Kick-up Dishes and Drinks Made with Cup Noodles by Chefs of Keio Plaza Hotel in Tokyo, Japan

Celebrating the 50th Anniversaries of the hotel as well as the popular cup noodles

COVID-19: What is the Delta Plus Variant?

Bhargav Acharya and Shilpa Jamkhandikar wrote . . . . . . . . .

India said on Wednesday it has found around 40 cases of the Delta coronavirus variant carrying a mutation that appears to make it more transmissible, and advised states to increase testing.

Below is what we know about the variant.

WHAT IS DELTA PLUS?

The variant, called “Delta Plus” in India, was first reported in a Public Health England bulletin on June 11.

It is a sub-lineage of the Delta variant first detected in India and has acquired the spike protein mutation called K417N which is also found in the Beta variant first identified in South Africa.

Some scientists worry that the mutation, coupled with other existing features of the Delta variant, could make it more transmissible.

“The mutation K417N has been of interest as it is present in the Beta variant (B.1.351 lineage), which was reported to have immune evasion property,” India’s health ministry said in a statement.

Shahid Jameel, a top Indian virologist, said the K417N was known to reduce the effectiveness of a cocktail of therapeutic monoclonal antibodies.

WHERE ALL IT HAS BEEN FOUND?

As of June 16, at least 197 cases has been found from 11 countries – Britain (36), Canada (1), India (8), Japan (15), Nepal (3), Poland (9), Portugal (22), Russia (1), Switzerland (18), Turkey (1), the United States (83).

India said on Wednesday around 40 cases of the variant have been observed in the states of Maharashtra, Kerala and Madhya Pradesh, with “no significant increase in prevalence”. The earliest case in India is from a sample taken on April 5.

Britain said its first 5 cases were sequenced on April 26 and they were contacts of individuals who had travelled from, or transited through, Nepal and Turkey.

No deaths were reported among the UK and Indian cases.

WHAT ARE THE WORRIES?

Studies are ongoing in India and globally to test the effectiveness of vaccines against this mutation.

“WHO is tracking this variant as part of the Delta variant, as we are doing for other Variants of Concern with additional mutations,” the World Health Organization (WHO) said in a statement sent to Reuters.

“For the moment, this variant does not seem to be common, currently accounting for only a small fraction of the Delta sequences … Delta and other circulating Variants of Concern remain a higher public health risk as they have demonstrated increases in transmission,” it said.

But India’s health ministry warned that regions where it has been found “may need to enhance their public health response by focusing on surveillance, enhanced testing, quick contact-tracing and priority vaccination.”

There are worries Delta Plus would inflict another wave of infections on India after it emerged from the world’s worst surge in cases only recently.

“The mutation itself may not lead to a third wave in India – that also depends on COVID-appropriate behaviour, but it could be one of the reasons,” said Tarun Bhatnagar, a scientist with the state-run Indian Council for Medical Research.

Source: Reuters

My Food: Father’s Day 6-course Tasting Dinner

Scallop Bisque

Octopus Salad

Tomato, Cucumber and Goat Cheese Tart

Scrambled Egg with Diced Lobster Tail, Shrimp Chips

Grilled Duck Breast, Bacon and Sautéed Vegetables

Tiramisu with Cashew Cream

More Than a Snore? Recognize the Signs of Sleep Apnea

Does your bed partner claim that you snore?

If so, don’t just tune him or her out. It may mean you have obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).

Untreated sleep apnea — which causes repeated breathing interruptions during sleep — can lead to serious health problems, so the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) wants you to consider: Is it more than a snore?

“While not everyone who snores has sleep apnea, snoring is a warning sign that should be taken seriously,” said AASM President Dr. Kannan Ramar. “If your bed partner snores, or if you’ve been told that you snore, then it is important to talk to a medical provider about screening or testing for sleep apnea.”

Treating obstructive sleep apnea can improve overall health and quality of life, he added.

Nearly 70% of Americans who sleep with a partner say their bed mate snores, according to a 2021 AASM survey. The same survey found that 26% of Americans are unfamiliar with OSA, and 48% don’t know its symptoms.

Nearly 30 million U.S. adults have OSA, but AASM estimates that 23.5 million of those cases are undiagnosed.

These are the five warning signs to be aware of: snoring, choking or gasping during sleep; fatigue or daytime sleepiness; obesity; and high blood pressure.

Other indications of apnea include: unrefreshing sleep, insomnia, morning headaches, waking during the night to go to the bathroom, difficulty concentrating, memory loss, decreased sexual desire, irritability, or difficulty staying awake while watching TV or driving.

“Delaying treatment for sleep apnea can lead to more serious health problems,” Ramar said. “Fortunately, many of the damaging effects of sleep apnea can be stopped, and even reversed, through diagnosis and treatment by the sleep team at an accredited sleep center, where patients receive care in safe and comfortable accommodations.”

The typical treatment for sleep apnea is continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy. CPAP keeps the airway open by providing a steady stream of air through a mask that’s worn while sleeping.

Using CPAP can improve quality of sleep, boost daytime alertness, concentration and mood and even improve brain and heart health, according to AASM.

Other treatments include positional therapy, oral appliance therapy and surgery.

Source: HealthDay

Braised Duck with Onion

Ingredients

1 duck, about 2 kg
3 onion
4 tbsp dark soy sauce
1 tbsp chopped shallot

Duck Marinade

1 tsp salt
2 tbsp ginger juice
3 tbsp dark soy sauce
1 tbsp Mei Kuei Lu Chiew

Sauce

1-1/2 cups stock from braised duck
1 tbsp light soy sauce
1/2 tbsp dark soy sauce
1/2 tbsp sugar
dash ground white pepper
1 tbsp cornstarch

Method

  1. Wash the duck clean, wipe dry and rub the whole duck with the marinade. Set aside for 1 hour.
  2. Heat half wok of oil, quick-fry duck in the hot oil until evenly brown. Remove and drain.
  3. Mark a cross on the top and bottom of the onion, stuff into the duck.
  4. Transfer the duck to a casserole, cover and double-boil for 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 hours until the duck is tender.
  5. Strain stock and reserve for sauce.
  6. Chop duck into bite-sized pieces and arrange on a plate.
  7. Heat 1 tablespoon oil, saute chopped shallot and the braised onion. Add sauce ingredients and cook until sauce thickens.
  8. Pour sauce over duck and serve hot.

Source: Towngas Millennium Cookbook


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