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Ebola: Scientists Make Progress On Experimental Drugs

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Three vials containing an
experimental drug stored at subzero temperatures were flown into Liberia last week in a last-ditch effort to save two American missionary workers who had contracted Ebola, according to a source familiar with details of the treatment.
The drug appears to have worked. Dr. Kent Brantly’s and Nancy Writebol’s conditions significantly improved after receiving the medication, sources said.
Brantly was able to walk into Emory University Hospital in Atlanta after being evacuated to the United States last week, and Writebol is expected to arrive in Atlanta today.
On July 22, Brantly woke up feeling feverish. Fearing the worst, Brantly immediately isolated himself. Writebol’s symptoms started three days later. A rapid field blood test confirmed the infection in both of them after they had become ill with fever, vomiting and diarrhea.
It’s believed Brantly and Writebol, who worked with the aid organisation Samaritan’s Purse, contracted Ebola from another health care worker at their hospital in Liberia, although the official Centers for Disease Control and Prevention case investigation has yet to be released.
A representative from the National Institute of Health contacted Samaritan’s Purse in Liberia and offered the experimental treatment, known as ZMapp, for the two patients, according to the source.
The drug was developed by the biotech firm Mapp Biopharmaceutical Inc., which is based in San Diego. The patients were told that this treatment had never been tried before in a human being but had shown promise in small experiments with monkeys.
According to company documents, four monkeys infected with Ebola survived after being given the therapy within 24 hours after infection. Two of four other monkeys that started therapy within 48 hours after infection also survived. One monkey that was not treated died within five days of exposure to the virus.
Brantly and Writebol were aware of the risk of taking a new, little-understood treatment and gave informed consent, according to two sources familiar with the care of the missionary workers. In the monkeys, the experimental serum had been given within 48 hours of infection. Brantly didn’t receive it until he’d been sick for nine days.
The medicine is a three-mouse monoclonal antibody, meaning that mice were exposed to fragments of the Ebola virus and then the antibodies generated within the mice’s blood were harvested to create the medicine. It works by preventing the virus from entering and infecting new cells.
The Ebola virus causes viral hemorrhagic fever, which refers to a group of viruses that affect multiple organ systems in the body and are often accompanied by bleeding.
Early symptoms include the sudden onset of fever, weakness, muscle pain, headaches and a sore throat. They later progress to vomiting, diarrhea, impaired kidney and liver function — and sometimes internal and external bleeding.
The ZMapp vials reached the hospital in Liberia where Brantly and Writebol were being treated last Thursday morning. Doctors were instructed to allow the serum to thaw naturally without any additional heat. It was expected that it would be eight to 10 hours before the medicine could be given, according to a source familiar with the process.

L-R: Director, Plateau State Ministry of Health, Mr Ibrahim Gontor, Secretary, Administration and Finance, Mr Solomon Musa and Permanent Secretary, Mr Elias Pede, during a news conference  on the activities to mark the World Hepatitis Day in Jos, recently.

L-R: Director, Plateau State Ministry of Health, Mr Ibrahim Gontor, Secretary, Administration and Finance, Mr Solomon Musa and Permanent Secretary, Mr Elias Pede, during a news conference on the activities to mark the World Hepatitis Day in Jos, recently.

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Monkeypox: NCDC Registers 59 Suspected Cases, 15 Confirmed

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The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has registered 59 suspected cases of Monkeypox with 15 confirmed, its Director-General, Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, said yesterday in Abuja.
Ihekweazu was reacting to the Dallas, Texas resident who recently returned from Nigeria and tested positive to the disease.
The Tide source reports that it was the first confirmed case of the virus in the U.S. since 2003, with health officials saying that the public should not be concerned.
Laboratory tests confirmed that the patient was infected with a strain of the virus mainly seen in West Africa, which included Nigeria.
“While rare, this case is not a reason for alarm and we do not expect any threat to the general public,” Dallas County Judge, Clay Jenkins, said in a statement by Dallas County’s health department.
With passengers wearing masks on the flight and in the airport, the health department said that the risk of spreading monkeypox via respiratory droplets to others on the planes and in the airports was low.
Ihekweazu told The Tide source that just as the agency responded to other epidemic prone diseases in the country, an outbreak would be declared when there was a large cluster of monkeypox cases that constituted an emergency.
“The Federal Government was notified of the situation in Texas, through the International Health Regulations (IHR), who reported a case of monkeypox disease diagnosed in a patient who had recently visited Nigeria”, he said.

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Covid-19: UNIPORT Directs Compulsory Use Of Face Masks

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The management of the University of Port Harcourt on Monday made compulsory the use of face masks in its campuses over concerns of third wave of Covid-19 in the country.
The Federal Government on Sunday put six states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) on red alert following the emergence and possible rising cases of the Delta variant of Covid-19 infection.
The affected states, which are spread across four of the country’s six geopolitical zones of South-West, South-Wouth, North-West and North-Central are Lagos, Oyo, Rivers, Kaduna, Kano, Plateau and the nation’s capital, FCT.
A statement issued in Port Harcourt by the chairman of UNIPORT’s Steering Committee on Covid-19, Prof. Siminialayi Iyeopu, quoted the institution’s Vice Chancellor, Prof. Owunari Georgwill, as issuing the directive.
According to Georgewill, the university is worried about the rising number of new cases and hospitalisation from the pandemic in the country.
“So, the mandatory use of face masks shall commence effective Monday, July 19, in UNIPORT.
“Every member of the university community must wear a face mask and observe all Covid-19 protocols for all indoor activities, including examinations and lectures, as well as meetings”, the VC said.

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Boosting Vision And Immunity With Herbs

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Boosting ones immunity and eyesight is key to better health. The eyes play key role in keeping one alert of the environment and relationship. The immune system helps to stabilize and keep us going as human beings. A stable immune system is vital for survival and wellbeing.
Over the years, scientists have discovered that Vitamin A is germane to healthy eyes and strong immune system. They are a group of fat-soluble antioxidant compounds. It is considered an essential vitamin, and performs a large number of roles in the body including maintaining vision, supporting the immune system and aiding gene transcription. Unfortunately, vitamin A deficiencies are becoming increasingly common worldwide. These deficiencies, which can result in deteriorating eyesight, rough skin and greater susceptibility to disease, are almost always caused by poor diet. Therefore, the best way to increase one’s vitamin A intake is to simply eat more whole foods that are rich in it. This article focuses on the greatest sources of carotenoids, the plant-based form of vitamin A.
Excellent plant-based sources of vitamin A:
Turemeric -This cousin of ginger is packed with lots of Vitamin A essential for better vision. The yellow colour of turmeric makes it one of the most viable source of vitamin A. The carotenoids in Turmeric also help boost immunity. The better aspect of the spice is that its less hot and calmer to the tongue and stomach than ginger.
Garlic – This king of spice is highly packed with lots of immune boosting agents called allicin. Garlic has other ingredients that helps make it as an immune booster and these include its antifungal and microbial virtues. Egyptians of the old used to eat garlic to strengthen their immune system.
Sweet Potatoes – Despite their name, sweet potatoes are only distantly related to regular potatoes, and their nutritional value is greater. For example, whereas cooked white potatoes contain only minimal amounts of vitamin A, cooked sweet potatoes are packed with it. In fact, just one ounce of these starchy, sweet-tasting root vegetables contains more than one hundred percent of the RDI — more than any other regular vegetable. They’re also a good source of fiber and vitamin C. However, sweet potatoes are an acquired taste and liking regular potatoes is no indication that one will like sweet ones.
Carrots – That carrots are rich in vitamin A shouldn’t surprise anyone who knows that beta-carotene, one of the most important provitamin A carotenoids, was named after them. Yes, eating one ounce of these popular orange vegetables supplies the body with 95 percent of the RDI, as well as decent amounts of manganese, fiber and vitamin K. Generally speaking, the deeper the orange color, the more beta-carotene the carrot contains.
Many spices, such as cayenne pepper and paprika, are also excellent sources of carotenoids. These spices can help give nutritionally-average meals an added boost of essential vitamins.
Good animal sources of vitamin A:
Though most people obtain the bulk of their vitamin A from the carotenoids present in plant foods, the preformed vitamin A (“retinoids”) found in animal products shouldn’t be overlooked. According to the World’s Healthiest Foods website, cow’s milk is the best source of retinoids, with shrimp, eggs and salmon following thereafter. Since vitamin A is stored in the liver, it’s unsurprising that liver contains more vitamin A than any other part of the animal, with veal liver containing the most of all.
Culled from natural news.com

By: Kevin Nengia

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