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Huge spike in resting heart rate is a Sensitive indicator of COVID-19: Study

Srinagar, Dec 27: While temperature measurements are widely used for screening Covid-19 patients at the entrances of many office buildings or malls, a new study suggests that a huge spike in resting heart rate is a more sensitive indicator of the disease.


Physiological data from commercial wearables showed increased resting heart rate around symptoms onset date that was more severe for Covid-19, but present in milder form for flu as well, said the study published in the journal Patterns.


It’s surprising to see that many screening tests at building entrances are all temperature-based since a lot of people don’t develop a fever right away and there are so many things that cause fever other than COVID-19,’ said senior author Luca Foschini, Co-founder of US-based health and measurement company Evidation Health.


Covid-19: Huge spike in resting heart rate can be concerning
‘A huge spike in resting heart rate is a more sensitive indicator of Covid. And for people with activity trackers, you could ask them permission to share that information for screening purposes, just like taking a temperature reading.’


By analyzing Fitbit data and self-reported symptoms, the researchers analyzed trends in heart rate, step count, and symptom duration between patients with flu and those with Covid-19.


While both showed similar-looking spikes in resting heart rate and decreases in average step count, Covid-19 symptoms lasted longer and peaked later, said the study.


The findings confirmed that certain other symptoms are characteristic of Covid but not flu, like shortness of breath and coughing.


They also examined the impact of each illness on decreasing daily step count, finding that the impacts lasted much longer for Covid than for flu.


‘We used step count to measure the change in mobility because you don’t move as much when you’re sick,’ said Foschini.


‘Compared to their baseline, the number of steps didn’t go back to normal for people with COVID, even after three or four weeks.’


While data from wearables such as Fitbit can reveal a lot about these respiratory illnesses, the researchers said that it should be used as a general screening method, not a complete diagnostic tool.


What are the common symptoms?


Doctors and scientists are learning new things about this virus every day. So far, we know that COVID-19 may not cause any symptoms for some people.


You may carry the virus for 2 days or up to 2 weeks before you notice symptoms.


Some common symptoms that have been specifically linked to COVID-19 include:


-Shortness of breath
-A cough that gets more severe over time
-A low-grade fever that gradually increases in temperature


Less common symptoms include:

  • Repeated shaking with chills
  • Sore throat
  • Headache
  • Muscle aches and pains
  • Loss of taste or smell
  • A stuffy or runny nose
  • Gastrointestinal symptoms such as diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting
  • Discoloration of fingers or toes
    However, individuals with COVID-19 may have some, all, or none of the above symptoms.
    These symptoms may become more severe in some people. Call emergency medical services if you have or someone you care for has any of the following symptoms:
  • Trouble breathing
  • Blue lips or a blue face
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • Excessive drowsiness
    (With inputs from IANS)

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Serosurvey would determine impact of possible 3rd Covid wave on children: DAK

(Asian News Hub) – Doctors Association Kashmir (DAK) on Saturday said serosurvey of pediatric population in the valley would determine the impact of possible third Covid-19 wave on children.

Serosurvey of children will give us a fair estimate of their vulnerability in predicted third wave,” said DAK President and influenza expert Dr Nisar ul Hassan.

“Serosurvey involves testing blood samples of individuals for antibodies that are developed after an infection,” he said.

“This will give us an idea about the percentage of pediatric population who might have developed natural immunity.”

Dr Hassan said recently, a serosurvey of general population including children aged 7 to 17 years has been completed in Kashmir, the results of which are awaited.  The sample size per district in the age group 7 to 11 was 40 and it was 80 in 12-17 age group.

“The survey needs to be extended to the age group of 0 to 6 years and the sample size per district should be 500 to 1000 to get a clearer picture of the actual percentage of children who have developed immunity against Covid-19,” he said.

Dr Hassan said there are speculations that children would be affected more than adults in possible third wave as this is the population group in which there is no vaccine yet.

“However, various serosurveys have dismissed the claim that the next wave will be affecting children exclusively,” he said.

“A pediatric serological study conducted by AIIMS, New Delhi at five different sites found that 55.7 percent children had developed antibodies,” DAK President said.

“The study found that seroprevalence of children and adults in the same regions were almost similar.”

“Another study conducted by PGI Chandigarh revealed that 69 percent of children had antibodies against Covid-19,” he said.

“These children had remained either asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic during the infection.”

“The data of the two surveys prove that children have acquired natural immunity against the virus and it is highly unlikely that the third wave will affect children more than adults,” said Dr Nisar.

“This is a big relief. Because the apprehensions expressed by several health experts about the third wave primarily targeting children had left people worried,” he said.

“But, we can’t derive conclusions on the data from other regions. We need to have our own data based on which decisions can be made ahead of the feared third wave,” he added.

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Israel reports Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine effectiveness against infection down to 40%

(Asian News Hub) – The Health Ministry said Thursday that the effectiveness of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine in preventing infection and mild symptoms has dropped to 40%, according to new data collected over the past month as the delta variant spreads in Israel.

In a televised address, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett meanwhile called on Israelis who haven’t been vaccinated to do so as soon as possible.

“The Israeli government is investing billions so that there is a vaccine available in every location in the country, and there are still a million Israelis who simply refuse to be vaccinated,” he said. “The vaccine refusers are endangering their health, their surroundings and all Israeli citizens. If a million Israelis continue to be unvaccinated, this will force the others to shut themselves in at home.”

The effectiveness of the vaccine in preventing hospitalizations and severe symptoms stands at 88% and 91%, respectively, the ministry said.

With inputs from Haaretz

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Scientists discover more than 30 viruses frozen in ice, most never seen before

(Asian News Hub) – A group of scientists discovered ancient viruses frozen in two ice samples taken from the Tibetan Plateau in China, and most of them are unlike anything ever seen before.

The findings, published Wednesday in the journal Microbiome, came from ice cores taken in 2015 that scientists said began to freeze at least 14,400 years ago.

“These glaciers were formed gradually, and along with dust and gases, many, many viruses were also deposited in that ice,” Zhi-Ping Zhong, lead author and researcher at the Ohio State University Byrd Polar and Climate Research Center, said in a statement. “The glaciers in western China are not well-studied, and our goal is to use this information to reflect past environments. And viruses are a part of those environments.”

When researchers analyzed the ice, they found genetic codes for 33 viruses. Of the 33, genetic codes for four of them showed they are part of virus families that typically infect bacteria. Up to 28 were novel, meaning they had never before been identified.

The group said it doesn’t believe the viruses originated from animals or humans but came from the soil or plants. The scientists said roughly half of them survived because of the ice.

“These are viruses that would have thrived in extreme environments,” said Matthew Sullivan, co-author of the study and director of Ohio State’s Center of Microbiome Science.

“These viruses have signatures of genes that help them infect cells in cold environments – just surreal genetic signatures for how a virus is able to survive in extreme conditions.”

Sullivan said the technology used to study microbes and viruses inside the ice would lead to looking for similar genetic sequences in other extreme ice environments, possibly on Mars.

Senior author of the study Lonnie Thompson said the discovery of the viruses in glaciers of ice will help researchers understand how they respond to climate change.

“We know very little about viruses and microbes in these extreme environments and what is actually there,” Thompson said. 

“The documentation and understanding of that is extremely important.”

AGENCY

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