Quick guidelines: Treating fever in infants!

Being a parent is scary, especially if you are someone who is new to this challenging role. And yes, it’s heart-rending to see your little ones in any kind of discomfort.

Quick guidelines Treating fever in infants!

High temperatures have been one such common thing that is seen in infants causing fear and confusion among parents. But there’s no need to panic even if your baby has temperatures because most fevers are harmless and caused by a mild infection.

Here are a few quick tips to treat when your baby has a fever:

  • If your baby is less than 3 months old and has temperature of 100.4 F and above, call the doctor even if the child looks comfortable and doesn’t have any other signs and symptoms.
  • Consult the doctor before treating your child with medicines.
  • Make your baby drink plenty of fluids.
  • Do not allow your child to take too much fruit or apple juice (mix them with one half of water).
  • In children, between 3-6 months of age, if the temperature reads 102 F, medication is not required unless your baby develops some kind of unusual behaviour.
  • Try giving your baby a lukewarm bath or sponge bath as it may help cool the fever. But, never give your baby cold/ice baths as these may worsen the condition.
  • For babies under 6 months, doctors recommend giving acetaminophen. However, if the child is of 6 months or older, either acetaminophen or ibuprofen is often recommended.
  • Never give aspirin to your child if he/she is younger than 18 years of age.
  • Encourage your baby to have some sleep.
  • Take your child to the doctor if he/she has fevers that come on and off for a week or more even if the temperature is not that high.

Source: Zee news

Ebola scare: South African Airways takes steps to prevent virus spread

With Ebola virus scare on the rise, South African Airways on Wednesday said it had taken a series of steps, including installation of thermal scanners at airports in that country to detect affected passengers and regular fumigation of its aircraft to prevent its spread.

Ebola scare South African Airways takes steps to prevent virus spread

Thermal scanners, which detect high temperatures among passengers, have been installed at O R Tambo Airport in Johannesburg and affected travellers, when identified, were quarantined and assessed at medical facilities at the airport, the airline’s country manager Sajid Khan said in a statement.

He said regular fumigation and disinfection of South African Airways’ aircraft were also being carried out.

“Following the reported outbreak of the Ebola virus in West Africa, the South African National Department of Health is on high alert and would like to assure all tourists travelling to South Africa about all precautions being taken to prevent the EVD (Ebola Virus Disease).

“The department is working in close coordination with key organisations like the World Health Organisation and the United States Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, among others,” Khan said.

Apart from heightened surveillance by Port Health officials for travellers with EVD signs and symptoms, he said, “All foreign nationals who test positive and all citizens of affected nations were being denied entry in South Africa.”
Allaying fears, he said since South Africa does not share a land border with any of the affected countries, it falls under the category of ‘low risk countries’, like India, Europe and most other nations.

Source; The Indian Express

Radiation treatment of eye cancers using iodine-125

Generally, public believe that scientific and technological developments in the field of nuclear energy in India are mostly confined to the strategic area and to nuclear power generation. Medical, industrial and research uses of ionising radiation, which rose manifold over the past few decades have not got due recognition.

Radiation treatment of eye cancers using iodine-125

At any moment, hospitals in many parts of the country are carrying out radiation treatment in one form or other on many thousands of cancer patients. BARC-made ‘BARC I-125 Ocu-Prosta seed’ is an ideal choice to treat retinoblastoma and uveal tract melanoma, two forms of rare eye cancers.

Unlike conventional treatment which involves removal of eyes with the tumour to save the patient, successful radiation treatment saves the eye and retains vision.

Since iodine -125 ( I-125) has a half life of about 60 days, scientists have enough time to transport the sources from its production site at BARC laboratories to the treatment centres at different parts of the country. Half life is the period in which radioactivity of a source reduces to half its original value.

Modelling the eye

Specialists model the affected eye of each patient by using computerised tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) procedures. They identify the orientation of tumour borders relative to the surrounding healthy structures such as the optic nerve, centre of the eye etc by using ultrasound.

Using the imaging data in a dedicated software programme, they arrive at the number of radioactive seeds, their activity and their placement on the plaque to produce the ideal dose distribution.

Physicians use this information to fix appropriate number of I-125 seeds on a plaque of suitable size using a tissue compatible auto-polymerising glue. By accurately positioning the plaque, they restrict irradiation to the tissue where it is needed.

I-125 which emits low energy gamma rays helps to spare healthy tissues; it reduces side effects and related morbidity. Generally, physicians carry out the treatment in 5 to 10 consecutive days. BARC scientists have independently measured the dose distribution around I-125 seeds.

It was truly a multidisciplinary programme. Radiopharmaceuticals Division, Laser Processing and Advanced Welding Section, Centre for Design and Manufacture, Radio metallurgy Division, Radiological Physics and Advisory Division and external agencies such as Hindustan Machine Tools Limited, Bangalore and Titan Industries Limited, Hosur, collaborated in many areas to prepare the seeds.

Batch process

BARC scientists produce Iodine 125 in a batch process by irradiating 4 gramme of xenon-124 gas in the Dhruva reactor for a period of 15 days. Xenon -125 produced by the neutron interaction decays into I-125.

After removing from the reactor, they keep each sample for 50 days to ensure that I-126, an unwanted radioisotope which is also produced during neutron irradiation decays to negligible values.

“The need for technically intense operations in the handling of gaseous targets in hostile radiation environments, the transformation of I-125 into a chemical form within acceptable radionuclide impurities, and adherence to radioactive concentrations of the final I-125 solution are some of the key technical challenges during the production of I-125,” BARC scientists wrote in Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research (2012, 51, 8575-8582), a journal of the American Chemical Society. This paper vividly describes the marvellous engineering and design procedures and production processes.

BARC-produced I-125 seeds are available in 50 micrometre thick titanium (titanium is bio-compatible) capsules of diameter 0.8mm and length 4.75 mm. Scientists subject these tiny seeds to a variety of tests mandated by the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board to ensure safety.

In September 2003, BARC supplied the first batch of I-125 seeds to Sankara Nethralaya to treat a four-year-old child suffering from retinoblastoma.

As on May 31, 2014, BARC supplied 1124 seeds to treat 95 patients from India and neighbouring countries. Sankara Nethralaya, Chennai, PD Hinduja National Hospital, Shri Ramakrishna Institute of Oncology Research/Arvind Eye Hospital, Coimbatore are collaborating in the programme

The patients treated so far are too few to estimate cure rates, eye salvation rates etc, though some preliminary results amply demonstrate the potential value of this treatment modality.

I-125 seeds are also useful in treating prostate cancer. BARC supplied so far 370 I-125 seeds to PD Hinduja Hospital, Mumbai to treat five patients. For treating prostate cancer, physicians implant I-125 seeds permanently in patients.

BARC’s achievement

In spite of extensive demand for I-125 seeds worldwide, only a few companies produce I-125 seeds, as the manufacturing processes are too complicated. BARC has developed the technology from scratch. The Board of Radiation and Isotope Technology (BRIT) has plans to produce I-125 seeds commercially. It has great potential for internal use and hopefully for export.

Source: The Hindu

Pakistan running out of polio campaign funds

Pakistan’s health ministry has said that if new funds are not arranged for the delayed anti-polio campaign, it is likely to halt after two months, Dawn online reported on Thursday. An health official said that the ministry was running out of funds.

Pakistan running out of polio campaign funds

The Economic Coordination Council (ECC) was supposed to approve funds for the campaign in the second week of August, but it has not been allocated owing to a political crisis.

The Islamic Development Bank, Japan and other organisations were to provide a loan of $326 million, with the interest on the amount to be paid by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the official said.

“If the funds are not arranged in the next two months, the ministry would be left with no option but to halt the countrywide polio campaign,” the official added. In Nov, the World Health Organisation (WHO) will review the temporary travel restrictions it imposed on Pakistan in May, on the recommendation of the International Health Regulations, which made it mandatory for every person intending to travel abroad to produce a polio vaccination certificate at the airport.

For now, it is obligatory on the government to vaccinate each person going out of the country, the official said. A total of 115 polio cases has been registered in Pakistan this year. According to the National Institute of Health (NIH), only 39 polio cases were registered last year. Of the 115 cases registered this year, 84 are from federally administered tribal areas, 19 from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 10 from Sindh and one each from Punjab and Balochistan provinces.

Source: One India News

Normal-Weight Teens Can Have Eating Disorders

Teenagers do not need to be rail thin to be practicing the dangerous eating behaviors associated with anorexia, a new study suggests.

Normal-Weight Teens Can Have Eating Disorders

Rather, the true measure of trouble may be significant weight loss, and the Australian researchers noted that a drastic drop in weight carries the same risk for life-threatening medical problems even if the patient is a normal weight.

Even more concerning, the scientists saw a nearly sixfold increase in this type of patient during the six-year study period.

Anorexia nervosa is a mental illness characterized by excessive weight loss and psychological symptoms that include a distorted self-image and fear of weight gain. In some patients, this can also include depression and anxiety. Those who have these symptoms but are not underweight enough to qualify for the definition of anorexia fall under a different diagnosis, known as Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (EDNOS-Wt).

“Emaciated bodies are the typical image portrayed in the media of patients with restricting eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa,” said lead researcher Melissa Whitelaw, a clinical specialist dietitian at The Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne, Australia. “This paper highlights that it is not so much about the weight but the weight loss that can lead to a serious eating disorder. The complications of malnutrition can occur at any weight.”

In her study, which included 99 teens aged 12 to 19, Whitelaw found only 8 percent of the patients had EDNOS-Wt in 2005, but more than 47 percent of the patients had it in 2009.

“I was surprised to see how much it increased,” Whitelaw said. “I was also surprised at how similar they were not only physically but also psychologically. Everything about them was anorexia except that they don’t look really skinny.” Both groups had even lost a similar amount of weight: a median 28 pounds for those with anorexia and 29 pounds for those with EDNOS-Wt.

Other experts noted that it can be difficult to spot this less obvious eating disorder.

“We are conditioned to think that the key feature of anorexia nervosa is low body mass index [BMI],” said Cynthia Bulik, director of the Center of Excellence for Eating Disorders at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. BMI measures whether a person is a healthy weight for their height.

“In fact, we miss a lot of eating disorders when focusing primarily on weight,” Bulik added.

Leslie Sim, an assistant professor of psychology at Mayo Clinic Children’s Center in Rochester, Minn., said, “People are calling it atypical anorexia, but we see it every day. We see people who have all the psychological, behavioral, cognitive and physical symptoms of anorexia nervosa, but the only difference is their weight.”

Source: web md

Surgeons use 4-year-old’s rib to rebuild his throat

A 4-year-old boy will have his throat rebuilt using part of his own rib by doctors at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Wednesday, according to a press release.

Surgeons use 4-year-old’s rib to rebuild his throat

Emmett Rauch suffered severe injuries after he swallowed a button battery from a remote control on his first birthday. The quarter-sized battery became lodged in his throat, burning a hole in his esophagus which left him unable to breathe, eat or speak on his own.

“This will be a major step in helping little Emmett be a normal boy,” Dr. Alessandro de Alarcon, director of the Center for Pediatric Voice Disorders at Cincinnati Children’s said in a press release. “If all goes well, the trach tube will be removed within the next year. He wants to play soccer, so we think he’ll be able to do that and play other sports if he wants, which is important for his childhood development.”

Surgeons are hoping this will be the last major surgery for Emmett, who uses a tracheostomy to help him breathe. Emmett regained the ability to eat through his mouth again after undergoing a procedure two years ago in which Cincinnati Children’s doctors used part of his colon to repair the hole in his esophagus.

“He’s undergone extensive swallow therapy to learn how to eat,” Emmett’s mother, Karla Rauch said in a press release. “He is a champ now. The esophagus surgery changed his and our lives.”

Now, the rib-graft procedure will be used to restore function to the vocal cords by spreading them apart to create an airway passage. “The airway surgery will be preparing him to go to mainstream school next year – kindergarten,” said Karla. “He will start voice therapy where he will learn to adapt to his newly repaired vocal cords. It will also give him a safe and secure airway.”

Alarcon said that Emmett will still deal with many life-long issues as a result of his injury since his rebuilt throat will not function as effectively as a normal esophagus.

In the meantime, Karla Rauch launched the website EmmettsFight.com to raise awareness about the dangers of button batteries.

Source: fox news

Home Remedies to treat Candida

Candida is a fungus that can cause serious health disorders in the body. It occurs frequently and can be difficult to eradicate. This medication, that can be prepared in domestic conditions, is very effective in fighting candidiasis.

Home Remedies to treat Candida


  • 1 cup yogurt
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 carrot
  • ½ teaspoon fresh ginger
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon

Shred the carrots, garlic and ginger and add it to the yogurt. Add the cinnamon in the mixture and leave to stand for a bit.

It is recommended to be consumed once a day.

Source: secretly healthy

First Human Trials of Ebola Vaccine to Start

The U.S. government and drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline will announce Thursday that they are starting the first human trials of a vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus.

First Human Trials of Ebola Vaccine to Start

The National Institutes of Health will sponsor the first trial of the vaccine, one of several being developed against Ebola. It’s fast-tracked the testing because of the outbreak of Ebola that is ravaging three West African countries.

Ebola has killed more than 1,400 people out of 2,600 infected in Liberia, West Africa and Guinea in the ongoing outbreak, by far the worst outbreak of Ebola ever seen. And the World Health Organization says those numbers almost certainly understate the true numbers of those infected and killed.

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, part of the NIH, has been working on an Ebola vaccine for years. The idea was to develop it to defend people in case Ebola was ever used in a biological attack. Previous outbreaks of the virus were always too small and too easily controlled to justify developing a vaccine quickly.

NIAID was working with a small Swiss-Italian biotech company called Okairos to develop the vaccine. It’s been shown to protect monkeys against Ebola.

Glaxo bought the company last year. The next step is to test the vaccine in people, both to see if it’s safe and to see if it stimulates the immune system in a way that would be predicted to protect people from infection.

The vaccine is made using a virus called an adenovirus that infects chimpanzees but not people. The virus is genetically engineered with a single piece of Ebola virus, a protein that the immune system can recognize, but which doesn’t make people sick.

Several other companies are working to develop Ebola vaccines, including Crucell, a small biotech called Profectus Biosciences, Iowa-based NewLink Genetics and Immunovaccine Inc, based in Nova Scotia, Canada.

Two American medical missionaries, Dr. Kent Brantly and Nancy Writebol, were treated with an experimental therapy made by California-based Mapp Biopharmaceutical. Three Liberian doctors also received the drug. One died and the other two have recovered.

Source: nbc news

Hibiscus may enhance weight control

There is no end to the things people will try to control weight, and no end to claims of weight loss for products. And as obesity becomes an ever greater health concern globally, anything that may help to control weight attracts attention.

Hibiscus may enhance weight control

Once in a while, something comes along that actually does in fact demonstrate efficacy. Now, a specific variety of hibiscus, a common flower, appears to be such a bright star. Also known as roselle, Hibiscus sabdariffa is native to west Africa, yet is cultivated throughout many parts of the world, including southeast Asia, Africa, the Caribbean, and throughout Latin America.

The bright red Hibiscus sabdariffa blossom has thick, leathery leaves and a pleasant astringent flavor. The flowers enjoy popularity as both a beverage and a food. Roselle calyses are typically prepared as an herbal tea, though in southeast Asia some juice drinks are also made with the flower. Jams are also made from the blossoms, and the blossoms are sometimes cooked with lentils or with fish and spices.

As a traditional medicine, Hibiscus sabdariffa demonstrates benefits for reducing high blood pressure. The flowers also show anti-diabetic and anti-cancer activity. Rich in the purple antioxidant pigments called anthocyanins, the hibiscus blossoms are also anti-inflammatory, due to their concentration of protocatechuic acid. Additionally, the presence of a sub group of anthocyanins called delphinidins may be key to the weight-controlling properties of the plant.

This gets us back to possible anti-obesity activity. A recent report in the April 2014 Food & Function Journal revealed the results of a human clinical study in which approximately half of obese participants were given tablets made from extracts of Hibiscus sabdariffa and half given a placebo. The study, which recruited obese patients between ages 18 – 65, was conducted in Taiwan at Chung Shan Medical University Hospital over the course of twelve weeks.

The placebo group of the study was given two sugar tablets three times daily, while the active group was given 450 milligrams of hibiscus extract in tablet form, two tablets three times daily. At the beginning and end of the study, various parameters were analyzed, including waist circumference, percent body fat, waist-to-hip ratio, serum lipase, blood glucose and more.

Results of the study were not spectacular, but they were encouraging. The patients who took the hibiscus supplements showed reduced waist circumference, reduced body fat percentage, and reduced hip-to-waist ratio over the course of the study. Actual weight loss itself was moderate, despite these changes.

Does this mean that hibiscus is the new miracle weight loss agent? No. But it does mean that hibiscus can be part of a program that helps people to steadily reduce weight. We have seen in various studies that coffee (without the sugar and cream), green tea and hibiscus all help with various dimensions of weight control and blood sugar modification. Drinking these beverages on a daily basis can help with steady weight control. Switching from a high-fat to a low-fat diet is one of the most effective things you can do to reduce weight, and reducing overall caloric intake is key. Getting onto your feet and walking, running, bicycling, swimming, dancing, skipping rope or doing practically anything physically active, will help you to burn calories and reduce weight.

The recent study shows that hibiscus is a good aid, but just that, an aid. In and of itself, hibiscus tablets or teas will not take you from rotund to svelte. That will never happen. But as an additional safe, healthy, beneficial agent loaded with protective compounds, hibiscus in various forms can help you to achieve your weight target

Source: rtnz

Parents respond to their infant’s babbling can speed child’s language

Pay attention, mom and dad, especially when your infant looks at you and babbles.

Study finds how parents respond to their infant's babbling can speed the child's language development

Parents may not understand a baby’s prattling, but by listening and responding, they let their infants know they can communicate which leads to children forming complex sounds and using language more quickly.

That’s according to a new study by the University of Iowa and Indiana University that found how parents respond to their children’s babbling can actually shape the way infants communicate and use vocalizations.

The findings challenge the belief that human communication is innate and can’t be influenced by parental feedback. Instead, the researchers argue, parents who consciously engage with their babbling infants can accelerate their children’s vocalizing and language learning.

“It’s not that we found responsiveness matters,” says Julie Gros-Louis, assistant professor of psychology at the UI and corresponding author on the study, published in the July/August edition of the journal Infancy. “It’s how a mother responds that matters.”

Researchers observed the interactions between 12 mothers and their 8-month-old infants during free play twice a month for 30 minutes over a six-month period. They noted how the mothers responded to their child’s positive vocalizations, such as babbling and cooing, especially when it was directed toward the mother. Current research in Gros-Louis’s lab has found similar levels of responsiveness of mothers and fathers to infants’ babbling.

What researchers discovered is infants whose mothers responded to what they thought their babies were saying, showed an increase in developmentally advanced, consonant-vowel vocalizations, which means the babbling has become sophisticated enough to sound more like words. The babies also began directing more of their babbling over time toward their mothers.

On the other hand, infants whose mothers did not try as much to understand them and instead directed their infants’ attention at times to something else did not show the same rate of growth in their language and communication skills.

Gros-Louis says the difference was mothers who engaged with their infants when they babbled let their children know they could communicate. Consequently, those babies turned more often to their mothers and babbled.

“The infants were using vocalizations in a communicative way, in a sense, because they learned they are communicative,” Gros-Louis says.

In a survey a month after the study ended, mothers who were most attentive to their infants’ babbling reported their children produced more words and gestures at age 15 months.

Gros-Louis was a postdoctoral fellow at Indiana when she, Andrew King, a senior scientist in psychology, and Meredith West, a psychology professor at Indiana, conducted the mother-infant study, titled “Maternal Responsiveness and the Development of Directed Vocalizing in Social Interactions.”

“Julie is showing that social stimulation shapes at a very early age what children attend to,” says King. “And if you can show the parent can shape what an infant attends to, there is the possibility to shape what the child is sensitive to. They are learning how to learn.”

The current study builds upon previous research by King and West, published in 2003 in the journal of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. In that study, mothers were instructed to respond positively – such as smiling or touching—each time their infants looked at them and babbled. The results found the babies learned to vocalize advanced syllable-like sounds more readily than the typical infant.

Gros-Louis and her colleagues took that research a step further by observing the interactions of mothers and infants over a longer period of time and without instructing the mothers how to respond. Thus, they added a control group—the mothers who directed their babies’ attention elsewhere versus those who actively engaged when their infants looked at them and babbled.

Once again, the results showed infants whose mothers attended more closely to their babbling vocalized more complex sounds and develop language skills sooner.

Combined, the two studies could change how people think about human communicative development. However, additional research involving more participants is needed to validate the findings, the researchers said.

“The debate here is huge,” King says.

Source: medical xpress