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South Korean President urges for flexible methods to handle medical license suspensions

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S. Korean Prez calls for flexible ways to process suspension of medical licenses

Seoul, March 24 (IANS) President of South Korea Yoon Suk Yeol has urged Prime Minister Han Duck-soo to consult with political parties to seek a flexible process in suspending the licenses of striking trainee doctors, the Presidential office said. Yoon also asked Han to form a “constructive consultative body” to promote dialogue with medical workers, according to his office.

Yoon’s order was made at the request of ruling People Power Party (PPP) Chief Han Dong-hoon after he held talks with a group of medical professors earlier in the day. More than 90 per cent of the country’s 13,000 trainee doctors have been on strike in the form of mass resignations for about a month to protest the government’s decision to increase the medical school enrollment quota by 2,000 seats from the current 3,058 starting next year to enhance health care services in remote areas, as well as essential but less popular medical disciplines.

The government has been taking due administrative steps to suspend the licenses of striking doctors as they missed a government-set deadline to return to work late last month, and the suspension will take effect Tuesday for some. This move comes after the trainee doctors have been on strike for a month, causing disruptions in healthcare services across the country.

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The strike by trainee doctors has been a contentious issue, with the government facing pressure to resolve the situation and ensure that healthcare services are not severely impacted. The formation of a consultative body to engage in dialogue with medical workers suggests a step towards finding a resolution to the ongoing strike, which has garnered widespread attention in South Korea. President Yoon’s directive to the Prime Minister highlights the importance of addressing the concerns of the striking trainee doctors while also considering the broader impact on healthcare services in the country.

IANS, established in 1986, is India's largest independent news service, offering 24x7 news from India and South Asia, and a preferred source for diverse content across six business verticals.

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Fever: Symptoms, Treatments, Types, and Causes

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Fever refers to a higher-than-normal body temperature. It is commonly defined as having a temperature above 100.4 F (38 C). Fevers are not an illness; they act as a vital sign that something else might be amiss, usually an underlying infection.

Understanding the physiology of temperature regulation, recognizing common fever patterns, identifying potential causes, and knowing treatment approaches can help assess and manage fevers appropriately to guide optimal recovery.

How Body Temperature is Regulated

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Human body temperature hovers within a safe range primarily through the hypothalamus section of the brain. It’s akin to the body’s internal thermostat. When we exercise or if external temperatures rise, the hypothalamus kicks in, bringing our temperatures back to normal ranges through mechanisms like sweating or dilating blood vessels. Also, getting a fever test would be a great option to get your body temperature checked.

Factors like age, hormones, medications, and illness can temporarily affect the hypothalamus, potentially altering this regulation and raising body temperature, causing a fever.

Common Fever Symptoms 

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When fever strikes, our bodies tend to exhibit an array of symptomatic reactions. Recognizing some of the most common physical and behavioral manifestations of elevated temperatures can help gauge fever severity and determine suitable interventions. The fever profile test is a comprehensive screening that includes various blood tests to identify the underlying cause of a fever, such as infections or autoimmune diseases.

Body temperature itself may be the most apparent fever marker. However, the magnitude of thermal spikes can vary based on factors like age, time of day, etc. Using a reliable thermometer identifies the extent accurately. In addition, sensory feelings of skin warmth flushed facial appearance, and heat around the armpits and joints help gauge temperature rise qualitatively.

Flu-like symptoms often accompany fever episodes. These include profuse sweating, chills-induced shivering, and extreme fatigue – almost a general whole-body discomfort that saps regular energy levels, forcing us to slow down. Fever sufferers affecting nutrition also routinely note the loss of normal appetite and dietary interest.

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Furthermore, certain local tissue inflammations translate into body aches and headaches during fever – aggravating underlying migraines or arthritic joint pains. Sinus pressure, sore throat discomfort, and inflammation are also reported due to associated infection factors.

While low-grade temperatures under 102°F mainly induce mild unease, sustained high-grade fevers over 103-104°F spark greater malaise in patients. Without appropriate treatment, these run the risk of febrile seizures, especially in vulnerable groups like infants and elderlies, indicating medical emergency scenarios for urgent care. Tracking patterns and acting judiciously is key. 

Moreover, A fever panel test is a collection of specific tests conducted together to diagnose the cause of fever, including tests for viral, bacterial, and other infectious agents. So, you can also choose this test.

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Causes of Fever

There are several potential causes of fevers, including:

  • Infections: Fevers frequently signal underlying infectious agents like viruses, bacteria, fungi, or parasites at play – essentially, the body’s immune response trying to eliminate the foreign organism. Typical sites of infection include respiratory, urinary tract, skin, intestines, etc.
  • Non-infectious causes: Certain inflammatory conditions like autoimmune disorders can also spark fevers. Factors like blood transfusions, heat exhaustion, inflammatory bowel disease, or cancer could elevate temperatures. 
  • Medications: Specific medicine classes called antipyretics work by lowering fevers that accompany infections. But paradoxically, some drugs/vaccines may elicit side effects of fever for a limited duration before improving conditions in the long run.

The fever profile test list typically includes a complete blood count, erythrocyte sedimentation rate, C-reactive protein, and tests for common pathogens. So, consult your doctor for the help.

Types of Fevers

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Key fever patterns include:

1. Continuous fever: When we envision viral fever, continuously elevated temperatures are the stereotype – slightly higher thermometer readings that persist through day and night. For example, bad colds may cause sustained low-grade fevers across 24 hours. The hypothalamus thermostat resets to a higher level temporarily. Feeling warm, sleepy and monitoring hydration becomes key.”

2. Intermittent fever: In contrast, certain fevers intermittently spike and retreat in periodic cycles of highs followed by seemingly normal temperatures before elevating again. This stop-start pattern typically aligns with light and darkness. Late afternoon/evening peaks of 103°F for a few hours settling to near 98°F in early mornings is one such rhythm, noting daily highs and lows.

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3. Remittent fever: Remittent fevers also demonstrate periodic spikes but lack an actual “normal” phase – temperatures never fully normalize but keep fluctuating between higher and relatively lower levels through day and night. This more persistent wave pattern indicates sustained immune activity. Careful hydration and rest balance the rollercoaster.

4. Other patterns: Beyond daily cyclic fevers, certain rare dramatic fever spikes manifest cyclically every few days without many intermittent normalizations. Pel-Ebstein fevers are periods of high fever around 104° lasting for 2-3 days, followed by 1-2 days of slight relief hovers – but no real non-fever stages. This dramatic multi-day oscillation requires close medical monitoring.

Treatments for Fever 

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Essential fever management focuses on keeping the person comfortable and maintaining hydration while underlying causes are addressed. Key aspects include:

  • Acetaminophen/Ibuprofen for temperature regulation only if causing discomfort
  • Avoiding overdressing or exposure to extreme temperatures
  • Drinking adequate warm fluids like soup, tea
  • Light, nutrient-rich foods like fruits and vegetables  
  • Monitoring Temperature trends hourly 
  • Seeking medical care if symptoms worsen or persist over days  

Conclusion

Fevers signify immune activity, often due to underlying infections. While mostly harmless initially, persistently high fevers can be problematic. Tracking fever patterns and likely causes and managing discomfort levels judiciously while determining etiology is crucial to recovery. However, dramatic elevations over 104 F indicate medical emergencies requiring urgent interventions to prevent adverse outcomes, especially amongst vulnerable populations.

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IIT-K and BFI collaborate to drive healthcare innovation in India

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IIT-K and BFI forge partnership to accelerate healthcare innovation in India

Kanpur, April 17 (IANS) – The Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur (IIT-K) has entered into a strategic partnership with Blockchain For Impact (BFI) to drive advancements in healthcare in India. Under the BFI-Biome Virtual Network Programme, this collaboration aims to nurture innovations in the healthcare sector.

As part of the partnership, BFI will support IIT Kanpur in promoting entrepreneurial initiatives through the Startup Incubation & Innovation Centre (SIIC). A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed at IIT Kanpur by Prof. Kantesh Balani, Dean of Resources and Alumni (DoRA), IIT Kanpur; and Dr. Gaurav Singh, CEO BFI.

BFI has committed to allocating over $150,000 across three years to develop programmes tailored to healthcare-focused startups at IIT Kanpur’s SIIC. This collaboration harnesses IIT Kanpur’s expertise in fostering entrepreneurship and BFI’s dedication to advancing biomedical research.

Prof. Kantesh Balani, DoRA, IIT Kanpur, expressed his optimism about the partnership, stating, “This MoU will help us share knowledge, support startups effectively, and improve our capacity-building efforts.” Dr. Gaurav Singh, CEO of BFI, highlighted the inspiring work of IIT Kanpur incubatees in healthcare innovation and the alignment of missions to accelerate impactful solutions in biomedical research.

This partnership signifies a significant step towards advancing healthcare innovation in India by leveraging expertise and resources. The collaboration between IITK and BFI holds promise for improving public health and ensuring equitable healthcare access for all.

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Doctors are hopeful that gene therapy could be a breakthrough for haemophilia, a blood disorder

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Gene therapy holds promise for blood disorder haemophilia: Doctors

On World Haemophilia Day, doctors highlighted the potential of gene therapy in treating haemophilia, a hereditary blood disorder. Haemophilia is caused by missing or defective clotting factors and raises the risk of severe bleeding and joint damage. Genetic counselling and screening are crucial for affected individuals. India has a high number of haemophilia cases, but many go undiagnosed due to lack of screening capabilities.

Gene therapy offers a promising approach to treating haemophilia by delivering functional genes to correct the genetic defect responsible for deficient clotting factor production. Recent clinical trials show positive outcomes, including the use of lentiviral vectors at CMC Vellore. While current treatment involves factor VIII infusions, gene therapy may offer a cure for haemophilia, especially in low and middle-income countries.

According to Anoop P, Sr. Consultant – Haematology at Aster RV Hospital, “Gene therapy is a potentially curative treatment for haemophilia.” It allows for editing the faulty gene of a baby inside the uterus, known to be born with haemophilia due to a family history. Ongoing research on gene therapy shows promising results, indicating a potential paradigm shift in the management and cure of haemophilia.

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