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3rd Covid Wave Unlikely To Mirror Devastating 2nd Wave: Top Medical Body

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Rapid scale-up of vaccination efforts, says the study, could play an important role in mitigating the present and future waves of the disease.

New Delhi: A potential third wave of Covid infections seems unlikely to be as severe as the second wave, says a modelling study by a team of scientists from the Indian Council Of Medical Research (ICMR) and the Imperial College London, UK. Rapid scale-up of vaccination efforts, says the study, could play an important role in mitigating the present and future waves of the disease.

India’s first wave of SARSCoV-2 infection began in late January 2020 with a peak attained in mid-September. This phase was relatively mild compared to the second wave that followed, from mid-February 2021 onwards, exhibiting a more explosive spread across the country. A major factor driving this second wave is the emergence of more-infectious variants of SARS-CoV-2, principally B.1.1.7 (Alpha variant) and B.1.617.2 (Delta variant), of which the latter has played a dominant role in recent months.

Third waves have emerged in other countries – like the UK and the USA – and are driven by a range of factors, says the study.

The results suggest that a third wave, if it should occur, is unlikely to be as severe as the second wave, given the extent of spread that has already taken place in India, it adds.

“Consequently, for a virus to cause a major third wave in the face of this pre-existing immunity, extreme scenarios for the abrogation of that immunity are required, or for that matter, for the transmission fitness of any novel virus,” says the article in the Indian Journal of Medical Research.

For the wave to be as devastating, at least 30 per cent of the population who had been infected earlier must entirely lose their immunity, or an emerging variant of the virus must have a reproductive rate (R) over 4.5, that is, each infected person should be spreading to at least 4-5 others and these must occur almost immediately after the second wave ends, according to the study.

The emergence of a third wave in India could be substantially mitigated by the expansion of vaccination, says the study, adding the rollout of vaccine should be in such a way as to cover 40 per cent of the population with two doses over a period of three months following the end of the second wave, which is on the decline currently.

Crowding, use of mask and physical distancing during social interactions are all key factors shaping transmission rate and therefore population-level spread, the study cautions.

“Lockdown-release mechanisms could be a plausible driver for a third wave in India, depending on how effectively lockdowns have controlled transmission during the second wave particularly when instated at an early stage of the second wave and prior to attainment of peak,” says the study.

The analysis, says scientists, is intended to be illustrative and not predictive.

“In the present approach, we considered essentially a uniform waning rate over the spectrum of severity. Second, the basic reproduction number (equivalently, the rate-of-transmission) was assumed to remain constant during each wave,” said the scientists explaining the methodology used in the study.

Source : NDTV

Health & Fitness

Life expectancy in India drops by 2 years due to Covid pandemic: Report

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A statistical analysis conducted by Mumbai’s International Institute for Population Studies shows that life expectancy in India has dropped by roughly two years due to Covid-19 pandemic.

According to IIPS assistant professor Surayakant Yadav, the life expectancy at birth for men and women has declined from 69.5 years and 72 years in 2019 to 67.5 years and 69.8 respectively in 2020, reports Times of India.

‘Life expectancy at birth’ is defined as the average number of years that a newborn is expected to live if the mortality pattern during their birth remains constant in the future.

The study was conducted to analyse the effect of the Covid pandemic on the mortality patterns across the country, as thousands of lives were lost due to the deadly pandemic waves.

The study also found out that the Covid toll was reported to be the highest for men in the age group of 35-69. The excess deaths in this age bracket due to Covid led to a sharp drop in life expectancy.

The IIPS based its study on the data collected by the 145-nation Global Burden of Disease study and the Covid-India Application Programme Interface (API) portal.

Yadav further added, “The Covid impact has wiped out the progress we made in the last decade to increase the life expectancy figure. India’s life expectancy at birth now is the same as it was in 2010. It will take us years to catch up.”

However, IIPS director Dr K S James added that epidemics in the past in countries, including Africa, massively impacted life expectancy, but it recouped in a few years.

Source : IndiaToday

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How hemp is helpful for women in periods

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Hemp, a variety of Cannabis plants is usually grown for industrial purposes. It is counted as one of the fastest-growing plants on the earth. Earlier, hemp was an unknown plant and was a mystery. However, lately, it has been considered as one of the superfoods. Due to its rich nutritious content and health benefits, it is now increasingly preferred by consumers.

Procured from the Cannabis sativa plant, hemp seeds are often confused with cannabis. However, it is way different and useful.  It does not extend any mind-altering properties and is extremely safe and beneficial.

Offering multiple usages

These small brownish seeds are rich in protein, fiber, fatty acids including Omega 3s and Omega 6s. Additionally, they offer vitamin E, minerals, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, and Zinc making them ideal for consuming in meals or using externally as a part of cosmetic and skincare products. The seed offers various usages. The protein in its seeds is used to prepare tofu, cheese, etc. Its seed oil is used to prepare non-toxic diesel, paint, lubricating oil, etc. Whereas the seed itself can be grounded to bake items like cookies, bread, pasta, etc. Possessing antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, these are advantageous for menstrual cramps, ailments of the skin, heart, and joints.

Benefits offered by the seeds

This is a magical seed and possesses numerous known and unknown benefits-

  • Aids in digestion and is gut-friendly
  • Promotes healthy heart- Rich in amino acids, Omega-3 fatty acids, they reduce the risk of coronary heart diseases
  • Is therapeutic and helps relieve stress- Offering a high quantity of magnesium, amino acids, and vitamins, they help fight stress
  • Beneficial for the skin- coming with the right balance of fatty acids, they improve skin health
  • Helps in reducing the symptoms of PMS, menstrual cramps during menstruation and menopause phases

Hemp’s pain-relieving properties and its usage during menses

Menses are the monthly companion of every female. With them comes bloating, extreme abdominal pain, mood swings, etc. The cramps combined with pain and discomfort is a nightmare and can range from mild to severe intensities. In extreme cases, they even disrupt our normal routines. Even though there are various pain-relieving medicines available; females usually don’t prefer popping a pill to reduce the cramps. They prefer natural and organic solutions over advanced pills. This is where hemp took an opportunity and entered the lives of such females.

It is indeed a blessing in disguise as its super nutritious oil if used while menstruating can help females from the bouts of pain and discomfort. It is one of the safest, easiest available, and easy to use options present in the market for curing menstrual pain.

All you need to do is take a few drops of the hemp oil on your palm and massage it gently on the abdominal region. You can also use a heater bad or bottle for 15-20 minutes on the abdomen and let the oil work its magic.

While hemp’s use is not just restricted during the menstruation phase, it can also be used while you are PMSing or post menses, and even during the menopause phase. It is an ideal instant solution for sudden cramps.

Limitations of using Hemp

While hemp extends various benefits, it also has a few limitations. However, the primary restriction is that its usage should be done only after prior consultation from your doctor. This is advised because hemp can react with certain medicines and can leave side effects in both the short term and long run.

Additionally, its usage should be in controlled quantity as using it excessively can lead to organ damage, mood fluctuations, gut troubles, loss of appetite, etc. just to name a few.

Summing Up

Hemp has escalated the use of natural products over western medicine. It is one of the most beneficial and multi-purpose usage ingredients available in the market. Its availability and easy usage make it the ideal solution for various health troubles, especially during menses. So the next time, the monthly cramps try to hamper your lifestyle, you just need to grab a bottle of hemp oil and you will realize that you are being guarded by the angels straight from heaven.

Source: The Statesman

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Low fitness may increase depression and anxiety: Study

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Researchers have found that people with low aerobic and muscular fitness are nearly twice as likely to experience depression.

Low fitness levels also predicted a 60 per cent greater chance of anxiety, over a seven-year follow-up, according to the study published in the journal BMC Medicine.

“Here we have provided further evidence of a relationship between physical and mental health, and that structured exercise aimed at improving different types of fitness is not only good for your physical health, but may also have mental health benefits,” said study author Aaron Kandola from University College London (UCL) in the UK.

The study involved 152,978 participants aged between 40 and 69 years.

Their baseline aerobic fitness at the start of the study period was tested by using a stationary bike the increasing resistance, while their muscular fitness was measured with a grip strength test.

They also completed a questionnaire gauging depression and anxiety symptoms.

Seven years later they were tested again for depression and anxiety symptoms, and the researchers found that high aerobic and muscular fitness at the start of the study was associated with better mental health seven years later.

People with the lowest combined aerobic and muscular fitness had 98 per cent higher odds of depression, 60 per cent higher odds of anxiety, and 81 per cent higher odds of having either one of the common mental health disorders, compared to those with high levels of overall fitness.

“Our findings suggest that encouraging people to exercise more could have extensive public health benefits, improving not only our physical health but our mental health too,” said study author Joseph Hayes from UCL.

Improving fitness through a combination of cardio exercise and strength and resistance training appears to be more beneficial than just focusing on aerobic or muscular fitness, according to the study.

“Other studies have found that just a few weeks of regular intensive exercise can make substantial improvements to aerobic and muscular fitness, so we are hopeful that it may not take much time to make a big difference to your risk of mental illness,” the authors wrote.

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