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Covid-19: How to detect if you have caught Omicron? What are its symptoms? Are at-home molecular tests effective?

Doctors who have treated omicron affected patients say that the symptoms are different from other variants. Can at-home molecular tests detect omicron? Read to know.

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Omicron variant

After Alpha, Beta, Gama and Delta variant of Covid-19, another variant of coronavirus, Omicron, has emerged in South Africa. Omicron is spreading widely around the globe.

Omicron was first detected in Botswana, sent Europe into high alert after cases were detected in the UK, Germany, Italy and Belgium. The Czech Republic, Israel, Austria and the Netherlands were all investigating suspected cases of the variant.

Doctors who have treated omicron affected patients say that the symptoms are different from other variants.

Omicron: new variant of Covid-19t

Here are the symptoms of the Omicron variant

According to the South African doctor, patients who tested positive for Omicron complained of excessive tiredness, mild muscle aches, an itchy throat, and a dry cough. Only a few people had a temperature that was slightly over normal.

  1. Patients infected with this strain, especially the young, experience tremendous tiredness. This is common for people of all ages.
  2. There is no significant decline in oxygen saturation. For example, during the second wave of the pandemic in India, patients’ oxygen saturation values dropped sharply.
  3. People who are infected with the Omicron variant have not complained of loss of taste or smell, which are common symptoms in other strains.
  4. Patients with the Omicron variant have reported “scratchy throat.”
Omicron variant

Can at-home molecular tests detect omicron?

Read Also: Will India ban international flights again amid fear of Omicron? CM Arvind Kejriwal requests PM Modi to stop it immediately

According to an American news agency, the US-based diagnostic company Lucira has confirmed that its COVID-19 Check-It (OTC) and All-In-One (Rx) molecular self-test kits have the ability to detect 100% of Omicron variant genome sequences by targeting viral sequence regions unaffected by the spike protein mutations found in Omicron, Delta, and other Variants of Concern. The company claims that its self-testing kits would provide PCR results correctly and fast detectability in a single-use, all-in-one kit with outcomes in 30 minutes or less the infection with the new highly mutated Omicron.

Health

National Fresh Breath Day 2023: Take care of your oral health and hygiene

The inception of National Fresh Breath Day originated from the intention of fostering oral hygiene awareness, preventing the embarrassment of malodorous breath.

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National Fresh Breath Day 2023: Take care of your oral health and hygiene

National Fresh Breath Day, observed annually on August 6th, aims to promote optimal oral health and hygiene. The significance of this day lies in advocating for the prevention of unpleasant breath odours caused by factors such as consumption of pungent foods like onions, garlic, and sardines, as well as inadequate oral care practices. Undesirable breath can unknowingly impact social interactions negatively, leading to avoidance in professional settings, social gatherings, and daily outings. National Fresh Breath Day underscores the importance of maintaining fresh breath and underscores the need for regular oral health evaluations.

The inception of National Fresh Breath Day originated from the intention of fostering oral hygiene awareness, preventing the embarrassment of malodorous breath. The day strives to motivate a greater number of individuals to prioritize their oral well-being.

Efficient dental hygiene can be achieved through a consistent routine encompassing twice-daily tooth brushing, flossing, and periodic dental appointments. Despite adhering to these fundamental practices, it’s worth noting that more than half of oral bacteria contribute to foul breath. While regular brushing and mouthwash usage are conventional methods for mitigating this issue, individuals afflicted with severe conditions like halitosis may experience persistent challenges despite meticulous oral care. Seeking professional medical guidance in such instances is highly advisable.

A prevalent tactic to combat bad breath involves resorting to sugar-containing mints and chewing gums for instant relief. However, this approach can have adverse long-term effects. Opting for sugar-free, preservative-free, and dye-free options is recommended. National Fresh Breath Day was established to raise awareness about the implications of bad breath and to encourage seeking medical assistance when warranted.

ACTIVITIES FOR NATIONAL FRESH BREATH DAY

Acknowledge Your Dentist’s Efforts

If your breath is fresh, your teeth are strong, and your gums are healthy, it’s likely due to the care of a dedicated dentist. Express your gratitude by giving them a shout-out on your social media platforms.

Set Up a Dental Appointment

National Fresh Breath Day serves as a valuable prompt to finally arrange a visit with your oral hygienist, a task you may have been postponing. Ideally, you should have your oral health assessed every six months.

Indulge in Oral Hygiene Treats

Pamper yourself on National Fresh Breath Day with new oral care essentials like a fresh toothbrush, sugar-free breath mints, or a unique mouthwash flavour. If you’ve never tried an electric toothbrush, today is an opportune time to make the purchase.

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Health

World Lung Cancer Day 2023: History, significance, myths and awareness quotes

The day is celebrated to raise awareness around the deadly disease and encourage research related to the disease to break the stigma around it. 

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World Lung Cancer Day 2023

World Lung Cancer Day has been celebrated every year on August 1 since 2012. The day is celebrated to raise awareness around the deadly disease and encourage research related to the disease to break the stigma around it. 

World Lung Cancer Day 2023: History and significance

According to reports, the campaign for World Lung Cancer Day was recognized in the year 2012 though the momentum was set in the preceding years. The Forum of International Respiratory Societies conducted the campaign in collaboration with the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer and the American College of Chest Physicians.

Reports claim that the statistics in India suggest that the number of cancer cases might increase from 1.46 million in 2022 to 1.57 million in 2025. Lung and breast cancers in males and females respectively are considered to be the leading types of cancers. Major types of lung cancer are classified on the grounds of the appearance of cancer cells under the microscope such as small-cell lung cancer and non-small-cell lung cancer. As per experts familiar to the matter, small cell lung cancer spreads at a faster rate than non-small lung cancer. The World Lung Cancer day helps people to raise awareness about the disease and the importance of early detection and its treatment.

World Lung Cancer Day 2023: Myths related to the disease

Only smoking causes lung cancer: While smoking is a substantial risk factor for developing lung cancer, there are other causes as well. These causes include exposure to secondhand smoke, radon gas, asbestos, and hereditary factors.

Lung cancer is a death sentence: According to reports, lung cancer now has higher survival rates due to early detection and treatment improvements, which also improves patients outcomes and quality of life.

Lung cancer only affects older people: Lung cancer can strike anyone at any age, including young adults and even teenagers. However, the risk of this disease rises with age.

Smoking causes lung cancer: Though smoking is a major risk factor for lung cancer, not everyone who smokes gets the disease. Furthermore, all occurrences of lung cancer are caused by smoking.

World Lung Cancer Day 2023: Awareness quotes

Cancer is just a chapter in our lives and not the whole story – Allie Moreno

Giving into the darkness offers no benefit – Marivel Preciado

When cancer happens, you don’t put life on hold. You live now – Fabi Powell

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Health

Mumbai: Doctors say 50% rise in patients with H3N2 cases

In the last two weeks, there has been a significant rise in H3N2 cases in the outpatient department, according to Dr. Mihir Shah, an internal medicine consultant at Dr. LH Hiranandani Hospital in Powai.

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Mumbai: Doctors say 50% rise in patients with H3N2 cases

Following heavy rainfall in Mumbai, doctors have noted a 50% increase in patients reporting symptoms of H3N2, a subtype of influenza A virus. These symptoms include high-grade fever, body aches, cold, joint pain, cough, and weakness. Particularly affected are children and senior citizens with comorbidities. Due to the cost of testing, many patients are being treated symptomatically.

In the last two weeks, there has been a significant rise in H3N2 cases in the outpatient department, according to Dr. Mihir Shah, an internal medicine consultant at Dr. LH Hiranandani Hospital in Powai. Most of these cases are managed on an outpatient basis. Patients with comorbidities, especially children and senior citizens, are more prone to the illness.

One patient, Pinal Solanky, a 28-year-old marketing executive from Malad, and her parents experienced high-grade fever, body ache, and cold. Their neighbours also displayed similar symptoms. The family was prescribed oseltamivir, an antiviral medication for influenza, without undergoing testing due to the high cost. They felt better after starting the course, though the cough persisted.

Dr. Umang Agarwal, an infectious disease expert at PD Hinduja Hospital in Mahim, shared that H3N2 cases are quite common, while H1N1 cases have not been observed. Influenza PCR tests conducted on suspected flu patients are almost always positive for H3N2. Hospitalizations occur primarily in patients with comorbidities like diabetes or hypertension.

While BMC data has shown 61 H1N1 cases in July, doctors assert that H3N2 cases are more prevalent. Due to the cost factor, many patients are not tested and receive symptomatic treatment. The state health data on influenza also indicates a predominance of H3N2 cases. In July, 111 H1N1 cases and 294 H3N2 cases were reported according to the state epidemiology cell report.

Dr. Hemalata Arora, senior consultant in Internal Medicine at Nanavati Max Super Speciality Hospital in Vile Parle, stated they are observing 5-6 daily cases of Influenza A—H3N2.

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