Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD),sometimes known as chronic obstructive lung disease (COLD) or chronic obstructive airways disease (COAD), is the collective term for a number of chronic, slowly progressive conditions, most of which are either caused by tobacco smoking or are exacerbated by it. It has supplanted the term ‘chronic bronchitis’.

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“Smokeless tobacco products” A Serious Threat for Your Health

According to the new guidelines given by National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE), smokeless tobacco products could pose serious health risks including oral cancer and cardiovascular diseases.  Smokeless products are very commonly used in South Asian community to aid digestion and to freshen the breath.

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Cancer Induced Deaths ‘to Fall 17% By 2030’

Experts of UK predict that cancer induced death will fall by almost 17% by 2030.  Better diagnosis and treatment is the key factor for the change as suggested by charity Cancer Research UK. It was found that in 2010 approximately 170 people in every 100,000 population died due to cancer. It is expected to fall to 142 per 100,000.

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Link Between Sleep apnoea and Cancer Death Discovered

Latest research has shown that sleep apnoea could increase the risk of cancer mortality.  This study was conducted on 5,600 patients in Spain by using hypoxaemia index.  This research was presented in European Respiratory Society’s Annual Conference in Vienna.

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Proper Use of Asthma Inhalers

Patients suffering from asthma or COPD sometime require inhaler to manage their breath related problems. Its use is very simple but most of the people are not aware about the proper and correct use of asthma inhalers. Due to improper use of these asthma inhalers, the therapeutic concentration of drug is not achieved. Here are few steps regarding the proper use of inhalers.

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Dengue fever

Dengue fever is a tropical viral infectious disease caused by dengue virus. It is also called as breakbone fever as usually targets the bones.  It is mainly transmitted by a mosquito of genus Aedes principally A. aegypti.

Facts sheet:

  • According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it is estimated that approximately 2.5 billion people or 20% of the total population are living at an area where risk of transmission of dengue virus is maximum.
  • Now this infection is endemic in 100 countries including Asia, the Pacific, the Americas, Africa, and the Caribbean.
  • According to the World Health Organization, every year almost 50 to 100 million people suffer infection with dengue fever and 2200 deaths occur as a result of this infection.
  • It is further estimated by WHO that 500 000 people require hospitalization due to this deadly disease each year.

Sign and symptoms:

Dengue fever remains asymptomatic in 80% of the cases and rest of them may suffer following sign and symptoms:

  • Fever (40°C/ 104°F)
  • Headache
  • Back pain
  • Rashes
  • Muscle ache
  • Joint pain
  • Mouth and nose bleeding
  • Vomiting
  • Altered level of consciousness
  • Pleural effusion
  • Hypotension
  • GIT bleeding
  • Itching
  • Seizures

Transmission:

Dengue fever is transmitted by an infected mosquito names as A. aegypti. The incubation period of virus is 4–10 days. Infected humans are the carrier of this virus where it undergoes multiplication and proliferation.

Aedes aegypti is a day time feeder and commonly located in urban areas. It usually bites during early morning and in the evening. In Asia the second vector of dengue virus is Aedes albopictus. It can also transmit via blood products and organ donation.

Diagnosis:

Dengue fever can be easily diagnosed on the basis of symptoms and physical examination. Following test can also be conducted for accurate clinical judgment.

  • Complete blood count (Level of WBC and Platelets reduces)
  •  Tourniquet test
  • Polymerase chain reaction (PCR)
  • Viral antigen detection
  • Specific tests for dengue virus-specific antibodies (IgM, and IgG)

Treatment:

According to the WHO there is no specific treatment of this disease. Following supportive treatment can be done.

  • Oral rehydration therapy
  • Administration of Paracetamol but avoid the use of NSAIDs as Aspirin and Ibuprofen as they can cause hemorrhage
  • Blood transfusion if vital signs are unstable
  • Packed red blood cell and whole blood is recommended

Immunization:

As yet there is no vaccination available for dengue fever but efforts are being made to discover effective vaccination.

Prevention:

There is only one method to control or prevent this deadly infection that is to stop its transmission via mosquito. This could be done by

  1. Dispose solid wastes properly
  2. Remove man made habitants
  3. Domestic water storage containers should be covered and cleaned on weekly basis
  4. Wear long-sleeved clothes and insecticide treated materials, coils and vaporizers
  5. Apply insecticide spray during outbreaks
  6. Monitoring and surveillance of vectors should be carried out to determine effectiveness of control interventions.

References:

  1. World Health Organization
  2. Center for Disease Control and Prevention

 

What Is The Difference Between Heart Attack And Heart Failure?

People often confuse when they are describing about heart failure and heart attack but these are two different medical conditions. Here few difference are elaborated between these two diseases.

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