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A Compilation of Uplifting Chronicles in the Medical Field

By Harshita Parmar


As we approach the end of 2021, we would like to share some heartwarming stories and interesting advancements occurring in the medical field at this time of the year!


Christmas Wonders- Medical City Arlington’s Smallest Patient Ever

Paris Nguyen, an infant born at 23 weeks and weighing only 450 grams is the smallest patient to have survived with proper care by the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Medical City Arlington, which specializes in care for newborns like Paris, who are born premature or critically ill. After 116 days of intensive care at this hospital, she was taken home from the hospital for the holidays; an event parents find is a blessing in itself. The Neonatology Physician of this center, Dr. Raghu Turebylu, stated that Paris had very low chances of survival being a premature baby, and that “Seeing her come through is such a joyful thing.”



Ostrich Cells Used to Create Masks That Glow When It Detects COVID-19

Ostrich cells have been found to contain a substantial number of antibodies of the coronavirus, and when coated inside filters of face masks, are capable of detecting traces of the virus which is prominent when the mask glows. This discovery was tested in a small study, where people were asked to wear masks coated with ostrich cells for eight hours and afterwards, scientists sprayed the masks with a special dye and placed them under ultraviolet light to see if they glow. As results concluded, masks worn by participants who had the virus glowed around the nose and mouth. As these participants recovered, the glow of the masks subsided. Good news is, according to Tsukamoto, the production of these masks can be done at a low cost, and after more research and proper analysis, these can be available in the market as early as next year once it is approved!





Second HIV Patient Found to Have Been Cured- Without Any Treatment

A second HIV patient has become HIV- free, without any sort of treatment like stem cell treatment. The 30-year-old woman, who was diagnosed with HIV eight years ago, showed no signs of apparent infection or virus in her body. She had been infected with the virus way before she was diagnosed, but the virus had not replicated in her body because it was incapable of doing so. She had not gone through any sort of treatment until 2019, when she was pregnant with her first child; as a result, she delivered an HIV- negative baby and stopped therapy after her delivery. While scientists are still unsure how the body was able to remove the virus on its own, they believe the cytotoxic T cells, found in the immune system, were involved, along with other innate immune mechanisms. Although this type of cure for HIV is rare, scientists are optimistic that we will be able to have an HIV/AIDS-free generation in the near future!



Pfizer Says Its Covid- Pill Works Against the Omicron Variant

Lastly, concerning news about the antiviral pill created by Pfizer, the latest studies of the covid pill promises significant protection against coronavirus, including the omicron variant, working to prevent serious cases by decreasing hospitalization and death rates up to 89% for adults at high risk, and 70% for adults at low risk. In the studies, the people who received the drug also had a lower viral load than those in the placebo groups, which could indicate less transmission. This antiviral pill could be available to adults as early as the end of this year, with proper analysis and testing of the drug. Despite the drug being effective, it is not meant to be a substitute for vaccines because the pill works to block the enzyme Protease, which aids the virus to replicate, while the vaccines attack the spike protein, the site of Omicron mutations.


Sources:


  1. CBS DFW, Christmas Miracle: Medical City Arlington’s Smallest Patient Ever, Baby Born At 450 Grams Goes Home For The Holidays

  1. WRIC Richmond, Scientists use ostrich cells to create masks that glow when they detect COVID-19

  1. CNN, A second HIV patient may have been 'cured' of infection without stem cell treatment, in extremely rare case

  1. Wall Street Journal, Pfizer Says Its Covid-19 Pill Likely Works Against Omicron


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