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Antibiotics may give rise to new harmful bacteria

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ISLAMABAD: Besides treating bacterial infections, some antibiotics may also give rise to harmful new bacteria, research suggests.
“For a long time we have thought that bacteria make antibiotics for the same reasons that we love them – because they kill other bacteria,” said Elizabeth Shank, assistant professor of biology at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
“However, we have also known that antibiotics can sometimes have pesky side-effects, like stimulating biofilm formation,” Shank added.
The researchers have now shown that this side-effect – the production of biofilms – is not a side-effect, after all, suggesting that bacteria may have evolved to produce antibiotics in order to produce biofilms and not only for their killing abilities, said the study appeared in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Biofilms are communities of bacteria that form on surfaces, phenomenon dentists usually refer to as plaque. Biofilms are everywhere. In many cases, biofilms can be beneficial, such as when they protect plant roots from pathogens. But they can also harm, for instance when they form on medical catheters or feeding tubes in patients, causing disease.

A relevant piece published earlier: What researchers from the University of Leicester have found out is certainly alarming for Karachiites! The first of its kind study has revealed that bacteria triggering respiratory infections become antibiotics-resistance due to air pollution. So as to determine this, the panel of connoisseurs analyzed the influences of air contamination on the bacteria existing in human bodies, particularly the respiratory tract (nose, throat and lungs). The key element of air pollution is black carbon, which is being rapidly produced via the burning of fossil fuels like diesel, bio-fuels, and biomass. Elaborating on the study, Dr Shane Hussey and Dr Jo Purves held that all of us are exposed to toxic fumes and we know its harmful impacts. Now it is obligatory to figure out such antidotes that could help in containing these effects. Also, it has been reported that two human pathogens (Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus pneumonia) are considered the prime causes of respiratory ailments. Besides, they also demonstrate high levels of resistance to antibiotics. One of the investigators Julian Ketley noted that urbanization in big cities with intense levels of air pollution poses life threats all across the globe. Also, the World Health Organization (WHO) delineates atmosphere pollution as the biggest single ecological health jeopardy. According to WHO it is accountable to around 7 million deaths per annum. The study has been reported in the journal Environmental Microbiology. (Published on 3rd March 2017)

 

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NIH asks citizens to take preventive measures against typhoid

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ISLAMABAD: The Field Epidemiology and Disease Surveillance Division (FEDSD), National Institute of Health (NIH) Wednesday issued an advisory on control of typhoid fever.
According to NIH, viewing situation of an increased number of typhoid fever cases in the country, the Institute has issued an advisory on typhoid fever. It said typhoid fever spread mostly in summer and rainy season in Pakistan. It added typhoid caused by bacteria, (Salmonella Typhi) which occurs through the feco-oral route and spread through contaminated food, milk, frozen fruits, and water or through close contact with an already infected person.
Contamination mainly caused by poor sanitation and mixing of sewerage in drinking water. It said that newly emerged form of typhoid fever, extensively drug-resistant (XDR) Typhoid is being reported in some areas of Sindh province, especially in Hyderabad and Karachi.
There are more than 2000 positive cases of XDR Typhoid have been reported so far. The advisory suggested adopting preventive measures in routine life to avoid such kind of infections. It advised to wash hand properly and restore hand hygiene condition in routine life, avoid eating raw food and vegetables and always drink boiled drinking water.
It added typhoid vaccine is available in Pakistan and people should also administer typhoid vaccine after consultation with a doctor.  The advisory said that the NIH had disseminated awareness material about these disease for the general population, health sector stakeholders, and all provincial authorities. The institute also displayed the poster advisories in the Urdu language in public places.

Relevant pieces published earlier: 

i)

US warns apropos drug-resistant typhoid in Pakistan!

The United States furnished a health warning to travelers pertaining a current epidemic of extremely drug-resistant typhoid fever prevailing in Pakistan on Wednesday. The statement reads, “All travelers to Pakistan are at risk of getting XDR typhoid fever. Those who are visiting friends or relatives are at higher risk than are tourists and business travelers.” The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggested all tourists to Pakistan or South Asia to get themselves immunized and pick out food items and drinking water carefully.

Moreover, the CDC noted in the notice that various travelers to Pakistan are down with the lethal disease when returned to their home states. Therefore, washing hands before guzzling down food is a must. It is pertinent to mention here that last year, NPTV had reported that the drug-resistant typhoid was prevailing in various vicinities of Sindh particularly Hyderabad.

Moreover, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has joined forces with the Government of Sindh on a children’s anti-typhoid campaign by donating 250,000 syringes earlier this year. (Aiman Inam) (Published on 5th July 2018) 

ii) The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is partnering with the Government of Sindh on a children’s anti-typhoid campaign by donating 250,000 syringes. After the Sindh Department of Health noticed a recent rise in the number of drug-resistant typhoid cases, it reached out to USAID for assistance. The syringes will help immunize over 250,000 children against a drug-resistant strain of typhoid reported in Latifabad and Qasimabad, two sub-districts of Hyderabad, Sindh.

Oghale Oddo, USAID’s Acting Deputy Mission Director for Sindh and Balochistan, said, “Our support for the government’s anti-typhoid campaign exemplifies the strength of our ongoing partnership.  USAID will continue to support the Government of Sindh in their efforts to institutionalize evidence-based care.” The U.S. government, through USAID, has supported the Government of Sindh for over five years to save the lives of children by ensuring that they have access to basic health services. (6th of February 2018) 

ii) Sources privy to Newspakistan.tv has been informed that over 250 children have been infected in Hyderabad and some 15 kids in Karachi with Multi-drug resistant (MDR) typhoid so far during this pre-Monsoon season.  Experts warn that this is the worst sort of typhoid epidemic, which is getting widespread in both of the cities. Lyari, North Karachi, Gulshan-e-Hadeed, Gulistan-e-Jauhar, Malir and Ibrahim Haydri are some of the most affected localities.  It has further been learned that the major culprits behind disseminating such occurrence are un-chlorinated water, impure water and poor sanitation and sewerage conditions – thanks to the Karachi Water and Sewerage Board (KWSB)! So as to thwart this condition, people must avoid germ-infested food and water.

Also, they should clean their underground and overhead water tanks and add some chlorine pills. As usual, the situation of this Megapolis has gone downhill after the first rain spell. Everyone can clearly see the filthy water in every nook and corner, particularly in slum areas. No civic body bothers to take care of poor people. Now another rain spell is just around the corner and thundershowers are expected to pour from Saturday (today) through Tuesday. This could make the situation worse. Typhoid outbreak along with many other infectious disorders are more prevalent throughout the monsoon season. Health and wellness experts reiterate that people should consume foods rich in vitamin C. Being an immune booster, Vitamin C has the ability of slaying infected cells in the body. Do not let your kids play and get wet in the rains. Avoid eating out, particularly, spinach, eggplant as well as all sorts of meat. (Published on 15th July 2017) 

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How to determine sacrificial animals’ health?

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MULTAN: The Livestock Department advised the people to take special care while purchasing sacrificial animals on Eid-ul-Azha as some precautionary steps are helpful in determining the health of sacrificial animals.
Most of the citizens visit the cattle market once a year, to purchase animals and they lack information about some very important features to determine their health. According to Livestock Department Focal Person Dr. Majid, people should get gloves and caps from staffers of Livestock Department before entering into cattle market for purchasing animals.
Citizens should carefully observe ticks or lice on hides of animals and in case they found ticks then they must manage anti-ticks spray or injections before purchasing.  Citizens should also check the sitting place of animals and monitor the urine and dung of animals. If they found urine and dung in the normal state then they should purchase the animal, he informed.
Dr. Majid further remarked that an animal should be alert and active in the movement, and he advised the people to purchase animals in daylight instead of night time because they could assess the health of animals easily.
There should be no swelling, inflammation or redness on the legs of animals.  Similarly, citizens should also minutely observe stains of diarrhea at any part of the animal body.
There should be no eye secretions, no marks of lesions or redness at any part of the body.  “If there are some eye secretions then it could be the sign of eye worms diseases in animals. Similarly, nasal discharge is also one symptom of trachea and lungs infections. The skin of animal should be bright  and dull skin indicates symptoms of dehydration in  animals.”
The official added that some cattle dealers used to sell female animals. The citizens should approach a team of Livestock Depart, which is present in all cattle markets, for pregnancy test of the animals.
“If a citizen purchase animal from a farmer instead of the cattle market  then he should call at Help Line 08000-9211 of Livestock Department  for determining the pregnancy test.”
Citizens should identify the special place in their homes for temporary accomodation of animals. It should be a vast, spacious and nature friendly environment, he maintained.
The animals should not be tied with an electric pole or near barbed wires. “Keep animals away from other animals so that they should not fight one another. It is often seen that citizens used to tie animals quite near and they start hitting one another.”
Children should not be allowed to bring their cattle on roads. Sometime, animals get out of control and start running on roads which could cause injury to animals or cause road mishaps, the official added.
Similarly, they should manage vehicles which could easily transport the animal from market to home.
It is observed that some farmers as well as citizens used motorcycles or cars for the transport of the small animals which cause injuries to animals as well as citizens.
To a query about precautionary measures to deal ticks if found on animals, the focal person informed that they had set up 21 pickets in Multan Division for anti-ticks spray on animals.
Three pickets have been introduced in district Multan, five in Khanewal, five in Lodhran and eight in district Vehari.  He informed that thousands of animals have been sprayed in these districts by officials of Livestock Department during last few days.
Dr. Majid also suggested citizens to approach professional butchers only for slaughtering of animals as immature and non-professional butchers damage animal hides which are not only loss of hide but also damage its exports returns.
Similarly, the hides should be kept in shopper after applying salt on it, he advised.  Sometime, hides are thrown in a corner of the house, which is not properly cleaned. If the hide is pulled along the ground instead of lifting it, then it damaged due to friction and sometimes dust particles mixed into it which also destroy the quality of hides, he concluded.

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Health

More Diabetes Foot Clinics stressed to control diabetes

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LAHORE: There is a dire need to establish more foot clinics in the country including Punjab to prevent disability and mortality from diabetes.
Despite having millions of diabetics in Punjab, there are only four diabetic foot clinics operating in public and the private sector in Lahore where hundreds of people with  Diabetic Foot Ulcers (DFUs) are reporting on a daily basis.
This was stated by diabetologists who urged the new Punjab and federal governments to establish diabetes and foot clinics at tehsil, district and tertiary-care hospitals to prevent amputations and save lower limbs of diabetic patients.
“Diabetic Foot Ulcers have become a global challenge including Pakistan and in Punjab alone, thousands of people with diabetes lose their legs due to diabetic foot ulcers or injuries. Evidence-based research shows that after the establishment  of specialized clinics, amputation rate reduced by almost half  in Pakistan so we need more specialized foot clinics in Punjab  and the rest of the country on an urgent basis”, said Dr. Muhammad  Arshad Siddiqui, Incharge of Mayo Hospital Lahore’s Diabetes  and Foot Clinic while speaking at National Association of  Diabetes Educators of Pakistan Diabetes Foot Con 2018.
The international diabetes conference was organized by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) MENA region in Collaboration with the Baqai Institute of Diabetology and Endocrinology (BIDE) Karachi and DFC of Mayo Hospital Lahore where international speakers from the United States, Europe, Middle East and Fast Eastern countries, Africa and different cities of Pakistan presented their research work on diabetic foot ulcers, prevention of amputations and cardiovascular diseases and proper diabetes control through use of insulin  to reduce disability and mortality.
Dr. Arshad Siddiqui said the prevalence of diabetes was second highest in Punjab followed by Sindh in Pakistan and added that due to poor and sedentary lifestyle, lack of the habit of exercise and heavy eating by people in Punjab, the rate of diabetes was climbing in the province. “But if Lahorites in particular and others in general start jogging and running on a daily basis, they can continue with their current eating habits and practices”, he added.

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