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Sero Survey In Bhubaneswar: 50% Residents Develop Antibodies To Fight Coronavirus

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Coronavirus outbreak

Bhubaneswar: Half of the residents of Bhubaneswar have developed antibodies to fight novel Coronavirus. The statistics were revealed by ICMR – Regional Medical Research Centre (RMRC) Director, Dr Sanghamitra Pati today. Dr Pati said the survey was carried out between October 16 and 18 during which 1,400 samples were taken from all wards of Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC).

As per the results, 50 per cent of Bhubaneswar’s population have been exposed to COVID-19, which means these many number of people now have the antibodies against the viral disease. “The results of the third sero survey corresponds to the status of infection, at least three weeks prior. So, there is much likelihood that exposure of people here to COVID-19 would have increased by now (October-end),” she said.

The good news is that 90 per cent of the people who are exposed to COVID-19 have very less or no symptoms. This implies that their immune system has been successful in fighting novel Coronavirus. Besides, 30 per cent of the people whose samples were collected have been tested through Rapid Antigen or RT-PCR, said Dr Pati.

Only around 2 per cent of Bhubaneswar’s population was found to be exposed to COVID-19 in the first sero survey. In the second survey in the last week of August, 5.1 per cent of the city’s population was exposed. Now, the result of the third sero survey is very encouraging, she said.

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‘India should begin scaling up syringe supplies for Covid vaccination’

The World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF also recommended that auto-disabled syringes be used for administering vaccines — particularly in mass immunisation programmes.

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New Delhi, Dec 5: With the Union government focusing on early availability of coronavirus vaccine, experts on Saturday stressed that India should immediately scale up syringe supplies to deal with the vast number of inoculations required to control the pandemic.

The experts said that as India gets ready for Covid-19 vaccine, the government should be well-equipped with a secured stock of syringes in advance.

According to Rajiv Nath, Managing Director of Hindustan Syringes & Medical Devices Ltd, the estimated demand in India would be around 900 million pieces of different kinds of syringes for just one shot of the vaccine, considering 60-70 per cent of the country gets vaccinated.

“The number would amplify to 1.8 billion if the vaccine India chooses needs two shots,” Nath told IANS.

The experts have also focused on the role of auto-disabled syringes in the Covid-19 vaccine immunisation programme

“The focus has shifted to single-use disposable consumables from reuse consumables and especially a change has been seen in higher deployment of auto-disabled syringes even for curative injections,” Nath said.

The World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF also recommended that auto-disabled syringes be used for administering vaccines — particularly in mass immunisation programmes.

Moreover, the WHO has suggested the use of auto-disabled syringes to collect blood samples of Covid-19 patients, which in turn, helps to avoid the transmission of disease through healthcare equipment.

Speaking on the function of auto-disabled syringes and their role in the Covid-19 vaccine immunisation programme, Pavan Mocherla, Managing Director of Beckton Dickinson (BD) – India and South Asia, an American multinational medical technology company, told IANS: “Auto-disabled syringes are the ones that get disabled after a single use.”

Explaining the importance of implementing safe injection practices during the Covid-19 vaccine immunisation programme, Mocherla said that unsafe injection practices could lead to blood-borne infections such as HIV, Hepatitis B and C. Thus, adherence to correct injection technique plays a vital role while managing the immunisation drive.

“It is critically important to make sure that the healthcare workers are supplied with the right injection devices that will ultimately be needed to deliver a vaccine to help support India’s 1.3 billion population,” he added.

According to the expert, it is also crucial that our nurses are introduced to guidelines like the implementation of latest technologies like auto-disable syringes and precautions to ensure safety for themselves as well as others.

“To protect the population from contracting HIV, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C while getting preventive vaccines, the Indian government has been adopting the use of single use auto-disabled syringes in its vaccination programmes from August 2005,” Mocherla noted.

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Haryana Minister Anil Vij, who was part of vaccine trial, tests positive for COVID-19

Vij, a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader, had volunteered to be part of the third phase trial of Covaxin, which started in Haryana on November 20. He was administered a trial dose. However, it’s not immediately clear whether he was administered the vaccine candidate during the trial or a placebo.

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Anil Vij

Haryana health minister Anil Vij said on Saturday he has tested positive for the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) and has been admitted to a hospital.

“I have been tested Corona positive. I am admitted in Civil Hospital Ambala Cantt. All those who have come in close contact to me are advised to get themselves tested for corona,” he tweeted.

Vij, a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader, volunteered to be a part of the third phase trial of Covaxin, which started in Haryana on November 20. He was administered a trial dose.

However, it’s not immediately clear whether he was administered the vaccine candidate during the trial or a placebo.

Also, the antibodies against the infection build up only after a specific number of days pass after the second dose of the vaccine is taken, since it is a two-dose vaccine, according to a health ministry official who did not want to be named.

The official said this was not solely in the context of Vij, who got just one dose — of either the vaccine or a placebo.

Vij’s media coordinator, Vijender, Chauhan said the minister was in Chandigarh on Friday afternoon and had reported fatigue later. “He got tested himself today morning and the result is positive. The staff will be tested today itself,” Chauhan said.

Bharat Biotech had said that phase 3 trials would involve a total of 26,000 people and be conducted at 25 centres across the country. “After successful completion of the interim analysis from the phase 1 and 2 clinical trials of Covaxin, Bharat Biotech received Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) approval for phase 3 clinical trials in 26,000 participants in over 25 centres across India,” the company had said in a statement. This will be India’s first phase 3 efficacy study for a Covid-19 vaccine, and the largest such trial ever conducted in the country, the statement added.

According to top officials of the National Institute of Cholera and Enteric Diseases (ICMR-NICED) in Kolkata, the results of the phase-III trial of the indigenously developed coronavirus vaccine candidate, Covaxin, will be available in November 2021. The interim report may be available by May 2021 at the earliest, they added.

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This antiviral drug blocks Covid virus within 24 hrs: Study

The scientists infected ferrets with SARS-CoV-2, and initiated treatment with MK-4482/EIDD-2801 when the animals started to shed virus from the nose.

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remdesivir antiviral drug

Treating novel coronavirus infection in ferrets with the antiviral drug Molnupiravir completely suppressed virus transmission among the mammals within 24 hours, reports a new study which may lead to a new therapeutic to curb the Covid-19 pandemic.

The researchers, including those from the Georgia State University in the US, originally discovered that the drug — also known as MK-4482/EIDD-2801 — is potent against influenza viruses.

In the study, published in the journal Nature Microbiology, the scientists repurposed MK-4482/EIDD-2801 against the novel coronavirus, and used a ferret model to test the effect of the drug in halting virus spread.

“This is the first demonstration of an orally available drug to rapidly block SARS-CoV-2 transmission. MK-4482/EIDD-2801 could be game-changing,” said Richard Plemper, a co-author of the study from Georgia State University.

Until mass vaccination is available, the scientists believe interrupting widespread community transmission of SARS-CoV-2 is paramount to managing the pandemic.

“We noted early on that MK-4482/EIDD-2801 has broad-spectrum activity against respiratory RNA viruses and that treating infected animals by mouth with the drug lowers the amount of shed viral particles by several orders of magnitude, dramatically reducing transmission,” said Plemper. “These properties made MK-4482/EIDD-2801 a powerful candidate for pharmacologic control of Covid-19,” he added.

The scientists infected ferrets with SARS-CoV-2, and initiated treatment with MK-4482/EIDD-2801 when the animals started to shed virus from the nose.

“When we co-housed those infected and then treated source animals with untreated contact ferrets in the same cage, none of the contacts became infected,” said Josef Wolf another co-author of the study. By comparison, all contacts of source ferrets that had received placebo became infected, the study noted.

If these ferret-based results translate to humans in further studies, the scientists believe Covid-19 patients treated with the drug could become non-infectious within 24 hours after the beginning of treatment.

They noted that the drug is currently in advanced phase II/III clinical trials against SARS-CoV-2 infection to check for its effectiveness in curbing the transmission of the virus.

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