This 2nd post about Dengue, following our previous post about "Dengue and Dengvaxia (the Dengue vaccine)", explains the "5 Step Mozzie Wipe-out".
The aim of the "Wipe-out" is to prevent the breeding of the Aede's mosquito and subsequently from biting your family and loved ones.
The key in the mozzie wipe-out is to prevent and avoid stagnant water pools which the mosquitoes breed in. The steps are shown below (from: www.dengue.gov.sg)
Step 1: Overturn all containers (e.g. pails) to avoid collection of stagnant water.
Step 2: Change water in all vase(s) on alternate days - avoid stagnant water!
Step 3: Drain all flower pot plates on alternate days. Scrub the surface to remove potential mosquito eggs. Dried out mosquito eggs can survive for up to 6 months!
Step 4: Loosen hardened soil to allow better water permeability for your potted plants and flowers; thereby avoiding stagnant water pools.
Step 5: Clear all roof gutters and apply anti-mosquito (BTI - Bacillus Thuringiensis Israelensis) insecticide monthly!
The added bonus of fighting Dengue is that it also helps avoid Zika!
Q: What is dengue?
A: Dengue is a mosquito-borne infection endemic to Singapore and the tropics worldwide. It is an unpleasant but self limiting viral fever with other features like headache, vomiting, joint & muscle aches and rash. A small proportion of cases can develop into severe dengue which may present with life threatening bleeding.
Q: How can I avoid it?
A: The key is to prevent Aedes mosquito breeding and avoid getting bites. Doing the 5 step mozzie wipeout can help. A new development is the arrival of the first dengue vaccine approved by HSA in Singapore - Dengvaxia.
Q: What is Dengvaxia?
A: It is the first vaccine licensed against dengue in Singapore, indicated for ages 12 to 45 years. Three injections are required at 6 month intervals.
Read also this article in the Straits Times!
Q: How effective is dengue vaccine?
A: As with all vaccines, it cannot prevent 100% of infections. It has varying effectivity against different strains of dengue. Overall it reduces symptomatic infections by 69.2%, the need for hospitalisation by 81.3% and severe dengue by 95.5%.
Q: Should I get the vaccine?
A: It is a live vaccine so it may not be suitable for everybody. Consultation with your doctor is advised to discuss the risks and benefits for each particular case. The current evidence shows that although you can still get infected after vaccination, the risk of severe dengue or death is reduced.
Q: I’ve had dengue before - should I vaccinate?
A: There are 4 main strains of dengue circulating in South-East Asia so it may be possible to get re-infected more than once. The risk of severe dengue infection is greater in subsequent infections.
Vaccination with Dengvaxia is more effective in patients who have had prior dengue infections and can reduce the risk of severe dengue.
Q: Where can I get this vaccine?
A: Come on down to Katong Family Clinic and speak to our Doctors (Dr Sarah Packer & Dr Jack Lee) for more information to protect you, yourself and your family!
Have you vaccinated your daughter against HPV? HPV or Human Papillomavirus is the most common cause of cervical cancer accounting for about 70% of cases. Preventive vaccination is Medisave claimable for girls and women aged 9-26 years and is recommended by the Ministry of Health. It was added to the National Childhood Immunisation Schedule (NCIS) in November 2010.
This recent article in the Straits Times highlight the 2 main types of HPV vaccines that we have - Gardasil and Cervarix; and potentially more in the future!
If you are 27 or older, you should discuss the benefits of vaccination with your GP.
Most people are aware that smoking is linked to nasopharyngeal (nose and throat) cancer or NPC, but few are aware that dietary choices can also have an impact.
Salted vegetables, which are common in the Asian diet, contain carcinogenic compounds called nitrosamines which increase the risk of developing NPC.
Our Doctors at Katong Family Clinic cautions against eating too many salted (preserved) vegetables but says that male gender, Chinese ethnicity - particularly from southern China - and family history such as having a first degree relative affected by NPC are also important risk factors.
This article highlights the risk factors in our everyday diet which can lead to NPC!
Recent health news highlighted the over-use of antibiotics in developed countries. Patients often insist that they "need" antibiotics to get over that simple cold.
However, multi resistant bacterial strains are becoming ever more common worldwide. Worryingly, an increasing number of bugs are resistant to our last line of defense treatments and medical science is struggling to keep up.
For those of you who feel the rise of the multi-resistant super bacterium is a myth, a story used by Doctors to frighten (naughty) patients; or something that won't happen until far into the future; let us highlight that this is happening - right now!
Contrary to what some may believe, antibiotic resistance is a problem in the here and now and we all have a duty to try to prevent this looming crisis. Without effective antibiotics, medicine could return to the dark ages with simple operations and infections that could previously be cured with antibiotics becoming a major health risk.
As medical professionals we can do our part to slow this process down by careful and appropriate prescribing of antibiotics and educating our patients on when they are and are not indicated. Engage your Doctors and openly discuss if your condition warrants the use of antibiotics. Do not push for antibiotics when Doctors advise against their use; equally, please ensure you complete your course of antibiotics when prescribed to avoid the development of antibiotic resistant strains of bacterium.
For patients who are thinking of coming down for a consultation over at Katong Family Clinic, we have two dedicated Doctors (Dr Sarah Packer & Dr Jack Lee) here to help, advise and treat you. Call us on 6203 4192 to make an appointment!
Hands up, who likes to 'clean' their ears? Using those Q-tips or other instruments to try to remove wax and dirt can actually do more harm than good and is not recommended.
See why here: https://www.statnews.com/…/06/earwax-doctors-advice-ignored/
Ear wax may seem like a benign problem, but it can really reduce quality of life for sufferers, especially if it is causing poor hearing. This can be a problem in all ages but is often especially so in the elderly who may miss out in social interactions due to the associated hearing loss. The good news is that in many cases simple remedies can help to unclog the ear.
Dr Jack Lee at Katong Family Clinic has a special interest in Ear, Nose & Throat problems (amongst other services). He is trained and has experience in providing ear wax micro-suction. If simple measures (such as ear drops) fail to help, this is the safest way to remove a build up of wax or blockage in the ear under direct vision to restore a person's hearing.
Are you looking for a New Year's Resolution to improve your health? How about considering to stop smoking? This article from the Health Promotion Board shares some sensible and helpful information on this tricky task!!!
Stopping smoking is one of the best decisions you can make - smoking increases the risk of artherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease. The health benefits of quitting start within hours and continue to become apparent for years, especially if you have been a smoker for a while.
Let our experienced Doctors (Dr Sarah Packer & Dr Jack Lee) at Katong Family Clinic assist and support you through this difficult time.
We can do it together!!!
Contraception: are you aware of all your options?
A discussion with your friendly and knowledgeable family doctor can help with family planning and avoiding unplanned pregnancies. Our Doctors (Dr Sarah Packer & Dr Jack Lee) at Katong Family Clinic are well versed in the various options available as no one type is suitable for everyone. So come on down to learn more, to answer your queries and also to recognise which is the most suitable option for your lifestyle and you!
This local study (click to go to link) has suggested that awareness and knowledge of contraception among ladies in Singapore is lacking!
This article by the Health Promotion Board gives a helpful overview of your contraceptive options. If you have questions or want to discuss the most suitable option for you, do pop down for a chat!
Thinking of going for health screening but don’t know what tests you should do?
The article below from the Health Promotion Board highlights the ABCs of Health Screening. Have a read and find out what screening is advised for you and your loved ones by the Ministry of Health.
Come down to Katong Family Clinic where our friendly and knowledgeable Doctors (Dr Sarah Packer & Dr Jack Lee) can answer your queries, and also advise on your screening needs and requirements after a detailed assessment!
Over prescribing of antibiotics has accelerated Darwin's natural selection of super bugs.
We, as the medically trained professionals (prescribers), need to be judicious in the use of antibiotics. Part of the consultation should include the evaluation of the requirement of antibiotics with our patients with regard to their illnesses.
Only by working together with patients can we combat the rise of multi resistant bacterial strains which is becoming ever more common in this day and age.
Have a read of this Straits Times article and engage us in friendly and educational discussions!
Dr Sarah Packer is a Family Physician with a special interest in women's and children's health.