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Death toll from Nipah virus rises to 16 in India’s Kerala

Gorkha Post

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NEW DELHI — The death toll in Nipah virus outbreak in India’s Kerala state has risen to 16, with the death of two more persons in southern state, officials said Thursday.

“A 56-year-old man and a 28-year-old youth died late Wednesday night at Kozhikode Medical College Hospital in the state’s Kozhikode district, the epicenter of the Nipah virus outbreak,” a senior health official said.

Two more persons, confirmed of having contracted the virus are being treated at KMCH, he said.

Apart from the 16 deaths in Kerala’s Kozhikode and Mallapuram districts, 94 people have been quarantined in their homes while 17 others are under treatment in hospitals. “All steps to prevent the spread of the virus have been taken,” state Health Minister K K Shailaja said.

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Besides, 1,353 people who had been in contact with the affected persons before the confirmation of the disease, are under observation, the official said.

The outbreak of the Nipah virus infection, a newly emerging zoonosis that causes severe disease in both animals and humans, is suspected to be from an unused well in Perambra which was infested with bats.

The natural host of the virus is believed to be fruit bats of the Pteropodidae family, Pteropus genus.

Health officials have identified the bat-infested well in the house in Kozhikode district as the likely epicenter of the outbreak of Nipah virus in this country.

This is the third outbreak of Nipah virus in India. Two other outbreaks of the virus were reported in 2001 and 2007, respectively, in eastern state of West Bengal that shares its border with Bangladesh, claiming 50 lives.

Agencies

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Type 2 diabetics can reduce cardiovascular disease risk

Raghu Kshitiz

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With proper treatment and not smoking, individuals with type 2 diabetes can significantly reduce their risk of cardiovascular disease, according to a new study in Sweden.

Individuals with type 2 diabetes have 10 times the risk for heart attack, heart failure and stroke, and five times the risk for premature death compared with the control group.

In a study published in The New England Journal of Medicine, researchers at University of Gothenburg in Sweden said that the increased risks could be theoretically eliminated.

“The study shows that patients with type 2 diabetes with all risk factors within therapeutic target range had an extremely low risk of premature death, heart attack and stroke. This is definitely good news,” author Aidin Rawshani, a doctoral student at the Institute of Medicine, Sahlgrenska Academy, said in a press release.

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For the study, researchers analyzed data on 271,174 patients with type 2 diabetes registered in the Swedish National Diabetes Register from 1998-2014 and matched with 1.35 million controls on the basis of age, sex and county. In a median followup of 5.7 years, there were 175,345 deaths.

Risk factors that can be controlled by medication, and cigarette abstinence, are blood pressure, long-term blood glucose, lipid status, renal function and smoking, according to the researchers.

Smoking was the most important risk factor for premature death and an elevated blood glucose level was the most dangerous factor for heart attack and stroke.

“By optimizing these five risk factors, all of which can be influenced, you can come a long way,” Rawshani said adding, “We have shown that the risks can be greatly reduced, and in some cases may even be eliminated.”

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In some cases, patients with type 2 diabetes have no more than a 10 percent elevated risk of premature death, heart attack and stroke compared with the general population. The risk for heart failure is 45 percent higher among those with type 2 diabetes in those instances.

In addition, the risk of complications, especially heart failure, is greatest among those under 55 years.

“This makes it extra important to check and treat risk factors if you are younger with type 2 diabetes.” Rawshani added.

With Agency Inputs

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