Health & Nutrition Current Affairs
Zika Virus can Cause Severe Neurological Disorder
- As on March 1, 2016, Scientists said they’ve confirmed from a study that the Zika virus can cause Guillain-Barre syndrome, a rare but severe neurological disorder that kills 5% of people who develop it. The study was carried out using blood samples from 42 patients who became ill in a previous outbreak of virus and now it was found. that patients developed the neurological problems around 6 days after the infection, made the virus main culprit of severe neurological disorder.
- The authorities also noticed people diagnosed with Guillain-Barre can cause muscle weakness, respiratory failure, and even death. There’s no vaccine or treatment for the Zika virus, which is usually transmitted through mosquito bites.
- The researchers from France wrote in The Lancet that the Zika should be added to the list of infectious pathogens that can cause Guillain-Barre. However, the biological mechanism by which Zika virus triggers the Guillain-Barre syndrome has yet to be identified.
Fast-acting Anti-rabies Drug Set for India Launch
- As on February 23, 2016, the first fast-acting anti-rabies drug of the world, which instantly deactivates the rabies virus and provides immediate protection in severe dog bite cases, is set for a launch in India in 2016.
- It automatically precludes chances of transmitting blood-borne infections that arc present in rabies, immunoglobulin, the current line of treatment for severe dog bite cases. It has been found safe and effective during various phases of human clinical trials spanning nine years in India and abroad.
- The drug, Rabies human Monoclonal Antibody (KMAb), has been developed by Pune-based Serum Institute of India (SIf) and US-based Mass Biologies of the University of Massachusetts Medical School.
Indian Firm Filed Patent for Zika j Vaccine Candidates
- Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech has filed for global patent of two vaccine candidates, a recombinant vaccine and an inactivated vaccine for Zika virus on February 3, 2016. With .this Bharat Biotech became the first in the world to file for global patent.
- Work on Zika vaccine project was started in 2014 and the patent was filed in July, 2015. It could make available the inactivated vaccine in two years if the Indian government fast-tracked the regulatory approvals once the pre-clinical trials proved to be successful.
- Zika fever was an unmet healthcare need in India and other countries and the potential for Zika virus epidemic was high, the normal process for a vaccine to get commercialised would take seven years, including the clinical trials.
CSIR Launched India’s First Ayurvedic Anti-diabetic Drug
- The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) launched country’s first anti-diabetic ayurvedic drug ‘BGR-34’ for type two Diabetes mellitus on February 3, 2016. BGR-34 works by controlling blood sugar and limiting the harmful effects of other drugs.
- The drug inhibits DPP-4 and enhancesinsuliri secretion. The product has passed several battery of tests and showed hypoglycemic activity in experimental subjects. It is developed jointly by National Botanical Research Institute (NBRI) and Central Institute for Medicinal and Aromatic Plants (CIMAP), the Lucknow-based research units of CSIR.
- AIMIL Pharmaceuticals (I) Limited, known for its innovative Ayurvedic products, has been transferred the rights and technical knowhow to produce and market it for medical use. Six crore adult Indian population has been found to be diabetic and there is no effective solution for diabetes as yet.
WHO Declared Zika Virus a Public Health Emergency
- The World Health Organisation announced on 1 February 1, 2016 that the explosive spread of the Zika virus In the Americas is an ‘extraordinary event’ that merits being declared an international emergency.
- Doctors connect Zika, which is spread by mosquitoes, to ‘Urge In neurological disorders and the birth defect microcephaly, in which Infants are bom with abnormally small heads and incomplete brain development.
- The declaration comes as underscoring the seriousness of the problem and paving the way lor more money, greater attention and a coordinated global response. This is the fourth time the WHO has declared a public health emergency.
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