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   Table of Contents - Current issue
May-August 2022
Volume 3 | Issue 2
Page Nos. 27-47

Online since Monday, May 16, 2022

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Contact tracing in the hospital setting for COVID-19: An experience from AIIMS, New Delhi p. 27
Devashish Desai, Anivita Aggarwal, Komal Singh, Shivdas Rajaram Naik, Arvind Kumar, Ravneet Kaur, Naveet Wig
In this commentary, we relate our experience with contact tracing within the setting of a tertiary care institute and how it evolved over the course of the pandemic. The need for a contact tracing mechanism arose when the hospital's first COVID-19 positive employee emerged at the end of March 2020. The central contact tracing team (CCTT) was subsequently established to perform this essential function. We describe the methodology followed by the CCTT as well as the practical hurdles encountered during contact tracing. The benefits of setting up an institutional contact tracing mechanism cannot be overemphasized. We strongly recommend setting up such a mechanism in all health-care institutes, not just for the COVID-19 pandemic but also for future respiratory disease outbreaks as well.
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Tackling chronic illnesses by regulating intake of unhealthy foods in India: A viewpoint p. 30
Sudip Bhattacharya, Sheikh Mohd Saleem, Om Prakash Bera
Chronic illnesses linked to diet, such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, and diabetes, have become a serious concern for the current health-care system. Approximately 39.5 million people worldwide died of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) in 2016, including 17.6 million from cardiovascular disease and 8.9 million from cancer. Over the past decade, worldwide mortality rates for cardiovascular diseases and cancer have increased by 14.5% and 17.8%, respectively. In France, cardiovascular disease and cancer are the leading causes of death, accounting for more than 30% of all deaths. Chronic illnesses are associated with poor nutritional quality in many countries. Considering the high burden of chronic diseases linked to poor diet, health-care authorities have adopted community-based public health strategies to improve diet and to minimize the risk of nutrition-related disorders. Front-of-pack nutrition labels (FoPLs) are gaining popularity in this arena. FoPLs aim to guide customers toward healthier choices by delivering simple, salient, and readily accessible nutritional information about food products at the time of purchase. It will be wise if we introduce FoPL by empowering public to make their informed choice during purchasing packaged food items. We hope in the future, food industry will make food policy in similar lines with healthy public health policy to prevent the future burden of NCD in India and the globe.
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Do we need to vaccinate every child against coronavirus disease 2019 in India? p. 34
Suraj Kapoor
There has been a lot of debate around the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccination of children throughout the globe, particularly with many seeing it as a prerequisite for the reopening of schools. Secondary data from government official sites, press information, latest articles, and newspapers were extracted and discussed in the article. Published literature in respect of COVID-19 vaccination in children reveals that the transmission of COVID-19 is much lesser by the children, with milder course especially among younger children. Further, the risk of transmission by the young children seems very less especially with the recent variant of concern, omicron, in which majority of the infected (80%) remain asymptomatic. Hence, the policymakers need to prioritize the pediatric beneficiary for the vaccination. Age-specific morbidity and mortality trends of the country as well as across the different countries may help in deciding the groups within the pediatric population requiring urgent vaccination. Reports suggests that the pediatric population benefitting the most will be the children with underlying comorbidities or medical condition like malignancy, heart diseases, lifestyle diseases including childhood diabetes, obesity, and hypertension, and renal abnormalities. Since the safety and effectiveness of recently launched COVID-19 vaccines needs exploration in pediatric age group, it may be prudent to have pediatric vaccination among the specific groups who are at higher risk of contracting the severe disease rather than going for mass vaccination drive.
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Incidence of fungal keratitis in Libya: An epidemiological study p. 37
Ahmed Atia, Abdulsalam Ashour, Hanan Alfaigh
Background and Objectives: Eye infection may lead to loss of visual function or impairment, causing severe disability. The cornea is particularly sensitive, and the amount of scarring or inflammation that is relatively mild in other areas of the body may have a substantial consequence on the cornea. The aim of this study was to assess the occurrence of eye fungal infection among patients attending the Eye Hospital in Tripoli city, Libya. Methods: Seventy-one patients with ocular fungal infections were subjected to clinical and microbiological investigations. They were selected from patients attending the outpatient department, casualty, and floor of Tripoli Eye Hospital. The specimens of the external ocular infections were collected using sterile swab and inoculated to different culture media. Results: The current findings showed that the Aspergillus was the most common causative agent, being responsible for 91.54% of the all cases, it was followed by Candida albicans (8.46%). Conclusion: Knowledge of the pathological course and clinical features of fungal keratitis will undoubtedly be added in early diagnosis and treatment, with reduction in ocular morbidity.
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Efficacy of influenza-like illness screening outpatient department for COVID-19 at a high-volume center: Unlocking routine outpatient department p. 40
Bhawna Mattoo, Radhika Sarda, Arvind Kumar, Kaleem Fatima, Ravneet Kaur, Naveet Wig
Background: The impact of COVID-19 pandemic over nonessential health services has been massive. We initiated influenza-like illness (ILI) screening for resumption of outpatient services at a tertiary care center and this study attempted to gauge its efficacy in effectively pruning out COVID-19. Methods: We included all the patients who had visited for an outpatient department (OPD) appointment during the study period. Patient's details and ILI symptoms were noted. Patients were then followed up telephonically after 2 weeks. The telephonic follow-up was to ensure RT-PCR status and complaints of any newly developed ILI post-OPD visit (within the last 14 days). Results: Out of the 957 patients who were enrolled, 929 patients were successfully followed up telephonically after 14 days. Only 13 who were screened out as “possible ILI,” were either RT-PCR negative or did not follow-up with a confirmatory test. The telephonic follow-up to ensure RT-PCR status and complaints of any newly developed ILI post-OPD visit (within the last 14 days) was noted in the rest of the patients. Only one participant out of 957 screened, tested positive for COVID-19. Conclusion: The period in which the study was held, the national positivity rate was low (around 3%). Therefore, in a resource-limited country such as India, it is astute to restart the OPD services in the preexisting setup using basic precautions and a verbal questionnaire during the slope of the pandemic.
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Social distancing continues: Social subtlety in children with autism spectrum disorder post-COVID-19 pandemic p. 44
Jemima Wilson, Pallerla Srikanth
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Drones the frontier technology in health care: Gaining traction as a new medical tool p. 46
Shweta Kapote, Srikanth Pallerla
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