field of plants
Genetically Modified Crops: Nigeria, Africa must join the rest of the world to ensure food self-sufficiency

by Tayo Fasuan

Genetically modified crops (GMCs) are food crops whose genes have been altered in some ways in order to improve them. Alternatively called genetically modified foods (GMFs), these food plants have been tinkered with in ways which improve their yields, make them resistant to droughts, pests and diseases, increase their nutritive value and survive on soils and climate that would have once been impossible.

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blue and white zip pouch
Overview of Hypertension

by Mutiat Sunshine Oji

In patients with Heart Failure (HF), Hypertension (HTN) remains a major contributory factor as hypertensive left ventricular hypertrophy can result in the dysfunction of the left ventricles. Till date, the cause of hypertension is unknown, however, there are many possibilities and influences related to hypertension in patients. Notable influences include, high salt intake, the sympathetic nervous system, the renin-angiotensin system obesity and insulin resistance.

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Genetic Disease Focus: Ataxia–telangiectasia

Ataxia–telangiectasia (AT or A–T), also referred to as ataxia–telangiectasia syndrome or Louis–Bar syndrome is a rare, neurodegenerative, autosomal recessive disease causing severe disability. Ataxia refers to poor coordination and telangiectasia to small dilated blood vessels, both of which are hallmarks of the disease. A–T affects many parts of the body:

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Probiotics (I): The Deliberate Consumption of Microbes for Health Benefits

Although the idea that microbes have a lot of beneficial roles to play on human health isn’t new anymore, none has encapsulated that idea like the discovery of probiotics. The concept of ingesting live microorganisms in order to be healthy does not only sound strange and awkward, but dangerous to some as well. However, probiotics and their health benefits are here to stay, and they are getting due recognition.

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Lassa fever: Information

Key facts

Lassa fever is an acute viral haemorrhagic illness of 2-21 days duration that occurs in West Africa.

The Lassa virus is transmitted to humans via contact with food or household items contaminated with rodent urine or faeces.

Person-to-person infections and laboratory transmission can also occur, particularly in hospitals lacking adequate infection prevention and control measures.

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“An Inexpressible Dread”: Psychoses of Influenza at fin-de-siècle

by Mark Honigsbaum

In June, 1895, The Strand Magazine, a periodical best known for its stories about a certain pipe-smoking Baker Street detective, published a tale about a London physician, Clifford Halifax, and his encounter with a promising young medical colleague named Arthur Feveral. The story opens in the winter of 1893 with Halifax returning home to find Feveral waiting in his hallway. His practice is in the grip of an influenza epidemic and Feveral appears to have suffered “some sort of collapse”. It soon emerges that his baby daughter has died of influenza and that he has also suffered an attack of the “awful plague”. But it is not this that has brought him to Halifax’s door. “The influenza has left an extraordinary sequel behind”, he explains. “I have an inexpressible dread over me. By no means in my power can I drive it away.”

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Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and anti-rheumatic drugs

by Tsvetoslav Georgiev

Current pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Despite drastic containment measures, the COVID-19 outbreak has taken lives of more than 12,000 people worldwide, with the number of those contracting the virus surpassing 300,000 (as of March 22, 2020). The seriousness of the situation necessitates urgent multidisciplinary strategy to contain the spread of the disease and prevent its complications.

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COVID-19 and the Infectious Viral Load: Another Angle to Fighting the Infection

by Tayo Fasuan

For years, I had often worried about the amount of microbial particles necessary to initiate an infection, called an infectious dose, and recent articles I’ve been seeing indicate that this might be important to our immune system fighting the SARS-COV2. An infectious dose, in more explicit terms, refers to the number of a particular microbe – bacterial, viral, protozoal or fungal – necessary to initiate an infection on entering the body after overpowering the immune system. To understand this, we have to realise all microbes exist as particles, and these particles could actually be counted. Also, the number of the particles present in an infectious sample also varies from microbes to microbes.

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Guidance on Community Social Distancing During COVID-19 Outbreak (1)

by Africa Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC)

Background

In Africa, the number of COVID-19 cases and impacted countries has been increasing steadily. As of 12 March 2020, 129 cases have been diagnosed in 12 countries, with one death recorded. The experience in countries outside Africa is that, after initial cases are diagnosed, community transmission occurs rapidly. Member States need to immediately implement individual social distancing and plan to implement community social distancing.

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Disease Prevention: Coronavirus

Coronaviruses (CoV), including SARS CoV, are single-stranded RNA viruses and belong to the family Coronaviridae. Coronaviruses are spread by the respiratory route.Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) is caused by SARS coronavirus (SARSCoV), which is spread by the respiratory route and through the ingestion of aerosolized faeces via contamination of the hands and environment. Close contact with asymptomatic person poses the highest risk of infection. In recent outbreak, mostcases occurred in hospital workers or family members in contact with cases.

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Risk Factor and Risk Prediction of Breast Cancer

Breast cancer is the most common cancer affecting women worldwide. Prediction models stratify a woman’s risk for developing cancer and can guide screening recommendations based on the presence of known and quantifiable hormonal, environmental, personal, or genetic risk factors. Mammography remains the mainstay breast cancer screening and detection but magnetic resonance imaging and ultrasound have become useful diagnostic adjuncts in select patient populations.

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Antimicrobial Resistance: Updates from WHO

What is antimicrobial resistance?

Antimicrobial resistance happens when microorganisms (such as bacteria, fungi, viruses, and parasites) change when they are exposed to antimicrobial drugs (such as antibiotics, antifungals, antivirals, antimalarials, and anthelmintics). Microorganisms that develop antimicrobial resistance are sometimes referred to as “superbugs”. As a result, the medicines become ineffective and infections persist in the body, increasing the risk of spread to others.

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Passive Antibody Therapy

In 1890, Emil Behring and Shibasaburo Kitasato reported an extraordinary experiment. They immunized rabbits with tetanus and then collected serum from these animals. Subsequently, they injected 0.2 ml of the immune serum into the abdominal cavity of six mice. After 24 hours, they infected the treated animals and untreated controls with live, virulent tetanus bacteria. All of the control mice died within 48 hours of infection, whereas the treated mice not only survived but showed no effects of infection.

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The Initiation of Infection and the Cause of Disease (Part 3): Disseminated and Opportunistic Infections

by Tayo Fasuan

In the field of infectious diseases, two of the most dreaded types of infection are disseminated infections and opportunistic infections. Without these two forms of infections, most diseases would easily be resolved. Co-infection is another complication, but we’ll discuss that at another date.

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The Initiation of Infection and the Causes of Disease (Part 2): The Sites of Entry

by Tayo Fasuan

So, we’ve been able to discover the factors that can initiate infections in the last post, and we’ve identified that immunocompromisity is one of the primary causes. Let’s now take a brief look at the possible ways in which our first lines of immune defense, which are incidentally at the sites/points of entry, can be breached and compromised.

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