British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced plans to tackle what is being dubbed a ‘obesity time bomb’ that can increase the risk of coronavirus disease and related deaths, reports Xinhua.
The announcement was made on Monday banning adverts for junk food by 9pm, the cancellation of "buy one get one free" deals on such foods and a decision to put calories on menus.
In addition to the ban, the government will arrange a consultation about displaying calories on alcohol.
Boris Johnson, who has lost weight since he was in COVID-19 intensive care, wants to tackle obesity as studies show that it can increase the risk of coronavirus disease and related deaths.
The British are far fatter than any other nation in Europe except the Maltese, he said last month.
His government described "tackling the obesity time bomb" as a priority.
"Losing weight is hard but with some small changes we can all feel fitter and healthier," Johnson said in a statement.
"If we all do our bit, we can reduce our health risks and protect ourselves against coronavirus -- as well as taking pressure off the NHS (National Health Service)," he added.
Hand Sanitizer is our savior against germs, while vaccines are out of reach. The significance of sanitizer is widely understood during the COVID19 pandemic. Health experts are advising people to apply alcohol-based hand sanitizers after touching things to avoid the contraction of coronavirus and other kinds of germs. The mass people are being cautious about the pandemic; as a result, personal use of hand sanitizer has been increased extensively. However, due to the flammable nature of hand sanitizer, fire danger should not be ignored. Simple act of negligence can cost lives. Read this article to know how to use and handle sanitizers safely during pandemic minimizing the risk of fire hazard.
Though washing hands with soap and water is the best way to kill harmful virus, bacteria and germs, the hand sanitizers are very useful in outdoor environments where you have no access to water. Non-alcohol sanitizers can impede the growth of germs, but fail to kill the germs outright. The Alcohol-based Hand sanitizer was originally developed as a hygiene product for using in healthcare environments. Later it has been widely accepted in many other settings, counting personal use.
Alcohol-based hand sanitizer products usually contain certain types of alcohol, including ethanol (ethyl alcohol), isopropyl alcohol, or n-propanol. The combination of alcohol properties may vary; but the most effective hand sanitizers contain about 60% to 95% alcohol concentration.
Due to containing alcohol properties in high volume, hand sanitizers are not free from the risk fire hazard. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers have been classified as ‘Class I’ Flammable Liquid substances. It indicates that these substances have a flash point of less than 100 degrees Fahrenheit.
More specifically, the flash points of isopropyl alcohol 75% (v/v) and ethyl alcohol 80% (v/v) are 19°C and 17.5°C, respectively. The ‘flash point’ of any volatile substance refers to its lowest temperature at which its vapors can ignite when come in contact with any ignition source or flame.
The vapors of Hand sanitizer tend to be flammable. When the alcohol properties contained in a hand sanitizer starts to combust, it forms gases like carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide.
Alcohol-based Hand sanitizers are flammable by nature and tend to release flammable vapors. After applying hand sanitizers, it is recommended to rub both hands together properly until you feel them completely dry.
The Hand Sanitizer bottle must be kept away from any source of heat, ignition or open flame. For home use, beware of using a gas stove or lighting candles, immediately after using hand sanitizer. While you are pouring sanitizer from one container to another, be cautious about keeping distance from all kinds of ignition source.
Especially, the smokers must not attempt to smoke, during or right after applying or handling the alcohol-based hand sanitizers. Adding to these, you must not store hand sanitizer container near any kind of electrical outlet, switch or equipment in your apartment or workplace.
If your alcohol-based hand sanitizer is spilled on a surface or the vapor is somehow released, immediately remove every potential ignition source from that place to mitigate the risk of fire hazard. Clean up the Spilled hand sanitizer remains with a clean dry cloth as soon as possible.
If you have stored other chemical products besides hand sanitizers, in your home or workplace, more cautions are required. To minimize the fire danger, Hand sanitizer containers or handling procedures should be prohibited to come in contact with any kind of reducing agents or oxidizing agents, like acetyl chloride.
Is it safe to keep a hand sanitizer bottle inside a hot car/vehicle? Hand sanitizers may not impulsively combust if left inside a vehicle with hot inner environment. But to avoid leakage and minimize the risk of explosion, it would be wise to keep the container in an upright position. And the bottle must be properly sealed.
Another thing to remember is that you must not leave the hand sanitizer bottle under direct sunlight, as the scorching heat of sun can create extremely high temperature leading to spillage or leakage from pressurization of the container.
If you want to store Alcohol-based hand sanitizer containers for home use, choose a secure place in your home where the temperature remains cool. To avoid fire danger, it is recommended not to store Alcohol-based hand sanitizer in a location, where the temperature is above 73 degrees Fahrenheit or 22 degrees Celsius.
Moreover, it would be sensible not to store hand sanitizer containers in large quantities. The warnings printed on Product label should be cautiously read and followed.
Beware of locating Hand sanitizer dispensers in corridors, or open spaces where the temperature is too high. While you are placing Hand rub dispensers in a common place, try not to place it close to any potential source of ignition, like candles, gas stove, light switches, electrical outlets, oxygen or other medical gas outlets, etc.
To avoid the risk of vapors igniting, Hand rub dispensers should not be placed in a fire exit corridor. What is more? Fire Safety Advisors must be consulted, before placing dispensers near medical ward or hospital beds where oxygen supply equipments may have been stored at nearby places.
The children, especially toddlers, tend to get attracted by bright color or the pleasant smell of sanitizer. If a child mistakenly drinks a small portion of hand sanitizer, it can cause alcohol poisoning. However, if the baby licks its dry hands after using hand sanitizer, then it may not harm.
To prevent accidental ingestion of alcohol based hand sanitizers, parents or adults should monitor young children while using hand sanitizer products. Furthermore, do not allow your pet to swallow the spills of hand sanitizer.
The used containers, dispensers and bottles of hand sanitizers may contain flammable vapors or gel like residues. If those elements come in contact with any ignition source, the fire hazard can occur. Therefore, the best practice is rinsing out those used dispensers with enough amount of cold water. After washing properly, those containers can be safely disposed or recycled.
The risk of being caught by diseases like cancer is relatively lower among those who spend two hours or less time keeping eyes on screens.
Researchers of the University of Glasgow of Scotland found it in a prolonged study with participation of around 500,000 people, reports BBC.
They followed the participants aged from 37 to 73 from 2006 to 2018.
According to the findings, less time consumption with electric screens prevents or delays poor health. It even minimizes the risk of premature death.
If all participants limited television time to two hours a day, potentially 5.62 percent of all deaths and 7.97 percent of deaths due to cardiovascular disease could have been prevented or delayed.
It was not just the traditional television screen that was included in the study, watching videos on a mobile phone counted too.
Dr Hamish Foster from the University of Glasgow's Institute of Health and Wellbeing led the study.
He said that the latest research backed the current evidence that watching too much TV - and living a sedentary lifestyle more generally - could lead to poor heath.
"Our study suggests limiting TV time could delay or prevent a lot of adverse health", Dr Foster said.
Exercise not only helps to preserve muscle strength, keep heart strong, maintain a healthy body weight and stave off chronic diseases such as diabetes it can help boost thinking skills and memory as well.
Exercise boosts memory and thinking skills both directly and indirectly. "There's a lot of science behind this," says Dr. Scott McGinnis, an instructor in neurology at Harvard Medical School, reports Harvard Health.
It acts directly on the body by stimulating physiological changes such as reductions in insulin resistance and inflammation, along with encouraging production of growth factors — chemicals that affect the growth of new blood vessels in the brain, and even the abundance, survival, and overall health of new brain cells.
It also acts directly on the brain itself. Many studies have suggested that the parts of the brain that control thinking and memory are larger in volume in people who exercise than in people who don't. "Even more exciting is the finding that engaging in a program of regular exercise of moderate intensity over six months or a year is associated with an increase in the volume of selected brain regions," says Dr. McGinnis.
Exercise can also boost memory and thinking indirectly by improving mood and sleep, and by reducing stress and anxiety. Problems in these areas frequently cause or contribute to cognitive impairment.
Is one exercise better than another in terms of brain health? We don't know the answer to this question, because almost all of the research so far has looked at walking. "But it's likely that other forms of aerobic exercise that get your heart pumping might yield similar benefits," explains Dr. McGinnis.
A study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society found that tai chi showed the potential to enhance cognitive function in older adults, especially in the realm of executive function, which manages cognitive processes such as planning, working memory, attention, problem solving, and verbal reasoning. That may be because tai chi, a martial art that involves slow, focused movements, requires learning and memorizing new skills and movement patterns.
Dr. McGinnis recommends establishing exercise as a habit, almost like taking a prescription medication. And since several studies have shown that it takes about six months to start reaping the cognitive benefits of exercise, he reminds you to be patient as you look for the first results — and to then continue exercising for life.
Aim for a goal of exercising at a moderate intensity — such as brisk walking — for 150 minutes per week. Start with a few minutes a day, and increase the amount by five or 10 minutes every week until you reach your goal.
Fresh studies by British researchers give more information about what medicines do or don’t work in COVID-19 treatment.
They on Friday published their research on the only drug shown to improve survival -- a cheap steroid called dexamethasone.
Two other studies found that malaria drug hydroxychloroquine does not help people with only mild symptoms.
For months before studies like these, learning what helps or harms has been undermined by “desperation science” as doctors and patients tried therapies on their own or through a host of studies not strong enough to give clear answers.
“For the field to move forward and for patients’ outcomes to improve, there will need to be fewer small or inconclusive studies” and more like the British one, Drs. Anthony Fauci and H. Clifford Lane of the National Institutes of Health wrote in the New England Journal of Medicine.
It’s now time to do more studies comparing treatments and testing combinations, said Dr. Peter Bach, a health policy expert at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York.
Here are highlights of recent treatment developments:
The British study, led by the University of Oxford, tested a type of steroid widely used to tamp down inflammation, which can become severe and prove fatal in later stages of COVID-19.
About 2,104 patients given the drug were compared to 4,321 patients getting usual care.
It reduced deaths by 36% for patients sick enough to need breathing machines: 29% on the drug died versus 41% given usual care. It curbed the risk of death by 18% for patients needing just supplemental oxygen: 23% on the drug died versus 26% of the others.
However, it seemed harmful at earlier stages or milder cases of illness: 18% of those on the drug died versus 14% of those given usual care.
The clarity of who does and does not benefit “probably will result in many lives saved,” Fauci and Lane wrote.
The same Oxford study also tested hydroxychloroquine in a rigorous manner and researchers previously said it did not help hospitalized patients with COVID-19.
After 28 days, about 25.7% on hydroxychloroquine had died versus 23.5% given usual care -- a difference so small it could have occurred by chance
Now, details published on a research site for scientists show that the drug may have done harm. Patients given hydroxychloroquine were less likely to leave the hospital alive within 28 days -- 60% on the drug versus 63% given usual care. Those not needing breathing machines when they started treatment also were more likely to end up on one or to die.
Two other experiments found that early treatment with the drug did not help outpatients with mild COVID-19.
A study of 293 people from Spain published in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases found no significant differences in reducing the amount of virus patients had, the risk of worsening and needing hospitalization, or the time until recovery.
A similar study by University of Minnesota doctors in Annals of Internal Medicine of 423 mildly ill COVID-19 patients found that hydroxychloroquine did not substantially reduce symptom severity and brought more side effects.
“It is time to move on” from treating patients with this drug, Dr. Neil Schluger from New York Medical College wrote in a commentary in the journal.
The only other therapy that’s been shown to help COVID-19 patients is remdesivir, an antiviral that shortens hospitalization by about four days on average.
“The role of remdesivir in severe COVID is now what we need to figure out,” Memorial Sloan Kettering's Bach wrote in an email, saying the drug needs to be tested in combination with dexamethasone now.
Details of the government-led remdesivir study have not yet been published, but researchers are eager to see how many patients received other drugs such as steroids and hydroxychloroquine.
Meanwhile, Gilead Sciences, the company that makes remdesivir, which is given as an IV now, has started testing an inhaled version that would allow it to be tried in less ill COVID-19 patients to try to keep them from getting sick enough to need hospitalization. Gilead also has started testing remdesivir in a small group of children.
Supplies are very limited, and the U.S. government is allocating doses to hospitals through September.