can help detect the virus. But no known transmission of SARS has occurred anywhere in the world since 2004.

Treatment:
Although global efforts are still on, scientists have not yet found out any effective treatment for SARS. Antibiotic drugs don’t work against viruses and antiviral drugs haven’t shown much benefit.

Prevention:
Researchers are working on several types of vaccines for SARS, but none has been tested in humans.Engineering of SARS virus has been done. In a paper published in 2006, a new transcription circuit was engineered to make recombinant SARS viruses. The recombination allowed for efficient expression of viral transcripts and proteins. The engineering of this transcription circuit reduces the RNA recombinant progeny viruses. The TRS (transcription regulatory sequences) circuit regulates efficient expression of SARS-CoV subgenomic mRNAs. The wild type TRS is ACGAAC.

A double mutation results in TRS-1 (ACGGAT) and a triple mutation results in TRS-2 (CCGGAT). When the remodeled TRS circuit containing viruses are genetically recombined with wild type TRS circuits, the result is a circuit reduced in production of subgenomic mRNA. The goal of modifying the SARS virus with this approach is to produce chimeric progeny that have reduced viability due to the incompatibility of the WT and engineered TRS circuits.

Novel subunit vaccine constructs for an S protein SARS vaccine based on the receptor binding domain (RBD) are being developed by the New York Blood Center. The re-emergence of SARS is possible, and the need remains for commercial vaccine and therapeutic development. However, the cost and length of time for product development, and the uncertain future demand, result in unfavorable economic conditions to accomplish this task. In the development of therapeutics and next-generation vaccines, more work is required to determine the structure/ function relationships of critical enzymes and structural proteins.

If SARS infections resume, follow these safety guidelines if you’re caring for an infected person:

 *Wash your hands. Clean your hands frequently with soap and hot water or use an alcohol-based hand rub containing at least 60 percent alcohol.

* Wear disposable gloves. If you have contact with the person’s body fluids or feces, wear disposable gloves. Throw the gloves away immediately after use and wash your hands thoroughly.

* Wear a surgical mask. When you’re in the same room as a person with SARS, cover your mouth and nose with a surgical mask. Wearing eye glasses also may offer some protection.

* Wash personal items. Use soap and hot water to wash the utensils, towels, bedding and clothing of someone with SARS.

* Disinfect surfaces. Use a household disinfectant to clean any surfaces that may have been contaminated with sweat, saliva, mucus, vomit, stool or urine. Wear disposable gloves while you clean and throw the gloves away when you’re done.

Follow all precautions for at least 10 days after the person’s signs and symptoms have disappeared. Keep children home from school if they develop a fever or respiratory symptoms within 10 days of being exposed to someone with SARS. Children can return to school if signs and symptoms go away after three days.

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.

Resources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SARS_coronavirus
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/sars/DS00501/DSECTION=prevention

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Categories
Ailmemts & Remedies

Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS)

Definition::
Severe acute respiratory syndrome  is a respiratory disease in humans which is caused by the SARS coronavirus (SARS-CoV). There was one near pandemic, between the months of November 2002 and July 2003, with 8,422 known infected cases and 916 confirmed human deaths (a case-fatality rate of 10.9%) worldwide being listed in the World Health Organization’s (WHO) 21 April 2004 concluding report. Within a matter of weeks in early 2003, SARS spread from Hong Kong to rapidly infect individuals in some 37 countries around the world.

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As of today, the spread of SARS has been fully contained, with the last infected human case seen in June 2003 (disregarding a laboratory induced infection case in 2004). However, SARS is not claimed to have been eradicated (unlike smallpox), as it may still be present in its natural host reservoirs (animal populations) and may potentially return into the human population in the future.

Mortality by age group as of 8 May 2003 is below 1% for people aged 24 or younger, 6% for those 25 to 44, 15% in those 45 to 64 and more than 50% for those over 65. For comparison, the case fatality rate for influenza is usually around 0.6% (primarily among the elderly) but can rise as high as 33% in locally severe epidemics of new strains. The mortality rate of the primary viral pneumonia form is about 70%.

Symptoms:
The main symptoms of SARS are:

•High fever (above 38°C)
•Dry cough
•Breathing difficulties
*Other breathing symptoms
•Headache
•Muscular aches and stiffness
•Loss of appetite
•Malaise or tiredness
•Confusion
•Rash

The most common symptoms are:
*Chills and shaking
*Cough — usually starts 2-3 days after other symptoms
*Fever
*Headache
*Muscle aches

Less common symptoms include:
*Cough that produces phlegm (sputum)
*Diarrhea
*Dizziness
*Nausea and vomiting
*Runny nose
*Sore throat

These symptoms are typical of many severe respiratory infections. There have only ever been a few cases of SARS reported in the UK, so if you’ve similar symptoms, it’s far more likely to be a more typical form of pneumonia. Even if you’ve recently returned from south-east Asia, there’s little risk that you have SARS as the virus has been contained.

Causes:
Coronaviruses are positive-strand, enveloped RNA viruses that are important pathogens of mammals and birds. This group of viruses cause enteric or respiratory tract infections in a variety of animals including humans, livestock and pets.

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Initial electron microscopic examination in Hong Kong and Germany found viral particles with structures suggesting paramyxovirus in respiratory secretions of SARS patients. Subsequently, in Canada, electron microscopic examination found viral particles with structures suggestive of metapneumovirus (a subtype of paramyxovirus) in respiratory secretions. Chinese researchers also reported that a Chlamydophila-like disease may be behind SARS. The Pasteur Institute in Paris identified coronavirus in samples taken from six patients, so did the laboratory of Malik Peiris at the University of Hong Kong, which in fact was the first to announce (on 21 March 2003) the discovery of a new coronavirus as the possible cause of SARS after successfully cultivating it from tissue samples and was also amongst the first to develop a test for the presence of the virus. The CDC noted viral particles in affected tissue (finding a virus in tissue rather than secretions suggests that it is actually pathogenic rather than an incidental finding). Upon electron microscopy, these tissue viral inclusions resembled coronaviruses, and comparison of viral genetic material obtained by PCR with existing genetic libraries suggested that the virus was a previously unrecognized coronavirus. Sequencing of the virus genome — which computers at the British Columbia Cancer Agency in Vancouver completed at 4 a.m. Saturday, 12 April 2003 — was the first step toward developing a diagnostic test for the virus, and possibly a vaccine. A test was developed for antibodies to the virus, and it was found that patients did indeed develop such antibodies over the course of the disease, which is highly suggestive of a causative role.

On 16 April 2003, the WHO issued a press release stating that a coronavirus identified by a number of laboratories was the official cause of SARS. Scientists at Erasmus University in Rotterdam, the Netherlands demonstrated that the SARS coronavirus fulfilled Koch’s postulates thereby confirming it as the causative agent. In the experiments, macaques infected with the virus developed the same symptoms as human SARS victims.

An article published in The Lancet identifies a coronavirus as the probable causative agent.

In late May 2003, studies from samples of wild animals sold as food in the local market in Guangdong, China found that the SARS coronavirus could be isolated from palm civets (Paguma sp.), but the animals did not always show clinical signs. The preliminary conclusion was that the SARS virus crossed the xenographic barrier from palm civet to humans, and more than 10,000 masked palm civets were destroyed in Guangdong Province. Virus was also later found in raccoon dogs (Nyctereuteus sp.), ferret badgers (Melogale spp.) and domestic cats. In 2005, two studies identified a number of SARS-like coronaviruses in Chinese bats. Phylogenetic analysis of these viruses indicated a high probability that SARS coronavirus originated in bats and spread to humans either directly, or through animals held in Chinese markets. The bats did not show any visible signs of disease, but are the likely natural reservoirs of SARS-like coronaviruses. In late 2006, scientists from the Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention of Hong Kong University and the Guangzhou Centre for Disease Control and Prevention established a genetic link between the SARS coronavirus appearing in civet cats and humans, bearing out claims that the disease had jumped across species

Viral replication:
Coronavirus (CoV) genome replication takes place in the cytoplasm in a membrane-protected microenvironment and starts with the translation of the genome to produce the viral replicase. CoV transcription involves a discontinuous RNA synthesis (template switch) during the extension of a negative copy of the subgenomic mRNAs. The requirement for base pairing during transcription has been formally demonstrated in arteriviruses and CoVs. The CoV N protein is required for coronavirus RNA synthesis and has RNA chaperon activity that may be involved in template switch. Both viral and cellular proteins are required for replication and transcription. CoVs initiate translation by cap-dependent and cap-independent mechanisms. Cell macromolecular synthesis may be controlled after CoV infection by locating some virus proteins in the host cell nucleus. Infection by different coronaviruses cause in the host alteration in the transcription and translation patterns, in the cell cycle, the cytoskeleton, apoptosis and coagulation pathways, inflammation and immune and stress responses. The balance between genes up- and down-regulated could explain the pathogenesis caused by these viruses. Coronavirus expression systems based on single genome constructed by targeted recombination, or by using infectious cDNAs, have been developed. The possibility of expressing different genes under the control of transcription regulating sequences (TRSs) with programmable strength and engineering tissue and species tropism indicates that CoV vectors are flexible. CoV based vectors have emerged with high potential vaccine development and possibly for gene therapy

Possible Complications:
*Respiratory failure
*Liver failure
*Heart failure
.
Diagnosis:
SARS may be suspected in a patient who has:

1.Any of the symptoms, including a fever of 38 °C (100.4 °F) or higher, and
2.Either a history of:
…..1.Contact (sexual or casual) with someone with a diagnosis of SARS within the last 10 days OR
…..2.Travel to any of the regions identified by the WHO as areas with recent local transmission of SARS (affected regions as of 10 May 2003[13] were parts of China, Hong Kong, Singapore and the province of Ontario, Canada).

A probable case of SARS has the above findings plus positive chest X-ray findings of atypical pneumonia or respiratory distress syndrome.

With the advent of diagnostic tests for the coronavirus probably responsible for SARS, the WHO has added the category of “laboratory confirmed SARS” for patients who would otherwise fit the above “probable” category who do not (yet) have the chest x-ray changes but do have positive laboratory diagnosis of SARS based on one of the approved tests (ELISA, immunofluorescence or PCR).

The chest X-ray (CXR) appearance of SARS is variable. There is no pathognomonic appearance of SARS but is commonly felt to be abnormal with patchy infiltrates in any part of the lungs. The initial CXR may be clear.

White blood cell and platelet counts are often low. Early reports indicated a tendency to relative neutrophilia and a relative lymphopenia — relative because the total number of white blood cells tends to be low. Other laboratory tests suggest raised lactate dehydrogenase and slightly raised creatine kinase and C-Reactive protein levels.

With the identification and sequencing of the RNA of the coronavirus responsible for SARS on 12 April 2003, several diagnostic test kits have been produced and are now being tested for their suitability for use.

Three possible diagnostic tests have emerged, each with drawbacks. The first, an ELISA (enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay) test detects antibodies to SARS reliably but only 21 days after the onset of symptoms. The second, an immunofluorescence assay, can detect antibodies 10 days after the onset of the disease but is a labour and time intensive test, requiring an immunofluorescence microscope and an experienced operator. The last test is a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test that can detect genetic material of the SARS virus in specimens ranging from blood, sputum, tissue samples and stools. The PCR tests so far have proven to be very specific but not very sensitive. This means that while a positive PCR test result is strongly indicative that the patient is infected with SARS, a negative test result does not mean that the patient does not have SARS.

The WHO has issued guidelines for using these diagnostic tests.  There is currently no rapid screening test for SARS and research is ongoing.

Treatment:
Antibiotics are ineffective as SARS is a viral disease. Treatment of SARS so far has been largely supportive with antipyretics, supplemental oxygen and ventilatory support as needed.

Suspected cases of SARS must be isolated, preferably in negative pressure rooms, with complete barrier nursing precautions taken for any necessary contact with these patients.

There was initially anecdotal support for steroids and the antiviral drug ribavirin, but no published evidence has supported this therapy.

Researchers are currently testing all known antiviral treatments for other diseases including AIDS, hepatitis, influenza and others on the SARS-causing coronavirus.

There is some evidence that some of the more serious damage in SARS is due to the body’s own immune system overreacting to the virus – a cytokine storm. Research is continuing in this area.

In December 2004 it was reported that Chinese researchers had produced a SARS vaccine, it has been tested on a group of 36 volunteers, 24 of whom developed antibodies against the virus.

A 2006 systematic review of all the studies done on the 2003 SARS epidemic found no evidence that antivirals, steroids or other therapies helped patients. A few suggested they caused harm.

The clinical treatment of SARS has been relatively ineffective with most high risk patients requiring artificial ventilation. Currently, corticosteroids and Ribavirin are the most common drugs used for treatment of SARS (Wu et al., 2004). In vitro studies of Ribavirin have yielded little results at clinical, nontoxic concentrations. Better combinations of drugs that have yielded a more positive clinical outcome (when administered early) have included the use of Kaletra, Ribavirin and corticosteroids. The administration of corticosteroids, marketed as Prednisone, during viral infections has been controversial. Lymphopenia can also be a side effect of corticosteroids even further decreasing the immune response and allowing a spike in the viral load; yet physicians must balance the need for the anti-inflammatory treatment of corticosteroids (Murphy 2008). Clinicians have also noticed positive results during the use of human interferon and Glycyrrhizin. No compounds have yielded inhibitory results of any significance. The HIV protease inhibitors Ritonavir and Saquinavir did not show any inhibitory effect at nontoxic levels. Iminocyclitol 7 has been found to have an inhibitory effect on SARS-CoV in that it disrupts the envelope glycoprotein processing. Iminocyclitol 7 specifically inhibits the production of human fucosidase and in vitro trials yielded promising results in the treatment of SARS, yet one problem exists. A deficiency of fucosidase can lead to a condition known as fucosidosis in which there is a decrease in neurological function.

Prognosis:
The death rate from SARS was 9 to 12% of those diagnosed. In people over age 65, the death rate was higher than 50%. The illness was milder in younger patients.

Many more people became sick enough to need breathing assistance. And even more people had to go to hospital intensive care units.

Public health policies have been effective at controlling outbreaks. Many nations have stopped the epidemic in their own countries. All countries must continue to be careful to keep this disease under control. Viruses in the coronavirus family are known for their ability to change (mutate) in order to spread among humans.
.
Prevention:
The WHO set up a network for doctors and researchers dealing with SARS, consisting of a secure web site to study chest x-rays and a teleconference.

A SARS-treating hospital in Taiwan.Attempts were made to control further SARS infection through the use of quarantine. Over 1200 were under quarantine in Hong Kong, while in Singapore and Taiwan, 977 and 1147 were quarantined respectively. Canada also put thousands of people under quarantine.[14] In Singapore, schools were closed for 10 days and in Hong Kong they were closed until 21 April to contain the spread of SARS.

On 27 March 2003, the WHO recommended the screening of airline passengers for the symptoms of SARS.

In Singapore, a single hospital, Tan Tock Seng Hospital, was designated as the sole treatment and isolation centre for all confirmed and probable cases of the disease on 22 March. Subsequently, all hospitals implemented measures whereby all staff members were required to submit to temperature checks twice a day, visitorship was restricted only to pediatric, obstetric and selected other patients, and even then, only one person was allowed to visit at a time. To overcome this inconvenience, videoconferencing was utilised. A dedicated phoneline was designated to report SARS cases, whereupon a private ambulance service was dispatched to transport them to Tan Tock Seng Hospital.

On 24 March, Singapore’s Ministry of Health invoked the Infectious Diseases Act, allowing for a 10-day mandatory home quarantine to be imposed on all who may have come in contact with SARS patients. SARS patients who have been discharged from hospitals were under 21 days of home quarantine, with telephone surveillance requiring them to answer the phone when randomly called up. Discharged probable SARS patients and some recovered cases of suspected SARS patients are similarly required to be home quarantined for 14 days. Security officers from CISCO, a Singaporean auxiliary police force, were utilised to serve quarantine orders to their homes, and installed an electronic picture (ePIC) camera outside the doors of each contact. Sparked in particular by the news surrounding an elderly man who disregarded the quarantine order, flashing it to the public as he strolled to eating outlets and causing a minor exodus of patrons which persisted until the fears over the disease abated, the Singapore government called for an urgent meeting in Parliament on 24 April to amend the Infectious Disease Act and include penalties for violations, revealing at least 11 other violators of quarantine orders. These amendments included:

…*the requirement of suspected persons of infectious diseases to be brought to designated treatment centres, and their prohibition from going to public places;

…*the designation of contaminated areas and the restriction of access to them, and the destruction of suspected sources of infection;

…*the introduction of the power to tag offenders who break home quarantine (persons who failed to be contacted three times by phone consecutively) with electronic wrist tags, and the imposition of fines without court trial;

…*the ability to charge repeated offenders in court which may lead to imprisonment; and

…*the prosecution of anyone caught lying to health officials about their travel to SARS-affected areas or contacts with SARS patients.

Thermal imaging at Taoyuan Airport’s International checkpoint.On 23 April the WHO advised against all but essential travel to Toronto, noting that a small number of persons from Toronto appear to have “exported” SARS to other parts of the world. Toronto public health officials noted that only one of the supposedly exported cases had been diagnosed as SARS and that new SARS cases in Toronto were originating only in hospitals. Nevertheless, the WHO advisory was immediately followed by similar advisories by several governments to their citizens. On 29 April WHO announced that the advisory would be withdrawn on 30 April. Toronto tourism suffered as a result of the WHO advisory, prompting The Rolling Stones and others to organize the massive Molson Canadian Rocks for Toronto concert, commonly known as SARSstock, to revitalize the city’s tourism trade.

Also on 23 April, Singapore instituted thermal imaging scans to screen all passengers departing Singapore from Singapore Changi Airport. It also stepped up screening of travelers at its Woodlands and Tuas checkpoints with Malaysia. Singapore had previously implemented this screening method for incoming passengers from other SARS affected areas but was to include all travelers into and out of Singapore by mid- to late May.

In addition, students and teachers in Singapore were issued with free personal oral digital thermometers. Students took their temperatures daily, usually two or three times a day, but the temperature-taking exercises were suspended with the waning of the outbreak.

Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport also added SARS checkpoints with an infrared screening system similar to Singapore’s Changi Airport.

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.

Resources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Severe_acute_respiratory_syndrome
http://health.nytimes.com/health/guides/disease/severe-acute-respiratory-syndrome-sars/overview.html
http://www.bbc.co.uk/health/physical_health/conditions/sars1.shtml

http://www.wpro.who.int/NR/rdonlyres/464C8256-9D58-44B3-B292-DB3518117CA8/0/SchematicdrawingsofSARS.jpg

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Algae May Harbour SARS Cure

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A protein from algae might help in treating Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) infections, suggests a new study.

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Researchers from University of Iowa have found that mice treated with the protein, Griffithsin (GRFT), had a 100 percent survival rate after exposure to the SARS coronavirus (SARS-CoV), as compared to a 30 percent survival for untreated mice.

GRFT is believed to exert its anti-viral effects by altering the shape of the sugar molecules that line the virus‘ envelope, allowing it to attach to and invade human cells, where it takes over the cells’ reproductive machinery to replicate itself.

Without that crucial ability, the virus is unable to cause disease.

“While preliminary, these results are very exciting and indicate a possible therapeutic approach to future SARS or other coronaviral outbreaks,” said Christine Wohlford-Lenane, senior research assistant at the department of pediatrics University of Iowa and the lead author of the study.

GRFT not only stop the virus from replicating, but also prevented secondary outcomes, such as weight loss, that are associated with infection.

“We are planning future studies to investigate prophylaxis, versus treatment interventions with GRFT, in the SARS mouse model in collaboration with Barry O’Keefe at the National Cancer Institute,” she said.

“In addition, we want to learn whether mice protected from SARS by GRFT develop protective immunity against future infection,” she added.

The research was presented at the American Thoracic Society‘s 105th International Conference in San Diego.

Source: The Times Of India

 
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Featured

How WHO Measures a Pandemic

The World Health Organization has six phases of pandemic alert to assess the potential for a new global flu outbreak. Swine flu has raised the level to phase 5.

— Phase 1. There are no viruses circulating in animals that have been reported to cause infections in humans.

— Phase 2. An animal flu virus has caused infections in humans in the past and is considered to be a potential pandemic threat.

Phase 3. An animal or mixed animal-human virus has caused occasional cases or small clusters of disease, but the virus does not spread easily. The world is currently in phase 4, with H5N1 bird flu viruses sporadically infecting humans and occasionally spreading from human to human.

— Phase 4. The new virus can cause sustained outbreaks and is adapting itself to human spread.

— Phase 5. The virus has spread into at least two countries and is causing even bigger outbreaks.

— Phase 6. More outbreaks in at least two regions of the world; the pandemic is under way.

The World Health Organization raised its pandemic alert level to 5, signaling that the swine flu virus is becoming increasingly adept at spreading between humans. That signals governments they should ready their pandemic preparedness plans and increase detection systems for potential cases.

Phase 6 means there is transmission in at least two regions of the world and that a pandemic is under way.

With an elevated pandemic alert level, WHO might also issue travel advisories, warning against nonessential travel to regions battling outbreaks, trade restrictions, the cancellation of public events or border closures.

During the SARS outbreak in 2003, WHO travel advisories drastically slashed travel to affected regions, curtailing the outbreak

Sources
: Los Angeles Times

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Ailmemts & Remedies

Muscle Pain

Alternative Name:Muscle pain; Myalgia; Pain – muscles

Definition:
Muscle aches and pains are common and can involve more than one muscle. Muscle pain also can involve ligaments, tendons, and fascia, the soft tissues that connect muscles, bones, and organs.

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Muscle pain is a symptom of many diseases and disorders. The most common causes are overuse or over-stretching of a muscle or group of muscles. Myalgia without a traumatic history is often due to viral infections. Longer-term myalgias may be indicative of a metabolic myopathy, some nutritional deficiencies or chronic fatigue syndrome.

Muscle cramps
Joint pain

Considerations:
Muscle pain is most frequently related to tension, overuse, or muscle injury from exercise or physically-demanding work. In these situations, the pain tends to involve specific muscles and starts during or just after the activity. It is usually obvious which activity is causing the pain.

Muscle pain also can be a sign of conditions affecting your whole body, like some infections (including the flu) and disorders that affect connective tissues throughout the body (such as lupus).

One common cause of muscle aches and pain is fibromyalgia, a condition that includes tenderness in your muscles and surrounding soft tissue, sleep difficulties, fatigue, and headaches.

Causes:
The most common causes of myalgia are overuse, injury or stress. However, myalgia can also be caused by diseases, disorders, medications, as a response to vaccination and withdrawal syndromes. It is also a sign of acute rejection after heart transplant surgery.

The most common causes are:
*Injury or trauma including sprains and strains

*Overuse: using a muscle too much, too soon, too often

*Tension or stress

*Muscle pain may also be due to:

Certain drugs, including:
*ACE inhibitors for lowering blood pressure

*Cocaine

*Statins for lowering cholesterol

*Dermatomyositis

*Electrolyte imbalances like too little potassium or calcium

*Fibromyalgia

*Infections, including:

*Influenza (the flu)

*Lyme disease

*Malaria

*Muscle abscess

*Polio

*Rocky Mountain spotted fever

*Trichinosis (roundworm)

*Lupus

*Polymyalgia rheumatica

*Polymyositis

*Rhabdomyolysis

Overuse
Overuse of a muscle is using it too much, too soon and/or too often. Examples are:Repetitive strain injury.

Injury
The most common causes of myalgia by injury are: sprains and strain (injury).

Muscle pain due to Diseases/Disorders

Infectious
Acute Endocarditis, African Tick Bite Fever, Bronchitis, Chikungunya, Common cold, Community-acquired pneumonia, Coccidioidomycosis, Dengue fever, Endemic typhus, HIV, Infectious mononucleosis, Influenza, Legionellosis, Leptospirosis, Lyme disease, Malaria, Marburg virus, Meningitis, Monkeypox, Pharyngitis, Pneumonia, Prostatitis, Psittacosis, Q fever, Rabies, Rift Valley fever, Ross River Fever, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), Toxic shock syndrome, Trichinosis, Typhoid fever, Upper respiratory tract infection, Viral pneumonia, West Nile virus.

Autoimmune
Multiple sclerosis, Myositis, Lupus erythematosus, Familial Mediterranean fever, Polyarteritis nodosa, Devic’s disease, Morphea

Metabolic defect
Carnitine palmitoyltransferase II deficiency, Conn’s syndrome, Adrenal insufficiency

Other
Chronic fatigue syndrome, Hypokalemia, Exercise intolerance, Mastocytosis, Peripheral neuropathy, Eosinophilia myalgia syndrome, Fibromyalgia, Barcoo Fever, Delayed onset muscle soreness

Medications
Aldara, Acrylamide, Darbepoetin, Isotretinoin, Gardasil, Procainamide, Quinupristin/dalfopristin, Spiriva, Sumatriptan, Vardenafil, Statins, Zetia, Zomig, Boniva, Pegetron, Welchol

Withdrawal Syndromes
Sudden cessation of opioids, barbiturates, benzodiazepines, or alcohol can induce myalgia.

Treatment:

Click to see:->
Astounding Treatment for Burns and Muscle Injuries

24 Home Remedies for Muscle Pain

Treatment for Pulled Muscles Ache

Muscle pain treatment

Pain Management: Myofascial Pain Syndrome (Muscle Pain)

Natural Pain Relief– Effective and Safe

Drug Free Pain Relief

Alternative treatment for muscle pain relief

Muscle Sprain Treatment through Acupunture

Use of sympathetic antagonists for treatment of chronic muscle pain

Home Care
For muscle pain from overuse or injury, rest that body part and take acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Apply ice for the first 24 – 72 hours of an injury to reduce pain and inflammation. After that, heat often feels more soothing.

Muscle aches from overuse and fibromyalgia often respond well to massage. Gentle stretching exercises after a long rest period are also helpful.

Regular exercise can help restore proper muscle tone. Walking, cycling, and swimming are good aerobic activities to try. A physical therapist can teach you stretching, toning, and aerobic exercises to feel better and stay pain-free. Begin slowly and increase workouts gradually. Avoid high-impact aerobic activities and weight lifting when injured or while in pain.

Be sure to get plenty of sleep and try to reduce stress. Yoga and meditation are excellent ways to help you sleep and relax.

If home measures aren’t working, call your doctor, who will consider prescription medication, physical therapy referral, or referral to a specialized pain clinic.

If your muscle aches are due to a specific disease, follow the instructions of your doctor to treat the primary illness.

Click to see:->Muscle Pain – Causes – Symptoms – Diagnosis – Treatment – Pain Relief

When to Contact a Medical Professional:-

Call your doctor if:

*Your muscle pain persists beyond 3 days

*You have severe, unexplained pain

*You have any sign of infection, like swelling or redness around the tender muscle

*You have poor circulation in the area where you have muscles aches (for example, in your legs)

*You have a tick bite or a rash

*Your muscle pain has been associated with starting or changing doses of a medicine, such as a statin


Your doctor will perform a physical examination and ask questions about your muscle pain, such as:

*When did it start? How long did it last?
*Where is it exactly? Is it all over or only in a specific area?
*Is it always in the same location?
*What makes it better or worse?
*Do other symptoms occur at the same time, like joint pain, fever, vomiting, weakness, malaise, or difficulty*

*using the affected muscle?
*Is there a pattern to the muscle aches?
*Have you taken any new medications lately?
*Tests that may be done include:

*Complete blood count (CBC)
*Other blood tests to look at muscle enzymes (creatine kinase) and possibly a test for Lyme disease or a *connective tissue disorder
*Physical therapy may be helpful.

Prevention
*Warm up before exercising and cool down afterward.
*Stretch before and after exercising.
*Drink lots of fluids before, during, and after exercise.
*If you work in the same position most of the day (like sitting at a computer), stretch at least every hour.

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.


Resources:

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003178.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Myalgia

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