Thailand aims to import 50,000 courses of anti-Covid tablet molnupiravir #SootinClaimon.Com

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https://www.nationthailand.com/blogs/life/40007516


The Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) has approved an initial request by the Public Health Ministry to import 50,000 courses of molnupiravir to be used to treat Covid-19 patients, CCSA spokesman Dr Taweesilp Visanuyothin said on Thursday.

The CCSA committee has assigned the Medical Department under the ministry to propose the purchase to the Cabinet for consideration and final approval.

Molnupiravir is among several anti-coronavirus drugs currently undergoing phase 2 and 3 trials abroad, with results expected at the end of this month and the next.

Patients with mild Covid symptoms can be generally cured after being given 40 tablets for 5 days.

Published : October 14, 2021

By : THE NATION

Covid-19 speeds up calls for digital health reform in Thailand, survey says

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https://www.nationthailand.com/life/40007456


The Medix Global health survey, conducted by Kantar, shows Covid-19 is driving Thais to use digital health care, including health management apps and tele-consulting.

  • 84 per cent of Thais will use digital apps in the future, because of COVID-19.
  • 82 per cent of Thais will use tele-consulting to seek healthcare advice.
  • Cardiovascular diseases, respiratory issues and cancer are the top three health concerns.
  • 76 per cent said they are interested in Medix’ Personal Medical Case Management services.
     

Digital healthcare and using an app to seek medical advice and treatment is rapidly gaining momentum in Thailand, triggered by the health fears and social distancing restrictions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a new research study conducted by Kantar, and commissioned by Medix Global. 

Covid-19 speeds up calls for digital health reform in Thailand, survey saysCovid-19 speeds up calls for digital health reform in Thailand, survey says

Four in five of those surveyed, 84 per cent, from a cross-section of the Thai population, say the pandemic convinced them of the benefits of digital healthcare and, in the future, they will use a digital app when looking for healthcare advice and treatment. This compared to the 51 percent who said they used digital healthcare apps in the past. As a result of Covid-19’s fears and restrictions, 82 per cent said they would seek medical advice through tele-consulting. 

Sigal Atzmon, CEO and Founder of Medix Global, said, “The Thai people are among the most informed when it comes to quality healthcare, and they have high expectations about the medical services they receive. The pandemic has underscored the need for individuals to be responsible for their own health and that of their families, and to ensure they receive the best care. Thais are also tech savvy and quick to adopt new technologies, including the latest smartphones and shift to 5G coverage.”

DIGITAL APP PRIORITY FEATURES
In response to the question on priority features for a digital healthcare app, the respondents said they should be, in order of importance: 1) Assessing a blood test result digitally and receiving guidance; 2) Uploading, managing, and sharing medical records; and 3) Assessing medical and health risks digitally, using algorithms. The survey concluded that the greatest health concerns from Thais are heart-related diseases, respiratory issues and cancer.

VOTE OF CONFIDENCE FOR THAILAND’S HEALTHCARE SYSTEM
With respect to Thailand’s health system, 37 percent of survey participants were satisfied with the public health system, while 66 percent were satisfied with the private health system. Thais felt the top three areas that needed improvement were accessibility to healthcare, affordability of treatment and the quality of the medical system. Three-quarters of those questioned, 76 percent, said they are interested in Personal Medical Case Management while 85 percent said they would upgrade their health policy to cover the latest technological solutions and treatments related to cancer and digital healthcare. 

“The survey results validate Medix’s multi-disciplinary approach by providing the next level of care that Thais prefer,’” added Ms. Atzmon. “This includes access to our network of specialists, guidance and advice on treatment options, a dedicated customer service center available 24/7, a professional network to offer emotional support on medical journeys and being assigned a doctor and nurse to manage your case locally. With the country’s solid health care infrastructure, Medix can play an important role in helping Thais address their specific needs by focusing on preventive care, well-being, and improved health monitoring.” 

For specialist-patient interactions, 76 per cent of Thais surveyed were confident in the information provided to help them understand medical conditions and ensure a proper diagnosis. Despite the high confidence in medical specialists, 81 per cent of those not diagnosed with a serious condition say they are likely to seek a second opinion should one arise. Of the 18 per cent of respondents diagnosed with a serious medical condition, 88 per cent sought additional medical advice to make sure the diagnosis was correct or that the recommended treatment was the best available option.

Commissioned by Medix Global, the Medix Medical Monitor Research survey was conducted by Kantar, a leading multinational market research firm, between June 7 to 25, 2021 and surveyed a cross-section of communities from Thailand, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, India, and Australia. The research covered consumers’ awareness of, and behavior towards, health issues, cancer and interest in digitized healthcare. Medix is using these results to understand key health trends in these markets and to gauge interest in its key service offerings.

* The study surveyed Thais from diverse backgrounds in terms of income, age, and gender, with respondents from six cities – Greater Bangkok, Nakhon Ratchasima, Chiang Mai, Khon Kaen, Phuket, and Songkhla.

Published : October 13, 2021

By : THE NATION

No radioactive substances in mRNA jabs, confirms Public Health Ministry #SootinClaimon.Com

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https://www.nationthailand.com/blogs/life/40007429


The Public Health Ministry on Tuesday dismissed rumours doing the rounds in social media that mRNA vaccines may contain radioactive substances and aluminium contaminants.

Dr Chawetsan Namwat, the Department of Disease Control’s director for emergency health hazards and diseases, said manufacturers clearly indicate the ingredients used in the vaccine production process.

Also, he said, each batch undergoes tight safety and quality checks, and if any anomaly is detected, the batch is returned to the company for destruction. He said this is the international standard used by every country.

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Thailand is using the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine to inoculate 12- to 18-year-olds and offering Moderna vaccines as a paid alternative. Both vaccines are produced using mRNA technology.

Published : October 12, 2021

By : THE NATION

AZD7442 reduced risk of developing severe COVID-19 or death in TACKLE Phase III outpatient treatment trial #SootinClaimon.Com

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Positive high-level results from the TACKLE Phase III COVID-19 treatment trial showed AstraZenecas AZD7442, a long-acting antibody (LAAB) combination, achieved a statistically significant reduction in severe COVID-19 or death compared to placebo in non-hospitalised patients with mild-to-moderate symptomatic COVID-19.

Atotal of 90% of participants enrolled were from populations at high risk of progression to severe COVID-19, including those with co-morbidities.

The trial met the primary endpoint, with a dose of 600mg of AZD7442 given by intramuscular (IM) injection reducing the risk of developing severe COVID-19 or death (from any cause) by 50% compared to placebo in outpatients who had been symptomatic for seven days or less. The trial recorded 18 events in the AZD7442 arm (18/407) and 37 in the placebo arm (37/415). The LAAB was generally well tolerated in the trial.

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In a prespecified analysis of participants who received treatment within five days of symptom onset, AZD7442 reduced the risk of developing severe COVID-19 or death (from any cause) by 67% compared to placebo, with nine events in the AZD7442 arm (9/253) and 27 in the placebo arm (27/251).

AZD7442 is the first LAAB with Phase III data to demonstrate benefit in both prophylaxis and treatment of COVID-19 and is easily administered by IM injection.

Hugh Montgomery, Professor of Intensive Care Medicine at University College London, and TACKLE principal investigator, said: “With continued cases of serious COVID-19 infections across the globe, there is a significant need for new therapies like AZD7442 that can be used to protect vulnerable populations from getting COVID-19 and can also help prevent progression to severe disease. These positive results show that a convenient intramuscular dose of AZD7442 could play an important role in helping combat this devastating pandemic.”

Mene Pangalos, Executive Vice President, BioPharmaceuticals R&D, AstraZeneca, said: “These important results for AZD7442, our long-acting antibody combination, add to the growing body of evidence for use of this therapy in both prevention and treatment of COVID-19. An early intervention with our antibody can give a significant reduction in progression to severe disease, with continued protection for more than six months.”

TACKLE included 903 participants in a 1:1 randomisation AZD7442 to placebo. The primary analysis was based on 822 participants.

AstraZeneca will be discussing the data with health authorities. On 5 October 2021, the Company announced that it had submitted a request to the US Food and Drug Administration for Emergency Use Authorisation for AZD7442 for prophylaxis of COVID-19.

Full results from TACKLE will be submitted for publication in a peer-reviewed medical journal and presented at a forthcoming medical meeting.

Published : October 12, 2021

By : THE NATION

Malaria vaccine: Vital addition to toolkit for preventing malaria but no magic bullet #SootinClaimon.Com

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It is indeed a breakthrough scientific achievement that we Diagram Description automatically generated with medium confidencenow have the first-ever and only malaria vaccine to prevent malaria in children. This is an important (and long-awaited) addition to existing range of scientifically proven effective methods to prevent malaria. While we celebrate this moment of yet another milestone scientific feat we must remind ourselves that this new and only vaccine is a complementary malaria control tool which needs to be added to the already proven measures for malaria prevention.

Malaria vaccine is a vital addition to malaria prevention options such as routine use of insecticide-treated bed nets, indoor spraying with insecticides, and the timely use of malaria testing and treatment. But we have to also acknowledge that access to these proven methods to save lives from malaria has been far from satisfactory, as a result of which, as per the latest data, 229 million people got malaria in 2019 (compared to 228 million in 2018), and 409,000 died of malaria in 2019 – most of them children (compared to 411,000 deaths in 2018). Children under 5 are at greatest risk of its life-threatening malaria complications. Despite unprecedented progress in in the recent two decades in the fight against this ancient disease, malaria remains one of the world’s leading killers, claiming the life of one child every two minutes; and most of these deaths are in Africa.

Let us celebrate this turning point – as there is no doubt that malaria vaccine is going to be one of the blessings in the global fight to end malaria by 2030. Clock is ticking! As 110 months are left to end malaria worldwide, let us also make doubly sure we scale up the rollout and access to all the science-backed methods to save lives from malaria.
 

DYK about first-ever malaria vaccine?

The United Nations health agency, World Health Organization (WHO), has recommended the first-ever malaria vaccine for children, in regions with moderate to high transmission of deadliest malaria parasite (Plasmodium falciparum). This vaccine acts against this malaria parasite which not only causes the most lethal malaria globally, but also is most prevalent in Africa. The WHO recommendation of this vaccine is based on results from an ongoing pilot programme in Ghana, Kenya and Malawi that has reached more than 800,000 children since 2019.

This malaria vaccine (RTS,S/AS01) is the first, and to date the only, vaccine that has demonstrated it can significantly reduce malaria in children.

The scientific research for this malaria vaccine has been going on since past 30 years. Phase-3 clinical studies were conducted between 2009 and 2014 in African nations. Children receiving 4 doses of this vaccine, experienced significant reductions in malaria and malaria-related complications in comparison to those who did not receive the vaccine.

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In clinical studies, the vaccine was found to prevent 4 in 10 malaria cases, including 3 in 10 cases of life-threatening severe malaria. In addition, the vaccine also prevented 6 in 10 cases of severe malaria anaemia, the most common reason children die from malaria. Significant reductions were also seen in overall hospital admissions and the need for blood transfusions, which are required to treat severe malaria anaemia. These and other benefits were in addition to those already seen through the use of insecticide-treated bed nets, prompt diagnosis, and effective antimalarial treatment.

This malaria vaccine (RTS,S/AS01) is to be provided in 4 doses to children from 5 months of age up to 2 years. First 3 doses are given between 6 to 9 months of age, and 4th dose is given at 2 years of age.

The pilot of this malaria vaccine has been going on in Ghana, Kenya and Malawi since 2019. This malaria vaccine pilot began first in Malawi in April 2019, then in Ghana in May 2019, and finally in Kenya in September 2019. This Malaria Vaccine Implementation Programme generated evidence and experience on the feasibility, impact and safety of the RTS,S malaria vaccine in real-life, routine settings in selected areas of these three African nations: Ghana, Kenya and Malawi.

The pilot has proven that:

– Feasible to deliver: Vaccine introduction is feasible, improves health and saves lives, with good and equitable coverage of RTS,S seen through routine immunization systems. This occurred even in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

– Reaching the unreached: RTS,S increases equity in access to malaria prevention. Data from the pilot programme showed that more than two-thirds of children in the 3 countries who are not sleeping under a bed net are benefitting from the RTS,S vaccine.

– Layering the tools results in over 90% of children benefitting from at least one preventive intervention (insecticide treated bed nets or the malaria vaccine).

– Strong safety profile: To date, more than 2.3 million doses of the vaccine have been administered in 3 African countries – the vaccine has a favourable safety profile.

– No negative impact on uptake of bed nets, other childhood vaccinations, or health seeking behaviour for febrile illness. In areas where the vaccine has been introduced, there has been no decrease in the use of insecticide-treated bed nets, uptake of other childhood vaccinations or health seeking behaviour for febrile illness.

– High impact in real-life childhood vaccination settings: Significant reduction (30%) in deadly severe malaria, even when introduced in areas where insecticide-treated nets are widely used and there is good access to diagnosis and treatment.

By Bobby Ramakant – CNS

Published : October 09, 2021

Pfizer, BioNTech ask FDA to authorize vaccine for children 5 to 11 #SootinClaimon.Com

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U.S. pharmaceutical firm Pfizer and its German partner, BioNTech, have asked the Food and Drug Administration to authorize their coronavirus vaccine for emergency use for children 5 to 11 years old, the companies announced Thursday.

An estimated 28 million children in the United States would be eligible for the shots if regulators give the green light – a process expected to take several weeks. The coronavirus vaccine would be the first available in this country for children younger than 12 years old.

An FDA advisory committee is scheduled to meet Oct. 26 to discuss Pfizer-BioNTech’s pediatric vaccine. Officials have said its authorization could occur between Halloween and Thanksgiving.

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“With new cases in children in the U.S. continuing to be at a high level, this submission is an important step in our ongoing effort against covid-19,” Pfizer said in a tweet. Pfizer and BioNTech submitted initial data to the FDA last month for a regimen of two 10-microgram doses in children – one-third the amount given to older patients.

The companies expect to have top-line immunity and safety data for children 2 to 4 years old this fall and, shortly thereafter, results for children 6 months to 2 years old. It is anticipated shots for the youngest children will become available in 2022.

The two-dose vaccine, which delivers immune-provoking instructions to human cells via molecules called mRNA, is approved by the FDA for people 16 and up. Pfizer-BioNTech’s vaccine is also available to 12- to 15-year-olds under emergency use authorization. Certain people, including those 65 and older, are also eligible for immunity-boosting third shots.

Jeff Zients, the White House coronavirus response coordinator, called the pediatric vaccine filing “an important development.”

Zients, appearing Thursday on CNN, said the country has the supply to quickly distribute the shots once the FDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention give the go-ahead. He said the Biden administration is working with states to make it easy for parents to immunize their children by setting up convenient times and places to administer the shots, including pediatricians’ offices.

The authorization procedure “can seem long and arduous, but it really is an important process” to evaluate the benefits and risk of vaccination, said physician Lee Savio Beers, president of the American Academy of Pediatrics, which has urged the FDA to prioritize coronavirus vaccines for children amid the surge in infections from the delta variant.

Many parents have been anxiously awaiting the coronavirus vaccine for young children, in some cases imploring pediatricians for the shots: “There are the folks saying, ‘Please, please, please give my kid the vaccine. Drop one on the floor. Don’t tell anybody,’ ” Christoph Diasio, a pediatrician in Southern Pines, N.C., told The Washington Post last month.

Beers said she empathized with young children’s caregivers, for whom this wait has felt interminable.

“As a pediatrician and a mother, I understand the feeling of urgency around having a safe and effective vaccine authorized for children,” Beers said. The FDA is moving at an “appropriate” speed to regulate pediatric vaccines, she said.

Still, other parents and caregivers have expressed reluctance to vaccinate their children. Only about a third of parents who have children 5 to 11 say they would vaccinate their kids as soon as possible, a recent Kaiser Family Foundation report found.

“Families should feel confident that if there’s a vaccine that’s been authorized as safe and effective, it really is safe and effective,” Beers said.

With the nationwide resumption of in-person schooling this fall, infections have risen among children, especially in regions where vaccination rates are low. In Tennessee, where only 17 percent of adolescents 12 to 17 are vaccinated, pediatric cases spiked to their highest levels yet in early September, The Post reported Monday.

Data from the American Academy of Pediatrics show that more than 5.7 million children have been infected with the coronavirus since the pandemic began. Schools can take steps to help protect children by having everyone wear masks, encouraging frequent hand-washing and improving ventilation, Beers said.

And, until a vaccine is authorized for children, “adolescents and adults can help protect the little ones around them” by getting immunized, she said. The more people who are vaccinated in a community, the harder it is for the coronavirus to spread to children.

Published : October 08, 2021

By : The Washington Post

Former Covid patients should still get a jab, advises top virologist


People who have recovered from Covid-19 should receive at least one jab to boost their immunity, Chulalongkorn University virology specialist Dr Yong Poovorawan said in a Facebook post on Thursday.

He also said former patients should get either a viral vector vaccine like AstraZeneca or an mRNA one such as Pfizer or Moderna.

“People are likely to get infected again three months after recovery, so they should get a jab one month after testing positive,” he added.

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Citing a study conducted in Italy, Yong said former Covid-19 patients are likely to be protected from the infection for a year.

However, he said, “we still advise them to get at least one jab in a bid to boost their immunity”.

Published : October 07, 2021

By : THE NATION

Johnson & Johnson seeks emergency authorization for coronavirus booster #SootinClaimon.Com

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WASHINGTON – Johnson & Johnson asked the Food and Drug Administration on Tuesday to grant emergency use authorization for a booster dose of its single-shot coronavirus vaccine, making it the final vaccine used in the United States for which permission is being sought for an extra shot.

The action is part of an effort by Biden administration officials to provide increased protection against covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, which has claimed more than 700,000 lives in the United States.

The filing came as a top FDA official said updated data might make a strong case that everyone 18 and older should be eligible for boosters – but added that the agency will have to see whether its outside advisory committee agrees. The FDA plans to meet Oct. 14 and 15 with its vaccine advisory committee to discuss boosters for the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines, respectively.

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Peter Marks, director of the Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, also said on a webinar the FDA hoped to have “a harmonized approach” to boosters for all three coronavirus vaccines being used in the United States – and to make the eligibility standards simpler for people to understand.

In its submission to the FDA, Johnson & Johnson is asking the agency “to look at our data and agree with us that we have enough data to support a boost” for people 18 and older, said Mathai Mammen, global head of research and development for the Janssen Pharmaceuticals division of Johnson & Johnson.

Based on the data, Mammen said in an interview, the company believes the best immune response occurs when a booster is administered at least six months after vaccination. But he said the company was not formally recommending one interval over another. Instead, the FDA and its outside advisers will determine the appropriate interval between the initial vaccination and the booster, he said.

The company, in a statement issued Tuesday, said the data packet for the FDA includes recent results from a Phase 3 trial in the United States that found an extra shot given about two months after the primary dose provided 94% protection against moderate to severe covid-19, up from 73% for the first shot. Protection was 100% two weeks after the booster was administered. The booster provided a three- to fourfold increase in antibodies, according to the data.

Johnson & Johnson said it also submitted data to the FDA showing that when the booster was administered at least six months after the initial shot, antibody levels increased ninefold one week after the extra shot and 12-fold four weeks after the booster.

The advisers will also review data from the National Institutes of Health about “mixing and matching” boosters – using different brands from the initial shots. Officials have made clear they think boosters are needed to counter waning immunity caused by the delta variant of the virus, or by the passage of time, or by some combination.

The FDA has authorized a booster for people who received the Pfizer-BioNTech two-shot regimen. The extra dose is cleared for use at least six months after the second shot for people 65 and older and for those with underlying medical conditions or occupational exposure that raises their risk of severe covid-19. Biden administration officials had indicated in mid-August that they favored a broader approach, making anyone 18 and older eligible for boosters. But the FDA’s advisory committee balked.

If the advisers do not endorse a broad authorization for people 18 and older in next week’s meetings, the FDA’s fallback position might be to authorize boosters for people 40 and up, and for younger people with medical conditions, jobs or living situations that make them more vulnerable to covid-19, according to people familiar with the FDA’s thinking who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they did not have authorization to discuss internal plans.

Since the Johnson & Johnson shot was cleared by the FDA in February, 14.8 million people in the United States have received the vaccine, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. About 102 million people have gotten the two-dose regimen for Pfizer-BioNTech, and 69 million for Moderna, according to the CDC.

Published : October 06, 2021

By : The Washington Post

The Finest Woman’s Perfumes To Delight Your Senses #SootinClaimon.Com

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https://www.nationthailand.com/life/40006913


As a woman, the best perfume is all it takes to complete your look and decide the mood or the occasion but finding the perfect perfume for you can be a challenge and how do you know which will be your new go-to?

Here’s the lists of the perfumes that everyone has been raving about

Jo Malone London Peony & Blush Suede Cologne

Peony & Blush Suede, the essence of charm. Peonies in voluptuous bloom, exquisitely fragile. Flirtatious with the juicy bite of red apple and the opulence of jasmine, rose and gillyflower. Mingling with the sensuality of soft, blush suede. Luxurious and seductive.

GUCCI Bloom Gocce di Fiori Eau de Toilette

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Ethereal and soft like raindrops that fall in Spring, GUCCI Bloom Gocce di Fiori brings a sense of rebirth to the world of Gucci Bloom, a light, fresh version of the original Bloom scent. Delicately perfumes the skin, the fragrance is reflected in its Italian name ‘Gocce di Fiori’, meaning flower drops.

The Finest Woman’s Perfumes To Delight Your SensesThe Finest Woman’s Perfumes To Delight Your Senses

Marc Jacobs Daisy Eau de Toilette

Let the sunshine in with Daisy Marc Jacobs, a fragrance that transports you to a place where positive meets playful. Radiant and charming, Daisy is a sparkling floral bouquet capturing the vintage edge of violet. The bottle is a luxurious block of weighted, clear glass. Classic lines with soft, rounded edges – the embodiment of femininity. The smooth surfaces and curved edges fit into the shape of the hand in a way that is pure and sensuous.

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The Finest Woman’s Perfumes To Delight Your SensesThe Finest Woman’s Perfumes To Delight Your Senses

VIKTOR&ROLF Flowerbomb Bloom EDT Perfume

As an explosion of floral sensations, Flowerbomb enchants the world. Transport yourself or a loved one to a world of floral fantasy. Be engulfed by the addictive floral notes and immerse your senses with the warm woody undertones as the diamond grenade bottle erupts into a whirlwind of sweet sensations, transporting you to a world of floral fantasy.

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The Finest Woman’s Perfumes To Delight Your SensesThe Finest Woman’s Perfumes To Delight Your Senses

Giorgio Armani Si EDP

Sì is the tribute to modern femininity, an irresistible combination of grace, strength & independence of spirit. Giorgio Armani Si EDP, creates for the modern woman who’s strong yet feminine, sophisticated yet charismatic, intense and soft all at once. She embodies the very essence of chic Italian elegance and style.

The Finest Woman’s Perfumes To Delight Your SensesThe Finest Woman’s Perfumes To Delight Your Senses

Published : October 01, 2021

Lung doctors join forces to give breath to pulmonary fibrosis patients #SootinClaimon.Com

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https://www.nationthailand.com/life/40006634


The Thoracic Society of Thailand under Royal Patronage, together with the Interstitial Lung Disease and Lung Disease from Occupational and Environmental Diseases (ILD assembly), organized a ‘Fill Up The Air’ live seminar on the ILDs Facebook page to improve awareness and understanding of Fibrotic-ILD (Fibrotic-Interstitial Lung Disease), a rare disease that has become more difficult to detect as a result of COVID-19 during screening, diagnosis and treatment. COVID-19 patients with severely damaged lungs may find their symptoms develop into pulmonary fibrosis which has a high risk of death if not treated early.

Assoc. Prof. Nitipatana Chierakul, President of Thoracic Society of Thailand under Royal Patronage, said, “Fibrotic-ILD is a rare disease that causes tissue inflammation in the lungs. There have been challenges in screening and diagnosis because symptoms are similar to other lung and respiratory diseases. Medical professionals are more familiar with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in men, congestive heart failure in women, tuberculosis, lung cancer and heart disease. However, the coronavirus outbreak presents even more challenges for doctors and patients because of COVID-19-like symptoms, such as shortness of breath, a dry cough and lung inflammation. But for doctors to make a more accurate diagnosis there needs to be a better understanding of the disease and its symptoms by patients. Tell-tale signs of pulmonary fibrosis include consistent coughing or shortness of breath over an extended period, for example more than two months, especially in non-smokers. Doctors should be looking more carefully at any anomalies or abnormality in lung X-rays, and listen for abnormal breathing sounds at the base of both lungs. They should listen carefully for sounds similar to Velcro being pulled apart, and numb fingers when exercising.
 

During Covid-19 pulmonary fibrosis patients have been additional impacted as they have been unable to attend hospital or had appointments cancelled or postponed, affecting their treatment whether it is access to medication, physical therapy sessions, or receiving oxygen therapy. At times they’ve received pills only by mail, and there has been a shortage of oxygen. The pressure on the healthcare system has also resulted in some patients being diagnosed too late as lung X-rays and biopsy tests take longer to arrange and this has an impact on diagnosis.

Additionally, the lungs are the main organ that COVID-19 will attack, and around 30-50% of all patients develop pneumonia that requires medical attention. Of these, after recovery, one in ten thousand or less may develop pulmonary fibrosis similar to Fibrotic-ILD, which can cause chronic problems. It interferes with the patient’s daily life and is a burden on the family and society.
 

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Assoc. Prof. Kamon Kawkitinarong, President of the Subcommittee on Interstitial Lung Diseases and Lung Diseases from Work and Environment, said: “Pulmonary fibrosis is a rare disease but is more common in Western countries where the prevalence of the disease is 90-100 people per 100,000 people, but in Thailand no official data is available. However, data from the IPF Registry Project shows there are 131 patients. Inflammation of the lungs is caused by breathing in both organic and inorganic pollutants, as well as internal factors. For example, autoimmune dysfunction may cause inflammation in the lungs. Physical examination history, along with high-resolution computed tomography (HRCT), can be used by doctors to evaluate patient condition. Pulmonary fibrosis has the potential to increase in severity. Invasive type, or PF-ILD (Progressive Phenotype ILD), causes fibrosis or scars around the alveoli and bronchioles. This makes it harder for oxygen to pass through the lungs and bloodstream. The patient will be short of breath and lacking oxygen, the organs will not function fully. Lung scars will not heal back to normal lung tissue condition, meaning that after being diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis, patients need to visit the doctor regularly to closely monitor the spread of the disease.

The COVID-19 outbreak has affected access to treatment so an official LINE account called ‘Clear Lung’ (O2LUNG) has been set up to help people self-monitor. Patients can record abnormal symptoms and send them to the doctor without having to come to the hospital, while doctors can also publish useful information.”

Assoc. Prof. Chanchai Sittipunt, Vice President of Thoracic Society of Thailand under Royal Patronage, said, “Invasive pulmonary fibrosis is more severe than many cancers. Patients will continue to suffer loss of lung function, increased breathing difficulty and ultimately death when their lungs fail to function or they have a respiratory failure. When comparing the 5-year survival rate of various cancers, around 20% of lung cancer patients survive, 35% of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis patients survive, 60% of colon cancer patients, 85% of breast cancer 85%, and 87£+% of prostate cancer patients are able to survive. Delayed treatment can significantly increase the mortality rate. For example, if treatment is delayed by one year there is a mortality rate of 8%. However, when delayed for up to two years this rises to 18%, and up to four years sees it rise to 27%. Delaying treatment longer than four years has a mortality rate of 32%.


Currently, there is targeted therapy anti-fibrotic drug approved to cover all three conditions: idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis; pulmonary fibrosis from scleroderma; and invasive pulmonary fibrosis. These can slow the progression of the disease, reduce acute exacerbations, and reduce the number of deaths. Other types of treatment, such as oxygen therapy pulmonary rehabilitation, are used to help patients improve their quality of life. The best way to prevent pulmonary fibrosis is to wear a mask or protective gear if you are at risk and avoid infecting the lungs.”

Mr Anuwat Noreewong, a 78-year-old pulmonary fibrosis patient said, “Pulmonary fibrosis is characterized by extreme fatigue, frequent choking, and persistent coughing that can be so severe it leaves me unable to speak. The disease too a long time to diagnose and the symptoms got worse as the cause could not be found due to symptoms being similar to other diseases. It took me many years to get proper treatment. I am fortunate that my daughter did some research on the Internet and found an expert like doctor Amornpun Wongkarnjana and that’s why I’ve survived. I want to encourage people to be more aware of the disease and recognise the symptoms by themselves, especially during this time of COVID-19. If they believe they suffer from any of these common symptoms they should consult a doctor.”
 

Published : September 25, 2021