Saturday, March 25, 2017

Prevention from Viral Diseases - Dr TN Chugh.

Prevention from Viral Diseases - Dr TN Chugh.
25 March, 2017
Pictures and Videos: GS Mann, Amar S Jyani
Prevention from Viral Diseases
‘Virus’ are very small, complex particles of nucleic acids and proteins which act as infectious agents and replicate (reproduce) only inside the living cells of other organisms. Virus can infect all forms of animals, plants to micro-organisms including bacteria. The Latin word ‘Virion’ stands for ‘poison’. The first discovery of Tobacco mosaic virus was made by D. Ivanovsky in 1892. There are millions types of virus in all kinds of natural environment. They are very small in size, 20 to 1000 nm, about one hundredth of certain bacteria, and can only be observed through electron microscope (not by any optical microscope). The virion particles contain the genetic chemical of DNA or RNA covered with protein coat called ‘capsid’. These particles may get protected by lipid membrane when they acquire crystalline form outside their host cells.
They are now being considered as form of life that interact with other living organisms because: they possess the quality to reproduce similar young ones; presence of genetic material single or double stranded DNA or RNA; can undergo changes (mutations) due to change of host or environment. The nonliving properties are that they do not live independently; do not have the organelles of ribosome, mitochondria, nucleus, chromosomes; they are unable to produce their own proteins, energy and genetic material.
Viral diseases:
Their illnesses are communicable (direct or indirect) and many are fatal. The common human disorders are---Influenza, Chickenpox, Smallpox, Polio, AIDS, Herpes, Measles, Mumps, Rubella, Bad cold, Shingles, Viral Gastro-enteritis, Meningitis, Viral-hepatitis, Dengue fever, Trachoma, Chicken-goonia, Viral pneumonia, Rabies and many more. Most common ways of infections from carrier person to other persons include:
•          Breathing in air borne droplets contaminated with virus.
•          Taking food and drinking water polluted with virus or containing microbes infected with virus.
•          Having sexual contact with infected person.
•          Wrong type of blood transfusion.
•          Indirect transmission from infected persons through mosquitoes, ticks, field mice, cats, dogs, other attacking animals etc.
•          Direct contact or touching with certain host plants.
•          Touching body surface (skin) or body fluid contaminated with virus.
Resistance from diseases:
Immunity is the ability to abstain, withstand and oppose the disease causing organisms (pathogens) and their toxic products (poisons) in the host. The study of immune system is referred as immunology. Antigens are the wrong substances when introduced into the body of host, excite or stimulate the production of antibodies. Antigens are generally proteins but a few may be carbohydrates, lipids or nucleic acids. Antibodies are proteins in the form of immune-globins (IgS) which are produced by B- lymphocytes and plasma cells. The antibodies get generated by mature plasma cells at very fast rate (about 2000 molecules per minute). The immune-globulins are grouped in five iso-types, namely, Ig-A, Ig-D, Ig-E, Ig-G and Ig-M. They differ from each other in size, charge, carbohydrate contents and amino acid composition, for instance, Ig- G has small size, most abundant (about 75% of total) and effective, whereas, Ig-G is five times larger in size.
Proper use of Vaccination:  
Vaccine is specific medicine, used to promote the production of antibodies. It is prepared from the suspension or extract of dead or weakened germs of a disease which can be injected into a healthy or diseased person. It helps to provide temporary or permanent active or passive immunity by inducing antibodies formation. The fundamental truth of vaccination or immunization is based on the property of ‘memory’ of prevention and protection of diseases through microbes (immune system). Vaccines were not created as treatment of virus; rather these are tools which can be used to prevent certain viral disorders---Polio virus during early childhood in five doses, MMR from 9 to 15 months in one dose, Chicken pox up to 12 months in five doses, Hepatitis-A and B in the form of passive immune serum globulins, Measles virus etc. We should realize the concept that prevention is better than cure.
Important viral diseases with ill effects and prevention:
Influenza: It is caused by highly infectious Myxovirus. It results in fever, headache, pain all over body, bad effects on nose, throat and air passage, sneezing and cough. In neglected cases, pneumonia, bad cold and ear infection may also cause complications. There is no vaccine and specific drug, but doctor advice is beneficial.
Measles: Caused by a type of Paramyxovirus and transmitted by direct contact, cough and sneezing through patient. In the early stage it causes chill, infection of nose and fever but later on red blocky skin rashes. The disease can be prevented by isolation of patient, protection from cold and direct air, cleaning body with warm water, Edmoston B-vaccine prepared from chick embryo and injecting globulins.
Mumps: Caused by a type of Paramyxovirus through direct contact with patient and saliva. It results in headache, backache, excess spoiling of saliva and taste buds, swelling in jaws and ears. Asprin is given to relieve pain, advised rest, give alternate hot and cold pack to neck.
Chickenpox: Caused by Varicella virus through direct contact with patient and indirect use of infected objects of patient. It brings fever, skin eruptions with red spots, vesicles and scab formation in about 36 hours. The scabs are not formed like small pox. The disease can be prevented by isolation of patient and the use of Zoster Immune globulins (zig). The patient should avoid scraping, scabs be collected and burnt. The persons taking care should boil and clean the articles used by patient.
Trachoma: It is inflammatory disease of eyes. The infection results in swelling, discomfort and discharge of fluids from eyes. It is caused due to direct contact of tears from patient or indirect contact of towels, pillows, handkerchief of patients. The antibiotic commonly used to cure the disease.
Rabies (Hydrophobia): It is caused by Street virus due to bite of infected dogs, cats etc. It damages central nervous system, causes severe pain, spasm of muscles in chest and choking of throat. Its treatment was discovered by Louis Pasteur in the form of vaccine given in 14 doses, one on each day. The vaccine is prepared from spinal cord of rabbit to produce antibodies in patient.
Poliomyelitis: It is caused by Enterovirus due to pollution in water, food spread by housefly. The disease damages nerves, many blood vessels, muscles and bones. Its first vaccine was prepared by Jonas Salk by killing poliovirus by formaldehyde. Now Sabin and coworkers have prepared oral polio vaccine consisting of living but tamed virus.
AIDS:  it is caused by Leukemia virus (HIV) due to infections in human T-cells. It spreads through intra venous drug users, use of infected blood by transfusion, immoral implementation of sex among persons infected with virus. The ill effects include loss of weight, fever of unknown origin, brain tumor, hemorrhage (bleeding), and swelling of lymph glands, mouth ulcer or even death. Certain medicines are being used now to delay or avoid death.
Dengue fever: It is Flavirdeae ravivirus disease spread by Aedes mosquitoes. The virus of dengue fever was first isolated by R.W. Ross from India in 1953. This fever develops its own lifelong immunity. It causes nausea, vomiting, bleeding from nose and gums, body ache and joint pains. Use mosquito repellents, mosquito coils or vapors, eliminate mosquito breeding grounds, and wear long sleeved shirts and long trousers to prevent mosquito bites. The repellents containing DEET, picaridin and oil of lemon, eucalyptus or para-menthane are useful. Do not spray the repellent on skin under your clothing. Use luke warm water and fruit juice for relief.
Chikungunia: It is Togaviridae alphavirus disease with similar source of infector and symptoms as dengue fever. It was first reported from Tanzania but now prevalent in many tropical areas. The fever remains effective for three to seven weeks. Joint pain is severe which lasts for a few months. Proper help should be received from doctor for care of dengue and chikungunia.
Help to the Society:  Every person should be conscious for personal health and take care of society. The qualified persons can well understand about the causes, ill effect, prevention and treatment of common diseases. They can also seek the help of government, social and charitable organizations. Everyone should take care of personal balanced diet, daily exercise, time for prayers and meditation, spare time for self less voluntary service to the society. Develop faith in Divine Lord to lead peaceful life through His kind bliss. 
Contributed by: Dr. Triloki Nath Chugh.
Co-ordinator, Shah Satnam Ji Educational Institutions, Dera Sacha Sauda, Sirsa (Haryana, India ).

The writer is an eminent former Professor of Zoology; he has more than 3 decades of teaching experience in various colleges of KUK and is presently Co-ordinator, Shah Satnam Ji Educational Institutions, DSS, Sirsa. He can be reached on his Mobile No:+91-94160 48789 and email: . Dr Chugh has published many Zoology research papers; Guided several M.Phil students for research; M.Sc. Secured 2nd Position BITS PILANI 1968; Gold Medalist in French Diploma 1981 KUK; Prinicipal at SSS Boys College for 7 years.

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