Monday, August 17, 2009

Epidemic of Hand foot and mouth disease

In the midst of the hullabaloo regarding the infamous global pandemic of the 'New H1N1' virus infection(swine flu) outbreak of another viral disease have escaped the attention of the media and public at large.

Fairly high number cases are being encountered in the city of Kolkata and surrounding districts on a daily basis.

This is called 'Hand Foot and Mouth Disease' caused by Coxsackie A virus and Enterovirus 71.
This affects infants and children. It is moderately infectious and is spread through direct contact.
I may quote from Wikipedia(avoiding any technical/medical jargon) :

'Early symptoms are likely to be fever often followed by a sore throat. Loss of appetite and general
malaise may also occur. Between one and two days after the onset of fever, painful sores may appear in the mouth and/or throat. A rash(mostly blisters) may become evident on the hands, feet, and occasionally the buttocks.Not all symptoms will be present in all cases.'

For more information click on:;year=2009;volume=54;issue=1;spage=26;epage=30;aulast=Sarma
Parents are requested not to send their children to school (or allow them to mix with other children in the community) with any of the following symptoms like fever and rash/blisters on hands, feet, buttock and in and around the mouth.

There is no need to panic. The disease is usually self limiting, unless it becomes complicated.
Be alert, informed and cautious."

H1N1: Mass/mask hysteria

Go to any airport in the country you will see masked mass.
As if we are living in a gas chamber.
Why? Swine flu?
How many are infected? Little over 1700...
Now don't ask me what is the population of the country!!!

But with 47,000 confirmed cases and nearly 500 deaths...and that too in s a country of 28 crores only there is absolutely no panic in the US.
But here in India with a population three times that of US, just about 1700 cases and 28 deaths has created a mass(and mask)hysteria !!!

It's not that we are more alert and concious about this outbreak than others, its only because we have more than 130 TV channels and
countless newspapers in all the 15 official languages !!!"

We love to forget the increasing figures of deaths due to diarrhea, dysentery, tuberculosis, road traffic accidents in the country.
Those are probably not fashionable enough today.

Skin of color!!! I hate this term

"One of the issues that disturbs me often is the term 'skin of color'.How long are we going to use/tolerate this horribly meaningless and unscientific term?
I would say it is a politically motivated/orchestrated confusion.
Do you know any individual on this planet without any color in her/his basal layer?
If 'skin of color' refers to Fitz IV, V, and VI skin types then how to describe Type I, II and III? 'Skin of no-color'???
Why not use better, crisper, easier and scientifically correct terms like darker skin and lighter skin, instead?
I detest the term ‘skin of color' not exactly as a racist phrase but as an miserably inadequate, unscientific and imprudent term.
All human beings have some color in their basal layer. Type I, II, III skin also has some active melanocyte and some epidermal melanin units in their skin. That means 'color'.
So, why categorize Type IV, V, VI in a segregated manner as 'skin of color'?
In many meetings (recent AAD included) there are sessions on dermatoses in skin of color. Why not 'dermatoses in darker skin' replacing 'dermatosis inskin of color’?"