Kerala doctors detect at least 7 cases of dangerous neuro disorder among Covishield recipients

News Network
June 24, 2021

At least seven cases of Guillain-Barre syndrome – a rare neurological disorder – have been detected by the doctors in Kerala within a month among 12 lakh people who received the Covishield vaccine, prompting them to alert others to watch out for GBS among the vaccine recipients.

“Overall, our experience should prompt all physicians to be vigilant in recognising GBS in patients who have received the ChAdOx1-S vaccine (Covishield in India). While the risk per patient (5.8 per million) may be relatively low, our observations suggest that this clinically distinct GBS variant is more severe than usual and may require mechanical ventilation,” they reported in the Annals of Neurology.

GBS is a rare condition in which the immune system attacks the nerves. The symptoms start as weakness and tingling in the feet and legs. The sensations can quickly spread to the upper body, leading to paralysis in the worst cases.

While the condition may be triggered by an acute bacterial or viral infection, there are treatments available to deal with such medical emergencies.

Out of the seven patients detected by the Kerala doctors, six are women and all of them are 50-70 years of age. They are from Ernakulam, Kottayam and Kannur districts of Kerala where approximately 1.2 million individuals had received the Covishield vaccine as of April 22.

“GBS following vaccination is a rare adverse effect that is likely to be causal. All the seven patients are alive and getting better with treatment,” Boby V Maramattom, the corresponding author of the study and a senior doctor at the department of neurology, Aster Medcity at Kochi said.

The incidence of GBS in India is approximately 6–40 cases per million per year, with a seasonal variation, peaking in the rainy season.

With a denominator of 1.2 million people, the expected cases of GBS per year are approximately seven to 48 annually or between 0.58 to four cases in every four weeks. The reporting of seven GBS cases in 1.2 million people within four weeks (mid March to mid April) marks a 1.4-to-10 fold rise in the incidence of GBS.

“Although the (causative) factors are not completely established, molecular mimicry between viral proteins and human nerve proteins are likely to be a reason,” he said. “It is not completely unexpected with a vaccination but the risk is approximately less than five per million doses.”

A separate team of researchers also reported four such cases from Nottingham in England, an area in which approximately 7,00,000 people received the same vaccine. The frequency of GBS in both the areas was estimated to be up to 10 times greater than expected.

"If the link is causal it could be due to a cross-reactive immune response to the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein and components of the peripheral immune system. The clinicians should be vigilant in looking for this rare neurological syndrome following the administration of Covid-19 vaccines," wrote the authors of the UK report.

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News Network
January 21,2022

Bengaluru, Jan 21: Karnataka government, on Friday, decided to revoke the weekend curfew that the state government had imposed due to a surge in Covid-19 cases.

"This is subject to the condition that if the rate of hospitalisation goes up from the current 5%, we will impose weekend curfew again," said Revenue Minister R Ashoka.

However, night curfew will remain across the state. More details to follow. 

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News Network
January 13,2022

Bengaluru, Jan 13: Karnataka may witness 20,000 to 70,000 daily hospitalisations for Covid by the end of January or February 2.

These are the new projections made by researchers at the Indian Statistical Institute and Indian Institute of Science on Tuesday.

Similarly, projections made by the researchers for ICU bed requirement shows that the state will require 1,000 beds to more than 3,000 beds by February 2.

As per projections made by another group INDSCI-SIM (Indian Scientists’ Response to Covid-19), Karnataka, by January 25, will have 35,000 daily cases and 500 to 5,000 severe cases, based on whether individuals are fully vaccinated or unvaccinated.

Prof Gautam Menon, professor of Physics and Biology, Ashoka University, Haryana, who has worked on several Covid models and is a part of INDSCI-SIM, said, “Across the country, we expect six lakh to nine lakh new Covid cases to be reported at the peak between January 21 and February 10. By March, the curve will flatten. Another common thing with projections from other models is that the number of cases will be larger than the second wave.”

Private Hospitals and Nursing Homes Association (PHANA) president Dr H M Prasanna said, “The state’s private sector does not have 1.4 lakh beds as is being reported. When the second wave started, we checked and there were only 66,000 beds. This is as per the Suvarna Arogya Suraksha Trust portal. We don’t know when it increased. Maybe the government is factoring in medical college hospital beds.”

Estimating the number of beds in private hospitals, he said, there are around 6,500 private hospitals in Karnataka, apart from medical colleges.

“In all, there are 70,000 beds in private hospitals and medical colleges. In both the government and private sector, there may not be more than one lakh beds,” he said.

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News Network
January 13,2022

With Covid-19 cases surging in India, clouds have formed over the likelihood of India being the venue for the 2022 Indian Premier League (IPL).

The Board of Control of Cricket in India (BCCI)  is mulling holding the league outside of India amid the ongoing scenario. However, unlike the past two years where the IPL has been partially or fully held in UAE because of the pandemic, the BCCI is now keen to look at other options for the flagship event.

Cricket board officials are considering South Africa and Sri Lanka as their backup options for IPL 2022, according to a report in The Indian Express.

“We can’t be dependent on UAE all the time so we decided to explore more options, South Africa’s time difference also works out well for the players,” a BCCI official told the publication.

South Africa, so far, has hosted two cricket series and has impressed BCCI officials for the way the country handled the Indian players.

“The place where the team was staying for the second Test is spread over several acres. There were walking tracks and even a pond on the property and that has made things easier for the players who for the last couple of years or so have been confined to their rooms on several overseas tours,” an official said.

A BCCI official, recently said that the board is prioritising holding the tournament in India but the decision will be dependent on what the state governments decide.

BCCI had to postpone the upcoming edition of the Ranji Trophy indefinitely due to the rise in Covid cases in the camps. The domestic U19 Behar Trophy was also halted midway for the same reason.

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