In view of the current realities and rules/regulations imposed on everyone to have social distancing and the need to stay away from crowded areas as much as possible, we feel it is vital to have a balanced perspective on certain matters pertaining to public health. Should you stay home all the time, thereby depriving yourself of Sunlight or Vitamin D(aka Sunshine Vitamin). How about coming into contact with surfaces that do have the Coronavirus? Will sunlight kill the Coronavirus? We did some research and found something interesting. Please read the brief extract below on how sunlight may affect the Coronavirus that we are facing right now.
Previous studies have demonstrated that SARS-CoV-2 is stable on surfaces for extended periods under indoor conditions. In the present study, simulated sunlight rapidly inactivated SARS-CoV-2 suspended in either simulated saliva or culture media and dried on stainless steel coupons. Ninety percent of infectious virus was inactivated every 6.8 minutes in simulated saliva and every 14.3 minutes in culture media when exposed to simulated sunlight representative of the summer solstice at 40°N latitude at sea level on a clear day. Significant inactivation also occurred, albeit at a slower rate, under lower simulated sunlight levels. The present study provides the first evidence that sunlight may rapidly inactivate SARS-CoV-2 on surfaces, suggesting that persistence, and subsequently exposure risk, may vary significantly between indoor and outdoor environments. Additionally, these data indicate that natural sunlight may be effective as a disinfectant for contaminated nonporous materials. The full article can be found here at: https://academic.oup.com/jid/article/222/2/214/5841129
Incidentally, while we were researching the above, we came across another interesting article that mentioned that sunlight exposure increased Covid-19 recovery rates. This study was done in Jakarta, Indonesia. Please read the brief extract below.
This study aims to present the correlation between sunlight exposure and Covid-19 statuses in Jakarta, Indonesia. The secondary data analysis was derived from surveillance data for Covid-19 from government authorities, including the Ministry of Health, the Meteorological, Climatological, and Geophysical Agency, and the local government of Jakarta. Three statuses related to Covid-19 were examined in the study: incidence, death, and recovered. Meanwhile, sunlight exposure was presented as daily duration of it. Only the number of recovered patients correlated significantly with sunlight exposure (p-value = .025; r = 0.350). This study’s findings showed that sunlight exposure was associated with recovery from Covid-19. The full article can be found here at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7184988/
When we previously talked about the suitable preventive measures for the coronavirus or covid19 virus, it seemed so rushed and draconian in nature. It seemed as if it was a do or die thing. Many questions raced through our minds. Could this be better handled? Was there a spike in Pneumonia cases in the 3rd or 4th quarter of 2019? Are the measures too tough? Was there a comparison with the number of deaths due to car accidents? If there are more deaths due to car accidents, do we ban vehicles? Have you ever wondered what does “flatten the curve” mean? We do agree containment measures are necessary but at the expense of killing the economy? Is there a middle ground? Amidst all these confusion, what narrative is the media trying to portray? Which parties own the media? Should there be a counter balance in opinions and media articles? If you have the time, we suggest you listen carefully to both videos below.
1. Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong, the executive chairman of the Los Angeles Times, offers an overview of our special series, The Science Behind the Coronavirus. In this introduction, Soon-Shiong (MD, MBBCh, MSc, FRCS (C), FACS) proposes that understanding how the virus infects our bodies and strategies toward treatment can help us allay our anxiety about it. Soon-Shiong is a surgeon and scientist who has spent his career studying the human immune system to fight cancer and infectious diseases. He is also the chairman and CEO of NantWorks and the owner of or investor in a number of companies, including ImmunityBio and NantKwest which are currently researching immunotherapies for COVID-19.
Coronaviruses are a group of viruses that cause diseases in mammals and birds. In humans, the viruses cause respiratory infections which are typically mild including the common cold but rarer forms like SARS and MERS can be lethal. In cows and pigs, they may cause diarrhoea, while in chickens they can cause an upper respiratory disease. There are no vaccines or antiviral drugs that are universally approved for prevention or treatment. The above primer is taken from wikipedia. If you need more information about the current novel coronavirus that originated in Wuhan, you can visit America’s CDC or from China’s CDC.
At first glance, we do see a high fatality rate for this Coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan, China. Upon closer scrutiny, it seems the majority of fatalities are of the higher age groups who might have weaker immunity or pre-existing medical ailments. If you are younger or healthier, this does not mean that you can ignore or treat this coronavirus lightly. The symptoms appear to range in severity. While some individuals do suffer from mild flu symptoms, others have contracted viral pneumonia, which is resistant to antibiotics and therefore difficult to treat. Thus, it is better to be vigilant and take the necessary precautions.
A normal doctor or general practitioner will not have the exceptional ability to distinguish an individual suffering from the Coronavirus or the common cough and cold. Until medical test kits are mass produced for the healthcare establishments, confirmatory laboratory tests are needed. This needs specialized equipment and time. If you suspect yourself as having the Coronavirus, please isolate or quarantine yourself at your residence and call the medical professionals for the next course of action.
Another reason for the higher fatality is the fact that the hospitals or public health services are overwhelmed. In relation to the huge numbers of infection, they do not have the adequate medical facilities and supplies to diagnose and treat the patients suffering from the Coronavirus. Hence, the Chinese mainland authorities are going at breakneck speed to build specialized medical hospitals for treating such infectious diseases. They have done it before during the SARS crisis and we do think they have the ability to scale this up to provide the facilities needed to tend to the infected.
Health advice for the general public:
Do not travel to Hubei Province where community transmission of novel Coronavirus is occurring. If it is unavoidable to travel to Hubei, put on a surgical mask and continue to do so until 14 days after returning, and quarantine for 14 days as far as possible. For members of the public returning from other parts of China, they are advised to stay home for 14 days upon their return as far as possible. Those who need to go out should wear a surgical mask.
Avoid close contact with persons with fever or respiratory symptoms in countries/areas with possible community transmission of novel coronavirus infection. If it is unavoidable to come into contact with them, put on a surgical mask and continue to do so until 14 days after returning.
Avoid touching animals (including game), poultry / birds or their droppings. Avoid visiting wet markets, live poultry markets or farms. Do not consume game meat and do not patronise food premises where game meat is served.
Maintain good personal hygiene (i) Wear a surgical mask when taking public transport or staying in crowded places. It is important to wear a mask properly, including hand hygiene before wearing and after removing a mask. (ii)Avoid touching your eyes, mouth and nose.Keep hands clean at all times. Perform hand hygiene frequently, especially before touching your eyes, mouth or nose, before handling food or eating, after going to toilet, after touching public installations such as escalator handrails, elevator control panels or door knobs, or when hands are contaminated by respiratory secretion after coughing or sneezing. (iii) Wash hands with liquid soap and water, and rub for at least 20 seconds. Then rinse with water and dry with a disposable paper towel. (iv) If hand washing facilities are not available, or when hands are not visibly soiled, performing hand hygiene with 70 to 80% alcohol-based handrub is an effective alternative. (v) Cover your nose and mouth with tissue paper when sneezing or coughing. Do not spit or litter. Use tissue paper to hold your spit. Dispose of the soiled tissues into a lidded rubbish bin, and then wash hands thoroughly.
This article pertains more to a dental practice or a medical equipment supplier who would want the best for their dental practice. Keeping up to date on the latest in medical technologies is vital to providing the best possible service to the end users. Do you know that an oil-lubricated compressor has a higher risk of contaminating the compressed air with lubricant? If you are intending to go oil-free, what should you take note of? Thus, it is imperative that when you look for an oilless dental air compressor supplier and their related listings, you will definitely come across the following ratings that will have an impact on your purchasing decision. In case you are unfamiliar with the ratings and terms, here is a brief refresher.
Performance Ratings (CFM, PSI, and HP) For most medical air compressors, these basic performance ratings are a direct indicator of power and reliability. But dental air compressors do not need to have higher ratings in any of these categories.
Noise Level Dental work requires precision and the patient remaining calm to be safe. If a compressor is too loud, then it can agitate patients or distract practitioners which can lead to accidents, liability issues, and poorer customer service experiences.
Compressor Size You have to consider how many operators will be in use at a time when selecting a compressor. The compressor’s capacity will be a great indicator of whether or not it’s worth your time. Capacity is the output in liters per minute (lpm), with most chairs needing around 50 lpm.
Value When we refer to value, we don’t just mean cost. In many cases, higher quality tools may cost more, but they provide enough reliability to last for a long time and pay for themselves in the long run.
Air Quality Air quality is more important than any other factor when choosing a dental air compressor. With the potential risk of exposure to pathogens, bacteria and microorganisms, this is undeniably the most important factor when choosing a brand new compressor.
Specific Features You Want Three of the most important components of your dental air compressor will be the purge tank, the oil filter, and wet/dry indicators. Whether you are starting a brand new dental practice or looking for an upgraded equipment, dental air compressors should be at the top of the list. Not only do you want quiet compressors that can run as many dental chairs as you need, you want higher quality products that won’t require frequent repair and maintenance or replacement. If you want your practice to grow and expand, then consider your choices carefully. We hope that this buying guide has been useful to your compressor purchasing decision.
If you are also interested in other portable dental equipment such as portable dental chairs, please feel free to take a look at dentalsalemall.com.
Geng Meiyu (front row, left) and her research team at the Chinese Academy of Sciences have successfully developed the first world’s medication for Alzheimer’s Disease in nearly 20 years. Photo: Xinhua
The world’s first new drug for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease in nearly two decades – and perhaps the only treatment with the potential to reverse the condition – was approved by the Chinese government on Saturday night.
The National Medical Products Administration said the drug, Oligomannate, had been approved for the treatment of “mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease and improving cognitive function”.
Beijing neurologist Dr Song Juexian spoke for many in her profession when she said: “Long in the dark, the Alzheimer’s disease has finally seen a break of dawn from the East.” Song, from Xuanwu Hospital, also cautioned that it was “far from the end of the battle”.
The development of Oligomannate was inspired by the relatively low occurrence of Alzheimer’s among elderly people who regularly consumed seaweed.
Packaging for Oligomannate, the new medication for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, which is expected to be available for patients in China before the end of the year. Photo: Xinhua News
The Chinese research team, led by Dr Geng Meiyu at the Chinese Academy of Sciences’ Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica, started looking into possible connections and, in 1997, identified a unique sugar in seaweed which might play an important role in the phenomenon.
They did not anticipate that developing the idea into an effective drug would take them more than two decades.
“I did feel lonely sometimes, because others were all developing small molecule medicines. Using sugar (with large molecular structure) was … unprecedented,” Geng said, in an interview last year with Shanghai Observer.
There is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease. As brain cells degenerate, symptoms progress from repeated words, depression, getting lost in familiar neighbourhoods, to forgetting the faces of family members. There will be 150 million Alzheimer’s patients around the world by 2050, according to the World Health Organisation, and more than a quarter of them will be in China.
The decline in brain function caused by Alzheimer’s can be divided into seven stages, and the new drug has been proven effective on conditions up to stage 4, which includes difficulty to add simple numbers, recall what was eaten for breakfast, pay bills or remember details about life histories.
Since it was first identified by German doctor Alois Alzheimer in 1906, the disease has remained one of the health industry’s biggest headaches.
Over the past two decades pharmaceutical companies have invested hundreds of billions of US dollars and brought more than 320 candidate drugs to clinical trial. Only five were approved for clinical use to relieve symptoms, and none could stop the brain cells from withering away. Due to repeated costly failures, Alzheimer’s-related programmes have been terminated in many large medical companies.
A major challenge for the Chinese research team was to explain the mechanism, with authorities reluctant to approve a new drug unless researchers could explain exactly why it worked. There were many theories on the causes of Alzheimer’s, but none seemed to apply to the drug.
In September, Geng’s team published a paper announcing a major discovery. They had found that Oligomannat was, in fact, a multitasking agent. It not only reduces the formation of a protein harmful to neurons, but also regulates the bacterium colonies in human intestines to reduce the risk of brain inflammation.
It is unclear whether the Chinese government’s approval of the drug was linked to ongoing competition with the United States on trade and technology. US company Biogen last month relaunched its efforts to seek FDA approval for its new Alzheimer’s drug, after earlier terminating two large clinical trials due to poor results.
In what some mainland medical researchers say is a sign the Chinese government still has concerns, the approval for Oligomannate was not unconditional.
Green Valley, the Shanghai-based pharmaceutical company which is to produce the drug, was “required to continue research on pharmacological mechanisms and long-term evaluation on safety and effectiveness,” according to the approval document.
In a clinical trial on more than 800 volunteers, the new drug was shown to improve cognitive performance by an average of 2.54 points in a standard test with scores from 0 to 70, in which patients scoring 16 points or more could be diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.
Lu Songtao, president of Green Valley, said the drug was in production at a plant in Liaoning province, northeast China, and would be available to the domestic market before the end of the year. Construction, to US standards, would also soon begin on a new factory in Shanghai, he added at a press conference organised by the Shanghai government on Sunday.
“If the construction can be finished within three years, this factory will be able to satisfy demand for two million patients every year,” Lu said. “Hopefully the drug will become available in global markets at around the same time,” he added.
Doctors cautioned that Oligomannate would not cure brains which had degenerated beyond repair. Patients with severe conditions, such as wandering, and who needed help with toileting and bathing, would not benefit from using the medicine.
It is also not recommended as a precautionary medication for older people who do not display any symptoms of Alzheimer’s, as its effect on the mass population remains unclear.
A bowl of deep red cherries is the perfect summertime snack. But, did you know these delicious little fruits have lots of health benefits? Here, Gabriel Patterson, fitness trainer and nutrition expert, shares five reasons to add cherries to your diet:
There are many ways to add cherries to your meals; the most obvious way is to eat them raw. However, dried cherries mixed with other fruits and nuts make a great trail mix. You can also add fresh cherries to desserts and pastries. For a more savory dish, make barbecue sauce or salsa with cherries. It is easy to experiment with new recipes with the fruit.
Full of Nutrients
Cherries are loaded with fiber and essential vitamins and minerals. A cup of cherries has less than 100 calories and lots of Vitamin C, which is good for skin and your immune system. The fiber in cherries helps promote a healthy digestive system and encourages the growth of beneficial bacteria in your body.
There have been a few recent studies conducted on the effect of cherries on sleep. The fruit is known to contain melatonin, which naturally regulates your sleeping cycle. In the study, patients with insomnia were given concentrated cherry juice before bed. After the study was completed, many participants reported falling asleep faster and staying asleep for longer after drinking the juice. By adding more cherries to your diet, you may be able to achieve the same results.
Good for Your Heart
Studies have shown that diets rich in fruits are good for your heart; overall, your risk for heart disease decreases if you eat a lot of fruit and vegetables. Cherries are rich in potassium, which helps prevent strokes. They also contain polyphenols, which reduce cellular damage in your heart tissue.
Assist in Exercise Recovery
As you exercise, your muscles develop tiny tears; this is why you are often sore after a hard workout. Cherries contain anti-inflammatory compounds that can reduce pain after physical activity. There are several products containing cherries that are given to athletes to help them recover and get back to peak performance. Tart cherries work best for athletes, but sweet cherry is also beneficial.
The next time you are at the grocery store, consider picking up some cherries. These tiny fruits are tasty and have many health benefits. Follow these tips from Gabriel Patterson to help easily incorporate cherries into your daily diet.
Have you ever wondered why you still have hemorrhoids or constipation or even can’t eliminate your faeces completely even after consuming fruits, vegetables and drinking lots of plain water? There is a physiological reason and it probably is more common in the elderly and those who lead sedentary lifestyles, mostly not by choice. Who wouldn’t want to lead healthier lives moving about?
What is constipation? What are Hemorrhoids?
According to webmd, constipation means that your bowel movements are impeded or occur less frequently, resulting in you having trouble excreting. It also goes on to mention that hemorrhoids or piles are swollen veins in the lowest part of the rectum and anus. They too might bleed if the strain exerted causes them to burst. This is usually caused by pressures such as lifting something heavy like what the bodybuilders do, or pushing/straining very hard during bowel movements in the toilet. The latter case is very common – especially for the elderly.
Why constipation or hemorrhoids occurs?
After some research at, we discovered that there is a physiological reason for this. If you look closely at the above picture which you are already looking more attentively, the colon has a natural kink that helps to maintain continence. In the normal upright sitting position, the puborectalis muscle is only partially relaxed to block the flow of faecal waste. This would mean that the puborectalis muscle is not fully relaxed when we are upright and this forces us to strain more if we are sitting on the toilet bowel. For some places where the toilet bowl is already on the ground and you are squatting, it is fully relaxed and you eliminate easily. This is the reason why some places or countries have less incidences of constipation. At our place here in the nursing home, most of the toilet bowls are the sitting type. In addition, the elderly are really old and you can’t expect them to squat. For those with weak legs, can they come back up and stand after squatting? I doubt so. They will call for help instead and we are not sure if their knees can take it. Its better we get them a squat stool instead. Click the image below to take a look at where you can buy it.
Hence, it is imperative that you get a squat stool to properly eliminate all faeces when you go to the toilet. It also relieves the pressure and strain at the rectum and anus where you are less likely to get hemorrhoids also. Preventive measures is definitely more welcomed than consuming laxatives. Of course, laxatives are still required if the condition persists – waste materials and faeces are not really welcomed for an extended stay in the body!
Health Diet and Exercise are still a must!
Having mentioned all the above, you are still well advised to eat healthy. Consumption of vegetables and fruits are vital to ensure the overall well-being of the human body. Fruits that are high in fibre are also recommended. You do know that an apple a day keeps the doctor away. Fluid consumption is also a must. Consume plenty of water to ensure that urine and faeces can be moved efficiently during the bowel movement process. If you really want, you can consider taking prune or pineapple juice to help excrete better. The above are not intended to be medical treatment for any condition you might have and you are still well advised to see a medical professional.
(i) Hospitals Hospital Sultan Aminah – 20 to 25min Hospital Sultan Aminah – 20 to 25min The Sultanah Aminah Hospital is a government-funded multi-specialty hospital located in Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia. It is the largest hospital in Johor and the main referral and tertiary health centre for the state.
Hospital Permai – 20min Hospital Permai is equipped with 36 wards providing service, training and research in psychiatry.
Columbia Asia Hospital – 10min In the prosperous state of Johor at the southern tip of Malaysia, lies Columbia Asia Hospital – Iskandar Puteri. It opened in 2010 and is the company’s first multi-specialty medical facility. This multi-disciplinary specialist hospital caters to residents of new townships in Johor Bahru such as Nusa Idaman, Horizon Hills, Educity, SiLC and Ledang. A 10-minute drive from Johor Bahru city center also Singapore, Iskandar Puteri is a flagship zone of the Iskandar Development Region in southern Johor.
Gleneagles Medini Hospital – 10min The Gleneagles Medini Hospital will features 300-beds and a 162-suite medical office block. The hospital is developed by Parkway Pantai Group in close partnership with Global Capital & Development.
Shingles is caused by the varicella zoster virus – the same virus that also causes chicken pox. Anyone who has had chicken pox in the past may develop shingles and this is particularly pronounced as you get older. The virus does not go completely after you have had chickenpox. Some virus particles remain latent in the nerve roots next to your spinal cord. Some cases of shingles then appear for no apparent reason where the virus multiplies and travel along the nerve to the skin to cause shingles. In other cases, a period of lower immunity such as stress or illness can also trigger an episode of shingles. After the age of fifty, it becomes increasingly common to get shingles, probably due to the lower immunity as we age. Although it is uncommon to have it more than once, some people do experience it.
The most commonly involved nerves that cause shingles are those below the skin of the chest or tummy (abdomen). The upper face (including the eye) is also a common site. The back areas behind the body are also possible. The pain can range from mild to severe and can include constant dull, burning or gnawing pain. Acute and stabbing pains might also come and go. Itchy blisters will then develop after the rash. The blister will normally dry up, form scabs and gradually fade away. Slight scarring is possible after this ends. The whole duration usually lasts two to four weeks. Feeling feverish (running a temperature) and feeling weak is also commonly experienced during this episode.
You cannot contract shingles from someone who has shingles. However, you can get chicken pox from someone who has shingles if you have not had an immunization for chicken pox, contracted chicken pox before in the past or exhibit poor immunity. The shingles rash is highly contagious and it would be good if you can exercise responsibility whereby you try not to come in contact with young children (who might not be immunized) or weaker elderly persons if you have shingles.
Post-herpetic Neuralgia (PHN) is the most common complication where the nerve pain (neuralgia) of shingles persists after the rash is gone. It is a nerve pain that continues for three months or more due to damage caused by Shingles. Alternatively, if the pain goes away and returns at a later date, this is also called PHN. The problem is not so common in people with ages under fifty but for those over the age of sixty, one in five will have PHN that lasts more than a month.
Ways to alleviate the pain include wearing loose clothing to reduce irritation of the affected skin areas. Taking frequent cool baths or icing of the affected areas might also help. Taking common painkillers such as paracetamol are unlikely to help much. Hence, seeing a physician and getting the right medication is vital. They normally will prescribe an antidepressant medicine in the tricyclic group. In this case, it is not used to treat depression. Tricyclic antidepressants ease nerve pain (neuralgia) separately to their action on depression. However, amitriptyline is the one commonly used for nerve pain. Pain is stopped, or greatly eased, in up to 8 in 10 cases of PHN treated with amitriptyline. Tricyclic antidepressants sometimes cause drowsiness. This often eases in time. To try to avoid drowsiness, a low dose is usually started at first and then built up gradually if needed. It is also usually taken at night. A dry mouth is another common side-effect. Frequent sips of water may help with this. Please visit a qualified physician or doctor to ensure you have the right advice given your current medical condition.