Nightmare COVID variant……

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 “Nightmare COVID variant”. In India, the omicron version of SARS-CoV-2 has three unique novel sub-variants identified as BF.7, XBB, and BQ.1. The fifth variant of concern has started to dominate in various regions through a number of lineages. The mutations are shown to be highly immune evasive due to the potential growth accretion that allows them to replace previous sub-variants such as BA.5.Yet, little is known about the pathogen that causes this disease. However, as winter draws closer, cases are expected to soar in India and around the world.

As of October 23, 2022, India recorded 1,994 fresh cases with an active caseload of 25,968 are declined to 23,432. In this time frame, more than 200,000 tests were performed according to the ministry of health.

“Corona new waves will come again and again for 4-6 months so booster doses are mandatory,” Disorder which is very popular; at least one person plays video games in two-thirds of American households, according to the Entertainment Software Association. Roughly 160 million American adults play internet-based games, one recent study estimates.

Observation on the mode of spread of the new variant Omicron of Covid and the effectiveness of vaccines against it are being examined. Genetic variations and structural changes have been observed in many other countries regarding this new type. Will these changes increase the spread of the virus? Does it have an effect on how well the performance of vaccines works? To face this situation we should further advocate for strengthening the nation’s ongoing immunization program. Rivera cautions that while these new boosters will improve our protection against the virus, they are not a silver bullet to ending the pandemic. The purpose of boosters and variant-specific boosters is not intended to chase the variant.

In this we also highlights on “Smoking Burden in India” as exclusive report. Cigarette smoking is rampant across India, with 14% of the population reported to smoke cigarettes, and a study has reported that 28.5% of Indians are ever-smokers. India has over 100 million adult smokers, which is the highest in the world after China.

Nearly a quarter of the male population smokes cigarettes, with a higher prevalence among the elderly, widowed, alcohol consumers, manual labourers and those with lower education end economic status. Similarly, the Global Adults Tobacco Survey-India (GATS-India) reported a higher prevalence of smoking among males, illiterate individuals, those from poor households and rural areas. The average number of cigarettes smoked per day is reported to be 7 per day among women and 6.1 per day among men.

It is alarming to note that 14% of ever-smokers in India show some form of respiratory illness. The burden of tobacco-related cancers in India was estimated 366,000 in 2015 and is estimated to increase by nearly 40% by the year 2050, with an estimated burden of 508,000.There is also significant cardiovascular disease (CVD) burden due to smoking, with most CVD deaths attributed to tobacco smoking. Five percent of deaths among Indian women and 20% of deaths among Indian men are attributed to smoking.

In comparison to never smokers, current smokers had an age adjusted relative risk (RR) of 4.6 for myocardial infarction. In addition, persons consuming more than 10 cigarettes per day (median 15 cigarettes/day) had an RR of 7.3 in comparison to never smokers.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), over 5 million people die each year due to diseases associated with smoking, such as cancer, heart disease, liver disease, and stroke. In fact, nearly 16% of all NCD deaths and 1-0-30% of all cardiovascular deaths are linked to smoking. It is estimated that by the year 2030, there would be 8 million deaths attributable to tobacco smoking. Even exposure to second-hand smoke (SHS) increases the risk of developing and progression of atherosclerosis.

The health risks of tobacco smoking have been demonstrated in several studies, indicating a 2-3 fold higher relative risk of coronary heart disease (CHD), 1.5 times for stroke, 1.4 times for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and 12 fold risks for lung cancer. The risks are similar in men and women, but are higher for younger individuals.

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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