Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Swine flu: symptoms, diagnosis and treatment

Incubation Period

One to seven days


Manifestations of H1N1 influenza (swine flu) are similar to those of seasonal influenza. Patients present with symptoms of acute respiratory illness, including at least two of the following

* Fever

* Cough

* Sore throat

* Body aches

* Headache

* Chills and fatigue

Diarrhea and vomiting (possible)


Influenza viruses can be directly transmitted from pigs to people and from people to pigs.
Human infection with flu viruses from pigs are most likely to occur when people are in close proximity to infected pigs, such as in pig barns and livestock exhibits housing pigs at fairs.
Human-to-human transmission of influenza A (H1N1) can also occur. At present, in India we have two indigenous cases. This is thought to occur in the same way as seasonal flu, which is mainly person-to-person transmission through coughing or sneezing by people infected with the influenza virus.

Disease spreads very quickly among the population especially in crowded places.

Cold and dry weather enables the virus to survive longer outside the body than in other conditions and, as a consequence, seasonal epidemics in temperate areas appear in winter.

People may become infected by touching / handling something contaminated with flu viruses on it and then touching their mouth or nose.

Influenza A (H1N1) viruses are not transmitted by food.

Eating properly handled and cooked pork (at an internal temparature of > 160 degree Fahrenheit) and pork products is safe.

Diagnosis of H1N1

For diagnosis of influenza A (H1N1) infection, respiratory specimen would generally need to be collected within the first four to five days of illness (when an infected person is most likely to be shedding virus). However, some persons, especially children, may shed virus for 10 days or longer.


The treatment given below is only indicative and should be taken only with doctor's advice

For Adults: For case- Tab Oseltamivir 75 mg B D for five days

For Chemoprophylaxis - Tab Oseltamivir 75 mg O D for 10 days

For children:Syrup Oseltamivir as per doctor's advice.

Watch a video on Swine Flu

FAQ about swine flu

Catagorise patients for better treatment

Swine Flu: myths and facts

WHO warning

India tops H1N1 death rate

With 100 deaths in 3,987 laboratory confirmed positive H1N1 cases, India has registered a mortality rate of 2.3 per cent — much above the 0.9 per cent mortality rate for the rest of the world.

Advice to parents on H1N1

The vast majority of children who develop flu-like symptoms this fall will have a few miserable days and nothing more. Those days are best spent at home -- not in the ER or a doctor's office. read more....

Docs suggest drug combo to treat H1N1

the doctors suggest use of combination of two anti-viral drugs instead of just Tamiflu to contain deterioration in the condition of critical patients. Use of double dose of Tamiflu is another option in the case of critical patients.

Ultimate guide to flu virus:

A flu virus may be 90 times smaller than a human red blood cell - so small it can hide between light waves - but in a typical year it can cause nearly half as many deaths as traffic accidents. As skilled at changing its appearance as Tom Cruise in "Mission Impossible," the flu virus mutates from one season to the next, making last year's immunizations useless in fighting this year's variation. But recent developments in the pharmaceutical industry are improving the odds on the medical battlefield. Learn more about this devious pathogen and your weapons against it .. ..

Indian vaccine for Swine Flu to be ready by March 2010:

An Indian vaccine against the pandemic strain of swine flu will be ready for use by March next with the authorities planning to fast-track clinical trials in accordance with international protocols. It was proposed to combine the different phases of clinical trials from safety to immunogenicity in the fast-track mode to make the vaccine available in March 2010, as otherwise it would be ready only by the end of 2010. Read more .. ..

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Vijay Diwas: salute the kargil war heroes

The Prime Minister of India, Manmohan Singh, on 26 July 2009 led the nation in paying homage to the martyrs of the Kargil war on its 10th anniversary- Vijay Diwas.

A decade back, on July 26, 1999, Indian soldiers defeated the Pakistani infiltrators after fighting for over 40 days at the heights of Kargil and Drass in Jammu and Kashmir and in the process sacrificing their lives. They went as men and returned as heroes. At the height of 1000 feet, where it is even difficult to breathe, Indian soldiers crawled on the mountains, faced the enemy bullets and achieved the martyrdom but not before driving out the enemy.

“They sacrificed their lives in defense of Indian unity and integrity. The best tribute we can pay to the gallant officers and jawans is to dedicate ourselves to the gigantic task of nation building and work steadfastly to protect the unity and integrity of our nation," wrote in Prime Minister in the visitor’s book at Amar Jawan Jyoti, New Delhi

This was the first time in the last five years of UPA rule that the political leadership has also participated in the Kargil war day celebrations. Singh was accompanied by Defense Minister A K Antony, Navy Chief Admiral Sureesh Mehta, Army Vice Chief Lieutenant General Noble Thamburaj and Air Force Vice Chief Air Marshal P K Barbora.

While wreaths were laid at the War Memorial amid a majestic fly past by Mig 21 Bison aircraft and showering of petals by Chetak helicopters, the families of many of the slain soldiers got an account of the bravery of their loved ones from the personnel of the forces, colleagues and friends.

Describing the Pakistani military maneuvers over Kargil region as a tactical action, Lt Gen (Retd) H M Khanna, the former Northern Army Commander during the Kargil conflict said that the Pakistani decision to occupy the uninhibited ridges was limited to gain a specific end rather than a strategic move. They paid a price militarily, politically and diplomatically for the risky endeavor.

The General opined that the Army did have alternate action plan to occupy vulnerable areas under Pakistani control, but for that the Line of Control (LoC) had to be crossed. However, the political decision was strictly not to cross the LoC, which may have widened the conflict area with serious ramifications.

Many of the books written during and immediately after the limited three-month hostilities chronicles the grit and determination of the soldiers who fought the war on the icy heights braving the toughest weather conditions. The outbreak of hostilities also showed that the Pakistan political establishment was not in line with the thinking and planning of the army brass.

The accurate bombardment by Indian Army's Bofors guns and Air Force jets that helped in dislodging enemy intruders from Kargil, was largely possible due to the continuous feed-back of their hits generated through aerial photography done by the Jaguar unit of IAF led by Wing Commander Ashwani Bhakoo (now retired Group Captain) amidst enemy fire. The Jaguar aircrafts flying at around 200 feet above ground level, were fitted with sensitive high resolution cameras that could be put on video mode while flying at a speed of 850 km/h.

Gallantry in the blood:

"Why do you want to join the army?" asked the officer during the interview.
"I have come here for the Param Vir Chakra (PVC)," answered the boy.
Surprised with boy's confident answer, the officer shot another question: "Do you know when PVC is given?"
Prompt came the reply: "It is given when you lay down your life while fighting for the country."

Few years later, the boy proved his statement true. While narrating this incident, Gopichand Pandey could not hide the shine in his teary eyes. After all, he is the proud father of Captain Manoj Kumar Pandey, who was posthumously given the Param Vir Chakra, the highest gallantry award of the country, for his exemplary valour in the Kargil war of 1999. Ten years later, the entire nation still remembers this son of the soil and salutes his chivalry.

Pune's Tribute:

Around 400 people including students, civilians and retired army officers commemorated the Kargil Vijay Diwas at the National War Memorial in Morwada Junction braving the rain on Monday evening.

The seniormost defence officers in Pune — Air Chief Marshal H Mulgaonkar (retd) and Admiral Jayant Nadkarni (retd)— placed wreaths at the memorial.

Lt General H M Khanna (retd), who commanded the Northern Operations during the Kargil War, also laid a wreath at the memorial, while Brigadier Rajbir Singh, commander of the Pune Sub area laid the wreath on behalf of the Army Commander, General Officer Commanding in Chief (GOC-in-C), Southern Command. Industrialist Arun Firodia, actor Mohan Agashe and civic activist Satish Mehendale represented the civilians.

“We are touched by this tribute paid by the citizens of Pune who have gathered here despite the rainy weather. If the weather had been better, many more would have come,” said Air Marshal A K Trikha (retd).

Video on Kargil war

Indian Air Force in action at Kargil war

A tribute to kargil war heroes

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Solar eclipse of the century

The celestial spectacle on Wednesday, 22 July 2009, will darken major cities, densely populated countryside, and a vast expanse of tropical ocean. The eclipse itself will be a monster, with totality – when the sun is completely covered by the moon – lasting more than 6.6 minutes at maximum. That makes this the longest totality until 2132.

A total solar eclipse occurs once every year or two on average, but each is visible only from a narrow track covering less than 1 per cent of Earth's surface. The eclipse of 1 August 2008, was visible only from parts of the Arctic, Siberia, and central Asia.

The main reason why this year's totality lasts so long is because the eclipse starts just a few hours after the moon reaches perigee, the point at which it is closest to Earth in its orbit . At such a close distance, the moon appears fully 8 per cent larger than the sun and casts a broader than usual shadow. At the point of greatest eclipse in the western Pacific, the path of totality is 258 km wide.

Gravity anomaly:

The Chinese researchers are poised to conduct an audacious once-in-a-century experiment, covering remote observatories on the Tibetan plateau to a cave in a Shanghai suburb. The plan is to test a controversial theory: the possibility that gravity drops slightly during a total eclipse.

NASA's eclipse website
Get the story and watch the video

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Solar eclipse

Tight security cover is in place in Taregna, a small village in the Indian State of Biahr, in view of a strike called by Maoists on Wednesday, when hundreds of scientists and tourists from across the world will converge in Taregna to watch the century's longest total solar eclipse.

Scientists, researchers and astro-tourists from different parts of the world are expected to start arriving in the village, about 35 km from the state capital Patna, on Tuesday evening ahead of the total solar eclipse on Wednesday. These include scientists from US space agency NASA, Britain, Italy, Poland, Germany, France, as well as from the Tata Institute for Fundamental Research (TIFR) and the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR).

The total eclipse, starting a little after sunrise, is expected to last three minutes and 48 seconds at Taregna. According to the NASA forecast based on satellite imagery, the sky over the region is likely to be less cloudy than others along the path of the total solar eclipse. So it may offer one of the best views of the celestial phenomenon.

Taregna already has an ancient connection with astronomy, having been one of the two places used by 6th century Indian astronomer-mathematician Aryabhatta for his celestial studies. It is believed he was the first to announce that the earth revolves around the sun after his marathon research in an observatory at Taregna

Get the story and watch the video

Monday, July 20, 2009

The Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) gets transparent

PuneScoop reports: Taking a step towards transparency, the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has decided to give the citizens access to its records every Monday. Also, the civic body has decided to start a separate cell for streamlining the process of dissemination of information under Right to Information Act (RTI)

In a press statement issued on Thursday, the municipal corporation has stated that the PMC has decided to give common people access to the civic records from August 1. Any citizen can ask for civic records on any matter at the civic headquarters at Shivajinagar or any ward office between 3 pm and 5 pm. Xerox copies of the record will be made available for a nominal fees, said the press release.

The PMC has also decided to provide any information sought under the RTI within three weeks and non-availability of the information will be communicated to the applicant immediately. All the pending applications under the RTI till date will be answered before August 15 by the nodal officer. The PMC will also organise training for its employees on RTI

Congratulations Sh Mahesh Zagade Ji, Municipal Commissioner ! It is a major step towards transparent public administration. Transparency reduces corruption.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Eagle nebula

Science Daily , July 17, 2009, reports on the Eagle Nebula located 7000 light-years away, towards the constellation of Serpens (the Snake), the Eagle Nebula is a dazzling stellar nursery, a region of gas and dust where young stars are currently being formed and where a cluster of massive, hot stars, NGC 6611, has just been born.

Recall Hindu mythology. The Lord Vishnu, beholder of the Universe, rides on the eagle eating serpents. Do you see any similarity between the myth and the science ?

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

National employment exchange

The Finance Minister, in his budget speech 2009, mooted an idea of setting up an employment exchange at the national level. It will consist of a national web portal that will run in public-private partnership. The job seeker can register online. The portal shall contain all the data regarding the availability of skilled manpower on the one hand and the requirement of the industry, on the other. It will help individual to obtain proper placement and also enable industry to procure required skills, on the real time basis. Such a portal on the national level will definitely help the job seeker to know whom to approach to seek the right job.

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