Sunday, 15 September 2019

First Zika cluster of the year after 3 cases in Serangoon Gardens

Three cases of locally transmitted Zika infection have been confirmed at Hemsley Avenue, in Serangoon Gardens area, said the National Environment Agency (NEA) on Friday (Sept 13), making this Singapore's first Zika cluster of the year.

"Residents and stakeholders are urged to maintain vigilance and continue to eliminate mosquito breeding habitats, as there could still be asymptomatic or mild, undiagnosed cases which might result in further transmission of the virus if there are mosquitoes in the vicinity," said NEA.

The virus has been associated with neurological diseases such as microcephaly, which causes babies to be born with a smaller head due to abnormalities in the development of the brain.

Both Zika and dengue are spread by the aedes aegypti mosquito.

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Flu-related complications. Watch for the increased risk of heart attack, stroke or sudden cardiac death

Certain groups of people have a higher risk of getting myocarditis as a complication from a viral infection such as flu.

Assistant Professor Laura Chan, consultant at the department of cardiology of the National Heart Centre Singapore (NHCS), said that people at risk of flu-related complications are those with weakened immune systems, chronic diseases, and a Body Mass Index (BMI) of over 40. People living in long-term care facilities, such as nursing homes, are also more vulnerable.

Myocarditis is just one of many heart complications linked to the flu. The NHCS sees around 10 to 20 myocarditis cases each year.

Other flu-related cardiac complications include a heart attack, pericarditis (swelling of the pericardium, the thin sac-like membrane surrounding the heart), arrhythmias (abnormal heart rhythm), heart failure and sudden cardiac death.

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My photo - lanterns

A public domain photo by me

Drinking tea improves brain health

Are you a regular tea drinker? You might have better brain efficiency compared to non-tea drinkers, a study from the National University of Singapore (NUS) has found.

By looking at the brain imaging data of older adults, researchers found that those who consumed tea at least four times a week had brain regions that were connected in a more efficient way, NUS said in a news release on Thursday (Sep 12).

The results found that those who consumed either green tea, oolong tea or black tea at least four times a week for about 25 years had brain regions that were connected more efficiently.

Team leader Assistant Professor Feng Lei, from the Department of Psychological Medicine at the NUS Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, said the results suggest that drinking tea regularly can protect the brain from age-related decline.

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SingHealth to issue digital MCs from 2020

Singapore’s largest healthcare cluster is making paper medical certificates (MCs) a thing of the past, aiming to roll out a digital medical certificate system by early next year.

It is hoped that the system, called DigiMC, will reduce administrative hassle and chances of MCs being forged or misplaced, even as some people interviewed by TODAY raised concerns about the level of security it affords.

SingHealth, which oversees several hospitals including the Changi and Sengkang general hospitals, generated one million hardcopy MCs in 2017.

Digital MC can be
  • sent via Short Message Service (SMS) to the patient’s mobile phone,
  • forwarded to the patient’s employers, and
  • backed up on cloud services for later reference, allowing it to be accessed perpetually.

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