Keeping Safe From Swine Flu (H1N1) Virus

August 28th, 2009 healthwiki Health Resources 0

Swine flu, also called hog flu/pig flu is the scary names now a days. The recent outbreaks of swine flu or swine influenza A (H1N1) virus has created much panic in Bangladesh. It is heartrending but we have to be alert to contain the spread of the virus.

Simple influenza-like illness (fever, cough, sore throat) has been reported in many cases, mild respiratory illness (nasal congestion, rhinorrhea, shortness of breath) without fever and occasional severe disease also has been reported. Other symptoms reported with swine influenza A virus infection include vomiting, diarrhoea, myalgia (muscle ache), headache, chills, fatigue and shortness of breath. Conjunctivitis is rare, but has been reported. Severe disease (pneumonia, respiratory failure) and fatal outcomes have been reported with swine influenza A virus infection.

The potential for exacerbation of underlying chronic medical conditions or invasive bacterial infection with swine flu virus should be considered. To confirm a positive case, a simple throat or nasal swab is examined in laboratory. Follow the dos and don’ts to reduce the risk of catching or spreading.

* Stay home and limit contact with others as much as possible
* Cover your cough/ sneeze
* Rest and eat nutritious food and take plenty of liquids
* Get plenty of sleep and rest
* Seek medical advice if you have the symptoms
* It is better to cover mouth and nose. When coughing and sneezing, using a tissue and do not forget to throw the tissue away quickly and carefull

* Wash your hands regularly with soap and water
* Hands/Fingers are very important — even some people prefer to use gloves and stop doing hand shakes
* Clean hard surfaces (like door handles and remote controls) frequently with a normal cleaning product

Don’t forget to use tissue paper when sneezing and coughing and wash your hands regularly. Do not forget to carry tissue paper; catching the germs in a tissue paper could help limit the spread of the virus.

If you do have swine flu, you should contact a qualified doctor who is aware of its management rather than visiting a practitioner and ignorant about this disease. Recently several medical college hospitals in Bangladesh has opened special ward to treat swine flu cases.

Swine flu can be treated by the drugs — Oseltamivir and Zanamivir, according to WHO guideline. In some cases, antiviral medicine may cause side effects like nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, stomach ache, headache. Even if you do feel these symptoms it is important that those prescribed antiviral medicine complete the course, even if symptoms of swine flu clear and you start to feel better quickly.

A Path to Better Health

August 28th, 2009 healthwiki Health Resources 0

Like Islam, many of the world’s religions and spiritual practices include element of fasting as a way to boost their spiritual development. Alongside with the spiritual significance, fasting has certain physical, psychological and social benefits. By maintaining proper norms of Ramadan, we can get these benefits and move a significant step towards better health.

Increasingly, scientists are starting to recognise the benefits of fasting that reduces energy intake. Research on animals shows a restricted-calorie diet increases life span. There seem to be two mechanisms by which it amplifies life span.

First, it reduces free radical production, or the production of highly toxic forms of oxygen that damages cell and the second is that calorie restriction increases the resistance of cells to stress. Both of these are important in protecting against a number of different diseases that have a negative impact on life span. It helps in reducing cholesterol levels and improves blood glucose levels and provides protection of certain emerging diseases like cardiovascular problems, diabetes, cancer etc.

Research by Zafar Nomani, Professor Emeritus of Human Nutrition and Foods, West Virginia University has shown that the basal metabolism of fasting individuals slows down during Ramadan. A person can stay healthy and active during Ramadan consuming a diet that is less than that of the normal intake but balanced in nutrients.

Some studies suggest that many people are consuming too many calories that are not nutritious and not consuming enough of the right kinds of calories. Cutting calories excessively and not paying attention to the quality of food may result in severe health consequences. This practice can affect our immune system, concentration and ability to focus.

Some people overeat during Ramadan and especially bulge their bellies with fried and fatty food. Studies indicate that health problems can emerge as a result of eating too much or eating a diet that is not balanced. The body has regulatory mechanisms that activate during fasting and we do not need to overeat to get the essential nutrients.

Changing the food habit is particularly important in Ramadan to get health benefits. Slow-digesting foods that contain grains and seeds like wheat, oats, beans, lentils and unpolished rice. These foods can last for up to eight hours, making them more suitable for fasting.

Dates and juices are good sources of sugars that can bring low blood glucose level to normal level rapidly. Indeed, breaking the fast with several dates is considered “sunnah” in Islam that was practiced by the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).

Muslims are advised to refrain from not only food and water, but also from other bad habits like smoking, foul talk and harm to others. The restrictions — both caloric and behavioral — can be good for us holistically for sustaining good practice in time after Ramadan.

Effect of Chemical Pesticide on Human Health

August 28th, 2009 healthwiki Health Resources 0

In order to protect the crops from the insects, pests etc, chemical pesticide are used. But many producers as well as consumers are not fully aware of the ill effects of the pesticides.

Pesticide has the ability to kill living cell. As it kills the pest, it can kill the human cells as well. Many germs have developed defense or resistance against the pesticides. Some new types of disease have emerged those are very difficult to treat. Peoples are facing uncommon physical disorders as well as mental problems.

Vegetables and fruits sold in the market seems to be very attractive and fresh. People often become biased to purchase theses so called disease free foods. But they do not know that behind the freshness there are potential health consequences.

Due to the consumption of this sorts of food, the chance of developing several disease like cancer, diabetes, heart disease, hair fall, skin disease etc. increased. Some pesticide has a long residual effect. In many places in Bangladesh, farmers use pesticide indiscriminately during growing stage of crops. This cause much harm in the long run.

We are very much concerned about our health but we are not properly aware of what are eating and feeding. So we have to have alert about our food and create awareness among the people. We observe that some law enforcers have become active to ensure formalin free fish, stop adulteration of restaurants food, melamine free powder milk etc. But pesticide used during growing vegetables and others agricultural products are under focused.

Instead of chemical pesticide, farmers can grow crops with the help of other methods like pheromone trap, light trap, manually control of pest etc. Government should take initiative to implement other methods to produce pesticides free agricultural commodities that are not harmful to human health.

Skin Care In The Monsoon Season

August 8th, 2009 healthwiki Beauty 0

You may love the rain but too much moisture in this weather may cause harm to your beloved skin. Depending on the skin type, humid and wet weather causes unusual activities on the surface of the skin and leads to oily, patchy, and dry skin. Soaked skin particularly of the feet and legs, is very much prone to fungal infections. With a little precaution and simple measures we can save ourselves a lot of misery over bad skin.

One important problem of the rainy season is dull and lifeless skin. This is mainly due to the high humidity in the atmosphere and uneven distribution of moisture. The first and foremost thing to get rid of this is cleanliness. We should follow a regular routine of cleansing, toning and moisturising the skin. It is best to use a gentle non drying soap and splash plain water several times a day on the face. It is best to follow up this measure with use an exfoliating face scrub to remove dead cells and increase collagen production. Do not apply oil on your skin, especially face. If you apply oil, your skin will remain oily throughout the day. This way you will allow your skin to accumulate dust and different other harmful elements.

Since your face is exposed all the time, there are all the chances that you pick up an infection on it. If you have got wet due to rains, dry yourself up, as soon as possible. Do not think that since you are already washed up with rain water there is no need to wash up your face and hands. In fact, it is advisable that you take a bath after getting wet due to rain water.

Reason number one is that it washes out all rain water from your skin, hair and head. This will prevent rain water from being absorbed by your head, which otherwise become a cause of headache, fever and related troubles. Another reason is that you will save your skin from the contact of any harmful elements contained by the rain water.

Your skin feels sticky during the rains, but this is not because your oil glands are overactive. During the rains, due to the humidity in the air, you sweat more. This leaves a sticky, moist layer on your skin. To feel better, wash your face with plain water. Avoid using soap because too much soap can dry up your skin — and steal its natural oils.

One may notice pimples, and breakouts on the skin, which is mainly due to dirt and pollutants attracted by the sweat. The tip to solve this problem during the rainy season lies in cleaning and maintaining a clean skin.

One of the biggest skin complaints during the monsoon is fungal infections. A fungus thrives in humidity — wet skin folds rubbing against each other get macerated easily, providing easy entry to fungi and yeast. As a result, you develop itchy, circular, reddish, flaking patches on the body, especially in skin folds at the groin, underarms and around the breast in women.

Fungal infections can also affect your feet, especially if you wear closed shoes all day. Staying dry is the best way to avoid them. Carry a set of dry clothes and footwear to the office and change immediately if you have gotten drenched on your way.

Once you are seated at your desk, take your shoes and socks off to allow air circulation around your feet. Wear sandals or floaters as far as possible. Use plenty of dusting talc to prevent accumulation of sweat and moisture in skin folds. Those prone to repeated fungal infections can use medicated powders prescribed by a dermatologist. To prevent this thoroughly wash your feet with soap and hot water after wading through stagnant water and then dry them completely. If the water was particularly dirty, it is advisable after the wash to soak your feet for a few minutes in a tub of warm water.

Scabies is another common infection that preys on both children and adults during the monsoon — it is caused by a mite infestation. If your child complains about a body itch that intensifies at night and you see a few red bumps or a rash on his/her hands, wrists, underarms, abdomen, groin and buttocks, then rush to the dermatologist — this condition is highly contagious and invariably spreads to the family if not treated properly.

Drink a lot fluid as the rainy season can be deceptively dehydrating. Fruits like guavas, papayas, apples, oranges and also include dry-fruits like nuts, almonds are also a good option that are rich in anti-oxidants and nutrients that fight against microorganism and prevent infections. Skin is a sensitive and important organ that should be taken care of properly particularly in this season. A bit of negligence on this part can become a cause of trouble for you.

Save The Newborn

August 1st, 2009 healthwiki Child Health,Pregnancy 0

The death of a newborn is a very painful experience for the mothers who have taken the ordeal of pregnancy for 9 months or so. The causes of newborn death in Bangladesh are manifold like poverty, lack of medical check up, home delivery etc.

Bangladesh has one of the highest newborn deaths in the world. It is about 37 per thousand live births per year. Nearly 4 million babies die after delivery each year throughout the world out of which 98% die in developing countries including Bangladesh. Out of total deaths 45% die within first four weeks of life and 30% die within one year.

In order to decrease this huge number of deaths every year, a pragmatic coordinated approach is needed by all concerned, it is not possible for the government to solve this gigantic problem all alone, both government and non governmental organisations should make every effort in a combined way to mitigate this human tragedy.

MDG-5 is to reduce child mortality by two thirrd by the year 2015. It is heartening to note that the under 5 mortality in Bangladesh has come down significantly in the last decade, from 88 to 66 per 1000 live births per year.

But the main contributing factor affecting the high under-5 mortality is the bulk of the new born deaths that occur within the first 28 days of life. So it is imperative that we need to address the problems that affect the new born deaths more seriously in a coordinated way at the grass root level i.e. in the non urban areas, where a large proportion of deliveries take place in the home setting, compounded by meager medical facilities and man power within the vicinity.

We all know that the main cause of newborn death in Bangladesh is home delivery, lack of trained personals and medical facilities, delayed referral, transportation problem etc. To address these problems the most important thing is to produce skilled birth attendants (SBA) who will be trained to do the following things:

1) Conduct normal deliveries
2) Identify the danger signs
3) Quick referral and transportation to higher centers

At the same time we should put emphasis on:
1) Improve obstetric and neonatal care at thana and district level
2) Control population boom
3) Compulsory birth and marriage registration
4) Improve women education
In a country like Bangladesh institutional delivery is not possible, we need to utilise our human resources by producing more SBA’s in order to bring down neonatal mortality.

This is a huge task which needs to be jointly addressed by all.