Can online gaming be addictive???

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 Gaming Disorder which is very popular; at least one person plays video games in two-thirds of American households, according to the Entertainment Software Association. One recent study estimates roughly 160 million American adults play internet-based games,

The games can be very entertaining, and it may be easy to get absorbed in the competition, but can they be addictive? That is a question still being debated among researchers and health professionals.

As per report, several cases are reported every month in which kids are found to be turning violent because of such gaming addictions. It has been found that though they are addicted to an alarming level, these children do not consider their behavior a problem. In fact, even their parents do not react to their behavior.

This is only when they develop mental/physical disorders;, they are brought to the clinic. The number of children addicted to gaming might even be more as the parents only visit when these children become very violent. If such children are counseled on time, such issues can be resolved easily; the most worrisome fact about these games is that there is no end to it.

Gaming disorder is defined in the 11th Revision of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11) as a pattern of gaming behavior both digital-gaming and video-gaming characterized by impaired control over gaming, increasing priority given to gaming over other activities to the extent that gaming takes precedence over other interests and daily activities, and continuation or escalation of gaming despite the occurrence of negative consequences.

World Health Organization has already recognized that online game addiction is a mental health disorder as pattern of persistent or recurrent gaming behavior so severe it takes precedence over other life interests. As per a study, about 3.5% of Indian adolescents suffer from Internet gaming disorder (IGD). The rate is 0.5% higher than the global average. Indian studies show that 8% boys and 3% girls fall in the IGD bracket.

Apart from this we also highlight the present trends of “Monkey Pox” which is more common in children in its native Africa, is showing a different epidemiology outside this continent. The surveillance data from the West suggests that it is behaving more like a sexually transmitted disease like HIV and other sexually transmitted infections.

As Monkey pox cases have been reported and most got detected after returning from other countries. We should know the enemy to combat the psychological warfare. As Sun Tzu, the ancient Chinese warrior philosopher says: “If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the results of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat.

The name monkey pox itself is a misnomer. Monkeys and humans are accidental victims of monkey pox. The name has its origins due to detection of the virus from laboratory monkeys in Denmark around 1958. The virus is found more frequently among small animals like squirrels. The virus belongs to the same family as Smallpox virus. The eruptions have some resemblance to Smallpox. However, Monkey pox is much milder and self-limiting with case fatality rate varying between 0-10% in the African continent. Outside Africa it is near zero, perhaps due to better nutrition and access to health care. There is fever, muscle pain, swollen glands, and rashes which have to be differentiated from chickenpox, and other cases of fever with rashes.

In case of Monkey pox human to human transmission is being carried out by intimate contact while respiratory transmission is possible, but not very efficient. The course of the illness is 2-4 weeks. Smallpox had a case fatality rate over 30%. In Africa, Monkey pox cases were identified in the 1970’s in the last phases of smallpox eradication campaign. Heightened surveillance activities in this phase found this enemy, which turned out to be a pickpocket compared to the killer smallpox. The cases of Monkey pox were scattered in Congo and Western Africa.

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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