RESPIRATORY HYGIENE IN WORKPLACES

Tips on how you can make your office and co-workers “safe” from spread of...

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JAPANESE ENCEPHALITIS

Japanese encephalitis (JE) is a potentially severe disease. It is a mosquito-borne viral infection which is common in agricultural areas. Check out this health bulletin to learn...

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OBESITY

November is Diabetes Awareness Month Obesity is considered a risk factor for this condition. Check out this health bulletin to learn...

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COUGH & COLDS

A cough and a sneeze is a defensive reflex of the body that functions to keep the airways clear of irritating or obstructing substances so that breathing and the intake of oxygen is effective. It occurs in a wide variety of mild to serious diseases, disorders and conditions. DEFINITION A cough is the body’s way of responding when something irritates your throat or airways. An irritant stimulates nerves that send a message to your brain. The brain then tells muscles in your chest and abdomen to push air out of your lungs to force out the irritant. A cold is a mild viral infection of the nose, throat, sinuses and upper airways. It’s very common and usually clears up on its own within a week or two. The main symptoms of a cold include: • a sore throat • a blocked or runny nose • sneezing • a cough CAUSES Common acute causes — 1. Common Cold 2. Influenza (flu) 3. Inhaling an irritant 4. Strained or pulled abdominal muscle 5. Whooping Cough Common chronic causes — 1. Allergies 2. Asthma (most common in children) 3. Bronchitis 4. GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) SYMPTOMS Other than the cough and cold, other associated symptoms can be: • Sore throat • Nasal congestion • Slight body aches • Mild headache • Sneezing • Low-grade fever • Watery or mucoid nasal discharge DIAGNOSIS Most people with a common cold can be diagnosed by their signs and symptoms. If your doctor suspects you have a bacterial infection or other condition, he or she may order a chest X-ray or other tests to exclude other causes of your symptoms. The distinction between Upper and Lower Respiratory Tract Infections is also important. When to see a doctor For adults — seek medical attention if you have: • Fever greater than 38.5 C (101.3 F) • Fever lasting five days or more or returning after a fever-free period • Shortness of breath • Wheezing • Severe sore throat, headache or sinus pain For children — in general, your child doesn’t need to see the doctor for a common cold. But seek medical attention right away if your child has any of the following: • Fever of 38 C (100.4 F) in newborns up to 12 weeks • Rising fever or fever lasting more than two days in a child of any age • Symptoms that worsen or...

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HYPERTENSION

Hypertension is considered as the biggest single risk factor for deaths worldwide. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), hypertension causes 7 million deaths every year while 1.5 billion people suffer due to its complications. According to the Philippine Society of Hypertension (PSH) in 2012, 21 percent of Filipino adults are hypertensive.  Hypertension is defined as physiologic conditon where there is an increase in arterial blood pressure above normal. It is a common condition in which the long-term force of the blood against the artery wall is high enough that it may eventually cause health problems, such as heart disease.                           Other factors which places the person at risk: Increasing age ( above 40 years old for males and menopausal age for female) Smoking Being overweight Heavy alcohol consumption High serum cholesterol level Family history of heart disease, diabetes and kidney disease SYMPTOMS Often hypertension has no symptoms, that’s why it was also called a “silent killer.” But some may develop the following:                                                 DIAGNOSIS Blood pressure is taken by placing an inflatable arm cuff around your arm and measure your blood pressure using a pressure-measuring gauge, a sphygmomanometer. A blood pressure reading, given in millimeters mercury (mm Hg), has two numbers. The first or upper number measures the pressure in your arteries when your heart beats (systolic pressure). The second or lower number measures the pressure in your arteries between beats (diastolic pressure). Blood pressure measurements fall into four general categories:               Two to three blood pressure readings each at three or more separate appointments should be taken before diagnosing one with high blood pressure. This is because blood pressure normally varies throughout the day, and sometimes specifically during visits to the doctor. TREATMENT Anti-hypertensive medications to control and maintain blood pressure are given, depending on the existing condition. It may be any or a combination of: • Diuretics • ACE Inhibitor • Angiotensin Receptor Blocker • Beta Blocker • Calcium Channel Blocker • Aldosterone Antagonist HOME CARE Home blood pressure monitoring can help keep your blood pressure normal, show if medication is working, and even alert you and your doctor to potential complications. Home blood pressure monitoring...

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ACUTE GASTROENTERITIS

Acute Gastroenteritis is diarrhea or vomiting, or both, of more than several episodes or days duration.   FACTS: – Viral gastroenteritis is a leading cause of severe diarrhea in both adults and children. – Many types of viruses can cause gastroenteritis. Rotavirus is the most common cause of acute gastroenteritis worldwide in children and vaccination will have a major impact on disease incidence. – Most people with acute gastroenteritis are not dehydrated and can be managed at home. – Dehydration, electrolyte disturbance and other complications can be prevented and treated by fluid therapy – Those with mild-moderate dehydration can be treated with oral rehydration solutions. – Severely dehydrated or shocked usually need intravenous fluids and hospital admission – Drugs are usually unnecessary and may do harm SYMPTOMS Most often appear within 4 to 48 hours after contact with the virus. Common symptoms include: – Abdominal pain – Diarrhea – Nausea and vomiting – Chills, clammy skin, or sweating – Fever – Joint stiffness or muscle pain     – Poor feeding – Weight loss DIAGNOSIS The health care provider will look for signs of dehydration, including: – Low or no urine output; concentrated urine that looks dark yellow – Dry or sticky mouth – Severe weakness – Low blood pressure – No tears – Sunken eyes   Tests of stool samples may be used to identify the virus that is causing the sickness. Most of the time, this test is not needed for viral gastroenteritis. A stool examination may be done to find out if the problem is being caused by bacteria. TREATMENT The goal of treatment is to prevent dehydration by making sure the body has enough water and fluids. Fluids and electrolytes (salt and minerals) that are lost through diarrhea or vomiting must be replaced by drinking extra fluids. Even if you are able to eat, you should still drink extra fluids between meals. Try eating small amounts of food frequently, including cereals, bread, potatoes, lean meat, plain yogurt, bananas, fresh apples, vegetables. Drink small amounts of fluid (2 – 4 oz.) every 30 – 60 minutes. Do not try to force down large amounts of fluid at one time, which can cause vomiting. Use a teaspoon or syringe for an infant or small child. If you have diarrhea and are unable to drink or keep down fluids because of nausea or vomiting, you may need fluids through a...

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