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30/Jul/2022

What is Constipation?

Constipation is

  • Having less than 3 bowel movements in a week.
  • Having irregular bowel movements.
  • Having dry, hard, lumpy stools or difficulty in passing stool.

Constipation in Children:

Constipation is a very common problem in kids at one time or another. Chronic constipation develops over months or years.

Some children with constipation have irregular stools. Though constipation can cause discomfort and pain, it’s usually temporary. If left untreated, symptoms could get worse.

What is a Healthy Bowel Movement (BM)?

A Healthy Bowel movement is essential for good health. There is no exact number for bowel movements. It varies from child to child just as they do in adults. What’s normal for your child may be different for another child. Most children have Bowel Movements (BM’s) 1 or 2 times a day. Other children may have Bowel Movements (BM’s) every 2 to 3 days.

What causes Constipation?

Several factors can trigger constipation, such as

  • Changes in Diet pattern – Not including fiber-rich fruits and vegetables in your kid’s diet may cause constipation. Also not drinking enough water, recommended amounts of fluids and healthy foods may affect Bowel movements.
  • Toilet Training – Early toilet training may leads to constipation among some kids. If you start toilet training too soon, then the process is likely to to take longer.
  • Food Intolerances – Cow’s milk allergy.
  • Medications – Constipation may be a side effect of some medicines and dietary supplements. Examples antacids, iron supplements, hypothyroidism, neurological medicines, etc.
  • Illness – If your child is sick and loses his appetite, a change in their diet can cause them to be constipated.

What are the Symptoms of constipation?

Some common symptoms are

  • BM’s that is hard, dry or difficult to pass.
  • Pain while having bowel movements.
  • Fear of having a bowel movement.
  • Changing positions to avoid BM like crossing his/her legs, twisting his/her body, standing on his/her heels, tightening his/her buttocks, doing unusual movements.
  • Blood in his/her stools.
  • Stomach aches, cramping, bloating and nausea.
  • Soiling having brownish wet spots in the underwear.

Sometimes children don’t want to stop playing to go to the bathroom.

Older children may hold back their stools when away from home (such as camp or school). They may be afraid of or not like using public toilets.

How is Constipation treated?

Treatment is based on your child’s age and how long and severe the problem is. Usually there are no special tests are needed to rule-out the issue. Chronic constipation may leads to complications or it may be an indication of an underlying condition.

Constipation may get worse if it isn’t treated. The longer stool stays inside the large intestine (or colon), the larger and drier it gets. Then it hurts to pass it. This starts a cycle and the child becomes afraid to have a BM and holds it in even more. Talk to your doctor if it lasts for more than a week.

For infants & babies:

Constipation may become a problem when starting solid foods and your doctor may suggest changes in diet or prescribe a medicine to help soften and pass the stools. Inability to pass stools in a newborn (younger than 1 month) can be a serious concern, and you should see your baby’s doctor.

For toddlers & teens:

Your doctor may prescribe medicine to soften or remove the stool. Do not give your child laxatives or enemas unless you check with the doctor. These drugs can be harmful to children if used wrong.
After the stool is removed, your child’s doctor may suggest ways you can help your child develop good bowel habits to prevent stools from backing up again.

How can I support my child to develop good bowel habits?

Here are some tips to help your child develop good bowel habits.

  • Help your child to set a toilet routine.
  • Pick a regular time to remind your child to sit on the toilet daily.
  • Put something under your child’s feet to press on. This makes it easier to push BMs out.
  • Make sure your child is consuming the recommended amounts of healthy foods, including foods that are rich in fiber.
  • Encourage your child to play and stay active.

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27/Jul/2022

All viruses change over time, and Covid-19 is no exception. Here’s what we know about the variants circulating globally at the present time.

A virus with one or more mutations is called a “variant” of the original virus. 

It is common for viruses to mutate and develop as they spread between people over time. When these changes become significantly different from the original virus, they are known as “variants.”

To identify variants, scientists plot the genetic material of viruses (known as sequencing) and then look for differences between them to see if they have changed. COVID-19 has been spreading globally, variants have emerged and been identified in many countries around the world.

SARS-CoV-2 Variants: What you must know

Since December 2020, several variants are identified and are under investigation. Variants of viruses occur when there is a change or mutation happen to the virus genes.

The more a virus spreads the more chance it has to mutate. Thousands of small changes have been seen in coronavirus so far-most with little impact.

Repeatedly, a virus changes in a way that helps it survive. Scientists are particularly concerned about changes to the spike protein -the part that helps it to enter human cells.

Variants of covid-19

Here’s a round-up of the current variants of covid -19, which are monitored by the WHO (World Health Organization) and CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

  • Alpha (B.1.1.7)
  • Beta (B.1.351)
  • Gamma (P.1)
  • Delta (B.1.617.2)
  • Omicron (B.1.1.529)

Among these Delta and Omicron are spreading more easily among people.

All about ‘Stealth’ Omicron or Omicron BA.2

We’re learning a lot about the Omicron variant every day.BA.2 is the latest sub-variant of omicron, the dominant strain of the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19.

The omicron variant, officially known as B.1.1.529, of SARS-CoV-2, has three main sub-variants in its lineage:

  • BA.1
  • BA.2
  • BA.3

While the origin of BA.2 is still unclear, it has quickly become the leading strain in many countries, including India, Denmark, and South Africa. It is continuing to spread in Europe, Asia, and many parts of the world.

How fast does Omicron- BA.2 SPREAD?

Around the globe, the percentage of reported cases of variant BA.2 has been increasing in recent weeks. In the beginning, scientists believed BA.2 wasn’t as transmittable as BA.1 and would fade away soon. That didn’t happen. The BA.2 is currently the dominant variant circulating globally. BA.2 differs from other variants in

  • Its genetic sequence
  • Amino acid differences in the spike protein and other proteins.

Studies have shown that BA.2 has a growth advantage over BA.1.

BA.2 can spread faster than BA.1 but it causes less severe disease compared to the delta variant.

As with all viruses, SARS-COV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, will continue to evolve as long as it continues to spread. The more that the virus spreads, the more pressure there is for the virus to change. So, the best way to prevent new variants from emerging is to stop the spread of the virus.

Do Vaccines and Immunity work against BA.2?

Existing covid-19 vaccines continue to provide strong protection against infection and death across all variants. Still, scientists are working on vaccines against new variants to ensure safety and efficacy and also to provide even better and more durable protection against viruses.

BA.1 caused widespread infections across the world; it is likely that a majority of people have protective immunity against BA.2. This is why some scientists predict that BA.2 will be less likely to cause another major wave.

However, while the natural immunity gained after COVID-19 infection may provide strong protection against re-infection from earlier variants, it weakens against omicron.

 Vaccines are effective at preventing hospitalization or death, and this effect increased to over 90% after a booster dose.

However, the precautionary measures remain the same

Though the covid-19 virus or its symptoms have changed over the past 2 years, the procedures and steps taken to protect and prevent ourselves from the virus remain the same.

  • Wearing a Mask
  • Maintaining social distance
  • Following proper hand hygiene
  • Covering cough and sneezes
  • Getting vaccinated when it’s your turn

The coronavirus continues to evolve around the immune system’s defenses. A new vaccine like the Omicron-specific booster may be needed to increase protection against further reinfections. Until then stay safe and follow the protocols.


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25/Jul/2022

All about Monkey Pox

What is monkeypox?

  • Monkeypox is a rare viral zoonotic disease caused by a monkeypox virus i.e. it can be transmitted from animals to humans and vice versa.
  • It can also be transmitted from one human to another.
  • The first case of monkeypox was found in a person who visited Nigeria reported on April 9 2022 by the UK Health security Agency. Since then the cases have been on a rise.
  • The origin of the infection might spread through the borders of West Africa and North America.

What causes Monkeypox?

  • The Monkey pox is caused by an enveloped double-stranded DNA virus, a member of the Orthopoxvirus genus in the family
  • It is usually a self-limited disease with symptoms lasting from 2 to 4 weeks. Among humans, it is transmitted through blood fluids, sexual contact, or material contaminated with the virus.

Where is the Monkeypox found?

Monkeypox was first identified in 1958 among laboratory monkeys in Copenhagen, Denmark.

It is typically found in Central and Western African countries.

The first case of monkeypox was identified in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 1970. Since then frequent cases were reported in African countries.

The first outbreak of this disease that happened outside Africa was reported in the US in 2003.

The cases were linked to infected dogs imported from Ghana.

The first case of monkeypox in the South-East Asia Region has been reported from India, in a 35-year-old man who arrived from the Middle East.

What are the Signs and Symptoms?

The symptoms of monkeypox are similar to those of smallpox. But monkeypox symptoms are typically milder.

             

There is an incubation period (interval from infection to onset of symptoms) for this virus and its ranges from 6 to 13 days but can range from 5 to 21 days.

The symptoms appear at the end of the incubation period.

The first 5 days are known as Invasion Period, some people have mild symptoms like

  • fever
  • headache
  • back pain
  • swelling lymph nodes
  • muscle pain
  • lack of energy.

Some cases may develop more serious symptoms like skin eruption on the face, hands, and feet usually beginning within 1 – 3 days of the fever; they need care in a medical facility.

What are the Prevention Steps?

  • Avoid skin-to-skin contact with infected people
  • Avoid close contact with the infected animals (especially sick or dead animals) or other materials they have touched.
  • Thoroughly cook all the foods that contain meat.
  • Do not touch, kiss, hug, or share utensils or touch the clothes or bedding with a person with a monkeypox.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water often or use an alcohol-based rub.

How is Monkeypox Virus treated?

There is no specific treatment for the monkeypox virus. However, it is self-limiting, which means it can get better without treatment.

Some medications can be used to control an outbreak and prevent the disease from spreading, they are

  • Vaccinia vaccine(smallpox vaccine)
  • Vaccinia immune globulin(VIG)
  • Antiviral medication (in animals)

In 2019 a vaccine was approved to prevent both smallpox and monkeypox. But it’s still not widely available to the public.

Pandemic preparedness, prevention, and also by maintaining a healthy environment is the only hope to protect and ensure the safety of human health.


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23/Jul/2022

Covid – 19 Vaccine and kids

The Government of India has started the vaccination drive for children and adolescents. There are four COVID-19 vaccines that received approval from the Government of India for kids aged below 18. Here’s what Parents and Kids need to know about the safety and efficacy of the vaccine, the possible side effects, the benefits of getting vaccinated, and also how to prevent the disease.

Symptoms of covid-19 in kids

Children and adolescents tend to have more mild symptoms when compared to adults.  Most children who are infected with the Covid-19 virus have respiratory symptoms. Especially in the youngest children, they tend to be milder, which means they don’t have as many symptoms as adults do. And even most children tend to have asymptomatic infection, which means they don’t have any symptoms at all. Some common symptoms are

  • They will have a fever, a cough, a sore throat, or sneeze.
  • They may lose the sense of smell or the sense of taste.
  • Some children may have gastrointestinal symptoms like diarrhea or vomiting, but they tend to be milder.
  • Covaxin an inactivated COVID-19 vaccine developed by Bharat Biotech in collaboration with ICMR(Indian Council of Medical Research) and the NIV(National Institute of Virology) is being administered to teenagers aged 15 to 18 years.
  • Corbevax a protein subunit vaccine developed by researchers at Texas children’s Hospital Center for Vaccine Development and Baylor college of Medicine in Houston, Texas .In India it is being licensed by Biological-E and it is currently being administered to children aged 12 to14 years.
  • ZyCov-D – a DNA plasmid-based, two dose Covid-19 vaccine developed by  Zydus Cadila  approved  for 12 years and above.
  • Covovax a COVID-19 vaccine is being produced by the SII (Serum Institute of India).In India Covovax’s inclusion in the immunization drive for children aged 12-17 years.

Dos and Don’ts for children: Guidelines for Covid-19

The best way to keep children safe is about prevention. Here are some precautions for your children during this pandemic

  • Washing hands thoroughly with soap and water.
  • Use an alcohol-based rub or a sanitizer.
  • Teach them the importance of personal hygiene, Practice respiratory etiquette, where they sneeze into their elbow.
  • With clean hands, make sure that the mask is put on over their ears, covers their nose and their mouth and that the children don’t touch the outside of their masks.
  • Explain them about social distancing that’s the best way to prevent the spread of covid-19 by avoiding any sort of social gathering including outdoor play.
  • Clean the child’s toys, floor and commonly touched objects at least once a day at home
  • Don’t allow your child to come in close contact with anyone who has cold, fever or flu like symptoms.
  • Don’t take children to crowded places. Keeps them indoors as much as possible.
  • Give them a complete nutritious diet with plenty of water. Give citrus fruits and vegetables which are rich in Vitamin C, Vitamin D and Zinc.
  • Stay in touch with the child’s teacher or school to stay informed and also create some community parent groups to support each other.

Have an open conversation with your kid and encourage them to ask questions, along with express their feelings. There’s a lot of false information out there and it’s scary. So, spend some quality time talking to them and answering their questions to relieve their fear and stress, and they get good information from you. Parents remember you have an entire toolkit of preventive measures; make that part of your daily routine and habit for your children. Stay safe, stay healthy, and stick with science.

 


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