Thursday, July 4, 2019

All you want to know about Bacteria , Virus, Antibiotics and Immunization

Infection: cause & cure (edited)

By Dr Gita Mathai

Infections are universal phenomena affecting all ages and sexes. The symptoms are fever, pain, cold, cough, diarrhoea, vomiting and cramps. Infections are caused by external organisms, usually bacteria or viruses, entering the body. Infections may be due to Virus or Bacteria. Sometimes, it is impossible to clinically distinguish between bacterial and viral infectionsBut antibiotics are ineffective against viral infections.They are effective only against bacterial infection. Antibiotics is a medicine that inhibits the growth of or destroys microorganisms. )
"course of antibiotics"
Antibiotics may then be prescribed because of pressure from patients or bought OTC - over the counter. Their misuse has lead to a global problem of superbugs — bacteria that are resistant to available antibiotics and which can eventually cause death.
Bacteria have been in existence for billions of years and predates even dinosaurs. Single-celled organisms very much like a plant cell, they have a rigid outer wall supporting a thin, flexible membrane that surrounds fluid cytoplasm and a nucleus. Bacteria are able to survive extreme heat, freezing cold and even radioactivity. They go into a dormant state or mutate so that they can change their structure to withstand adverse conditions. Many bacteria live harmlessly in the environment and the human body. Some are beneficial and can help in digestion, produce micronutrients and vitamins, and even attack cancer cells. Only 1% of bacteria is harmful and causes disease. The Bacterial infections have to be treated with antibiotics. This anti bacterial -medication of antibiotics either kills the bacteria outright or prevents them from reproducing until the population superannuates and dies. 
Some bacterial infections such as diphtheria, tetanus, pneumonia, ear infections, and typhoid can also be prevented with immunisation.

Viruses are tinier than bacteria and can only be seen under an electron microscope. They contain genetic material in the form of DNA or RNA in a protein coat. They are incapable of independent existence and have to enter a living cell to survive. Once inside, they reprogramme the cell nucleus and multiply rapidly. Finally, the cell bursts and the viruses are released into the immediate environment and the bloodstream. When they invade, they can transform a normal cell into a malignant one.
Anti-viral medication (not antibiotics) is available against a few viral infections such as hepatitis B and C, herpes and influenza. They are not as effective as immunisation, which programmes the body’s own cells to produce antibodies against the virus. This remains in the memory of the cell. Although the antibody level falls over a period of time, in the event of an infection, the cells can make antibodies rapidly. 
Immunisation is available against viral infections such as hepatitis A and B, chicken pox, measles, mumps, German measles, polio, diarrhoea due to rotavirus, seasonal flu, Japanese B encephalitis and HPV (human papilloma virus) which causes 97 per cent of the cervical cancers. In other words anti vira infection will not work against chicken pox, measles,polio,flu etc. More over some bacterial infections such as diphtheria, tetanus, pneumonia, ear infections, and typhoid can also be prevented with immunisation.

Unfortunately, there is a great deal of unscientific negative publicity on social media about the perceived undocumented and unproven side effects of vaccines. As a result, many children are being denied protection by guardians.
Bacterial infections for which there is no treatment or immunisation have to be treated with appropriate antibiotics in the correct dose for a sufficient duration. 
Viral infections such as bronchitis and otitis do not have any specific treatment. General measures like antipyretics for fever and cough suppressants can be used for symptomatic relief. 
Recovery from viral infections may take 10 days to two weeks.
Infections are less frequent and recovery is more rapid who exercise regularly because it gives their immune systems a boost.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

FAQ for General Insurance for office


Many people do Standard Fire and Special Perils (SFSP) Policy for their office, without understanding the implication. This is only for the beginners. SFP is an insurance contract that safeguards the insured against unforeseen contingency caused by accidental fire, lightning, explosion/implosion, destruction or damage caused by aerial devices, man made perils in the form of riots, strike etc, natural calamities like storm, cyclone, flood etc, damage caused by impact by a rail or a road vehicle, damage cased by landslide or subsidence, peril caused by pollution and contamination, bursting and/or overflowing of water tanks, apparatus and pipes, missile testing operations, leakage from automatic sprinkler installations and bush fire.

SFSP Policy is a package insurance which covers the following set of perils :

Perils Covered:

  1. Fire
  2. Lightning
  3. Explosion / Implosion
  4. Aircraft damage
  5. Riot, Strike, Malicious damage (RSMD Perils)
  6. Storm, Tempest, Flood, Inundation, Hurricane, Cyclone, Typhoon and Tornado. (STFI)
  7. Impact by any Rail/ Road vehicle or animal belonging to third parties
  8. Subsidence / Landslide including rockslide.
  9. Bursting and / or overflowing of water tanks, apparatus.
  10. Leakage form Automatic Sprinkler Installation.
  11. Missile Testing Operation.
  12. Pollution or contamination resulting from any of the above perils
  13. Any insured peril resulting from pollution and contamination.
  14. Bush Fire

Out of these point no. 5 and 6  i.e. STFI and RSMD perils can be deleted at the inception of the policy for which suitable reduction in premium rate is allowed. If you want to reduce the premium , then you can ask STFI to be excluded from SFSP.

Please note Burglary, Cash in Transit , Theft is a separate policy and has nothing to do with SFSP.

Significant Exclusions from SFSP are :

        Losses/ Expenses not covered:

  1. Loss of earnings, loss by delay, loss of market or other consequential or indirect loss or damage of any kind.

  2. Perils not covered:

  3. Riot, Strike or Malicious Damage losses arising out of:
    1. total or partial cessation of work
    2. Permanent or temporary dispossession resulting from order of the Government.
    3. Permanent or temporary dispossession resulting from the unlawful occupation by any person.
    4. Theft, larceny or omission by any person, in a malicious act.

    5. Following are the add on covers with additional premium and not part of SFSP :

    6. Earthquake (Fire and Shock)
    7. Terrorism
    8. Loss of rent.
    9. Insurance of additional expenses of rent for alternative accommodation.
    10. Start up Expenses

    11. Sum Insured:

    12. # Property can be insured on depreciated cost (market value) or replacement (or reinstatement) cost basis.

    13. # In order to get better protection, insurance on reinstatement (replacement) basis is recommended. The sum insured selected should be adequate for reinstatement.
    14. source: and


There are 2 types of covers available :

A.Liability Only cove
r - insures you against any legal liability following an accident involving your vehicle. It does not cover any damage to Own vehicle.

It is often referred to as Act i.e. Motor Vehicles Act. Third-party insurance is compulsory for all vehicle-owners as per the Motor Vehicles Act , without this Motor vehicles cannot ply.Third party cover does not pay for repair of damage to your car or if you suffer any car-related injuries. 

The policy covers the following risks only :

  1. Injury or Death of Third Party - It covers only your legal liability for the damage you may cause to a third party - bodily injury, death and damage to third party property - while using your vehicle. 
  2. Third party Property Damage (TPPD upto Rs. 7.5 Lacs)

Various Add on Covers on extra premiumAccidental Loss of or damage to the Vehicle , Personal Accident cover to  owner-driver

B. Package cover

i) Insures all liabilities, as per the Motor Vehicles Act, AS MENTIONED ABOVE, AND
ii) Own damages or Accidental damage caused to your vehicle - It is the non-compulsory ‘own-damages cover’ part of the comprehensive motor policy that actually pays you in case of damage to or theft of your car It is, therefore, important to understand its scope in detail. 

The package policy is better and also known as  Comprehensive Motor Insurance policy (or 

Passengers Carrying Package Policy)  as it provides both third party coverage and damages/loss to one's own vehicle, co-passengers or self.

The policy covers Own Damage to the Insured vehicle caused by:-

  1. Accident by External Means : Fire, Explosion, Self Ignition and Lightning
  2. Transit by Road, Rail, Inland Waterway, Air, Lift
  3. Burglary, House breaking or Theft
  4. Terrorism, Riots, Strikes or Malicious Acts (RSMD)
     Earthquake, Flood, Storm, Landslide, Rockslide

Any transport vehicle /car /omnibus whose unladen weight is more than 7,500 kgms or is used for carrying goods/ passengers is classified as Commercial Vehicle. 

On paying extra premium the policy may be extended to cover liabilities to the employees who may be travelling in the vehicle,but is not a paid driver ;Legal liabilities to the person employed in connection with the operation & maintenance of the vehicle.

Exclusions that can be included by paying extra premium:

There are many risks/expenses other than the permanent exclusions , that are normally not covered under a standard comprehensive plan but can be included within the scope of the policy by paying extra premium. These include:

1. Gradual Wear and Tear: Loss due to normal wear and tear of the car is not covered under a standard plan. This is the reason why at the time of policy renewal .the insured value (technically called the Insured Declared Value (IDV) of your car is revised downward to adjust for depreciation. By doing this the insurance company is excluding the loss in value that your car has already suffered due to the normal wear and tear in the previous years. 

However, adding a Zero Depreciation cover ensures that value of damaged parts is not depreciated before reimbursement and you get full reimbursement for cost of parts replaced. This cover extends to the repairing/replacement cost of fibre glass, rubber parts and plastic. Though, opting for a Zero Depreciation Policy will result in slightly higher premium it is worth considering , especially if your car is less than 5 years old. 

2. Mechanical or electrical breakdowns are not covered under a regular motor policy. Meaning, the most valuable part of the car, your engine is not covered for non-accidental failures or malfunctions. Now, imagine a situation where the engine of the car is submerged in a waterlogged area. Starting the car in such a scenario can result in the engine seizing. This will not be covered under regular insurance. Here, adding an engine protector cover will insure the car for all non-accidental exclusions related to your engine. It is highly recommended for luxury cars. Also, consider buying if you plan to take your car off-road and it has a low ground clearance. 

3. Extended Accident Cover: A basic personal accident cover for the owner-driver is compulsory provided the owner holds a valid driving licence and is able to drive the car. However, the passengers or a hired driver are not covered under personal accident insurance. There is an optional add-on personal accident cover for the passengers of your car as well as separately for your paid driver.

Third party cover does not include cover for your legal liability towards your paid driver. Therefore, if your car is not self-driven you need to buy a cover for your driver, under the Workmen Compensation Act. The size and premium for this cover are both fixed-- Rs 2 lakh coverage for a nominal price of Rs 50 (excluding service tax). 

4. The standard motor cover is applicable only in India. However, the geographical area of motor policies may be extended to include Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Maldives for a flat additional premium of Rs 500 per vehicle, irrespective of the class of vehicle. 

Ref : Website of Oriental Insurance and Economic Times

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