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Dengue Fever

Dengue fever is a painful, debilitating mosquito-borne disease caused by any one of four closely related dengue viruses. These viruses are related to the viruses that cause West Nile infection and yellow fever.

Dengue fever is transmitted by the bite of an Aedes mosquito infected with a dengue virus. The mosquito becomes infected when it bites a person with dengue virus in their blood. It can’t be spread directly from one person to another person.

Symptoms of Dengue Fever

Symptoms, which usually begin four to six days after infection and last for up to 10 days, may include:

  • Sudden, high fever

  • Severe headaches

  • Pain behind the eyes

  • Severe joint and muscle pain

  • Fatigue

  • Nausea

  • Vomiting

  • Skin rash, which appears two to five days after the onset of fever

  • Mild bleeding (such a nose bleed, bleeding gums, or easy bruising)

Sometimes, symptoms are mild and can be mistaken for those of the flu or another viral infection. Younger children and people who have never had the infection before tend to have milder cases than older children and adults. However, serious problems can develop. These include dengue hemorrhagic fever, a rare complication characterized by high fever, damage to lymph and blood vessels, bleeding from the nose and gums, enlargement of the liver, and failure of the circulatory system. The symptoms may progress to massive bleeding, shock, and death. This is called dengue shock syndrome (DSS).

People with weakened immune systems as well as those with a second or subsequent dengue infection are believed to be at greater risk for developing dengue hemorrhagic fever.

Diagnosing Dengue Fever

Doctors can diagnose dengue infection with a blood test to check for the virus or antibodies to it. If you become sick after traveling to a tropical area, let your doctor know. This will allow your doctor to evaluate the possibility that your symptoms were caused by a dengue infection.

Treatment for Dengue Fever

There is no specific medicine to treat dengue infection.

If you think you may have dengue fever, you should use pain relievers with acetaminophen and avoid medicines with aspirin, which could worsen bleeding. You should also rest, drink plenty of fluids, and see your doctor. If you start to feel worse in the first 24 hours after your fever goes down, you should get to a hospital immediately to be checked for complications.

Preventing Dengue Fever

There is no vaccine to prevent dengue fever.

The best way to prevent the disease is to prevent bites by infected mosquitoes, particularly if you are living in or traveling to a tropical area. This involves protecting yourself and making efforts to keep the mosquito population down.

To protect yourself:

  • Stay away from heavily populated residential areas, if possible.

  • Use mosquito repellents, even indoors.

  • When outdoors, wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants tucked into socks.

  • When indoors, use air conditioning if available.

  • Make sure window and door screens are secure and free of holes. If sleeping areas are not screened or air conditioned, use mosquito nets.

  • If you have symptoms of dengue, speak to your doctor.

To reduce the mosquito population, get rid of places where mosquitoes can breed. These include old tires, cans, or flower pots that collect rain. Regularly change the water in outdoor bird baths and pets’ water dishes.

If someone in your home gets dengue fever, be especially vigilant about efforts to protect yourself and other family members from mosquitoes. Mosquitoes that bite the infected family member could spread the infection to others in your home.

Sources:

  • Florida Department of Health: “Dengue Fever.”
  • CDC: “Dengue: Frequently Asked Questions.”
  • University of Alabama at Birmingham Medicine: “Dengue Fever.”
  • Directors of Health Promotion and Education: “Dengue.”
  • University of Florida IFAS Extension: “What is Dengue?”
  • CDC: “Dengue: Prevention.”

 

Preventing Diphtheria

Diphtheria is preventable with the use of antibiotics and vaccines.

The vaccine for diphtheria is called DTaP. It’s usually given in a single shot along with vaccines for pertussis and tetanus.

The DTaP vaccine is administered in a series of five shots. It’s given to children at the following ages:
• 2 months
• 4 months
• 6 months
• 12 to 18 months
• 4 to 6 years

In rare cases, a child might have an allergic reaction to the vaccine. This can result in seizures or hives, which will later go away.

Vaccines only last for 10 years, so your child will need to be vaccinated again around age 12. For adults, it’s recommended that you get a combined diphtheria and tetanus booster shot.

This is known as the tetanus-diphtheria (Td) vaccine. Taking these steps can help prevent you and your child from getting diphtheria in the future.

Sources:
http://www.cdc.gov/diphtheria/about/index.html
http://kidshealth.org/parent/infections/lung/diphtheria.html
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/diphtheria/DS00495

Food Poisoning

WHAT IS FOOD POISONING?

Food poisoning is any illness caused by eating contaminated food or drink.

 

CAUSES OF FOOD POISONING?

* Meals are prepared too early and stored at room temperature.

* Cool down hot food too long before being stored in the refrigerator.

* Do not heat the food to a temperature high enough to kill bacteria.

* Eat cooked food contaminated with harmful bacteria.

* Do not cook food at a temperature sufficiently (do not kill germs).

* Do not thaw frozen food taste cross-contamination between raw and cooked food.

* Leaving food touched first ago by cockroaches, flies, mice and animals flying like a cat and a bird.

* Food handlers diseased (finger wound, abscess) and adopt bad habits such as smoking, picking your nose, ears, spitting everywhere, scratching their heads or members of other bodies, talk time handling food.

* Raw materials are stored together food already cooked and ready to eat cause cross-contamination. Raw materials, especially meat or results should be stored at temperatures as low as 40 C

* Eating food surplus.

 

WHAT IS THE IMPACT OF FOOD POISONING?

* Food poisoning can lead to death if not treated early.

* It also can lead to disability such as paralysis or arthritis lasting or chronic.

* May cause complications loss of body fluids is significant due to vomiting and diarrhea to causing dehydration or exhausted body strength. This in turn will lower blood pressure (hypotension), kidney failure, and many others.

* The loss of too much potassium salts of the body including the heart muscle causing cramping, seizures and even coma. Other complications include septicemia, where bacteria enter the blood and spread throughout the body.

 

HOW TO AVOID FOOD POISONING?

Use these 3 important tips when shopping at the bazaar before enjoying a meal of Ramadan and fasting can prevent you from becoming a victim of food poisoning .

OBSERVE: Make sure you buy from a store that is clean and food handlers are clean and fully clothed ( covered head , attired , air aprons , gloves and appropriate equipment ) . Do not buy food that was slimy as the indication of the food has spoiled. Do not buy food that is exposed uncovered .

SMELL: Do not feed the food that smells fishy or foul while trying to break .

TASTE: If eaten giving a strange feeling . STOP and do not proceed . WASTE Foods that have been damaged earlier.

 

Diphtheria

Diphtheria is an infection caused by the bacterium Corynebacterium diphtheriae.

Signs and symptoms may vary from mild to severe.

Symptoms of diphtheria include fever of 38 °C or above, chills, fatigue, cyanosis, sore throat, hoarseness, cough, headache, difficulty swallowing, painful swallowing, difficulty breathing, rapid breathing, foul-smelling bloodstained nasal discharge and lymphadenopathy.

They usually start two to five days after exposure. Symptoms often come on fairly gradually beginning with a sore throat and fever. In severe cases a grey or white patch develops in the throat. This can block the airway and create a barking cough as in croup. The neck may swell in part due to large lymph nodes.

Diphtheria is usually spread between people by direct contact or through the air. If signs and symptoms appear, seek immediate medical attention.

Source: Epidemiology and Prevention of Vaccine-Preventable Diseases (Download), Diphtheria vaccine (Download), From the Desk of the Director-General of Health Malaysia, Image

First Aid at School

ASEC is committed to promote the importance of first aid in the community and believes that there is no better place to start than in our schools. Every teacher in Malaysia should have access to vital first aid knowledge and with the ‘First Aid in Schools Program’ this is possible.

The First Aid Schools Program is a FREE program run by ASEC providing basic first aid training to school students across all states and territories in Malaysia. We aim at least to focus on 12  schools per year nationwide.

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