Indian Express Explained 05/05/2020

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1)Explained: What is silent hypoxia, and why has it puzzled doctors?

The condition has puzzled medical practitioners, and many are now advocating for its early detection as a means to avoid a fatal illness called Covid pneumonia.

What is hypoxia?

Hypoxia is a condition wherein there is not enough oxygen available to the blood and body tissues.

Hypoxia can either be generalised, affecting the whole body, or local, affecting a region of the body.

According to the Mayo Clinic, an American non-profit organisation, normal arterial oxygen is approximately 75 to 100 millimetres of mercury (mm Hg), and normal pulse oximeter readings usually range from 95 to 100 per cent. Values under 90 per cent are considered low.

Levels below 80 per cent can result in damage to vital organs.

What is silent hypoxia?

According to an opinion piece in The New York Times by physician and inventor Dr Richard Levitan, Covid pneumonia — a serious medical condition found in severe Covid-19 patients — is preceded by ‘silent hypoxia’, a form of oxygen deprivation that is harder to detect than regular hypoxia.

In ‘silent’ or ‘happy’ hypoxia, patients appear to be less in distress. Many Covid-19 patients, despite having oxygen levels below 80 per cent, look fairly at ease and alert, according to multiple reports.

Explanation for this State :- According to a report in The Guardian, the reason why people are left feeling breathless is not because of the fall in oxygen levels itself, but due to the rise in carbon dioxide levels that occur at the same time, when lungs are not able to expel this gas efficiently.

According to Dr Levitan, this happens because in patients with Covid pneumonia, the virus causes air sacs to fall, leading to a reduction in levels of oxygen. However, the lungs initially do not become stiff or heavy with fluid, and remain “compliant” — being able to expel carbon dioxide and avoiding its buildup. Thus, patients do not feel short of breath.

2) Explained 2:- What is Cinco de Mayo and why is it celebrated?

Cinco de Mayo, or fifth of May in Spanish, also called Battle of Puebla Day, is an annual celebration observed in Mexico and the United States that marks the Mexico’s military victory on its soil over French forces in 1862.

Mexico was then led by President Benito Juárez (1806-1872), after whom the Benito Jaurez Marg in New Delhi is named and where the Embassy of Mexico in India is located.

3)Explained: In antibodies from llamas, scientists see Covid-19 hope

The llama is a domesticated South American camelid, widely used as a meat and pack animal by Andean cultures since the Pre-Columbian era.

The researchers linked two copies of a special kind of antibody produced by llamas and created a new antibody, which binds tightly to a key protein on the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV2. This protein is the spike protein, shaped like a corona (crown) that gives coronaviruses their name. It is also the protein that allows the virus to break into human and animal cells.

Initial tests with the new antibody and cultured cells indicated the antibody blocks viruses with this spike protein from infecting cells.

4) Drought is generally considered as a deficiency in rainfall /precipitation over an extended period, usually a season or more, resulting in a water shortage causing adverse impacts on vegetation, animals, and/or people.

There is no single, legally accepted definition of drought in India. Some states resort to their own definitions of drought. State Government is the final authority when it comes to declaring a region as drought affected.

Impacts of Drought :-



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