People with no symptoms may be a source of dengue fever

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Over reporting and acting on time are key to preventing this disease

New Delhi, 07 May 2018: People who virtually show no symptoms are likely to be the primary source of dengue fever, according to a new study. It estimated that more than 80% of dengue virus infections are attributable to individuals with mild to no symptoms who do not seek treatment from a physician. About 400 million people each year are infected with dengue virus, which is transmitted by mosquitoes.

Those with dengue needing intervention are either identified after they have already contributed to transmission or are not identified at all. There is a need to shift emphasis toward more proactive disease prevention strategies that do not rely as strongly on responding to detected cases alone.

Speaking about this, Padma Shri Awardee, Dr K K Aggarwal, President, Heart Care Foundation of India, said, “Dengue should be diagnosed early as the patient has maximum viremia during early phase with more infectivity. The test to be done is NS1 antigen and not IgM. NS1 is positive in less than 5 days and the IgM becomes positive after 5 days. IgG and IgM kits are provided free by the Government of India but not the NS1 kits, which need to be procured by the states themselves. The priority should be NS1 kits and not IgM. Apart from this, all cases of severe dengue with rapid test positive for NS1 or IgM should be notified as dengue cases. Prevention should be the primary focus of combating dengue, failing which it may become difficult to control further transmission.”

There is a need to bring about a paradigm shift in our thinking. We need to over report and act in time. There is no point acting when the cases have started. Often, the civic bodies publicly act in monsoon season. They might plan ahead but public awareness and public involvement must start much ahead of time.

Adding further, Dr Aggarwal, who is also the Vice President of CMAAO, said, “It is true that disease spreading mosquitos do not make noise but noise producing nuisance mosquitos unless addressed to will not create a public movement. One must report all the suspected cases and not wait for confirmation of the diagnosis. We have failed because the government has been insisting to notify only ELISA confirmed cases. An SMS should be sent to all doctors practicing in specific areas with a case so that they can become a part of the public health action chain.”

Few other points to be considered include the following.
• A community approach means that 100% of the society talks about dengue. Every premise must indicate that it is mosquito free. When you are invited to someone’s house, you should ask “I hope your premises are mosquito free”. When you invite, write, “welcome to my house, it is mosquito free”.
• The idea of checking your house once a week needs a change. One needs to be alert every day. It should be a part of your routine. You do not clean your premises once a week. Make it a habit to look for the breeding places.

Sanyam or self-restraint is key to acquiring spiritual health

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Yesterday was Upacharya Sadhvi Sarla ji Maharaj’s 75th Sanyam Diwas.

Jainism subscribes to the philosophy of “Uttam Sanyam Dharma” for self-purification. It propagates “Uttama Sanyam” as one of the ten universal virtues to be practiced in daily life to counteract the four passions (Kashayas) i.e. anger, pride, deceit and greed.

As per ancient Indian literature, we have 10 Indriyas – five motor Indriyas or the Karamindriya and five sensory indriyas or the Gnanaindriya. The motor indriyas involve the functions of elimination (anus), procreation (genitals), movement (legs), grasping (hands) and speaking (speech). The five sensory indriyas in sequence are smell, taste, sight, touch and hearing. The first motor indriya is linked to the first sensory indriya. Therefore, elimination is linked to smelling, procreation to tasting, movement to seeing, grasping to touching and speaking to hearing.

Meditation helps to sequentially control one’s senses. Meditation is done after passing urine and on an empty stomach as otherwise these urges would interfere. Then comes control on movements i.e. stillness, followed by relaxing each every muscle representing control over grasping and then going to an inner journey of inner silence of controlling over the 5th motor indriya i.e. speech. Only after one has learnt to control the motor indriyas, will one be able to control the five sensory indriyas in succession as mentioned above.

Controlling of these five sensory and five motor senses or indriyas is Sanyam or self-restraint and is key to acquiring spiritual health.

A prescription for practicing sanyam can be controlling all senses in one day (fasting) or any one item in a day or meditation.