WASHINGTON: A long-running shortage in donor organs has pushed doctors to find ways to use those with hepatitis C, an infection that is increasingly common in the United States due to the opioid crisis, and which can be cured with medicine.
Some US hospitals, particularly in Boston, have already transplanted infected donor organs into people without hepatitis C. These patients are swiftly treated with drugs to eliminate the virus. In Toronto, Canada, another team of doctors on Thursday announced early results from a trial using a different technique, involving 10 people who received lung transplants from donors with hepatitis C.
Infected donor lungs were placed in a sterile dome for six hours, and treated with medication to reduce the level of virus. Then, they were transplanted into the patients. Doctors were not able to fully eliminate hepatitis C from the donor’s lungs this way, as they’d hoped. But they cut it by 85 percent.
Patients who received the lungs were subsequently diagnosed with hepatitis C, then treated for 12 weeks with a drug combination — sofosbuvir-velpatasvir, known by the brand name Epclusa – to cure it. The patients tested negative for hepatitis within three weeks of treatment, on average.
Surgeon Marcelo Cypel, who led the trial and presented the results at the Global Hepatitis Summit in Toronto, said the results are encouraging because they enlarge the donor pool.
According to a study conducted at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Hepatitis C patients are at a greater risk of mouth, head and neck tumors.
The researchers have revealed that people suffering from hepatitis C are two to five times more prone to mouth, throat and larynx cancers than normal people. The researchers have reported the study in National Cancer Institute after observing 34,545 patients.
The term Hepatitis tells us about a group of infectious diseases Hepatitis A, B, C, D & E.
Hepatitis is a grave disease affecting liver and World Hepatitis Day celebrated annually is meant to encourage prevention, diagnosis and treatment. Annually some 1.4 million people get infected by this deadly disease.
Condition can aggravate and progress to scarring, cirrhosis or liver cancer. Specially types B and C lead to chronic disease in hundreds of millions of people and are the most common cause of liver cancer.
WHO provides the following information about deadly disease:
Hepatitis A virus (HAV) is present in the faeces of infected persons and is most often transmitted through consumption of contaminated water or food.
Certain sex practices can also spread HAV. Infections are in many cases mild, with most people making a full recovery and remaining immune from further HAV infections.
However, HAV infections can also be severe and life threatening. Most people in areas of the world with poor sanitation have been infected with this virus.
Safe and effective vaccines are available to prevent HAV.
Hepatitis B virus (HBV) is transmitted through exposure to infective blood, semen, and other body fluids.
HBV can be transmitted from infected mothers to infants at the time of birth or from family member to infant in early childhood.
Transmission may also occur through transfusions of HBV-contaminated blood and blood products, contaminated injections during medical procedures, and through injection drug use.
HBV also poses a risk to healthcare workers who sustain accidental needle stick injuries while caring for infected-HBV patients.
Safe and effective vaccines are available to prevent HBV.
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is mostly transmitted through exposure to infected blood.
This may happen through transfusions of HCV-contaminated blood and blood products, contaminated injections during medical procedures, and through injection drug use.
Sexual transmission is also possible, but is much less common. There is no vaccine for HCV.
Hepatitis D virus (HDV) infections occur only in those who are infected with HBV.
The dual infection of HDV and HBV can result in a more serious disease and worse outcome.
Hepatitis B vaccines provide protection from HDV infection.
Hepatitis E virus (HEV) is mostly transmitted through consumption of contaminated water or food.
HEV is a common cause of hepatitis outbreaks in developing parts of the world and is increasingly recognized as an important cause of disease in developed countries.
Safe and effective vaccines to prevent HEV infection have been developed but are not widely available.
People with type 2 diabetes may be testing blood sugar too much
MICHIGAN: People with type 2 diabetes might be testing their blood sugar levels too much, a study says.
Researchers at the University of Michigan say that roughly 14 percent of people with diabetes, but who don’t require insulin, are spending hundreds of dollars per year and using thousands of test strips to check something that is not necessary. New research published Monday in JAMA Internal Medicine, based on insurance information for more than 370,000 people with Type 2 diabetes but who did not take insulin, suggests that these tests are unnecessary.
One of my patients who didn’t need to be testing daily told me that her previous doctor had told her to test her sugars two or three times a day, Kevin Platt, the internal medicine resident in the Department of Internal Medicine at University of Michigan and study lead investigator, said in a press release. These data show that over-testing is quite common – and with the appropriate guidance can be reduced significantly.
About 23 percent of people in the study refilled prescriptions for test strips at least three times a year, getting 90 strips at a time. Another 43 percent of participants filled prescriptions exclusively for metformin or other medicines that don’t have a risk of hypoglycemia. Once patients established the proper dosage of medication that didn’t cause a blood sugar spike, they no longer needed daily testing.
But those two groups kept testing their blood sugar, even though they didn’t need to. The researchers say many patients needlessly test daily to see how well exercise, dieting, and their medication regimens are actually working.
Over 400 dengue cases reported in 2018!
RAWALPINDI: District Health Officer Dr. Zeeshan Ahmed today said around 421 dengue positive patients were reported in Allied hospitals of the city in 2018, while last year 334 patients results were positive, in 2016 the number was 1106 and in 2015 the number was 3303.
He said to date, the allied hospitals have registered 421 confirm patients while at present only 5 dengue patients were under treatment in hospitals. The DHO said that Municipal Corporation area and Potahar Town witnessed a sharp decrease this year in dengue patients as 63 cases were reported in MCR area and 82 in Potohar area while last year the number was 74 in MCR and 189 in Potohar Town.
While Rawalpindi Cantonment Board area has witnessed an increase this year as 197 cases were reported and the number was only 40 last year, he added. He said that in the RCB area the number of cases were increased as there were some hurdles to reach sensitive areas. “Dengue fever situation is under control and no death has occurred due to it,” he added.
E-cigarette makers using aggressive marketing tactics
SEOUL: Makers of e-cigarettes are employing an active marketing strategy, reaching out directly to consumers, industry officials said today.
KT&G, Philip Morris Korea and British American Tobacco (BAT) Korea have all set up departments to exclusively promote sales of their e-cigarettes and are increasing the number of their street stores.
Philip Morris was the first of the pack, opening a shop in June last year with the launch of its IQOS. It has since launched four more independent stores nationwide and has a sales booth at 20 Electro Mart outlets, an electronics store chain run by Shinsegae Group.
The company now runs two call centers, one each in Seoul and in the southeastern city of Busan, and has increased staff from 35 to 170 for around-the-clock operation.
KT&G has three stores, including a standalone in southern Seoul and two shop-in-shop flagships. It offers a visiting service to customers to handle their requests and has 200 staff members standing by.
The company has 10 after-sales service centers throughout the country and 31 smaller consultation stations to solve simple product problems. It has added incentives by giving leather cases to purchasers of its product line.
BAT Korea allows online purchases of its e-cigarette product Glo after confirming the age and identity of the buyer. In addition to its recently opened flagship store, it set up Glo care zones at a number of Seven-Eleven convenience stores that can handle after-sales service care and free product experience.
Industry officials say another change in their marketing tactic is the use of media events when new products are launched.
Such aggressive marketing has displeased social commentators who see it as contradicting efforts to bring down the country’s smoking rates. These watchers also want the government to amend laws on the tobacco industry that are outdated and unable to regulate the new e-cigarette market.
“With the launch of e-cigarettes, the industry can no longer survive in the old way,” an industry official said. “We need to communicate more actively with different segments of society to adapt better to the changing market conditions and to improve the regulations on tobacco.”