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Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease in Singapore

The number of cases of hand, foot, and mouth disease in Singapore in Week 45 (November 3 to 9, 2013) surged to 1,003 from just 237 cases recorded in the same period last year, latest data from the Ministry of Health (MOH) showed.

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Cause

Caused by the intestinal viruses of the picornaviridae family, hand, foot, and mouth disease is a highly contagious and viral infection that usually leads to rashes involving the hands, feet, and oral cavity.

Some of the common strains that can infect a person with hand, foot, and mouth disease include coxsackie A virus A16 and enterovirus 71 (EV-71). However, it can also be due to various strains of enterovirus and coxsackievirus. The disease is very common among babies and children and very rarely among adults.

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Spread

The virus which causes hand, foot, and mouth disease spreads through direct contact with the infected person’s mucus, saliva, or feces. The disease is very common in nursery or kindergarten schools during summer and autumn. Incubation period for the disease usually takes three to six days.

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Diagnosis

Symptoms of the disease include fever, sore throat, malaise, painful intraoral, perioral, nasal, or facial, fatigue, diarrhea, irritability, sores or blisters, rashes, and loss of appetite. The disease can only be diagnosed through visiting a physician. To date, there is still no specific treatment for the disease so disease management focuses on attaining symptomatic relief through using analgesic medications.

Infection from hand, foot, and mouth disease typically lasts within a week or so but it can also go on for a very long time. Physicians have advised that fever reducers and lukewarm baths can make the body temperature of the infected person decline.


Dengue Fever Cases in Singapore Surge

The number of cases of dengue fever in Singapore in Week 45 (November 3 to 9, 2013) surged to 401 from 99 cases recorded in the same period last year, latest data from the Ministry of Health (MOH) showed. Otherwise known as breakbone fever, dengue fever is an infectious disease brought by dengue virus transmitted by various mosquito species that is within the genus Aedes, particularly the Aedes egypti.

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Symptoms

Some of dengue’s symptoms are fever, muscle and joint pains, skin rashes, and headache but in some cases, when it develops into a life-threatening dengue hemorrhagic fever, the disease leads to bleeding, low blood platelet count, and leakage of blood plasma. It can also develop into a dengue shock syndrome. People with this syndrome end up with a low blood pressure.

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Culprits

Other species of Aedes that can transmit the disease are Aedes polynesiensis, Aedes albopictus, and Aedes sctellaris. A person can acquire the disease even with a single bite from the mosquito but it can also be transmitted through infected blood products and organ donation. In Singapore where dengue is endemic, the risk is at approximately 1.6 to 6 in every 10,000 transfusions. The disease may be severe among babies, children, women, viral load, and those with higher body mass index.

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Transmission

When a mosquito carrying the virus bites a person, the virus with the mosquito’s saliva goes in to the skin, then comes in to white blood cells, and multiplies and moves throughout different body parts. Diagnosis of dengue is usually done clinically especially when the patient possesses the symptoms listed and has underwent physical examination. It has been advised that one may be suspected with the dengue virus if he or she has already developed fever for two weeks or so.


Coping with Down Syndrome

When you found out that your child has down syndrome, you will experience surge of emotions to the point that you will not understand what you are feeling. You worry for your child and you doubt yourself if your efforts will be enough. That is purely understandable but if you are stuck to those feelings long, you will surely neglect the needs of your child. Settle your emotions first, learn to face the truth and then learn to get by.

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Instead of sulking or blaming yourself, the best thing that you should do is get support and information. If it makes you feel better, you can get as much information as you need online or from books and magazines. Here are other things that you can consider to prepare yourself:

1. Look for professionals. You should look for professionals and let them explain everything especially the treatments, therapy and education of your child. Professionals can help you make an informed decision.

2. Look for families enduring the same. This is all new to you. You need to look for other families that know what you are feeling and understand what you are going through. You can get many ideas and support from other families.

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3. Do not lose hope. If you lose hope, your child will be hopeless too. You are the strength of your child so do not lose hope and let him/her see that there’s still light at the end of the tunnel.

4. Do not criticize your child or let others criticize him/her. As a parent, you need to believe in your child even if others cannot or will not. Do not criticize your child or let others criticize him/her. Support him/her no matter what happens.

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5. Love your child. You will surely endure everything if you love your child. You should love your child as you would with his/her brother or sister. They need to know that they are wanted and valued despite what other people say.


What You Need to Know About Safe Cycling

Have you heard about the national cyclist Dinah Chan getting into an accident? The 25 year old cyclist was doing her cycling training last September when she encountered an accident involving a car. Chan was thankful that there were no broken bones. She is determined to proceed with her training as soon as she is discharged.

Cycling accidents happen but if you want to lessen its impact, you should know what to do. Whether you are cycling professionally or for leisure, you should familiarize yourself what to do during an accident. Here are some tips:

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  • The Right Position: It is important that you know the right position. If you are a professional cyclist, you will know the proper position. You should make sure to practice it all the time.
  • Exit: If you cannot make it to the track and you feel that you are falling, you should look for the exit. Quickly assess your environment and when you see grassy surface without cars, head to that direction.
  • Soft Landing: When you see the perfect spot for landing, you can let go of the bike now. You should drop the bike as soon as you see the spot.
  • Drop and Roll: There is a right way to drop and roll. When you land, your arms should be bent at the elbows. This is to absorb the initial part of the impact. You should instantaneously roll to your left shoulder and hip.

There you go. Hopefully you learn something out of this. Cycling is fun but if you let the news of accidents affect you, you will no longer enjoy the activity. Enjoy the ride and the bump! It will make you stronger and better. Good luck!


Tips on How to Deal with Sweaty Palms

Imagine when you are about to extend your hand to congratulate someone but you stopped midair because you realized you have sweaty palms or when you are on a romantic date but you dare not touch your partner because it might turn them off. People suffering from palmer hyperhidrosis or commonly called sweaty palms think that it is embarrassing. It is normal to sweat because it is the body’s way of regulating temperature but there are people that sweat excessively. The main cause for this is the brain’s misinterpretation of how much sweat it should produce.

If you have this condition, fret no more because there are things that you can do to minimize if not totally eliminate the sweatiness of your palms. Here are a few tips:

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Natural remedies

Natural remedies include nat mur, lupulus and syphilinum. Nat mur is a homeopathic remedy obtained from sodium chloride. It can effectively lessen extreme sweating and dampness. Lupulus on the other hand lessen sweating especially if it is associated with panic, anxiety and nervousness. Lastly, syphilinum controls the body’s fluid levels and odour.

Vigilance

Being vigilant means being alert or giving attention to the sweatiness. If you feel that your palms are clammy, you should do something to dry it up even if it sounds a lot of work. For example, you can choose to wash your palms with cold water and soap every after 10 or 20 minutes. You can also swing your hands so palms will dry. In fact you can subtly wipe your palms in your pants or shirt but if you want, you can bring a cloth or a handkerchief.

More importantly, don’t be embarrassed about it.

Stay calm

If you stay calm and avoid nervousness, you can control the sweating.


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