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Covid 19 Updates

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The first, second, and now third waves of the coronavirus pandemic appear to be indefinite. As life returns to normal following the deadly second wave, the threat of a third wave looms large. But the question is whether it can be avoided.

So, what are we to do?   India’s vaccination not fast enough to foil Covid-19 3rd wave: Report According to a prediction model developed by researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology-Kanpur, a possible third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic in India is likely, peaking between September and October this year, assuming India fully unlocks by 15 July.

In the worst-case scenario, daily cases could reach over 5 lakh in September, according to the team. However, the prediction model does not account for the impact of vaccinations in India, which the researchers believe will have a significant impact on breaking the chain of transmission.

The IIT Kanpur team, led by professors Rajesh Ranjan and Mahendra Verma, constructed three scenarios of a possible third wave using data from the second wave in India using the susceptible-infected-recovered (SIR) model — an epidemiological model that computes the theoretical number of people infected with a contagious illness in a closed population over time.

The team predicts that the third wave will peak in October in the first scenario, in which restrictions are lifted. This peak height, however, will be lower than that of the second wave. At its peak, 3.2 lakh cases will be recorded per day.  

 

Covid safety protocols For 3rd Wave

You must follow the below instructions in order to keep safe yourself and your family.

Wear a mask

  • Everyone over the age of two should wear masks in public.
  • Masks should be worn in addition to maintaining a distance of at least 6 feet, especially when around people who do not live with you.
  • If someone in your household is infected, everyone in the house should take precautions, such as wearing masks, to avoid spreading the infection to others.
  • Before putting on your mask, wash your hands or use hand sanitizer.
  • Put your mask over your nose and mouth and tuck it under your chin.
  • Slip the loops over your ears or tie the strings behind your head to fit the mask snugly against the sides of your face.
  • Make sure you can breathe easily.

Masks are required on planes, buses, trains, and other forms of public transportation flying into, within, or out of the United States, as well as at transportation hubs such as airports and train stations. In outdoor areas of a conveyance, passengers are not required to wear a mask (like on a ferry or the top deck of a bus). The CDC recommends that travellers who have not been fully vaccinated continue to wear masks and keep a physical distance when travelling.  

👉 Stay 6 feet away from others

👉 Get Vaccinated

👉 Avoid crowds and poorly ventilated spaces

👉 Wash your hands often

👉 Cover coughs and sneezes

👉 Clean and disinfect

👉 Monitor your health daily

Dr Randeep Guleria, Director of AIIMS Delhi, told ANI that Covid-19 cases have been reduced and that the mistake of not strictly adhering to COVID protocols, made after the first wave, should not be repeated. He went on to list three things that must be done immediately if we are to avoid it.

 

3 things to avoid the third wave of Covid-19

Dr. Guleria stated that appropriate behaviour, good surveillance, and vaccination are critical to avoiding the third wave of COVID, and that virus mutation is a concern. He stated that if we do these three things, we will be able to avoid a third wave by either not having one, delaying it, or having a very small peak.

In an interview with ANI, he stated that we must recognise that the virus is still present and mutating. It is becoming a source of concern.

Doctor VK Paul of Niti Aayog also reminded people that if COVID appropriate behaviour is followed and the majority of people are vaccinated, a third wave can be avoided.

“How can there be a third wave if we follow COVID Appropriate Behaviour and get vaccinated? There are many countries where the second wave has not yet arrived; if we follow COVID guidelines, this period will pass,” V. K. Paul had stated.

Mucormycosis: Why are Covid-19 patients being affected by black fungus infection?

We now have to cope with another until not so prevalent opportunistic opponent, the so-called ‘Black fungus’ infection, academically dubbed mucormycosis,” said Dr Dhananjaya I Bhat, senior consultant, neurosurgery, Aster RV Hospital.

“The most terrible, cruel expression is Rhino-orbito-cerebral mucormycosis,” he continued (ROCM). With this in mind, we’ll look at a lesser-known organism: the fungus, and its relevance in these volatile and unpredictable times.”

 

What is a fungus?

These are organisms that are distinct from the plant and animal kingdoms. They are found everywhere in nature, including the soil, plants, decaying organic matter, water, air, and damp places, as well as in humans and animals.

They, along with bacteria, play an important role in our ecosystem by degrading organic matter into simpler forms for plant consumption. “Among them are household yeast, moulds, mushrooms, and a variety of others.

There are approximately 1,44,000 species of fungi (plural for fungus), some of which are pathogenic to humans. Candida, Aspergillus, Cryptococcus, Histoplasma, Pneumocystis, and Mucormycetes are the most common,” he explained.

 

What types of infection do these fungi cause?

In general, some fungi do not cause infections in humans, but they can cause illness in people with weakened immune systems, which is known as opportunistic infections.

Some common types of a fungal infection include:

  • Skin infections such as ringworm
  • Nail infections
  • Deep cutaneous infections caused by trauma
  • Breach in the skin with subsequent fungal implantation and growth
  • Sinus infections and deep lung infections Fungi can also affect the gastrointestinal and renal systems, and can cause a full-blown infection as a result of fungus entry into the bloodstream.

 

If the fungi are so common why is it that we rarely get infected by them?

“We keep these omnipresent organisms at bay and remain infection-free thanks to our body’s defence mechanisms, which are constantly and assiduously fighting them.

When our immune system relaxes its guard, these organisms gain the upper hand and unleash morbid and, in some cases, lethal infections,” he told indianexpress.com.

 

Who is susceptible to fungal infections?

As previously stated, people with a weakened immune system are more vulnerable to infection. Among the conditions that lower our immunity are:

  • *Diabetes: The combination of high blood sugar levels and an acidic environment, as seen in diabetic ketoacidosis, is ideal for the rapid growth of these organisms. Diabetes is also linked to a weakened immune system.
  • *Steroid medication raises blood sugar levels and reduces the body’s immune response.
  • *Blood cancers, which, once again, result in a faulty immune system
  • *Patients on immunosuppressive medications, as seen in organ and haematologic stem cell recipients.
  • *Patients who have an excess of iron or are taking deferoxamine (specifically used in iron overdose).
  • *Trauma, burns, and malnourished individuals

 

What is ROCM or Black fungus infection?

Mucormycosis (previously known as Zygomycosis) is a serious but uncommon fungal infection caused by a type of mould known as a micromycete. Molds of the order Mucorales cause rhino-orbital-cerebral-mucormycosis (ROCM).

There are a few subgroups that are commonly involved in this infection, such as Rhizopus, Mucor, and Rhizomucor. These fungi are angioinvasive, which means they invade and destroy the surrounding blood vessels, resulting in tissue necrosis and death.

These moulds are found throughout the environment, and their spores can be found in the air. They become lodged in the nasal cavity and neighbouring sinuses.

When they reach a favourable environment, they settle into the tissue. When the spores germinate, the hyphae (filamentous processes) grow and release destructive juices that digest the host tissue while also providing nutrition to the rapidly growing fungi.

They relentlessly destroy the surrounding host tissue as they grow in the nasal cavity. The nasal cavity and sinuses’ bones are destroyed. The hard palate, orbital bones, and skull base bones are examples of these.

There may be black masses in the nasal cavity and oral cavity. It may cause bulging of the eyes, pain, frozen eye movements, and blindness if it destroys the orbit and enters the eye socket.

do and dont dos black fungus

Why is it occurring in COVID 19 patients?

Mucormycosis can develop at any time after COVID-19 infection, whether during the hospital stay or several days to a few weeks later. “The COVID-19 causes a favourable change in the host’s internal environment for the fungus, and the medical treatment given unwittingly promotes fungal growth.

COVID-19 wreaks havoc on the airway mucosa and blood vessels. It also causes an increase in serum iron, which is critical for the fungus’s growth. Steroids, for example, raise blood sugar levels.

Broad-spectrum antibiotics kill not only potentially pathogenic bacteria but also beneficial commensals. Antifungals such as Voriconazole inhibit Aspergillosis, but Mucor survives and thrives due to a lack of competition.

Long-term ventilation reduces immunity, and there is speculation that the fungus is transmitted by humidifier water mixed with oxygen. All of the aforementioned factors combine to create an ideal environment for mucormycosis infection,” he explained.

 

Can there be other fungal infections in COVID 19 patients?

Mucor has not caused as much havoc in Western countries as it has in India. Other fungal infections, such as aspergillosis and candidiasis, have been found to be more common in COVID-19 patients.

Lung infections caused by fungi are difficult to diagnose clinically. The patient has a fever, cough, and shortness of breath, all of which are symptoms of COVID. As a result, overlap creates diagnostic quandaries.

The clinician should be alert to the possibility of fungal infection and have a low threshold for suspicion, especially when a COVID-19 patient is improving and then suddenly develops respiratory failure.

 

Are these infections life-threatening?

These infections are extremely lethal, and most people will die if they are not treated.

The mortality rate ranges from 25% to 90%. Once the infection has spread to the brain, the mortality rate is extremely high. As a result, early diagnosis and prompt treatment are given a high priority.