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Kerala man who hacked partner to death found hanging in jail
A person, accused of hacking his partner to death here, was found hanging in the toilet of the district jail here on Sunday.
Rakesh (49) was in a live-in relationship with Sindhu (48) on Thursday hacked her to death in broad daylight on a busy road.
Sindhu had multiple injuries on her neck and hands and died on the spot. Rakesh was later arrested by the police and remanded to judicial custody.
Police said that he was displaying mental imbalance immediately after his arrest.
Rakesh and Sindhu were both married earlier and were classmates in a local school. They were staying together for the past 12 years. Recently Rakesh was estranged from Sindhu and she was living with her sister while Rakesh was staying alone.
Questions have been raised as to why Rakesh was not given proper security at the jail even after he was showing mental imbalances. A former police officer, who did not want to be named, told IANS, “Police have said that Rakesh was showing mental imbalances ever since he was taken into custody. Then why were the jail authorities were callous about him. There should have been a round-the-clock watch on the prisoner as such people are prone to suicide and other acts.”
AIIMS cyber attack: Delhi Police seeks data on Chinese hackers from CBI-Interpol
In a latest development in connection with the AIIMS server hacking case, the Delhi Police have written a letter to the Centre Bureau of Investigation (CBI) seeking details on Chinese hackers through Interpol.
The Delhi Police have sought information about the IP address being used by the hackers.
“To contact Interpol we have to write to the CBI. We need information from Interpol in the case. CBI is the nodal agency to reach out to them. The hackers sent mails using certain IP addresses, we need details about those IP addresses. We want to know whether these IP addresses were used by any firm or individual,” a source said.
The cyber attack on servers of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) was carried out from China. They are based in Hong Kong and Henan.
The hackers had targeted five servers of AIIMS out of 100. The data from these five servers have been retrieved now, the hospital had said.
Meanwhile, the hospital has also started functioning partially on online mode in some departments. The OPD appointment has been started through the online mode to some extent, said a hospital source on Wednesday.
Some online and offline new and follow-up registrations have started being made at the new Rajkumari Amrita Kaur (RAK) OPD.
The AIIMS servers were hacked for the first time on November 23. A case of extortion and cyber terrorism was registered by the Intelligence Fusion and Strategic Operations (IFSO) unit of the Delhi Police two days later.
However, police had denied any ransom demand being made to the hospital. Delhi Police in a statement had said that “no such demand has been brought to the notice of AIIMS administration”.
Another monkey virus could be poised for ‘spillover to humans’
Since its first confirmation in London on May 12 last year, many monkeypox cases have been reported worldwide.
Noticeably, the epidemiology, pathology and clinical features of the current emergence have been compared to those of smallpox, a severe contagious disease historically epidemic worldwide for nearly 3,000 years.
According to researchers, some characteristics of the present outbreak differed from those of previous monkeypox outbreaks, considering if this emergence of monkeypox could cause another global pandemic similar to smallpox or influenza or if it is only the re-emergence of a new strain.
Since May 2022, an outbreak of monkeypox quickly spread, and more than 20,000 confirmed cases have been reported in several countries in Europe, America, Oceania, Asia and Africa.
Would it be another global pandemic similar to smallpox or influenza?
“Further observation is needed; although notable features like accelerated evolutions, new-emerging variants, transmission through close contact, the rapid expansion of confirmed cases in several countries, and limited anti-MPXV specific agents in clinics, the susceptible population are mainly limited to homosexuals,” according to the paper published in Biosafety and Health.
Following a series of consultations with global experts, the WHO has given a new preferred term “mpox” as a synonym for monkeypox.
Both names will be used simultaneously for one year while “monkeypox” is phased out.
Meanwhile, an obscure family of viruses, already endemic in wild African primates and known to cause fatal Ebola-like symptoms in some monkeys, is “poised for spillover” to humans, according to new University of Colorado Boulder research published online in the journal Cell.
While such arteriviruses are already considered a critical threat to macaque monkeys, no human infections have been reported to date. And it is uncertain what impact the virus would have on people should it jump species.
However, by watching for arteriviruses now, in both animals and humans, the global health community could potentially avoid another pandemic, they said.
“This animal virus has figured out how to gain access to human cells, multiply itself, and escape some of the important immune mechanisms we would expect to protect us from an animal virus. That’s pretty rare,” said senior author Sara Sawyer, a professor of molecular, cellular and developmental biology at CU Boulder. “We should be paying attention to it.”
There are thousands of unique viruses circulating among animals around the globe, most of them causing no symptoms. In recent decades, increasing numbers have jumped to humans, wreaking havoc on naive immune systems with no experience fighting them off: That includes Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) in 2012, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) in 2003, and SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes Covid-19) in 2020.
Like human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and its precursor simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV), simian arteriviruses also appear to attack immune cells, disabling key defense mechanisms and taking hold in the body long-term.
The authors, however, stressed that another pandemic is not imminent, and the public need not be alarmed.
But they do suggest that the global health community prioritise further study of simian arteriviruses, develop blood antibody tests for them, and consider surveillance of human populations with close contact to animal carriers.
“Covid is just the latest in a long string of spillover events from animals to humans, some of which have erupted into global catastrophes,” Sawyer said.
“Our hope is that by raising awareness of the viruses that we should be looking out for, we can get ahead of this so that if human infections begin to occur, we’re on it quickly.”
Covid-19 virus still evolving, can continue to surprise us: Experts
The recent spike in flu cases has emerged as a new cause of concern after the Covid pandemic has been on a decreasing trajectory for the last few months.
Covid in the last two-three years overshadowed most respiratory viral infections. Since most of the restrictions have been lifted, wearing of masks and hand washing routine have taken a back seat. This year the flu has been spreading rapidly even before its expected seasonal rise in December and January.
Explaining the phenomenon, Dr Rajeev Jayadevan, Co-Chairman, National Covid Task Force of the Indian Medical Association (IMA), told IANS: “Still new to mankind, Covid virus is showing a continuous evolution in a short time period, throwing off multiple variants and recombinants. Through mutations, each successive generation is able to escape the human immune response generated to its previous version. After the Omicron era, the possibility of an all-new variant arriving is keeping scientists on the alert.”
Jayadevan said influenza and RSV (respiratory syncytial virus) are other bugs that cause significant respiratory illnesses. They spread from person to person and respond to the same precautions that are followed against Covid-19.
Unlike Covid-19 which is caused by one virus, influenza is caused by a group of several viruses, which vary from year to year. Influenza viruses can live in birds as well as pigs, which helps increase their diversity, Jayadevan said.
He added: “RSV causes cold like symptoms, and is mostly harmless in older children. It can potentially cause severe illness in very young babies, who have tiny airways. There was a surge in RSV in many countries following the worldwide relaxation of pandemic restrictions.”
There are several common cold-causing viruses, such as rhinovirus and adenoviruses as well as common cold-causing coronaviruses. Their mortality rate is low, and only basic preventive and supportive measures are needed.
Talking about the Indian ecosystem, Jayadevan said that another virus that causes concern is the dengue virus. Unable to directly spread from person-to-person, the dengue virus uses a vector or vehicle to travel from person-to-person: the Aedes mosquito. As the mosquito drinks an infected person�s blood, viruses get inside the mosquito’s gut and then travel to its salivary glands. When this mosquito bites a healthy person, the virus enters that person�s body – through the mosquito’s saliva.
“The most important aspect of dengue prevention is mosquito and larva control. The dengue Aedes mosquito bites during daytime and lays eggs in freshwater. Eliminating stagnant water, even small puddles in the locality is important”, he said, adding that Hepatitis A and E are illnesses of the liver caused by viruses that spread easily in communities by the feco-oral route, causing jaundice. Fecally contaminated water is the medium of travel of the virus from person to person.
While talking about the Indian perspective of viruses outbreak, Dr Sharwari Dabhade Dua, Endocrinologist, Madhukar Rainbow Children’s Hospital, said various flu-like influenza, enterovirus, rhinovirus and swine flu are rising in the country.
Tomato flu, which is caused by coxsackievirus, is also on the rise in the southern part of the country and is common in children, although adults, too, can be infected.
Dua added that camel flu or Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome which was first reported in the Middle East, is another strain of coronavirus. It infects camels too and can transmit to humans through aerosols. It has symptoms that are the same as those for flu, but can be severe in patients with underlying conditions such as diabetes, cancer, kidney and heart disease.
People coming back from the Middle East, with symptoms of flu, should be screened for it, Dua pointed out.
New Tomato flu variant creates health scare among kids in several states
As India reopened after two dreadful years of Covid-19, the country saw a re-emergence of infectious diseases and a new variant of the hand-foot-and-mouth disease, also known as tomato flu, created quite a scare across many states.
Tomato flu is a rare viral infection that could be a new variant of the viral hand-foot-and-mouth disease, a common infectious disease targeting mostly children aged one to five years.
Initially, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Odisha reported tomato flu cases. Tomato flu was first identified in the Kollam district of Kerala, on May 6, 2022.
The Kerala Health Department took precautionary measures to monitor the spread of the viral infection and prevent its spread in other parts of India.
In September, Assam reported over 100 cases of tomato flu, sounding an alarm for the state health department. The maximum number of cases were reported from two schools in Dibrugarh district.
The Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu governments had also issued advisories on tomato flu.
Though the tomato flu disease is not seen as life-threatening, healthcare experts warned that any further spread of the disease may hit schools again after the Covid-19 pandemic.
Health officials also said that the chances of adults contracting the disease are feeble.
Bhawuk Dhir, dermatologist at Delhi’s Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital, said that this is a clear sign of heading towards an era of viral diseases.
“Clearly, we are heading towards an era of viral diseases with the rampage of Covid-19, Monkeypox and now hand-foot-and-mouth disease — as was predicted by various researchers in the past,” Dhir had told IANS.
“Tomato flu is caused by Coxsackie virus A16 (a non-polio enterovirus), which is highly contagious and spreads through secretions from the nose, throat, fluid from the blisters and fecal-oral route,” Dhir added.
In most cases, it is a mild self-limiting viral disease and requires supportive care for recovery. A few may develop complications such as meningitis and disseminated infection.
The Union Health Ministry also issued guidelines on Tomato flu, underlining that its treatment is similar to other viral infections like isolation, rest, plenty of fluids and hot water sponge for relief from irritation and rashes. Supportive therapy of paracetamol for fever and body ache and other symptomatic treatments are required.
“Tomato flu is a self-limiting infectious disease as the signs and symptoms resolve after a few days,” the ministry guidelines said.
No antiviral drugs or vaccines are available for the treatment or prevention of Tomato Flu.
“The term tomato fever was used because of the red-coloured blisters which resemble a tomato. A similar outbreak was reported in Kerala in 2007,” according to Dhir.
Although not many new cases are being reported now, the best way to prevent this disease is maintaining proper hygiene and sanitisation of the surrounding environment as well as preventing the infected child from sharing toys, clothes, food, or other items with other non-infected children.
Kolkata’s iconic swimming club gutted, no casualty reported
Bhawanipur Swimming Club, the iconic swimming training center in Kolkata, which has traditionally gifted West Bengal with many talented swimmers, and counts Bengali matinee idol Uttam Kumar as one of its former members, was totally gutted by a devastating fire.
The fire broke out late Saturday night. Equipment worth lakhs of rupees has been reportedly damaged by the devastating fire. However, there has been no report of casualty so far.
Eyewitnesses said that the first spark of fire was witnessed a little after 11 p.m. However, because of the strong wind blowing last night the fire had soon spread.
But by the time seven fire tenders reached the spot almost the entire club premises was under fire. The employees, who used to stay at night there, managed to rush out and a few were evacuated. Later, three more fire tenders joined, taking the total number to 10.
After almost five hours of rigorous fire-fighting, the fire came under control early Sunday morning. Even the state fire services minister, Sujit Basu rushed to the spot to monitor the fire extinguishing process late Saturday night. Later the state power minister Arup Biswas also joined him and both were at the spot till the fire was totally under control.
It was learnt that there were a number of small cabins and locker-rooms within the club rooms with tin-shades due to which the inside of the club premises got heated even during the winter night.
Initial investigation has revealed that the source of the fire was some short- circuit in the electrical lines of the gymnasium within the club.
The state fire services minister, Sujit Basu said that the exact reason of the fire will be ascertained after detailed investigation into the matter. “The good thing was that the fire had not spread to the houses and shops near the locality,” he added.
Dry, cold weather to continue in J&K, Ladakh
Cold and dry weather with sub-zero night temperatures continued in Ladakh region and the Valley during the last 24 hours as the Meteorological (MeT) office said on Sunday that same conditions are likely to continue.
“Dry, cold weather is likely to continue in J&K and Ladakh during the next 24 hours,” an official of the MeT department said.
Srinagar had minus 3.2, Pahalgam minus 4.5 and Gulmarg minus 1.5 degrees Celsius as the minimum temperature.
In the Ladakh region, Kargil had minus 10.6 and Leh minus 10.2 as the minimum temperature.
Jammu had 7.2, Katra 7.8, Batote 4.6, Banihal 0.4 and Bhaderwah 2.3 as the minimum temperature.
Bangladeshi man held without passport in UP
The Firozabad police have arrested an 80-year-old Bangladeshi national, identified as Afsar Ali, who was living illegally in the city.
Superintendent of Police (SP) city Sarvesh Kumar Mishra said the man, a resident of the Naogaon district of Bangladesh, was spotted by the police outside the Firozabad railway station.
He said that he had missed the train to Ajmer to offer prayers at the shrine.
He was unable to produce his Bangladeshi passport, the SP said.
A case has been registered against him under IPC and Foreigners’ Act.
“We are trying to contact his family. Case details have been shared with security agencies,” the SP said.