Friday, July 31, 2020

Symptoms of Coronavirus

COVID-19 affects different people in different ways. Most infected people will develop mild to moderate illness and recover without hospitalization.

Most common symptoms:

fever.
dry cough.
tiredness.
Less common symptoms:

aches and pains.
sore throat.
diarrhoea.
conjunctivitis.
headache.
loss of taste or smell.
a rash on skin, or discolouration of fingers or toes.
Serious symptoms:

difficulty breathing or shortness of breath.
chest pain or pressure.
loss of speech or movement.
Seek immediate medical attention if you have serious symptoms.  Always call before visiting your doctor or health facility.

People with mild symptoms who are otherwise healthy should manage their symptoms at home.

On average it takes 5–6 days from when someone is infected with the virus for symptoms to show, however it can take up to 14 days.

Stay Home !!

Stay Safe !!

Prevention With Coronavirus

To prevent infection and to slow transmission of COVID-19, do the following:

Wash your hands regularly with soap and water, or clean them with alcohol-based hand rub.
Maintain at least 1 metre distance between you and people coughing or sneezing.
Avoid touching your face.
Cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing.
Stay home if you feel unwell.
Refrain from smoking and other activities that weaken the lungs.
Practice physical distancing by avoiding unnecessary travel and staying away from large groups of people.

Overview of Coronavirus-2020

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered coronavirus.

Most people infected with the COVID-19 virus will experience mild to moderate respiratory illness and recover without requiring special treatment.  Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, and cancer are more likely to develop serious illness.

The best way to prevent and slow down transmission is be well informed about the COVID-19 virus, the disease it causes and how it spreads. Protect yourself and others from infection by washing your hands or using an alcohol based rub frequently and not touching your face.

The COVID-19 virus spreads primarily through droplets of saliva or discharge from the nose when an infected person coughs or sneezes, so it’s important that you also practice respiratory etiquette (for example, by coughing into a flexed elbow).

At this time, there are no specific vaccines or treatments for COVID-19. However, there are many ongoing clinical trials evaluating potential treatments. WHO will continue to provide updated information as soon as clinical findings become available.

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Meaning of Health & Its Promotion

The Constitution of the World Health Organization, which came into force on April 7, 1948, defined health “as a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being.” The writers of the Constitution were clearly aware of the tendency of seeing health as a state dependent on the presence or absence of diseases: so they added to that definition that an individual, if he is to be considered healthy, should not suffer from any disease (….“and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity”) . In that way, the definition of the World Health Organization simply added a requirement to the previous position that allowed to declare someone healthy if no disease could be found: the step forward that could have been taken in the conceptualization of health as a dimension of existence which can co-exist with the presence of a disease or impairment was thus not taken.

Today, three types of definition of health seem to be possible and are used. The first is that health is the absence of any disease or impairment. The second is that health is a state that allows the individual to adequately cope with all demands of daily life (implying also the absence of disease and impairment). The third definition states that health is a state of balance, an equilibrium that an individual has established within himself and between himself and his social and physical environment.

The consequences of adopting one or another of these definitions are considerable. If health is defined as the absence of disease, the medical profession is the one that can declare an individual healthy. With the progress of medicine, individuals who are declared healthy today may be found to be diseased tomorrow because more advanced methods of investigations might find signs of a disease that was not diagnosable earlier. How an individual feels about his or her state is not relevant in this paradigm of health. How the surrounding people judge the behavior and appearance of an individual is only relevant if their observations are congruent with the criteria of abnormality that the medical profession has produced. The measurement of the state of health of a population is also simple and will involve no more than counting the individuals who, on examination, show defined signs of illness and comparing their numbers with those who do not.

There are obvious difficulties with the first and the second of the definitions mentioned above and with their consequences. There are individuals who have abnormalities that can be counted as symptoms of a disease but do not feel ill. There are others whose body tissues do not demonstrate changes but who feel ill and do not function well. There are people who hear voices and might therefore be candidates for psychiatric examination and possibly treatment – but live well in their community and do not ask for nor receive medical care. There is a significant number of people who have peptic ulcers and other diseases, experience no problems, do not know that they have a disease and do not seek treatment for it. Some of these individuals will also escape the second type of definition of health because they function as well as expected in their age and gender group of the general population.

The third definition mentioned above makes health depend on whether a person has established a state of balance within oneself and with the environment. This means that those with a disease or impairment will be considered as being healthy to a level defined by their ability to establish an internal equilibrium that makes them get the most they can from their life despite the presence of the disease. Health would thus be a dimension of human existence that remains in existence regardless of the presence of diseases, somewhat like the sky that remains in place even when covered with clouds. The advantage of this definition is that diseases do not replace individuals’ health: they may affect their balance more or less severely but, at all times, the patients who suffer from a disease (and their doctors) remain aware of the need to work simultaneously on two tasks – one, to remove or alleviate the disease and the second to establish a state of balance, as best they can, within oneself and in relation with their environment. In fighting stigmatization that accompanies many chronic and some acute diseases – such as mental disorders or leprosy – this definition is also useful because it makes us speak and think about our patients as people who are defined by different dimensions (including health) and who, at a point, suffer from a disease – and thus make us say “a person with schizophrenia” rather than “a schizophrenic,” or a ”person who has diabetes” rather than a “diabetic” and a “person with leprosy” rather than a “leper.”

There is another important consequence of working with this definition of health. To establish whether someone is in good health in accordance with this definition, the doctor must explore how individuals who have a disease feel about it, how the disease influences their lives, how they propose to fight their disease or live with it. Laboratory findings and the presence of symptoms are thus important and necessary ingredients in thinking about the state of health and the presence of a disease but are not sufficient to reach a decision about someone’s health: it is necessary to view the disease in the context of the person who has it in order to make a judgment about his or her level of health. There is little doubt about the fact that going about the treatment of diseases in this way would improve the practice of medicine and make it a more realistic as well as a more humane endeavor.

The promotion of health is also affected by the differences in the definition of health. The simplest definition of health – equated with the absence of disease – would lead to a definition of the promotion of health as an effort to remove diseases and diminish the numbers of individuals who suffer from them. The involvement of functioning in the definition of health would be reflected in defining the promotion of health as a process by which the capacity of individuals to cope will be enhanced and strengthened, for example by regular and obligatory physical exercise. Both of these definitions would lead to recommendations to improve the treatment of diseases, and to remove risks factors that might lead to them – such as sedentary life style, smoking, bad eating habits and insufficient application of hygienic measures such as washing one’s hands before meals.

The third definition of health, by its very nature, could not stop at efforts to remove diseases and to diminish risk factors that might lead to disease. It would have to involve the individuals whose health is to be promoted in an active way: it would have to address the scales of values of individuals and communities to ensure that health is placed higher on those scales. High value placed on health (not only on the absence of disease) would make people undertake whatever is necessary to enhance health: participating in preventive action and seeking treatment would become a normal expression of the need to behave in harmony with one’s own and one’s community values. Changing the place of health on the scale of values, however, is not possible if left to the health sector alone: values are shaped throughout life under the influence of parents, friends, schools, the media, laws, and one’s own life course and experience. Thus, changing values – for example to give health a higher value, to promote health – has to be a task for all of those involved in shaping values and placing them on a scale rather than for the health system alone.

The huge challenges that face societies aiming to improve the health of their citizens will not be appropriately answered if we do not change the paradigms of health and disease and design strategies for future work using these new paradigms. Their formulation and acceptance is a task that is before all of us and is urgent.

Role of Science in Health

Health science is the branch of science focused on health. There are two main approaches to health science: the study and research of the body and health-related issues to understand how humans (and animals) function, and the application of that knowledge to improve health and to prevent and cure diseases and other physical and mental impairments. The science builds on many sub-fields, including biology, biochemistry, physics, epidemiology, pharmacology, medical sociology. Applied health sciences endeavor to better understand and improve human health through applications in areas such as health education, biomedical engineering, biotechnology and public health.






Organized interventions to improve health based on the principles and procedures developed through the health sciences are provided by practitioners trained in medicine, nursing, nutrition, pharmacy, social work, psychology, occupational therapy, physical therapy and other health care professions. Clinical practitioners focus mainly on the health of individuals, while public health practitioners consider the overall health of communities and populations. Workplace wellness programs are increasingly adopted by companies for their value in improving the health and well-being of their employees, as are school health services in order to improve the health and well-being of children.

History

The meaning of health has evolved over time. In keeping with the biomedical perspective, early definitions of health focused on the theme of the body's ability to function; health was seen as a state of normal function that could be disrupted from time to time by disease. An example of such a definition of health is: "a state characterized by anatomic, physiologic, and psychological integrity,ability to perform personally valued family, work, and community roles; ability to deal with physical, biological, psychological, and social stress". Then in 1948, in a radical departure from previous definitions, the World Health Organization (WHO) proposed a definition that aimed higher: linking health to well-being, in terms of "physical, mental, and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease and infirmity". Although this definition was welcomed by some as being innovative, it was also criticized as being vague, excessively broad and was not construed as measurable. For a long time, it was set aside as an impractical ideal and most discussions of health returned to the practicality of the biomedical model.

Just as there was a shift from viewing disease as a state to thinking of it as a process, the same shift happened in definitions of health. Again, the WHO played a leading role when it fostered the development of the health promotion movement in the 1980s. This brought in a new conception of health, not as a state, but in dynamic terms of resiliency, in other words, as "a resource for living". 1984 WHO revised the definition of health defined it as "the extent to which an individual or group is able to realize aspirations and satisfy needs and to change or cope with the environment. Health is a resource for everyday life, not the objective of living; it is a positive concept, emphasizing social and personal resources, as well as physical capacities".Thus, health referred to the ability to maintain homeostasis and recover from insults. Mental, intellectual, emotional and social health referred to a person's ability to handle stress, to acquire skills, to maintain relationships, all of which form resources for resiliency and independent living.This opens up many possibilities for health to be taught, strengthened and learned.

Since the late 1970s, the federal Healthy People Initiative has been a visible component of the United States’ approach to improving population health. In each decade, a new version of Healthy People is issued,featuring updated goals and identifying topic areas and quantifiable objectives for health improvement during the succeeding ten years, with assessment at that point of progress or lack thereof. Progress has been limited to many objectives, leading to concerns about the effectiveness of Healthy People in shaping outcomes in the context of a decentralized and uncoordinated US health system. Healthy People 2020 gives more prominence to health promotion and preventive approaches and adds a substantive focus on the importance of addressing social determinants of health. A new expanded digital interface facilitates use and dissemination rather than bulky printed books as produced in the past. The impact of these changes to Healthy People will be determined in the coming years.

Systematic activities to prevent or cure health problems and promote good health in humans are undertaken by health care providers. Applications with regard to animal health are covered by the veterinary sciences. The term "healthy" is also widely used in the context of many types of non-living organizations and their impacts for the benefit of humans, such as in the sense of healthy communities, healthy cities or healthy environments. In addition to health care interventions and a person's surroundings, a number of other factors are known to influence the health status of individuals, including their background, lifestyle, and economic, social conditions and spirituality; these are referred to as "determinants of health." Studies have shown that high levels of stress can affect human health.

In the first decade of the 21st century, the conceptualization of health as an ability opened the door for self-assessments to become the main indicators to judge the performance of efforts aimed at improving human health.It also created the opportunity for every person to feel healthy, even in the presence of multiple chronic diseases, or a terminal condition, and for the re-examination of determinants of health, away from the traditional approach that focuses on the reduction of the prevalence of diseases.

Monday, July 27, 2020

Healthy Food

Each of us contributes to the impact that our food system has on the planet. We can all commit to making the world a healthier place to live, through small but achievable changes to our diets.

    1.Eat more fruits and vegetables
    2.Eat locally, when in season
    3.Avoid eating more than needed, especially treats
    4.Swap animal protein for plant-based ones
    5.Choose whole grains
    6.Choose sustainably sources seafood
    7.Eat dairy products in moderation
    8.Avoid unnecessary packaging.
    9.Drink tap water.

    1. Eat more fruits and vegetables

    Fruit and vegetables are good for our health, and most come with a low environmental impact. There are exceptions, as some require a lot of resources to transport and keep fresh, so eating these less frequently can increase the sustainability of our diets.  Examples include:
        fruits and vegetables that are fragile, or require refrigeration (salads and berries)
        vegetables that are grown in protected conditions (such as hot-house tomatoes or cucumbers)
        foods that use a lot of resources during transport (green beans, mange-touts, or berries imported from the southern hemisphere).

    2. Eat locally, when in season

    Locally-grown foods can be a sustainable choice, if we choose those that are in season where we live. The cost of producing or storing local foods beyond their natural growing seasons could be higher than shipping foods that are in season somewhere else.

    3. Avoid eating more than needed, especially treats

    Consuming only what we need reduces demands on our food supply by decreasing excess production. It also helps to keep us healthy and avoid excessive weight gain. Limiting snacking on energy-dense low-nutrient foods and paying attention to portion sizes are all useful ways to avoid unnecessary overconsumption.

    4. Swap animal proteins for plant-based ones

    In general, more resources are needed to produce animal-based proteins (especially beef), compared to plant-based proteins (such as beans, pulses and some grains). Eating a more plant-based diet also brings health benefits: plant-based food provides more fibre, and has a lower saturated fat content, both of which can contribute to a decreased risk of cardiovascular disease.
        For meat-eaters, limiting meat consumption to 1-2 times a week, having meat-free days and choosing more sustainable meats like chicken over beef can help us reduce our ecological footprint.
        For those choosing a vegan/vegetarian diet, combining different sources of plant-based protein will ensure our protein needs are met.

    5. Choose whole grains

    Non-refined cereals are generally less resource intensive to produce than refined ones as they require fewer processing steps. They are also good for health, reducing our risk of cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes, and overweight.
        Whole meal bread, whole grain pasta, unrefined barley, buckwheat and quinoa, are great choices.
        Brown rice is a good substitute for white rice, but it should be enjoyed in moderation, as a lot of water is used during its production.

    6. Choose sustainably sourced seafood

    Fish is a good source of healthy omega-3 fatty acids, which contribute to normal vision, brain function and heart health. However, overfishing is causing wild fish stocks to become depleted. In order to benefit from the necessary nutrients and reduce pressure on wild fish stocks:
        consume fish and seafood 1-2 times weekly to provide the necessary nutrients and reduce pressure on wild fish stocks.
        choose fish and seafood marked with a sustainability label from certified organisations such as the Marine Stewardship Council.

    7. Eat dairy products in moderation

    While milk and dairy production has an important environmental impact, dairy products are an important source of protein, calcium and essential amino acids, and have been linked to reduced risk of several chronic diseases, including metabolic syndrome, high blood pressure, stroke, bowel cancer and type 2 diabetes.
        Enjoy low-fat unsweetened dairy products daily, but in moderation.
        Limit consumption of high-fat cheeses to occasional.
        For those of us who choose to eliminate dairy completely, opt for plant-based drinks that are fortified with vitamins and minerals, like calcium.

    8. Avoid unnecessary packaging

    Food packaging, especially when made of non-recyclable materials can have a huge impact on the environment. We all can reduce the amount of packaged products we buy (think of bulk apples versus cling-film wrapped ones), or opt for materials that are biodegradable, fully recyclable, or made from recycled materials.

    9. Drink tap water

    In Europe, the standards of water quality and safety are high. Instead of buying bottled water, we can re-fill a reusable water bottle at the tap as many times as we want. Tap water costs a fraction of the price of bottled water and reduces our ecological footprint.