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What is Nipah Virus?

Raghu Kshitiz

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The rare but deadly Nipah virus has recently emerged in southern Indian State of Kerala, killing at least 12 people including a nurse and causing more than 25 others to be hospitalized.

Nipah virus (NiV) infection is a newly emerging zoonosis that causes severe disease in both animals and humans. The natural host of the virus are fruit bats of the Pteropodidae Family, Pteropus genus, according to World Health Organisation.

NiV was first identified during an outbreak of disease that took place in Kampung Sungai Nipah, Malaysia in 1998.

NiV is on the WHO’s priority list of emerging diseases that could cause a global pandemic, alongside Zika and Ebola.

NiV infection in humans has a range of clinical presentations, from asymptomatic infection to acute respiratory syndrome and fatal encephalitis.

Those infected suffer a quick onset of symptoms, including fever, vomiting, disorientation, mental confusion, encephalitis and — in up to 70 percent of cases, depending on the strain — ultimately death.
NiV is also capable of causing disease in pigs and other domestic animals.

ALSO READ :  Deadly Nipah virus claims 12 in Indian state of Kerala

There is no vaccine for either humans or animals. The primary treatment for human cases is intensive supportive care only.

How is the NiV spread?

Several species of fruit bats that live throughout Asia carry Nipah. During outbreaks in Bangladesh from 2001 to 2007 — most people contracted the virus by drinking raw date palm sap that virus-carrying fruit bats had also sipped and contaminated.

Bats can also transmit NiV to pigs and other livestock, which can then pass the infection onto humans. And humans can spread the virus through saliva and possibly other bodily fluids.

NiV and its viral cousin Hendra latch onto a proteins called ephrin-B2 and ephrin-B3 on the surface of nerve cells and the endothelial cells lining blood and lymph vessels, researchers have found. NiV can also invade lung and kidney cells.

Most patients who die succumb to an inflammation of blood vessels and a swelling of the brain that occurs in the later stages of the disease.

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Adding glass of milk in breakfast can lower blood glucose

Raghu Kshitiz

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Several research studies have attempted to find a link between drinking milk and a reduced risk for experiencing type 2 diabetes and a new research has found that adding a glass of milk in breakfast is the perfect energy boost for body needs to get through the day.

According to a study published in the Journal of Dairy Science, consuming milk with breakfast cereal reduced postprandial blood glucose concentration compared with water, and high dairy protein concentration reduced postprandial blood glucose concentration compared with normal dairy protein concentration.

H Douglas Goff, PhD, and the team of scientists from the Human Nutraceutical Research Unit at the University of Guelph, in collaboration with the University of Toronto, examined the effects of consuming high-protein milk for breakfast on blood glucose levels.

The high-protein treatment also reduced appetite after the second meal compared with the low-protein equivalent.

“Metabolic diseases are on the rise globally, with type 2 diabetes and obesity as leading concerns in human health. Thus, there is an impetus to develop dietary strategies for the risk reduction and management of obesity and diabetes to empower consumers to improve their personal health,” Goff and his team noted.

ALSO READ :  Eggs don't increase cardiovascular risk for people with diabetes

Although the team only found a modest difference in food consumption at the lunch meal when increasing whey protein at breakfast, they did find that milk consumed with a high-carbohydrate breakfast reduced blood glucose even after lunch, and high-protein milk had a greater effect.

Milk with an increased proportion of whey protein had a modest effect on pre-lunch blood glucose, achieving a greater decrease than that provided by regular milk.

Likewise, a 2014 study from Lund University in Sweden published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found eating high-fat milk and yogurt reduces a person’s type 2 diabetes risk by as much as one-fifth.

Another study published in the 2011 American Journal of Clinical Nutrition tracked the relationship between a person’s dairy consumption during adolescence and their risk for type 2 diabetes as an adult. The researchers concluded that “higher dairy product intake during adolescence is associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes.”

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