Tuesday, 5 November 2019

Getting measles 'resets' the body's immune system to that of a newborn baby

Image for illustration only

Measles, the contagious childhood disease that is once more on the rise globally, is more harmful than previously thought.

A new analysis of 77 unvaccinated children from the Netherlands carried out by an international team of researchers led by scientists at Harvard has found that the virus erases the body's memory of previous pathogens -- effectively wiping its immunity memory.

The virus eliminated between 11 and 73 percent of the children's protective antibodies, blood proteins responsible for "remembering" previous encounters with disease, the team wrote in the journal Science on Thursday.

This left some of the children with immunity close to that of a newborn baby.

Ref: https://sg.news.yahoo.com/getting-measles-resets-bodys-immune-system-024115427.html

Forum: Affordable health screenings available

We thank Ms Juliana Ang Hiok Lian and Mr Ng Chee Kheon for their suggestions (Make breast, cervical cancer tests free, Oct 31; Include eye test in Chas, Nov 1).

Regular screening for cervical and breast cancers can detect cancer at the early stages, when treatment results in better health outcomes.

To encourage more Singaporeans to go for cervical and breast cancer screening, the Ministry of Health has made screening more accessible and affordable under its national screening programmes.

Under the Screen for Life (SFL) programme, cervical cancer screening and the first follow-up visit at all Community Health Assist Scheme (Chas) general practitioner (GP) clinics are free for the Pioneer Generation (PG), $2 for the Merdeka Generation (MG) and Chas blue and orange card holders, and $5 for other Singaporeans.

Chas blue and orange cardholders are also eligible for free mammograms at the polyclinics.

At polyclinics, tests for cervical and breast cancer screening are subsidised for Singapore citizens and permanent residents. For example, a pap smear test for cervical cancer screening is $15, and a human papillomavirus test is $22.50 for Singaporeans. Mammograms are offered at $25 for PG and $33.75 for MG seniors, and $50 for other Singaporeans.

As mammograms are recommended for women aged 50 to 69, Singaporeans in this age group can use Medisave to pay for them, without needing to pay any cash.

Regular eye screening is generally recommended only for certain groups, among them diabetic patients and the elderly. Diabetic retinal photography is subsidised at polyclinics and participating GP clinics under Chas and the primary care networks. For Singaporeans aged 60 and above, Project Silver Screen provides screening for age-related decline in seniors' vision, hearing and oral health at the same subsidised fees as the SFL.

Lyn James (Dr)
Director, Epidemiology & Disease Control Division, Public Health Group
Ministry of Health

Ref: http://str.sg/JwgG

You may want to read Screen for Life (SFL) is a national screening programme that encourages Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents to go for regular health screenings and follow up

NTUC Fairprice’s ‘no plastic bag’ initiative to be extended to 25 stores islandwide for a year

NTUC FairPrice will be extending its “No Plastic Bag” initiative to 25 stores across the island, up from seven previously, after a month-long trial run received positive feedback from customers.

From Nov 11, the initiative will involve 12 FairPrice outlets — including those in Hougang One, Kallang Wave Mall, Paya Lebar Quarter and Bukit Timah Plaza — five Cheers outlets and eight FairPrice Xpress outlets.

The supermarket chain said in a media release on Monday (Nov 4) that the initiative will last for a year, and shoppers who require bags can purchase them at 20 cents per transaction at the participating FairPrice, FairPrice Finest and FairPrice Xtra stores, or 10 cents per transaction at Cheers and FairPrice Xpress stores. The proceeds will go to the Singapore Children’s Society and The Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund.

FairPrice Group chief executive Seah Kian Peng said that they observed more customers started to bring-your-own-bag (BYOB) and show greater awareness for the environment.

Ref: https://www.todayonline.com/singapore/ntucs-no-plastic-bag-initiative-be-extended-25-stores-island-wide-year

Six ways for you to achieve healthier meals

Ref: https://www.tnp.sg/lifestyle/health/six-ways-you-achieve-healthier-meals