By Kritika Bobal
With the rising number of new coronavirus variant Omicron, the authorities have created a special S-gene RT-PCR kit for detecting the highly contagious variant. RT-PCR which was earlier used to detect all the other variants will now be able to detect the Omicron variant too.
Chandrasekhar Nair, director and chief technical officer at Molbio Diagnostics has announced that a specific RT-PCR kit for identifying the Omicron variant has been designed and is ready to be pushed out whenever the need arises.
Earlier, for detecting the omicron variant, genome sequencing was done which took at least four to five days. The omicron variant may now be identified in less than 24 hours thanks to the S-gene RT-PCR screening.
Who developed the S-gene RT-PCR test kit?
A testing kit for detecting all kinds of Covid-19 variants including Omicron has been developed by the Pune-based GenePath Diagnostics that has been approved by the Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR). In a single test, the kit will detect presumptive Delta and Omicron mutations.
What is the cost of the S-gene RT-PCR test kit?
The ordinary RT-PCR kit costs Rs 70, whereas the S-gene testing kit costs Rs 210 per kit.
How effective is the S-gene RT-PCR test kit?
Dr Nickhil Jakatdar, CEO of GenePath Diagnostics, said that the development represents a step towards improving human life by developing and implementing high quality, fast, accessible, and cost-effective screening and diagnostic solutions for infectious diseases, cancers, and genetic problems.
Further adding Jakatdar said that this made-in-India kit can detect all kinds of variants around the world including the dominant Omicron and Delta variants.
How S-gene RT-PCR is different from regular RT-PCR?
The recently launched kit has the capacity to distinguish all existing Delta lineages as well as all Omicron lineages, including BA.1, BA.2, which are also known as Omicron-like and stealth variations, and the recently proposed BA.3 lineage, said Dr Phadke. He further added that the kit will be able to reliably differentiate between all Covid-19 variants and can detect the mutation with high sensitivity.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.