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Pondicherry student finds home remedy for COVID-19

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  • The case discusses a blend made from straightforward kitchen fixings like turmeric, ginger and honey, which when taken for five days can squash the viral spread. While turmeric has been generally utilized as a typical family solution for hack, sore throat and respiratory sicknesses in Asia, the claim that it cures COVID-19 is a stretch.
  • As medicinal plants enhance NK cell activity, inhibit activated transcription factor 2 (ATF-2), down-regulate Th17-related cytokines including transcription factor RORc, IL-17A and Th2-related cytokines including IL-5, IL-13, and IL-6, inhibit GATA3, IL-4, IL-6, IL-1β, RORγt, IL-17A, TNF-α expression and increase the secretions of IL-10, INF-γ, etc., it shows that natural products have potent immune-modulatory and immune-boosting effects that may be helpful during the infection course by increasing innate immune response to infections.
  • However, the key factor for COVID-19 to happen and develop is the association between the infection and a person’s invulnerable framework. Therefore, there is no basis for claiming that turmeric concoctions can cure COVID-19.

Source:
Lancet Respir Med. 2020;8:420–22
Phytother Res. 2010;24:129–35.
J Microbiol Immunol Inf. 2012;45:165–84

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Coronavirus

Steam Inhalation for a week kills Coronavirus?

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The common misconception is that steam inhalation is beneficial in preventing and treating respiratory tract symptoms. Social media and home-made tutorials from unverified sources have a role in misleading patients, caregivers and most important parents of young children into practising this dangerous habit.1 A social media forward doing the rounds claims steam inhalation kills the Coronavirus because at different temperatures, the virus behaves differently and is ultimately weakened and dies. This is NOT TRUE.

As per a Cochrane Review2, while steam inhalation is traditionally used as a home remedy for common colds and upper respiratory tract infections, the evidence base of the practice is weak, with unproven theories that the steam loosens mucus, opens nasal passages, and reduces mucosal inflammation, or that the heat inhibits replication of viruses.This review found evidence to be equivocal but that it did lead to symptom relief in the common cold. However, overall it found that evidence supporting steam inhalation in the treatment of the common cold was inadequate to recommend it for routine clinical practice.

Whilst none of the trials in the review2 found steam inhalation to cause a worsening of respiratory symptoms, steam inhalation has been associated with other complications, most notably scald injuries. 

The National Institute for Clinical Excellent (NICE) currently recommends3 that steam inhalation may be used as a symptomatic remedy, which may “theoretically help congested mucus drain better and heat may destroy the cold virus, as it does in vitro”. An observational study conducted by Mahajan et al. also concluded that steam can be permitted as an adjunct to social distancing, sanitizers and masks and PPE for effective precaution as well as cure in COVID-19; but this study warrants further extended randomized controlled trials to see the effect of steam on larger groups of patients or healthcare staff.

It is important to note that steam inhalation has been a hazard to children as well. Resulting scalds can ultimately lead to hospital admission, surgery, and life-long disfigurement. Brewster et al. reported that the Burns Centre at Birmingham Children’s Hospital, Birmingham, UK, received a 30-fold increase in the number of scalds directly resulting from steam inhalation. The article published in The Lancet, further emphasized that parental education is paramount to preventing these injuries. Steam inhalation should be actively discouraged and parents should be taught about alternative treatments for their child.

Source:

1.Brewster CT, et al. Lancet. 2020;395(10238):1690. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(20)31144-2
2.Singh M, et al. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2017; 2017CD001728
3.NHS Clinical Knowledge; 2016. What self-care advice should i give to someone with the common cold? [Internet]. Summaries. Available from: https://cks.nice.org.uk/common-cold#!scenario.
4.Mahajan HN. July 2020 Indian Medical Gazette. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/343262923_Indian_Medical_Gazette_Use_of_Steam_as_Adjuvant-treatment_in_Covid-19_Patients_An_Observational_Study

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Coronavirus

Mortality is very high in Indians due to COVID-19 and the disease is fatal

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This rumor was based on a few social media forwards that stated that there is no hope if you have contracted the novel coronavirus and that the disease is mostly fatal. This is not true. COVID-19 may not have a cure yet, but it is definitely a manageable disease. India’s COVID-19 recovery rate currently stands at 88.63%.  The total positive cases are less than 7.5 lakh and comprise just 9.85% of active cases. Less than 50,000 new cases have been recorded in the last 24 hours.1

An October 2020 report (dated 20th October 2020), showed that while the global case fatality rate (CFR) stood at 2.97% as on date, India is the only country with the highest recoveries and continues to have one of the lowest fatality rates globally. The fatality rate in India is 1.52%, said the Union Health Ministry in a release issued earlier today (20th October 2020).1

Speaking on the subject, eminent physician and cardiologist and Past President of the Indian Medical Association, Dr. KK Aggarwal mentioned that mortality of symptomatic cases of the coronavirus is 1% and if you include asymptomatic cases as well, the mortality is 0.3%. Therefore, the disease is treatable and not always fatal.

Source:

Press Information Bureau, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare Press release, 20th October.
World Report (The Lancet) 2020;396(10252):657

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The novel coronavirus pandemic is linked to the rollout of 5G technology?

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This is not true or proven yet. And it would appear that this story is also a hoax because the virus is spreading in countries without access to 5G, the frequencies from 5G can’t harm your body, and COVID-19 is caused by a contagious virus that is in no way related to electromagnetic waves. The in-depth tracing of COVID-related mis- and disinformation across social networks offers important new insights into the dynamics of online information dissemination and points to opportunities to slow and stop the spread of false information, or at least to combat it more directly with accurate counterinformation.1 The sudden rise in rumors surrounding conspiracy theories also led the US Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to very clearly state: “5G technology does NOT cause coronavirus.”2

When researched further, the only correlation between the two has been that they have released at approximately the same time globally. But on a case to case basis, country wise, there is no correlation between the two. In early April 2020, several mobile phone towers in the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and other countries, as well as some of the technicians servicing them, were attacked by believers in the rumor. This demonstrates that such mis and disinformation does not necessarily remain limited to online circulation but can result in substantial offline harm.3 Be aware of fake news and always check reliable websites for verification before forwarding such news articles online on any platform.

Source:

1.Media International Australia. 2020 Aug 4: 1329878X20946113.
2.FEMA, Federal Communications Commission (FCC)
3.https://www.zdnet.com/article/amid-5g-mast-arson-and-coronavirus-conspiracy-theories-social-media-walks-a-fine-line/

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Coronavirus

Mild COVID-19 symptoms do not need testing

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COVID-19 symptoms can vary widely in different people, ranging from deadly pneumonia to a loss of smell, or even no symptoms.1 However, as per the Union Health Ministry, Government of India2, 80% of the COVID-19 cases are either asymptomatic or with mild symptoms and COVID-19 can spread from asymptomatic persons during the early stages of the disease itself. Many people report mild symptoms initially before showing influenza-like symptoms with high fever and coughing. Therefore, there is a possibility to catch COVID-19 from someone who does not feel ill, does not show any major symptoms or has just a mild cough. According to Harvard Health Publishing, a person may have mild symptoms for about one week, then worsen rapidly.Experts say these worsening conditions are usually caused by an overreaction of the immune system after symptoms first appear and it is extremely important to rest and stay hydrated even if the symptoms are mild, while following strict social distancing and self-quarantine, until tested. Therefore, it is advisable to get yourself tested for COVID-19 irrespective of the severity of the symptoms.

Source:

1.https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/most-coronavirus-cases-are-mild-complicating-efforts-to-respond/2020/02/12/213603a4-4dc2-11ea-bf44-f5043eb3918a_story.html

2.http://ddnews.gov.in/national/80-covid-19-cases-asymptomatic-or-mild-symptoms-health-ministry

3.https://www.health.harvard.edu/diseases-and-conditions/covid-19-basics

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The Russian vaccine has no reported side-effects

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This claim is not true. While Astra Zeneca has put a hold on its vaccine trials due to side effects, there has been news about the Russian Sputnik V vaccine gaining momentum for not having any side effects. However, this is not true. The vaccine is the first approved for widespread use but could be dangerous because it hasn’t been tested in large trials, as per a report published in Nature.1 Approximately 14% volunteers have small complaints of weakness, muscle pain for 24 hours and an occasional increase in body temperature after being given Russia’s COVID-19 vaccine.

The Sputnik V is developed by the Gamaleya Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology along with Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) and was registered in August 2020 as the world’s first registered vaccine against COVID-19 based on the human adenoviral vectors’ platform.

However, the vaccine has not completed larger clinical trials. 

In more recent news about the vaccine, upon regulatory approval in India, it is understood that the RDIF shall supply to Dr Reddy’s Laboratories, a leading pharmaceutical firm in India, about 100 million doses of the vaccine. The Sputnik V vaccine, which is based on a well-studied human adenoviral vector platform with proven safety, is undergoing clinical trials for the coronavirus pandemic and deliveries could potentially begin in late 2020, subject to completion of successful trials and registration of the vaccine by regulatory authorities in India.

Source:
Nature. 2020;584:334-35

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