A sense of impending doom…

Dear Readers,
Thank you for your continuous support. Double Helical has been making a difference in the lives of the socially and economically disadvantaged groups through raising awareness as well making voluntary contributions in the areas of education, health, human rights and social services. The magazine provides a platform to recognize innovation, people, products and services that are helping to transform the healthcare sector in the country and ushering in affordable, high quality and inclusive healthcare for masses.
In the current issue, we focus on current trends of Covid-19. Today, Covid-19 pandemic has turned into a seemingly unending cross country run with unexpected twists and turns. The current misplaced concerns about the impending fourth wave of Covid-19 in India, is a fallout of lack of robust thought leaders with first hand battle experience in transmission dynamics of communicable diseases. To predict whether we will have a disastrous fourth wave, let us go back to fundamentals of transmission dynamics of communicable diseases which any epidemiologist who has worked at the ground level will know.
As per report, the latest episode of the fourth wave is under progress. It is still unknown to know about unidentified risks of the virus and not possible to find immediate solutions to imagine in advance. The graph of the rise in Covid-19 cases in several states are the concerning matters which is continuously catching the attention of the people. India for the last two years got caught in the cobweb Covid-19 pandemic resulted in chaos; even now the country is facing uncertainty and vulnerability to this epidemic due to newly emerged variants from time to time. Over the past few days, the emergence of new Covid-19 cases accelerating and alarming in India. So- Is this a sign of a fourth wave scare?
India has willy-nilly gone through widespread community transmission rendering vast swathes of its population robustly immune. Studies have established that naturally acquired immunity is 13 to 26 times stronger than vaccine induced immunity. This can be long lasting due to T and memory cells after waning of antibody levels. Basically Memory T cells are antigen-experienced cells that mediate a faster and more potent response upon repeat encounter with antigen. These cells are long-lived and when developed following an infection can protect against subsequent infections with the same pathogen. Studies from Singapore and Sweden have shown that individuals had cellular immunity against SARS-CoV-2, 17 years after encountering SARS-CoV-1.
A trotting pace is more suited for a cross country run. While the virus is in its coming up fourth wind, we can take time out to adjust our strategy according to this paradigm shift. Taking stock of the ruins left in the aftermath of the initial impact of this virus can enable us to calibrate our response better.
Apart from this we also highlight the present trends of Autism which has become the new public health challenge on the horizon. We rather than having a disability approach should now start focusing on the capability approach towards the ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) child. The mortality data from year 2008 to 2018 on under 5years of age has probably shown a decline; which is definitely praiseworthy. The few clinical endpoints of any ASD children are difficulties with social communication/ interaction and restricted /repetitive behaviours or interests. According to health experts, the ASD can be diagnosed as early as 12-18 months age and is a Neuro developmental disorder. According to the 2020 CDC and 2022 WHO global statistical data, 1 in 44 people and 1 in 100 people are diagnosed with ASD.
The features of Autism Spectrum Disorder are not similar in all individuals and the severity is also not uniform. In child neurology division, we have screened more and more. Children with ASD and their caregivers, as well as siblings have impaired quality of life as compared to typically developing children.
There is more such interesting and thought-provoking stuff to savour in this issue. So, happy reading!

Thanks and regards

Amresh K Tiwary,

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