WHAT IS MONKEYPOX?

Monkeypox is a zoonotic virus, which transmits disease from animals to humans, with symptoms very similar to smallpox but less severe. Monkeypox is a rare viral infection which is usually mild and from which most people recover in a few weeks. It is related to smallpox, which killed millions around the world every year before its eradication in 1980, but has far less severe symptoms. The virus does not spread easily between people and the risk to the wider public is said to be very low.  Outbreaks of the virus have been found in Europe, Australia and America. * The symptoms often include a fever and rash - but the infection is usually mild and clears up on its own, lasting between 2 and 4 weeks.

The World Health Organization (WHO) says the virus can be contained with the right response in countries outside of Africa where it is not usually detected.

MONKEYPOX ORIGINS

  • Discovered in 1958  in colonies of research monkeys. First human case identified in 1970 in Democratic Republic of Congo.
  • Occurs mostly in remote parts of Central and West Africa
  • Virus has two main types - West African strain thought to be milder than Central African variant

HUMAN-TO-HUMAN TRANSMISSION

  • Via respiratory droplets - requires prolonged face-to-face contact
  • Close contact with body fluids or lesions, or by touching contaminated clothing or bedding

GENERAL SYMPTOMS

Incubation: Time from infection to symptoms can range from 5-21 days.

Initial illness: Fever, headache, muscle aches, swellings, exhaustion.

Itchy rash: May develop on face, then spread to hands and feet.

Lesions: Go through various stages until scabs form and fall off. Lesions can cause scarring.

Outcome: Illness typically lasts for 2-4 weeks. In Africa, monkeypox has been shown to be fatal in up to 1 in 10 people who contract disease.

Treatment: Smallpox vaccine proven to be 85% effective against monkeypox. Antiviral drugs could help relieve symptoms.

Picture Credit : Google 

WHO WAS KARL LANDSTEINER?

Austrian biologist Karl Landsteiner (1868-1943) is mostly known for his pioneering work in the classification of blood groups. However, he was also responsible for many other discoveries in the field of medicine that have helped improve immunity and health.

Born in Vienna, Karl lost his father at an early age and was brought up by his mother. After his schooling, he studied medicine at the University of Vienna and later took up research in the field of organic chemistry. He worked under many renowned chemists of the time. During his research at the Institute of

Hygiene in Vienna, Karl became interested in the   mechanisms of immunity and the nature of antibodies. He soon published his first article on serology- the study of blood.

At the time, blood transfusion was considered risky as it led to fatal blood clotting in the recipient's body. Landsteiner was the first to suggest that blood transfusion may be unsuccessful because an individual's blood might not be compatible with that of another. In 1901, he classified blood types into three groups-A, B and C (later called O). This enabled donors and recipients to match their blood types before transfusions.

A few years later, guided by his work, the first successful blood transfusion was carried out by a doctor in New York. During World War I, the lives of many soldiers were saved due to transfusion of compatible blood.

Landsteiner was also instrumental in the discovery of the polio virus. It was earlier believed that polio was caused by a bacterium. With the help of bacteriologist Erwin Popper, Landsteiner not only proved that polio was caused by a virus but also traced the manner of its transmission. Their discovery made possible the development of a vaccine for polio.

Later, when he moved to New York, Karl teamed up with noted biologist Alexander Wiener to identify the Rh (rhesus) factor that relates human blood to that of the rhesus monkey. The Rh factor, which occurs when the mothers  blood is incompatible with that of the foetus, was believed to be responsible for a fatal infant disease.

Landsteiners discovery of blood groups and studies on the subject earned him the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1930.

Though he was much sought-after as a world authority on the mechanisms of immunity, Landsteiner shunned publicity and preferred a quiet life away from the public gaze. On June 26, 1943, he died following a coronary seizure, while still at work in his laboratory.

Picture Credit: Google

HOW DOCTORS STARTED USING STETHOSCOPES TO DIAGNOSE PROBLEMS WITH THE CHEST?

The practice of using stethoscopes started in a hospital in Paris, in the early 19th Century.

The Necker-Enfants Malades Hospital in Paris provided specialised medical care. Rene Laennec, one of the doctors there, was trained to use sound to diagnose diseases of the chest.

One day in 1816, a young woman who had a heart problem came to consult Dr. Laennec. Ordinarily, the physician would have put his ear to the woman's chest and listened to her heartbeats to detect if there was any aberration. But the woman who came to see Dr. Laennec was rather plump. Uncomfortable with the idea of putting his ear to her chest, the doctor's eyes fell on a newspaper lying there...and he got a brainwave!

He rolled the newspaper into a cylinder and applied one end of it to the region of the woman's heart and the other to his ear. And then his own heart thumped in joy and excitement! He could hear her heartbeats more clearly than if he had put his ear directly to her chest. It was a landmark moment in medical science.

Laennec fashioned a hollow, wooden cylinder and catalogued the various sounds he could hear through it when applied to a patient's chest, and what the sounds indicated about the health of the patient. He sent his findings to the Academy of Science, in Paris.

It was not long before his invention began to be used by physicians all over Europe.

Picture Credit : Google 

REGULAR BLOOD DONATION ELIMINATES TOXIC ‘FOREVER CHEMICALS’ FROM BODY.

'Forever chemicals' or PFAS are widely present in non-stick kitchenware, plastics, water-resistant materials, paints, carpets and clothes. On entering the body they accumulate in the bloodstream, and impact gut flora or lungs, causing asthma and other diseases.

As PFAS bind to serum proteins in the blood, regular blood or plasma donations result in a significant reduction in blood PFAS levels; plasma donations were more effective, corresponding to a 30 per cent decrease.

Although results suggest that this is a viable tool for removing PFAS from the bloodstream, what does it mean for recipients of the blood? Potential recipients are very likely to already have PFAS in their bloodstream, and there is no data to suggest that receiving blood contaminated with the compounds exposes them to additional risks.

Picture Credit : Google 

WHAT AND WHEN WAS THE FIRST HUMAN ORGAN TO BE TRANSPLANTED SUCCESSFULLY?

In 1954, the kidney was the first human organ to be transplanted successfully. Until the early 1980s, the potential of organ rejection limited the number of transplants performed.

 The first ever successful transplant of any organ was done at the Brigham & Women's Hospital in Boston, Ma. The surgery was done by Dr. Joseph Murray, who received the Nobel Prize in Medicine for his work. The reason for his success was due to Richard and Ronald Herrick of Maine. Richard Herrick was a in the Navy and became severely ill with acute renal failure. His brother Ronald donated his kidney to Richard, and Richard lived another 8 years before his death. Before this, transplant recipients didn't survive more than 30 days. The key to the successful transplant was the fact that Richard and Ronald were identical twin brothers and there was no need for anti-rejection medications, which was not known about at this point. This was the most pivotal moment in transplant surgery because now transplant teams knew that it could be successful and the role of rejection/anti-rejection medicine.

Credit : Wikipedia 

Picture Credit : Google