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21,000 Dengue Cases In West Bengal Since Oct 24; 44,852 Reported So Far

Some areas in Kolkata and adjoining districts of Howrah, Hooghly and North 24-Parganas have witnessed a surge in cases.



KOLKATA (West Bengal): Taking note of the spread of dengue in the West Bengal capital and adjoining districts, the Calcutta High Court directed the state government on Monday to submit a report on action taken by it to control the vector-borne disease.

Also Read: Explainer: What Is Dengue Fever?

A division bench comprising Chief Justice T B N Radhakrishnan and Justice Arijit Banerjee directed the state government and the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) to submit by November 22 the report on the spread of dengue and the action taken to control it. The PILs moved before the court in this regard will be taken up for hearing again on November 22, the bench said.

According to the last review meeting held on October 24, as many as 23,000 had been affected by the disease till then. The figure now stands at 44,852.

Some areas in Kolkata and adjoining districts of Howrah, Hooghly and North 24-Parganas have witnessed a surge in cases.

This was revealed at a meeting held by chief secretary Rajiva Sinha in Nabanna today. In the city, some areas namely Tiljala, Dhapa, Picnic Garden and Parnashree have witnessed the surge.

A similar surge has been recorded in areas of ward 16 under Rishra Municipality in Hooghly and Bankura-2 gram panchayat under Domjur block. In North 24-Parganas, Chowberia under Bongaon block, Hajinagar, Garifa under Naihati municipality and Rahara under Rishra Municipality have recorded an increased number of dengue cases.

A 24-year-old Tangra resident succumbed to dengue last Thursday, while a 28-year-old constable — who had given birth to a girl on October 27 — died of dengue at a private hospital on Wednesday

The state government has decided to give an additional thrust on vector control that includes cleaning of water bodies and larvicide spray on a large scale. There would be widespread use of bio-larvicide for breeding source reduction and increased workforce would be deployed for vector control in Mograhat-1 and 2 and Mathurapur-1 and 2 blocks, said an official.

A drive would be undertaken for cleaning the locked Central and state government premises, he said, adding that house-to-house visits by vector control teams would be increased. This apart, the irrigation department will clean up all the canals in these districts once again.

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Polio Vaccination NOW Causing More Infections than Wild Virus?

In rare instances, the live virus in oral polio vaccines can mutate and become infectious, causing new outbreaks.



LONDON (England): — Nigeria, Democratic Republic of Congo, Central African Republic, and Angola have reported new cases of polio linked to the oral vaccine, as global health numbers show there are now more children being paralyzed by viruses originating in vaccines than in the wild.

In a report late last week, the World Health Organization and partners noted nine new polio cases caused by the vaccine in the four countries.

Seven countries elsewhere in Africa have similar outbreaks and cases have been reported in Asia. Of the two countries where polio remains endemic, Afghanistan and Pakistan, vaccine-linked cases have been identified in Pakistan.

In rare cases, the live virus in oral polio vaccine can mutate into a form capable of sparking new outbreaks.

All the current vaccine-derived polio cases have been sparked by a Type 2 virus contained in the vaccine.

Type 2 wild virus was eliminated years ago.

Polio is a highly infectious disease that spreads in contaminated water or food and usually strikes children under 5. About one in 200 infections results in paralysis. Among those, a small percentage die when their breathing muscles are crippled.

Donors last week pledged $2.6 billion to combat polio as part of an eradication initiative that began in 1988 and hoped to wipe out polio by 2000. Since then, numerous such deadlines have been missed.

To eradicate polio, more than 95% of a population needs to be immunized. WHO and partners have long relied on oral polio vaccines because they are cheap and can be easily administered, requiring only two drops per dose. Western countries use a more expensive injectable polio vaccine that contains an inactivated virus incapable of causing polio.

The Independent Monitoring Board, a group set up by WHO to assess polio eradication, warned in a report this month that vaccine-derived polio virus is “spreading uncontrolled in West Africa, bursting geographical boundaries and raising fundamental questions and challenges for the whole eradication process.”

The group said officials were already “failing badly” to meet a recently approved polio goal of stopping all vaccine-derived outbreaks within 120 days of detection. It described the initial attitude of WHO and its partners to stopping such vaccine-linked polio cases as “relaxed” and said “new thinking” on how to tackle the problem was needed.

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New Rotavirus Vaccine ROTAVAC-5D® Launched By Vice President Naidu

Rotavirus causes approximately 200,000 deaths and about 2 million hospitalizations annually across the world.



NEW DELHI: Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu on December 3 launched the new Rotavirus vaccine ROTAVAC-5D®, a smaller dosage form of its earlier oral immunisation shot that can be stored at a relatively higher temperature, in New Delhi.

There is a need for vaccination at the right time. While the government is doing its best on this front, it is a greater social responsibility which every medical professional should take forward besides removing apprehension about vaccination for timely prevention of diseases. This would ensure better health of the nation and its people,” said Naidu in his speech.

Designed and developed by Bharat Biotech, it is available in a 0.5 ml dosage, Rotavac 5D can be stored at 2-8 degree Celsius for up to 24 months, and can be administered in five drops. Rotavac 5D is also stable at 37 degree Celsius for seven days.

In contrast, the earlier version, Rotavac is available in 2.5 ml vial per dose and has to be stored at -20 degree Celsius.

The vaccine stability, combined with its small cold chain footprint, enables its use in low resource settings and outreach programs, the company said in a release.

On the occasion, the Vice President said that he believed that ROTAVAC is an example of a true social innovation that was realized through a partnership between scientists from India and the USA.

He added that India is committed to the goal of protecting the health of each and every one of its children.

Vice President added that India is firmly committed to ending morbidity and mortality in children caused due to diarrhoea by 2022.

The first generation, Rotavirus vaccine, ROTAVAC developed under a Public-Private Partnership with the Department of Biotechnology, Govt. of India, has put India on the global map for setting new standards in pharmaceutical Research and Development.

Rotavac 5D has been evaluated in clinical trials in India and other countries. This vaccine is safe, effective and affordable, besides being cross-protective against a variety of rotavirus strains.

Its efficacy compares favourably with the efficacy of the currently licensed rotavirus vaccines in low-resource countries. The study results showed clear evidence of protection across different rotavirus strains and continued efficacy in the second year of life. Currently, over 25 countries have granted patents for Rotavac 5D.

The company invested US$ 20 million to develop new manufacturing facilities and supporting infrastructure in its Genome Valley plant in Hyderabad with an installed manufacturing capacity of 200 million doses per year. The project was supported in part by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Globally rotavirus disease burden is estimated at 200,000 deaths and two million hospitalisations annually, mostly in low-income countries. Prevention of rotavirus infections would lead to a significant reduction in infant mortality rates and reduce the economic impact of hospitalisations to national governments across the globe.

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We Need To Rename It As ‘International Day of Persons with Special Abilities’: Vice President

Schools must inculcate sensitivity towards disability among children early in their lives: VP



NEW DELHI: Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu today said that ‘International Day of Persons with Disabilities’ must be renamed as ‘International Day of Persons with Special Abilities’, to reflect the enormous potential and capabilities that differently-abled people posses and to dispel the stigma that society attaches to disability.

They are certainly role models for many others and can make an immense contribution to the cause of nation-building, given the right kind of environment and opportunities”, he added.

He was addressing the gathering after presenting the National Awards for the Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities on the occasion of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities.

Expressing deep concern at the evidently severe problems faced by differently-abled, in terms of their social and economic conditions, Naidu said that we must build an inclusive society that is respectful and sensitive to the needs of the differently-abled.

He spoke of the need to provide the right nutrition and care to pregnant mothers and young children and to create good and accessible medical facilities across rural India.

Stating that early identification of disability is crucial, he said that it would enable us to undertake effective interventions from the beginning for rehabilitation measures and empowerment of the affected persons. “There is also a need to harmonize the immunization and disease prevention programmes with appropriate rehabilitative models at least at the District level”, he added, citing eradication of Polio is an excellent example of such coordinated efforts.

To minimise the disabilities from accidents, we need to improve road and workplace safety.

Referring to government reports that say road injuries caused 65% more disabilities in 2016 than in 1990, the Vice President called for improving road safety and spreading awareness about safe driving. He termed the recent amendments in the Motor Vehicles Act as a step in the right direction.

The Vice President emphasized that a change in society’s attitude towards disability is crucial and added that differently-abled persons are not objects of ‘sympathy’ and ‘pity’ and must instead be given ‘empathy’ and ‘support’.

Naidu said that all schools must strive to inculcate sensitivity towards disability in children early in their lives.

He applauded mainstream Indian cinema for creating many appreciable movies on the topic of disability and said that it is a good trend that needs to be further encouraged to change people’s perception of disability.

The Vice President applauded the Government’s initiatives to systematically address the challenges faced by the persons with disabilities, such as the amendment of Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act in 2016.

Stating that education is the key to empowerment of every person including persons with disabilities, Naidu called for setting up more inclusive schools and special schools to ensure that each disabled child gets good quality education.

Observing that creating an accessible environment for persons with disabilities is of paramount importance, the Vice President said that there is a need to develop collaborative efforts among all stakeholders for developing a barrier-free environment for the Persons with Disabilities. He urged the corporate and the private entities to take all steps possible to make their infrastructure accessible to persons with disabilities.

Speaking of the need to include persons with disabilities in social and cultural activities, especially in sporting events, Naidu said that it would instil a sense of inclusion and confidence amongst persons with disabilities. He also applauded our sportspersons have constantly done the country proud in Paralympics.

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