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Poor nutrition in early childhood can make you deaf

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New York, Feb 9: Parents, take note. You need to keep a check on your child’s diet as a new study suggests that young adults who were undernourished as preschool children were approximately twice as likely to suffer from hearing loss.

The findings of the study also suggest that nutritional interventions could help prevent hearing loss.

“Our findings should help elevate hearing loss as a still-neglected public health burden, and one that nutrition interventions in early childhood might help prevent,” said co-author of the study, Keith West Jr., Professor from the Johns Hopkins University.

According to the researchers, hearing loss is the fourth leading cause of disability worldwide, and an estimated 80 per cent of affected individuals live in the low- and middle-income countries.

For the study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers analysed the relationship between the hearing of more than 2,200 young adults and their nutritional levels as children 16 years earlier.

All study participants had been part of a nutrition trial conducted between 1989 and 1991 that collected information to assess their nutritional status.

The results of the auditory tests showed that young adults who were stunted in childhood were nearly twice as likely to show signs of hearing loss.

Stunting, or being too short for one’s age, is a chronic condition of undernourishment that often starts before birth, which is a critical time for the development of auditory function.

The researchers also found that participants who were too thin as children were also at a twofold risk of hearing loss.

They suspect that impeded inner ear development caused by undernutrition — especially in the womb — may contribute to the increased risk of hearing loss found in the study.

“We now have evidence that addressing this nutritional burden might also prevent hearing loss later in life,” West added.

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All you need to know about Nipah Virus

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Nipah Virus

New Delhi, May 21: Nipah Virus is an emerging infectious zoonosis that causes severe disease in both animals and humans. It was first reported in Malaysia in 1998.

It is spread by fruit bats and can be transferred from a human through close contact, body fluids, saliva and cough.

Nipah Virus first appeared in domestic pigs and has been found among several species of domestic animals including dogs, cats, goats, horses and sheep.

According to World Health Organisation (WHO), Nipah virus (NiV) infection is a newly emerging zoonosis that causes severe disease in both animals and humans. The natural host of the virus are fruit bats of the Pteropodidae Family, Pteropus genus.

At present, there is no vaccine for either humans or animals. The primary treatment for human cases is intensive supportive care.

NiV infection in humans has a wide range of clinical presentations, from asymptomatic infection to acute respiratory syndrome and fatal encephalitis.

Generally, the human infection presents as an encephalitic syndrome marked by fever, headache, drowsiness, disorientation, mental confusion, coma, and potentially death.

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Exercise 4-5 times daily to delay ageing

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New York, May 21: Want to stay young for long? If so, start exercising four to five times a day as it may help keep your heart stay healthy and slow down ageing, according to researchers.

Research showed that different sizes of arteries are affected differently by varying amounts of exercise.

While exercising for about two to three days a week for about 30 minutes may be sufficient to minimise stiffening of middle-sized arteries, exercising for about four to five days a week is required to keep the larger central arteries youthful.

The study would help “develop exercise programmes to keep the heart youthful and even turn back time on older hearts and blood vessels”, said one of the study authors, Benjamin Levine from the University of Texas.

With age, arteries — which transport blood in and out of the heart — become prone to stiffening, increasing the risk of heart diseases.

For the study, published in The Journal of Physiology, the team examined 102 people over 60 years old, with a consistent lifelong exercise history.

The participants were divided into four groups depending on their exercise history — Sedentary: less than 2 exercise sessions per week; Casual Exercisers: 2-3 exercise sessions per week; Committed Exercisers: 4-5 exercise sessions per week and Masters Athletes: 6-7 exercise sessions per week.

A lifelong history of casual exercise (two-three times a week) resulted in more youthful middle-sized arteries, which supply oxygenated blood to the head and neck.

However, committed exercisers (4-5 times per week) also had more youthful large central arteries, which provide blood to the chest and abdomen, in addition to healthier middle-sized ones.

Larger arteries need more frequent exercise to slow down ageing, the researchers said.

The findings will help see “if we can reverse the ageing of a heart and blood vessels by using the right amount of exercise at the right time”, Levine explained.

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Nipah virus claims six lives in Kerala

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Kozhikode, May 21: According to the health department of Kerala, at least six people lost their lives due to Nipah virus.

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Monday informed that the state government is closely monitoring the outbreak of Nipah virus in the region and taking every possible step to prevent its further spread.

CM Pinarayi Vijayan has informed that Government is closely monitoring the spread of the Nipah virus. The health department is doing everything possible to save the lives of the infected & prevent the advance of the virus,” the CMO Tweeted.

Meanwhile, the Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare J.P Nadda directed to constitute a team of highly efficient doctors to probe into the matter.

Following this, a high-level team of doctors from the national capital has also been rushed by the Union health ministry to take stock of the situation in state’s northern districts.

Earlier in a day, the health department held emergency meetings in Kozhikode on Monday under Minister of Health and Family Welfare JP Nadda along with Secretary Health over the deaths.

Nipah virus is spread by fruit bats and causes severe disease in both animals and humans. It can be transferred from a human through close contact, body fluids, saliva and cough.

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