MEDBUZZ – What’s new in medicine and global healthcare this month?

-Sadiya Khan, Intern

  • FDA approves new dual-action drug Tirzepatide for type 2 Diabetes Mellitus

Tirzepatide is the first drug that acts by activating both Glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) and glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP) which are hormones involved in blood sugar control. It is administered as a once-weekly injection under the skin.  Tirzepatide can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, decreased appetite, constipation, and upper abdominal discomfort which subside with time. 

  • Rare monkeypox cases emerge in the UK, USA, and Europe

The United Kingdom was the first to confirm a case of monkeypox earlier this month. New cases have emerged in Europe and the United States has confirmed its first infection. Monkeypox begins with a flu-like illness and lymph node swelling followed by a rash on the face and body. The incubation period of monkeypox is usually from 6 to 13 days but can range from 5 to 21 days.  The disease is often self-limiting with symptoms usually resolving spontaneously within 14 to 21 days, but reports suggest that it can be fatal. It is endemic in parts of Central and Western Africa usually due to close contact with an infected animal. Monkeypox can be transmitted by droplet exposure via exhaled large droplets and by contact with infected skin lesions or contaminated materials. However, health authorities suspect transmission to be linked to sexual contact. 

The WHO said that while smallpox vaccination has been effective against monkeypox, the end of mass vaccination programmes for smallpox meant people under 40 or 50 longer had protection.

  • Drones to Provide Quality Healthcare in Rural Areas of India

An experimental programme conducted by the World Economic Forum has shown how drone technology can be used to bring quality healthcare to people living in the remotest areas of India. As a part of the 45-day trial, healthcare professionals delivered vaccines, Covid testing samples, and medical products to more than three lakh people, covered by eight healthcare centers in Telangana. It is termed the first successful trial of long-range vaccine delivery in Asia. It is part of a wider programme, Medicine from the Sky, led by the World Economic Forum’s Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution India, in partnership with the Government of Telangana, Apollo Hospital’s Healthnet Global, and NITI Aayog. The programme aims to work with businesses, policy-makers, and communities to use drone technology to provide urban grade emergency healthcare in India’s remotest areas. 

  • India’s obesity epidemic

The National Family Health Survey 5 data shows that obesity is on the rise in majority of Indian states and union territories, especially among children… Obesity among children under the age of five has increased. The proportion of overweight children grew from 2.1 percent in NFHS-4 to 3.4 percent in NFHS-5. Obesity has become one of the major risk factors for the increase in non-communicable diseases which account for more than 60% of all deaths in India. It’s time to stop neglecting the obesity burden amidst our fight against malnutrition.

  • Microplastics found in lungs of people undergoing surgery

A new study conducted in the United States has found tiny plastic particles no bigger than sesame seeds buried throughout human lungs, indicating that people are inhaling microplastics lingering in the air. For the study, scientists collected tissue samples from 13 patients undergoing surgery, finding microplastics in 11 of those patients. Polypropylene, which is used in plastic packaging, and PET, which is used in disposable plastic bottles, were the most prevalent forms of plastic.

  • May 17th – World Hypertension Day

According to the WHO, about 46% of people remain unaware that they are suffering from hypertension. Only 1 in 5 adults with hypertension have it under control. This year, the theme of World Hypertension Day is “Measure Your Blood Pressure Accurately, Control It, and Live Longer”. The theme focuses on accurate blood pressure measurement methods for early detection and treatment, especially in low and middle-income countries. 

References:

  1. https://www.fda.gov/news-events/press-announcements/fda-approves-novel-dual-targeted-treatment-type-2-diabetes
  2. https://www.weforum.org/press/2022/05/drones-to-save-lives-by-providing-urban-grade-healthcare-in-rural-areas-of-india/
  3. https://www.bbc.com/news/health-61506562
  4. https://www.news18.com/news/nfhs-5-data-shows-india-forgot-its-obesity-burden-while-fighting-undernutrition-5158543.htm
  5.  https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2022/04/microplastics-lungs-living-people/

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