Shingrix versus Zostavax ! Which one is Better ?

Shingrix and Zostavax, both are vaccines to prevent Herpes Zoster (Shingles). Zostavax is an older vaccine while Shingrix is latest and a topic of discussion in medical community. Here are providing some basic facts about these two vaccines for same disease. After reading facts given in the table below you can decide it yourself that which one is better.

This collection of facts given below is not a medical advice by a doctor. So if you are going to get a Herpes Zoster Vaccine in near future then it better to consult your doctor regarding this thing.

Shingrix versus Zostavax

ManufacturerMerckGlaxoSmithKline (GSK)
Releasing Date2006Expected in 2017
Trial ResultsReduced appearance of Shingles by 70% in 50-59 Years Age Group, 64% in 60-69 Years, and 38% in above 70 Years.97% protection in all age group above 50 Years.
Vaccination AgeCDC suggests that this vaccine should be taken after attaining the age of 60 YearsAccording to GSK you may take this vaccine after 50 Years of age.
DosageIts a single dose vaccine given in one shotThis vaccine is given in two doses with an interval of 2 to 6 months.
How does it workLive attenuated virus of chicken pox is used in this vaccine to make our immune system create antibodies to fight against Herpes Zoster.It uses only the antigens in the virus that stimulate the immune system.
Booster DoseThere is no booster dose of Zostavax. The effect of this vaccine fades away with time and does not provide any protection after 8 years. However some studies have shown that booster dose of Zostavax is safe for people over 70 years of age, only if they were not vaccinated in past 10 years.Studies are going on to find if people vaccinated with Zostavax or Shingrix can get a booster dose of Shingrix or not. It will take some time for these studies to conclude as it is a new vaccine.

Zoster Vaccine Age Cost and Usage Recommendations

If you have already fallen prey to Chickenpox, then it means that you were infected by Varicella Zoster Virus (VZV). Even after recovery from chickenpox this virus VZV stays in body in dormant state and may reoccur as Herpes Zoster (Shingles). Mostly it reoccurs in elderly age (above 60s). In past few decades some new vaccines were invented with a success rate of above 50%. Here we are going to tell you more about those zoster vaccines and their usage.

Who should get Zoster Vaccine ?

CDC (Center for Disease Control) sugsests that if you are above 60 then you should get vaccinated. Even if you don't remember getting infected with chickenpox you should get one. According to different studies more than 99% of Americans above the age of 40 were infected with chickenpox, even if they don't remember it. If you are already infected with Shingles, you may get this vaccine as this disease can reappear. A dose of zoster vaccine can protect you from Shingles for 5 years. Before getting vaccinated you must consult your healthcare provider.

If you were never infected with Chickenpox ever then should you get Vaccinated with Zoster Vaccine ?
Answer is Yes. As we have mentioned above that around 99% Americans were infected by chickenpox even if they don't remember.

Who should not get Zoster Vaccine ?

  • A pregnant Women should never get this Zoster Vaccine. To be more precise you should not get pregnant within 4 weeks after getting this vaccine.
  • A person will high fever (above 101 °F) . You should wait till your illness is gone.
  • A person suffing from HIV / AIDS.
  • A person using steroids should avoid this vaccine and consult a doctor.
  • If you ever had an allergy due to gelatin or neomycin, then you should not get this Zoster Vaccine.
  • A person getting radiation therapy of chemotherapy should not get Zoster Vaccine.
  • If you are affected by cancer of bone marrow or lymphatic system then you should avoid Zoster Vaccine.

How to get Zoster Vaccine ?
You can get this vaccine either at a doctors's office or in a pharmacy.

Zoster Vaccine by different Names and their Cost

  • Very first Zoster Vaccine was Zostavax® and is used in America since 2006. This is a single dose vaccine given in one shot. It costs from $100 to $190. Its covered in various health insurance plans, so you may save that amount depending upon your health insurance policy.
  • Recently GlaxoSmithKline has launched its shingles vaccine Shingrix and seeking permission from US government. The success rate of this vaccine is claimed to be above 90%. This vaccine is intramuscular and given in 2 doses at a interval of 2 to six months. Clinical trials are also going on to find if already vaccinated people can take it or not.
Singrix versus Zostavax : Read More to know the differences between these two vaccines of the same disease.

Sore Throat Types Symptoms Treatment and Home Remedies

Sore Throat

Sore Throat is a common name for throat infection. Sore throat can occur due to virus, bacteria, allergy or sinus infection. Sore throat usually comes with cough and mild cold. If this condition continues for more than 4 or 5 days, then you must see a doctor.

Sore Throat Symptoms

  • Pain or sensation of scratch in the throat
  • Pain increases with swallowing or talking.
  • Difficulty in swallowing the food
  • Swollen, red tonsils.
  • Swollen upper neck
  • White colored patches or pus on your tonsils
  • Hoarse voice

Sore Throat Severe Symptoms

If any of the symptoms listed below appears in you then you must see a doctor and get your throat inspected.
  • Sore throat for more than 4 days.
  • Difficulty in opening the mouth
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Difficulty in swallowing
  • Earache
  • Fever (over 101°)
  • Joint pain
  • Blood in Saliva or phlegm
  • Frequently recurring sore throat
  • Hoarseness lasting over two weeks
  • Feeling Lump in Neck

Causes and Types of Sore Throat

  • Sore throat due to Viral Infection: Majority of sore throat cases are due to viral infection. The virus is same which causes cold or flu. Some other viral infection that can cause sore throat are mononucleosis, measles, chickenpox or croup.
  • Sore throat due to bacterial infection:  Streptococcus pyogenes bacteria can cause Strep Throat (swelling inside the throat). Diptheria is also a bacterial infection which cause swelling in throat. Whooping cough is another bacterial infection which affects respiratory mucous membrane.
  • Sore throat due to Environmental Factors: Sore throat can also occur due to allergies, exposure to smoke (by passive smoking), dry air or too much talking/yelling.
  • Sore throat due to GERD: GERD is Gastroesophageal reflux disease. It is a digestive disorder in which acids from stomach flows back into esophagus. It can cause sore throat, heartburn and hoarseness of voice.

In very rare cases sore throat is a symptom of HIV or throat cancer.

Sore Throat Treatment and Home Remedies

The treatment of sore throat depends on the cause of Sore Throat. So only a doctor can prescribe the correct medicines depending on his/her diagnosis. Antibiotics are prescribed by doctors if its due to bacterial infection. Don't stop taking the medicine without asking the doctor. If the prescription is of 10 days, and you start feeling better in 5 days, then don't stop your medication, as it will help bacteria in recurring.
However there are some home remedies that you can practice at home to treat sore throat.

  • Add some salt in one glass warm water and do gargling with it. It can help in reducing the swelling inside the throat.
  • Drink warm fluids such as tea or soup. Its warmness will provide some easiness in throat.
  • Avoid going into smoky or dusty environment.

Sore Throat Cures

If you feel that you get affected by sore troat more often, then you should do some lifestyle changes as suggested below.

  • Don't share your drinking glass with others.
  • Don't share your utensils while eating.
  • Don't touch those surfaces which are most often touched by others. For example the door handles of buses and trains, ticket counters and billing counters. Such places are vulnerable to various bacteria.
  • If you feel that you hand has touched such places, then either wash your hands or use a hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid going into dust and smoky environment. Its better to keep distance from smokers.

Endemic Typhus Fever Symptoms and Treatment

Endemic Typhus Fever is usually spread by fleas and it has caused more deaths in human history than all wars put together. Endemic Typhus fever is caused due to two types of bacteria: Rickettsia typhi or Rickettsia felis. Both of these bacteria are normally found in rats. Fleas act as carrier of these bacteria. They carry it from rodents to humans with their bite. Therefore unhygenic places are best playground for Endemic Typhus Fever. Due to this reason this fever is also know as Jail Fever. Another type of typhus known as Epidimic Typhus is spread by body lice and as its name suggests it spreads after wars and natural calamities.

Endemic Typhus Fever Symptoms

Symptoms of Endemic Typhus Fever are visible after 6 to 14 days of Infection. Its symptoms are common to several other diseases, so its hard to diagnose it on the basis of physical symptoms. Some of the symptoms of Endemic Typhus Fever are body aches and pains, headache, chills. A visible rash on chest, back, arms, legs can also appear as a symptom. The rash is the primary point of infection, through where the flea infected your body. For a confirmation it better to get your blood tested for its bacteria. If the test is positive then most probably doctor will advise you to get admitted.
Following test can also help in diagnosing of Endemic Typus Fever:

  • High levels of typhus antibodies
  • Low sodium level
  • Low albumin level
  • Mildly high liver enzymes

Endemic Typhus Fever Treatment

This fever can be treated by appropriate antibiotic therapy. Antibiotics such as Doxycycline, Tetracycline and Chloramphenicol are used for treatment. The doctors can correctly prescribe the correct antibiotic for you. Tetracycline is avoided in children as it can stop the growth of permanent teeth. Sometimes the patient may need oxygen and intravenous fluids. If proper treatment of Endemic Typhus Fever is not done then it is a life threatening condition.

Some Unknown Facts about Endemic Typhus

  • A person who was earlier had Endemic Typhus Fever may again shown mild symptoms of this fever in elderly age (years after first infection). This is called Brill-Zinsser disease. In this disease the bacteria becomes active again.
  • Infected fleas can pass the bacteria to their offspring for next 17 generations.
  • Cat can also get infected by bacteria responsible for Endemic Typhus Fever without showing any symptoms. Fleas from cats can also spread this disease very easily.
  • Rats, opossums and cats can help in spreading this disease. So in case of any outbreak of this disease, its better to stay away from these animals.

Living in hygienic environment is the key to stay away from Endemic Typhus fever.

Bhut jolokia, Ghost Pepper can kill a man out of its Spiciness

Bhut jolokia, also known as Ghost Pepper is worlds hottest pepper. If you ingest it then you might get killed within hours due to its fiery spiciness. Recently one such incident happened in in America. A 47-year-old American ate a burger smothered in a puree made of Bhut jolokia and ended up in a hospital, where doctors discovered a 2.5 cm hole in his esophagus. He was kept there for 23 days and later discharged with a feeding tube.

Spiciness or Pungency of a food item is measured on Scoville scale. This scale was named after an American scientist Wilbur Scoville who invented it. The Ghost Pepper has scored more than 1 million Scoville heat units on Scoville Scale. Its multiple times more than normal chilly. Even those who are fond of spicy meals should avoid eating Bhut Jolokia, as its really a Ghost Pepper. The comparison of Bhut Jolokia with other food items on Scoville Scale is shown in the image below. It will help you in understanding the spiciness of this pepper.

If you compare its spiciness with Red Chile or Jalepeno Pepper then Bhut Jolokia is thousands times more spicy. Only Pure Capsaician and US Grade Pepper Spray are more spicy than that, but these products are does not grow on plants. So Bhut Jolokia becomes the more spicy food item in the world.
The incident that we mentioned above about a 47 year old Amrican who ate a burger smothered in Ghost Pepper Puree was participating in an eating contest in a local restaurant. At the end of the contest he ate that fiery burger and finished it before ending up in emergency ward of a hospital. He was lucky that he survived after eating that burger. He gulped 6 glasses of water to recover from the spiciness, but everything was in vain. Doctors put tube in his stomach to collect the remains of that burger, that helped in recovering from the symptoms. Even after 23 days the patient was unable to eat anything and still depends on a feeding tube. This news was published in various leading newspapers.
 Now most of the Americans have taken a lesson from that incident to say NO such an eating contest.

Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Symptoms Infection Vaccine & Cure

Human Papillomavirus, inshort known as HPV, is a virus from Papillomavirus family. It has more than 170 different types. Its different types are designated with numbers, starting from HPV1 to HPV170. Most commonly its harmful to humans and found connected to cancer of different organs in human body. Cancer of the penis, anus, cervix, vulva, vagina, mouth, or throat can occur due to HPV infection.

Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Symptoms

In most of the cases the HPV infection causes no symptoms and get resolved spontaneously. But in some cases this Human Papillomavirus (HPV) persists and causes warts or precancerous lesions. Symptoms depend on the the type of HPV. HPV5 may remain your body throughout your life without any symptoms. Diseases connected to other HPV types are listed below.
HPV type Disease
2, 7, 22 Common warts
1, 2, 4, 63 Plantar warts
3, 10, 8 Flat warts
6, 11, 42, 44Anogenital warts
6, 16, 18, 31, 53, 58Anal dysplasia (lesions)
16, 18, 31, 33, 35, 39, 45, 51, 52, 56, 58, 59, 68, 73, 82 Genital cancers
more than 15 types Epidermodysplasia verruciformis
13, 32 Focal epithelial hyperplasia (mouth)
6, 7, 11, 16, 32 Mouth papillomas
16 Oropharyngeal cancer
60 Verrucous cyst
6, 11 Laryngeal papillomatosis

How does Human Papillomavirus spreads?

Usually Human Papillomavirus (HPV) spreads through sexual contact. Some factors increase the risk of HPV infection. These factors are Multiple partners, weak immune system, smoking and sex during teenage.

Some Facts about Human Papillomavirus

  • Its a DNA Virus
  • There are more than 150 types of HPV
  • More than 40 of its types spread through sexual contact.
  • It does not spread by toilet seats.
  • It can spread from a pregnant mother to her baby.
  • HPV only affects humans
  • Same person can get affected by more than one type of HPV
  • HPV is the most common STI (sexually transmitted infection) around the world.
  • In USA, 27000 cases of HPV infection are reported every year.
  • HPV16 and HPV18 are responsible for more than 70% cervical cancer cases.
  • HPV16 is responsible for more than 90% Anal Cancer cases.

Human Papillomavirus Vaccine

Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Vaccine can save you from HPV infection only if you are vaccinated before the infection happens. According to doctors the best age to get HPV Vaccine is between 9 to 13 years.

Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Cure

The best cure for HPV infection to get vaccinated between 9 to 13 years of age and not indulging into sexual activities at an early age. Even if you are an adult its better to avoid multiple partners and practicing safe sex.

Cancer and Human Papillomavirus

As we have stated earlier that Cancer of the penis, anus, cervix, vulva, vagina, mouth, or throat can occur due to HPV infection. More than 90% of the Cervical Cancer occur due to HPV16 and HPV18. More than 60% of all other cancers occur due to different types of Human Papillomavirus.

Myocardial Infarction Diagnosis Treatment and Risk Factors

Myocardial Infarction

Myocardial Infarction is irreversible death of Heart Muscle due to lack of oxygen supply to it. It is known by another common name Heart Attack.
All of us know that heart supplies blood to all organs by pumping it into arteries. But some of these arteries also carry blood to walls of our heart to make its muscles work properly and keep pumping. But when plaque buildup inside any such artery and causes complete blockage of blood to certain heart muscles then it is Heart Attack. Our heart muscle can bear this blockage for certain amount of time, but if its more than that, then those muscles become permanently dead, which is Myocardial Infarction.

Symptoms of Myocardial Infarction

The very first symptoms is chest pain and feeling of discomfort. If this discomfortness and pain travels into shoulder, arm, back, neck or jaw, then you can be sure that its a heart attack. These symptoms last for more than a few minutes. If you notice such symptoms then you need immediate medical attention. You may also feel shortness of breath, cold sweat and feeling faint.

Myocardial Infarction Diagnosis

Myocardial Infarction Diagnosis is done by examining the symptoms and connecting them with physical examination. ECG Report, Blood Test Report and Heart Muscle Cell Damage are other important part of Myocardial Infarction Diagnosis. Coronary Angiogram is another modern diagnosis method which allows visualization of Heart Arteries and check them for obstruction.

Myocardial Infarction Treatment

Myocardial Infarction is done by both lifestyle changes and Medication. If we talk about lifestyle changes then its the most important part of treatment. It decreases the chances of heart attack. Lifestyle changes include both changes in diet and physical activity. Its better to consult a doctor for correct medication and physical activity routine.  Physical activity routine depends on the degree of damage done by Myocardial Infarction. Changes in Diet are also important. Your doctor may advise you to increase the consumption of wholegrain starch and decrease consumption of sugar and salt. There is some effect of dietary fat in this medical condition. But still doctors advice to stay away from saturated fat and use only unsaturated fat to decrease to deposition of cholesterol in blood vessels.

Myocardial Infarction Risk Factors

Myocardial Infarction risk factors are same as any other heart disease. Some of them are listed here. If you have any of these risk facts then its better consult a doctor and get yourself checked on regular basis. Here are the risk factors.

  • Obesity
  • Lack of Physical Activity
  • Increased Cholesterol or Triglycerides level
  • Diabetes
  • High Blood Pressure
  • History of Heart Attack in your family
  • Tobacco Consumption
  • Men above 45 Years and Women above 55 Years of age.

Celiac Disease Test Diagnosis Treatment & Diet

Celiac Disease Definition

Celiac Disease is a medical condition in which our small intestine become hypersensitive to gluten and causes difficulty in digestion of food. Its a genetic autoimmune disorder where the indigestion of gluten can also cause damage in small intestine.

If this disease remain undiagnosed then it causes long term health complications. 1 in every 100 person is affected by this disease. According to two and one-half million Americans don't even know that they are suffering from this disease. As shown in the image, Celiac disease damages the internal layer of small intestine. It flattens the surface of small intestine and thus the food flows more easily than required for proper digestion. The finger like projections in small intestine are used to absorb nutrients from food. Damage to these structures lead to indigestion and nutrient deficiency.

Celiac Disease Symptoms

  • Depression
  • ADHD-like behavior
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Bone or Joint Pain
  • Bloating
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal Pain
  • Constipation

Long term health risks connected to Celiac disease are

  • Anemia (Iron deficiency)
  • Malfunctioning of Gall bladder
  • Infertility and miscarriage
  • Early onset osteoporosis or osteopenia
  • Lactose intolerance
  • Diseases related to deficiency of Vitamin and minerals
  • Nervous System disorders
  • Pancreatic insufficiency

Celiac Disease is also found connected with other autoimmune disorders such as thyroid disease and Type 1 Diabetes.

Celiac Disease Test Diagnosis

Screening Test: Screening test for Celiac Disease can be done by simple blood test. There are some antibodies in our blood which should be in normal range even after having a gluten diet. Therefore this test is done after having gluten diet (not gluten free diet). If these antibodies rise more than normal in your blood then you need to go through a confirmation test.
Endoscopic Biopsy:  Endoscopic Biopsy of the small intestine is the confirmation test for Celiac Disease, which confirms the damage done by these antibodies in our blood.

Celiac Disease Treatment & Diet

The most effective and primary treatment of Celiac Disease is Gluten Free Diet. In most of the cases the this diet reduces the symptoms gradually. Those suffering from Celiac Disease should strictly avoid wheat, rye and barley in their food. Therefore doctors suggest to stay away from bread and beer. Even eating the bread crumbs can start intestinal damage.
If you are diagnosed positive for Celiac Disease then you should go to your doctor for follow-up on a regular basis.

Glycemic Hemoglobin / Glycated Hemoglobin Test (Glycohemoglobin)

Glycemic / Glycated Hemoglobin Test is a test used to measure the average blood glucose level of past three months. Its a better way of measuring the blood glucose as instant blood glucose check may give inaccurate results depending on the consumption of food that you have eaten that day or a few hours ago.

What is Glycated Hemoglobin Test ?
RBC is a n important part of our blood. Average lifespan of our RBC is 4 months, Glycated Hemoglobin measures three-month average plasma glucose concentration by using these RBC. Normal blood glucose produces normal amount of glycated hemoglobin, but if the blood glucose is above normal then glycated hemoglobin increases in a predictable manner, Thus it serves as a better way to calculate blood glucose level in past 3 months.

As you can see in the image provided above that glucose molecules get attached to hemoglobin in the RBC and create Glycohemoglobin (HbA1c). If the amount of  Glycohemoglobin is above a certain range then it means that the person is either diabetic or prediabetic. The table below shows the normal and diabetic range of Glycohemoglobin.

If your test results are above the good range then its better to consult a doctor and get your blood glucose checked every month. Elevated levels of blood glucose for a longer period can result in various other diseases related to heart, kidney and eyes.