We are NOT authorized by Govt of India for Yellow Fever Vaccination

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Physical Fitness and Medical Requirements to Join Merchant Navy - Marine Insight

Having the right grades and the passion to have a life at the sea will not get you a career in the merchant navy. In order to join a merchant navy course, you must have the physical fitness and medical requirements that are necessary to have a career on ships.
The candidate must be in good mental and physical health and free from any kind of bodily defect to interfere with the efficient performance required at the sea. Read on to find out if you are physically fit to join the merchant navy.

1. Constitution

There should be no evidence of weak constitution by way of imperfect development of muscles or serious malformation. Weight below 42 kg and height below 150 cm will be rejected. The chest should be well developed with a minimum range of expansion of 5 cm.

2. Skeletal System

There should be no disease or impairment of functions of bones or joints, contracture or of deformity of chest or any joint, abnormal curvature of spine, deformity of feet like bow legs, knock knees, flat feet, deformity of upper limbs, malformation of the head, deformity from fractures or depression of the skull, fractures (healed) with a pin inside will be a disqualification.

3. Ear, nose and throat

There should be no impaired hearing, discharge or disease in either ear, unhealed perforation of tympanic membrane or signs of acute or chronic supperative otitis media or evidence of radical mastoid operation, evidence of disease of the bones and cartilage of the nose, nasal polypus or disease of nasopharynx or accessory sinuses. Loss or decay of teeth to such an extent as to interfere with efficient mastication. No disease of the throat, palate, tonsils or gums or any disease or injury affecting the normal function of either temporo mandibular joint. Individuals with severe pyorrhoea are to be rejected.

4. Speech

There should be no impediment of speech (e.g. stammering)

5. Lymphatic System

There should be no enlarged glands, tubercular or due to other diseases in the neck or other parts of the body. Thyroid gland should be normal.

6. Cardiovascular System

There should be no sign of functional or valvular or other disease of the heart and blood vessels. Electrocardiogram should be within normal limits. Systolic blood pressure should not exceed 150mm of Hg nor Diastolic above 90 mm of Hg.

7. Respiratory System

There should be no evidence of chronic or respiratory tract disease, pulmonary tuberculosis or previous history of this disease or any chronic disease of the lungs. X-ray of chest should be normal.

8. Digestive System

There should be no evidence of any disease of the digestive system and that liver and spleen should not be palpable and there should be no abdominal tenderness on palpation.

9. Genitourinary System

There should be no palpable and enlarged kidneys. There should not be any disease of kidneys. Cases showing alburminuria, glycosurea or blood (RBC) in urine will be rejected. There should be no hernia or tendency thereto. Those who have been operated for hernia may be declared fit provided:
(a)  One year has elapsed after the operation. Documentary proof to be produced by the candidate.
(b) General tone of abdominal muscles should be good and
(c) There has been no recurrence of hernia or complications with the operation. There should be no hydrocele, vericocele, spermatocele or any other defect of genital organs, no fistula and/or anal fissure or evidence of hemorrhoids (Piles), rectal polyps. There should be no active latent or congenital venereal diseases, undescended intra abdominal testicle on one side unassociated with hernia, provided the other testicle is normal and that there is no physical or psychological effect due to undescended testicle will be accepted. Undescended testicle is retained in inguinal canal or at the extra abdominal ring will be rejected.

10. Skin

There should be no skin disease unless temporary or trival. Scars which by their extent or position are likely to cause disability or marked disfigurement are a cause for rejection.

11. Nervous System

There should be no history or evidence of mental disease of the candidate or in his family. Candidates having history of fits in continence or urine or enuresis will not be accepted. Mental or nervous irritability, abnormality of gait, defective functions of cranial nerves, inco-ordination, motor or sensory defaults will be rejected.

12. Eye Sight

There should not be any degree of squint or any morbid condition of eyes or of the eyelids that is liable to aggravate or recur, pressure of trachome and iris complication sequela. Candidates must possess good binocular vision (fusion faculty and full field of vision in both eyes). Movement of the eyeballs must be full in all directions and the pupils should react normally to light and accommodation.
The vision should be 6/6 (normal) in each eye separately. Defective colour vision tested byIshihara Colour Blindness Test is a disqualification.
13. Any other defect which in the opinion of the medical board will interfere with the individual’s efficiency as an officer of the merchant navy.
Note: The Above Information is provided by the Directorate General of Shipping, Merchant Shipping Act 1958.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Does studying yellow fever offer Zika clues?

As cases of Zika virus increase there is considerable investigation and research into the virus. One area being looked at for clues is yellow fever virus. A second area involves the use of mouse models.
Zika virus is a member of the Flaviviridae virus family. In one in four people the disease causes a mild illness known as Zika fever, for up to seven days. The symptoms include fever, rashes, joint pain and conjunctivitis. The biggest risks are infected women and babies born with abnormally small heads and brain defects, a condition called microcephaly.
Yellow fever and Zika viruses have a common characteristic in how they can circumvent an insect’s immune response. This is due to the viruses manufacturing proteins that can suppress the immune response in the host. A similar response occurs in people, when we become infected.
For this reason, researchers have been studying mosquitoes and viral infections. This is based on using gene drive, a method targeting specific genes. The idea is to tip the battle at the genetic level in favor of the mosquito. This tranche of research could eventually lead to a human vaccine.
A second wave of research, also from Texas A&M University, College Station, is finding a means to make an infective mosquito undergo altered behavior so that it will not seek out humans to infect.
The research has been published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The paper is titled “Yellow fever virus capsid protein is a potent suppressor of RNA silencing that binds double-stranded RNA.”
In a second wave of research, a different group of researchers are seeing whether mice with healthy immune systems could provide new insights into Zika virus pathology and treatment. This is not straightforward due to the changes that animals undergo when they are infected. Mice, however, can, under certain conditions, be used as ideal models for Zika virus research.
The reason for focusing on mice is because studies have indicated that young mice with specific immune system defects are susceptible to Zika infection. By rearing mice (coded C57BL/6) with functioning immune systems that can be successfully infected with Zika, more detailed studies can be made and to provide the basis for testing treatments.
The second research study has been published in the journal PLOS Pathogens. The paper is headed “Zika (PRVABC59) Infection Is Associated with T cell Infiltration and Neurodegeneration in CNS of Immunocompetent Neonatal C57Bl/6 Mice.”

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

How Will Genetically Modified Mosquitoes Stop Zika?

Insect repellent, screens on windows, wearing long sleeves -- there is a limit to the precautions that we can take to protect ourselves from viruses that are spread by mosquitoes.
Even by taking all of the above steps, there is no way to have guaranteed protection from mosquito bites.
But, there is one idea that would put an end to all other methods of mosquito repellents.... what if there were no mosquitoes?
That is the idea behind the work of the company Oxitec. They have engineered a mosquito that leads to a decrease in the Aedes aegypti mosquito population. Here is how it works. The company has created a strain of mosquito that is "self limiting" meaning that they have a "death gene" added to their genome that kills their offspring. This strain of mosquitoes is called OX513A, but, they are referred to by the company as 'friendly Aedes.' 
The process starts with the hatching of the OX513A mosquitoes. Then, the males and females are separated from each other. This is easy because males and females are different sizes. Also, the male strain is labeled with a red fluorescent marker, which makes it even easier to tell the difference, in case the size was unclear. After separation, the females are destroyed. Because male mosquitoes do not bite or spread disease, their release will not exacerbate disease spread.  Those same males, upon release, mate with wild females. When the offspring of those matings hatch, they die. 
If enough of these males are released, the total population of mosquitoes will decrease, and eventually become too low to transmit disease. 
Aedes aegypti spread Zika, Dengue fever, yellow fever, and chikungunya virus. One thing that these four infectious diseases have in common is a lack of treatment. If you get them, you wait it out and hope for the best. And, although there is an incredibly effective vaccine for yellow fever, it is widely under produced. So, avoiding mosquito bites is really the only defense against these diseases.   
These mosquitoes have been released in trials in Brazil, Panama (for yellow fever and Dengue) and the Cayman Islands (for Zika.) All of the trials resulted in a 90% reduction of the wild mosquito population. In Brazil, a trial was done in a town of 5,600 people that saw 133 cases of Dengue fever before the trial. After the trial - there was only one case. (1) 
The mosquitoes are expensive and many of them need to be released to see an effect. However, the difference between spending money on the 'friendly Aedes' versus sprays and larvicides is that the mosquitoes actually work.
However, people are cautious to sign up for releasing genetically modified organisms into their community. As more and more people are affected by vector borne illnesses, we will see which is more important - fear of science or infectious disease? 

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Nigeria: Why Zika Virus Spreads in Nigeria - NCDC, Nov 2016

The Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has said that Zika Virus is spreading in Nigeria as a result of environmental conditions and other related issues.
The centre stated this in a report released to the media on Monday.
"The current epidemiology of Zika in Nigeria has not been well-documented or understood due to paucity of recent data", the report stated.
"The virus shares a similar vector; the Aedes (Steogmyia) mosquitoes, also responsible for other flavivirus infections recorded in Nigeria such as such as yellow fever.
"Consequently, environmental and human behavioural risk factors in areas with reported Zika outbreaks are similar to those found in Nigeria and would thus favour the circulation of Zika.
"Possible cross-reaction with other endemic flaviviruses like yellow fever and dengue; genetic host factors protecting against infection or disease; low vector competence and transmission efficiency; lack of diagnostic testing; and the absence of systematic surveillance are potential limitations to detect on-going transmission of Zika in Nigeria', the report added.
"In the light of above, NCDC plans to initiate surveillance to understand and monitor the epidemiology of Zika virus in Nigeria for the appropriate interventions."
The report also recommended that travellers should be informed of preventive measures before, during and after travelling to areas with Zika transmission.
Intending travellers should also be provided up-to date information of areas with ongoing Zika virus, it concluded.