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Iran 1st Country to Apply Plasma Therapy for Eye Diseases

Fars NA

Tehran, Jan 09: Iran is the first country that uses plasma to cure ocular diseases, a health official said on Saturday, adding that the special plasma surgery is being used to treat nearly 15 eye diseases.

Plasma Assistance Non-Invasive Surgery (PANIS) inventor Farhad Nejat said that Iran is the first country that applies the method in the world to treat eye diseases, and noted that 14-15 eye diseases that needed operating room and anesthesia are now treated by the PANIS method.


“The International Eye Surgery Academy has approved the PANIS method,” he said.


The inventor made it clear that the method’s animal trial had taken around one and half years and its human trial began two years ago.


Nejat went on to say that many European countries like Italy, Germany, Spain, Ukraine, and some of the regional countries like Turkey are exchanging their experiences with Iran.


“Over the past 20 years, plasma therapy has been applied for treating cancer, dentistry, dermatology, scar, and in the past four years has successfully been applied on ocular surface disorders, which compromise the integrity of the cornea surface and conjunctiva,” he stated.


“PANIS generator is made in Italy, but the method is absolutely indigenized,” Nejat highlighted. 


“Safety, easy use, low price, the fast-paced wound healing process, and promoting ocular surface regeneration in different pathological conditions are the most noteworthy features of the method,” the ophthalmologist stressed.


The ceremony of the PANIS method introduction was held in Tehran on 8th January 2021. Specialists of an Iranian knowledge-based company introduced the discovery of a new method to treat eye diseases without the need for operating-room, pain, and anesthesia.


In a relevant event in late December, Iran’s Health Minister Saeed Namaki said that the country has a century of experience and know-how in the production of vaccines, and announced that the human trial of the COVID-19 vaccine has started with the first injection of the domestic vaccine.


“We have been producing vaccines in the country for a hundred years. Pasteur Institute of Iran was set up in 1920 and Razi Vaccine and Serum Research Institute was founded in 1924,” Namaki said on December 29 on the sidelines of the unveiling ceremony of the vaccine and the first phase of the clinical trial of Iranian-made COVID-19 vaccine on 56 volunteers.


“We were the first producer of vaccines in Asia and we have sent vaccines to many countries in the world,” he added.


“Due to our record in vaccine production, we are trying to offer new vaccines with the help of the Science and Technology Vice-Presidency, knowledge-based companies, the Pasteur Institute of Iran, the Razi Vaccine and Serum Research Institute and the private sector,” the minister noted.


“We have developed various platforms for coronavirus, including the vaccine, the first human phase of which was performed today,” Namaki said, and added, “Another platform is also underway at Razi Institute, and its animal tests are underway and will soon receive a human testing license.”


“We hope that we will soon see the start of the second human trial phase of this national vaccine and then the third phase to be followed by its mass production,” he continued.


The Headquarters for Executing the Order of Imam (Khomeini) announced the start of the first phase of the clinical trial of Iranian-made COVID-19 vaccine on 56 volunteers in Tehran on Tuesday.


The COVID-19 vaccine produced by EIKO has been licensed by the Iranian Ministry of Health and Medical Education.

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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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