Another scare in Mizoram: Porcine Reproductive & Respiratory Syndrome

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Aizawl, Jan 17 (PTI) Mizoram government has banned import of pigs and piglets to prevent outbreak of a disease that has cost the lives of thousands of swines in the state. The Mizoram government has instructed deputy commissioners of all the eight districts to issue prohibitory orders banning the import from other countries to stop, Animal Husbandry and veterinary Minister Dr K Beichhua said Thursday.

The porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS) has cost the lives of over 10,000 swines in Mizoram since 2013 and it is believed that it happened due to import of pigs and piglets from Myanmar where the disease was known to be prevalent, officials said. Beichhua said the ban of import of pigs from other countries was the only way to prevent outbreak of the PRRS in the state…

All about porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome

  • PRRS is a viral disease caused by an arterivirus.
  • It was called the “mystery swine disease”, when the disease was first recognised in North America in the 80s. Another name for PRRS is the “blue ear disease”.
  • The disease is now present worldwide, with the exception of Finland, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, Australia and New Zealand.
  • PRRS is an enzootic disease in pig population of Mizoram since the first outbreak in 2013.
  • The pig, whether domestic or wild, is the only species known to be naturally susceptible to this disease.
  • The virus has a predilection for alveolar macrophages and macrophages of the lymphoid tissues in the acute stage of the infection. The virus persists in the tonsils and lung macrophages.
  • Once the virus infects a herd, it remains active for an indefinite period of time.
  • The clinical manifestations vary with the strain of virus and  the immune status of the herd.
  • Clinical disease in a herd occurs due to acute viremia in individuals and transmission of the virus from the infected females to their fetuses via the placenta, which can occur at any time.
  • The virus infects all types of herd including high or ordinary health status and both indoor and outdoor units, irrespective of the number.
  • For every three herds that are exposed to the infection for the first time, one will show no recognizable disease, the second would show mild disease and the third show moderate to severe disease.
  • Concurrent infections with other pathogens may also occur.

(Source: World Organization for Animal health http://www.oie.int/fileadmin/Home/eng/Our_scientific_expertise/docs/pdf/PRRS_guide_web_bulletin.pdf)

Dr KK Aggarwal

Padma Shri Awardee

President Elect Confederation of Medical Associations in Asia and Oceania   (CMAAO)

Group Editor-in-Chief IJCP Publications

President Heart Care Foundation of India

Past National President IMA

Hypothermia is a major cause of mortality during winter in India

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Avoid hypothermia in this winter by taking certain necessary precautions

New Delhi, 20th January 2019: According to a recent report, about 44 people died in Delhi between 1 January and 6 January, includng a two-year-old child due to the cold weather conditions. Several of these deaths may probably be due to a condition called hypothermia.

Hypothermia is generally defined as having a core body temperature of 95 degrees Fahrenheit or lower and can occur when the outside environment gets too cold or the body’s heat production decreases.

Speaking about this, Padma Shri Awardee, Dr KK Aggarwal, President, HCFI, said, “People can die of hypothermia in the winter season. Imagine a situation when you come across people lying in an area with no clothes early in the morning. One of them is shivering and the other one is not. The one who is shivering indicates that his body is trying to compensate with the low body core temperature. The other one, who is not shivering, may be dead, dying or normal. Recall your naturopathy teaching Sar Thanda, Pet Naram and Paon Garam. If the sole of the feet and the feet are cold and the person is not shivering, this is a medical emergency. On the contrary, if the person is not shivering and the feet are warm, it is not medical emergency. Therefore, hypothermia with no shivering and hyperthermia with no sweating are bad signs.”

An individual may suffer from hypothermia if he or she has been exposed to cool temperatures and shows one or more of the following signs: slowed or slurred speech; sleepiness or confusion; shivering or stiffness in the arms and legs; poor control over body movements; slow reactions, or a weak pulse.

Adding further, Dr Aggarwal, who is also the Group Editor-in-Chief of IJCP, said, “In hypothermic deaths, a person can be revived even after hours of cardiac arrest. Only once the body temperature is brought back to normal CPR will be effective. That would mean that consciousness gets frozen and does not leave the body when the temperature is below 35°C. This forms the basis for induced hypothermia after death to revive the brain.”

Some tips from HCFI

Here are a few tips to help older people avoid hypothermia.

  • Make sure your home is warm enough. Set the thermostat to at least 68 to 70 degrees.
  • Even mildly cool homes with temperatures from 60 to 65 degrees can lead to hypothermia in older people.

To stay warm at home, wear long underwear under your clothes, along with socks and slippers. Wear several layers of warm loose clothing to help trap warm air between the layers. In India, wear a monkey cap.

  • Use a blanket to keep your legs and shoulders warm and wear a hat or cap indoors.
  • When going outside in the cold, it is important to wear a hat, scarf, and gloves or mittens to prevent loss of body heat through your head and hands. A hat is particularly important because a large portion of body heat can be lost through the head.
  • Check if any prescription or over-the-counter medications you consume can increase your risk for hypothermia.
  • Remember hypothermia with no shivering is a bad sign