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Preventing Colds, Flu, and Infections

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Colds and flu are particularly common in winter. More than 200 viruses cause the common cold.

Flu (influenza) is caused by a different group of viruses and is a far more severe health condition that can lead to death.

Antibiotics are not a suitable treatment for colds and flu because antibiotics target bacteria, not viruses.

Take steps to protect yourself from colds and flu this season.

To do this you need to:

1. get immunized and protect yourself from flu
2. cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze,
or use your inner elbow
3. throw tissues in the bin after you use them
4. wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you
cough or sneeze
5. use alcohol-based hand sanitizers
6. clean surfaces and objects such as doorknobs, keyboards and
phones regularly
7. avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth as germs spread this way
try to avoid close contact with people who have a flu-like illness.

If you have flu-like symptoms you should:

1. stay home from work or school
2. limit contact with other people to keep from infecting them.

No treatment will cure your cold, or make it go away more quickly, but if you get plenty of rest and stay hydrated you can expect to recover quicker.

Medication
Taking paracetamol will help to relieve your headache, muscle aches and reduce your fever.

It’s important to check the active ingredients on your medications and be careful you don’t double dose (many colds and flu medicines have paracetamol as an active ingredient).

Discuss medicines with your pharmacist or doctor before using or giving to children to make sure they are safe.

The flu vaccination can help to protect you against getting the flu.

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Know more about Rabies

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Chickenpox

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Overview
Chickenpox is an infection caused by the varicella-zoster virus. It causes an itchy rash with small, fluid-filled blisters. Chickenpox is highly contagious to people who haven't had the disease or been vaccinated against it. Today, a vaccine is available that protects children against chickenpox. Routine vaccination is recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The chickenpox vaccine is a safe, effective way to prevent chickenpox and its possible complications.

Symptoms
The itchy blister rash caused by chickenpox infection appears 10 to 21 days after exposure to the virus and usually lasts about five to 10 days. Other signs and symptoms, which may appear one to two days before the rash, include:

Fever
Loss of appetite
Headache
Tiredness and a general feeling of being unwell (malaise)
Once the chickenpox rash appears, it goes through three phases:

Raised pink or red bumps (papules), which break out over several days
Small fluid-filled blisters (vesicles), which form in about one day and then break and leak
Crusts and scabs, which cover the broken blisters and take several more days to heal
New bumps continue to appear for several days, so you may have all three stages of the rash — bumps, blisters and scabbed lesions — at the same time. You can spread the virus to other people for up to 48 hours before the rash appears, and the virus remains contagious until all broken blisters have crusted over.

The disease is generally mild in healthy children. In severe cases, the rash can cover the entire body, and lesions may form in the throat, eyes, and mucous membranes of the urethra, anus and vagina.

When to see a doctor
If you think you or your child might have chickenpox, consult your doctor. He or she usually can diagnose chickenpox by examining the rash and considering other symptoms. Your doctor can also prescribe medications to lessen the severity of chickenpox and treat complications, if necessary. To avoid infecting others in the waiting room, call ahead for an appointment and mention that you think you or your child may have chickenpox.

Also, let your doctor know if:

The rash spreads to one or both eyes.
The rash gets very red, warm or tender. This could indicate a secondary bacterial skin infection.
The rash is accompanied by dizziness, disorientation, rapid heartbeat, shortness of breath, tremors, loss of muscle coordination, worsening cough, vomiting, stiff neck or a fever higher than 102 F (38.9 C).
Anyone in the household has a problem with his or her immune system or is younger than 6 months.
Causes
Chickenpox infection is caused by a virus. It can spread through direct contact with the rash. It can also spread when a person with the chickenpox coughs or sneezes and you inhale the air droplets.

Risk factors
Your risk of becoming infected with the varicella-zoster virus that causes chickenpox is higher if you haven't already had chickenpox or if you haven't had the chickenpox vaccine. It's especially important for people who work in child care or school settings to be vaccinated.

Most people who have had chickenpox or have been vaccinated against chickenpox are immune to chickenpox. If you've been vaccinated and still get chickenpox, symptoms are often milder, with fewer blisters and mild or no fever. A few people can get chickenpox more than once, but this is rare.

Complications
Chickenpox is normally a mild disease. But it can be serious and can lead to complications including:

Bacterial infections of the skin, soft tissues, bones, joints or bloodstream (sepsis)
Dehydration
Pneumonia
Inflammation of the brain (encephalitis)
Toxic shock syndrome
Reye's syndrome in children and teenagers who take aspirin during chickenpox
Death
Who's at risk?
People who are at higher risk of chickenpox complications include:

Newborns and infants whose mothers never had chickenpox or the vaccine
Adolescents and adults
Pregnant women who haven't had chickenpox
People who smoke
People whose immune systems are weakened by medication, such as chemotherapy, or by a disease, such as cancer or HIV
People who are taking steroid medications for another disease or condition, such as asthma
Chickenpox and pregnancy
Low birth weight and limb abnormalities are more common among babies born to women who are infected with chickenpox early in their pregnancy. When a mother is infected with chickenpox in the week before birth or within a couple of days after giving birth, her baby has a higher risk of developing a serious, life-threatening infection.

If you're pregnant and not immune to chickenpox, talk to your doctor about the risks to you and your unborn child.

Chickenpox and shingles
If you've had chickenpox, you're at risk of a complication called shingles. The varicella-zoster virus remains in your nerve cells after the skin infection has healed. Many years later, the virus can reactivate and resurface as shingles — a painful cluster of short-lived blisters. The virus is more likely to reappear in older adults and people who have weakened immune systems.

The pain of shingles can persist long after the blisters disappear. This is called postherpetic neuralgia and can be severe.

Two shingles vaccines (Zostavax and Shingrix) are available for adults who have had chickenpox. Shingrix is approved and recommended for people age 50 and older, including those who've previously received Zostavax. Zostavax isn't recommended until age 60. Shingrix is preferred over Zostavax.

Prevention
The chickenpox (varicella) vaccine is the best way to prevent chickenpox. Experts from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that the vaccine provides complete protection from the virus for nearly 98 percent of people who receive both of the recommended doses. When the vaccine doesn't provide complete protection, it significantly lessens the severity of chickenpox.

The chickenpox vaccine (Varivax) is recommended for:

Young children. In the United States, children receive two doses of the varicella vaccine — the first between ages 12 and 15 months and the second between ages 4 and 6 years — as part of the routine childhood vaccination schedule.

The vaccine can be combined with the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine, but for some children between the ages of 12 and 23 months, the combination may increase the risk of fever and seizure from the vaccine. Discuss the pros and cons of combining the vaccines with your child's doctor.

Unvaccinated older children. Children ages 7 to 12 years who haven't been vaccinated should receive two catch-up doses of the varicella vaccine, given at least three months apart. Children age 13 or older who haven't been vaccinated should also receive two catch-up doses of the vaccine, given at least four weeks apart.
Unvaccinated adults who've never had chickenpox and are at high risk of exposure. This includes health care workers, teachers, child care employees, international travelers, military personnel, adults who live with young children and all women of childbearing age.

Adults who've never had chickenpox or been vaccinated usually receive two doses of the vaccine, four to eight weeks apart. If you don't remember whether you've had chickenpox or the vaccine, a blood test can determine your immunity.

The chickenpox vaccine isn't approved for:

Pregnant women
People who have weakened immune systems, such as those who are infected with HIV, or people who are taking immune-suppressing medications
People who are allergic to gelatin or the antibiotic neomycin
Talk to your doctor if you're unsure about your need for the vaccine. If you're planning on becoming pregnant, consult with your doctor to make sure you're up to date on your vaccinations before conceiving a child.

Is it safe and effective?
Parents typically wonder whether vaccines are safe. Since the chickenpox vaccine became available, studies have consistently found it safe and effective. Side effects are generally mild and include redness, soreness, swelling and, rarely, small bumps at the site of the shot.

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Tongue Disease Indicators.

Dr. HelloDox Care #
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कोरोना व्हायरसपासून असा करा स्वत:चा बचाव

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कोरोना व्हायरसचा पहिला रुग्ण चीनमधील वुहान शहरात आढळला. चीनमधल्या वुहानमध्ये कोरोना व्हायरसने थैमान घातलं असून सर्वाधिक रुग्ण येथेच आढळले आहेत. चीन सरकारकडून या व्हायरसपासून बचाव होण्यासाठी विविध पावलं उचलली जात आहेत. लोकांना मास्क लावूनच बाहेर पडण्याचं सांगण्यात आलं आहे. वुहानमधील अनेक ठिकाणी प्रवासावर निर्बंध घालण्यात आले आहेत.

काय आहेत कोरोना व्हायरसची लक्षणं -
जलद गतीने पसरणाऱ्या या व्हायरसमुळे सुरुवातीला ताप येणं, सुका खोकला, नाक गळणं त्यानंतर अशीच परिस्थिती राहिल्यास काही दिवसांनी श्वास घेण्यास त्रास होणं, थकवा येणं ही साधारण लक्षण असल्याची माहिती मिळत आहे. अधिक गंभीर प्रकरणात, न्यूमोनिया, किडनी फेल यांसारखी स्थिती देखील निर्माण होऊ शकते. या व्हायरसमुळे सर्वात आधी फुफ्फुसं प्रभावित करत असल्याचं समोर आलं आहे.

डॉक्टरांनी दिलेल्या माहितीनुसार, या व्हायरसवर अद्याप कोणताही ठोस उपाय नाही. डॉक्टर या व्हायरसचा संसर्ग झालेल्या रुग्णाला, त्याच्या लक्षणांच्या आधारेच उपचार करत आहेत.

काय काळजी घ्याल -
- साबण आणि पाण्याने हात स्वच्छ ठेवा
- शिंकताना नाक आणि तोंडावर रुमाल ठेवा
- सर्दी, ताप झालेल्यांपासून शक्यतो लांब राहा
- जंगली किंवा पाळीव प्राण्यांपासून दूर राहा
- कच्चं किंवा अर्धवट शिजवलेलं मांस खाणं टाळा
- बाहेर पडताना मास्क घाला
- खाण्या-पिण्याकडे विशेष लक्ष द्या

या व्हायरसची लक्षण दिसल्यास -
जागतिक आरोग्य संघटनेने रुग्णालय, डॉक्टर आणि आरोग्य कामगारांना विशेष सल्ला दिला आहे. संसर्ग झालेल्या व्यक्तीची त्वरित चाचणी करावी. संसर्गाच्या दृष्टीने, रुग्णाला सौम्य, मध्यम किंवा तीव्र म्हणून वर्गीकृत केले जावे.

आरोग्यसंबंधी कामगारांना या संसर्गाची लागण होऊ नये यासाठी सर्व खबरदारीच्या उपाययोजना केल्या गेल्या पाहिजेत. रुग्णालयात डॉक्टर, कर्मचाऱ्यांनी गाऊन, मास्क, हातमोजे वापरावेत. याशिवाय रुग्णालयात संक्रमित रुग्णांना वेगळं ठेऊन, रुग्णांच्या हालचालींवर नियंत्रण ठेवण्याचा सल्लाही देण्यात आला आहे. रुग्णाच्या संपर्कात आलेली मेडिकल उपकरणं संपूर्ण स्वच्छ ठेवावी, रुग्णाला तपासल्यानंतर हात स्वच्छ करावेत.

नॉटिंगम यूनिव्हर्सिटीचे वायरोलॉजिस्ट प्राध्यापक जोनाथन बॉल यांनी दिलेल्या माहितीनुसार, हा अतिशय नवीन प्रकारचा कोरोना व्हायरस आहे. हा व्हायरस प्राण्यांमधूनच, मनुष्यापर्यंत पोहचला असल्याची शक्यता असल्याचं ते म्हणाले. हा व्हायरस एका प्रजातीमधून, दुसऱ्या प्रजातीकडे संक्रमित होऊन नंतर मानवी शरीरात संक्रमित होत असल्याची शक्यता आहे.

या व्हायरसची सुरुवात चीनमधल्या वुहानमधून झाली असली तरी आता याचा संसर्ग चीनसोबतच इतर देशांमध्ये झाला आहे. थायलंडमध्ये २ जण, जपानमध्ये एकाला, अमेरिकामध्ये एकाला आणि दक्षिण कोरियातही या व्हायरसची लागण झाल्याची माहिती मिळत आहे.

डिसेंबर २०१९ पासून चीनमध्ये कोरोना विषाणूने धुमाकूळ घातला आहे. नववर्षासाठी चीनमध्ये आलेल्या विविध देशातील लोकांना, यावेळी संसर्ग होऊन तो इतर देशांमध्येही पसरला असल्याची शक्यता वर्तवण्यात आली आहे. आतापर्यंत कोरोनामुळे जवळपास ३०० जणांचा बळी गेला आहे.

भारतात कोरोनाचा पहिला रुग्ण केरळमध्ये आढळला. त्यानंतर पुन्हा केरळमध्येच याचा दुसरा रुग्ण आढळला आहे.

कोरोना व्हायरस वेगाने पसरु लागल्यानंतर भारतीय सरकारने वुहान येथे भारतीयांना मायदेशी आणण्याचा निर्णय घेतला. त्यानुसार कोरोना व्हायरसच्या प्रादुर्भावामुळे धोकादायक ठिकाण झालेल्या वुहानमधील भारतीयांना सुखरूप मायदेशी आणण्यात आले आहे. शुक्रवारी आणि शनिवारी एअर इंडियाच्या विमानातून भारतीयांना दिल्ली विमानतळावर आणण्यात आलं आहे.

देशात या विषाणूच्या लागणीचे नमुने तपासण्यासाठी पुणे येथील राष्ट्रीय विषाणूविज्ञान संस्था आणि भारतीय वैद्यकीय संशोधन परिषद समन्वयाने काम करणार आहेत. सध्या जगातील विविध प्रयोगशाळांमध्ये कोरोना वायरसवर अधिक अभ्यास सुरू आहे.

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