August In A Nutshell

About Zika virus

Zika infection has been declared as a health emergency by the WHO.

Symptoms of Zika include fever, sore eyes, joint pain and headache. As it is a viral infection, there is no drug treatment. Nevertheless, symptom management is applied and patients are advised to drink plenty of fluid and rest.

The virus is transmitted by Aedes mosquitoes. There have been cases where infected people transmit the virus through sexual intercourse. Hence, condom use or better, refrainment is encouraged. With Singapore recorded 41 Zika infection cases and knowing that it is mainly spread via Aedes, we can prevent infection by draining away clogged water, keeping windows closed (unless netted) and use insect repellents during outdoors.

Here’s the link for more information.


The Game Changer For Asthma

Asthmatic patients who do not respond well to normal medications might find a possible solution with the development of a new drug, called fevipiprant. Acting as prostaglandin D2 receptor antagonists, it reduces airway inflammation.

A trial was carried out at Glenfield Hospital in Leicester, UK between 2012 and 2013. Volunteers who had moderate to severe asthma benefitted from this treatment. There were some setbacks to this trial, particularly its highly specific outcome measurement.

Click here for more details. Indeed, fevipiprant is seen as a “game changer” in the fight against asthma!



We all know that stress is not good yet we often become helpless victims. We ponder what we can do about it. Here are some tips:

  • Look at the bright (or sunny) side!!
  • Spread your positivity to your friends, or at least, be positive to yourself whenever there is an up hilling task. Perspective is important. If you realise a 30 minute jog, thrice a week yields many health benefits, wouldn’t you see it as an enjoyment rather than a time waster?
  • Shhhhhhhhhh...
  • Allocate some quiet time to yourself each day as too much noise will overwhelm the brain. This includes avoidance of music, internet and television. Instead, go for some light exercise, meditation or even gradening.
  • Support
  • Create a support network for yourself. Identify the person whom you can go to whenever you need a chat to distress. Definitely, you should do the same if others have similar problems. Surround yourself with positive thinker and you will soon be one.

For more tips, don’t hesitate to visit The Star's online portal.


Generic EpiPens

With the price of EpiPens in the US rising over the decade, many are finding it hard to afford them. EpiPens are used during an anaphylactic reaction caused by food or insects. As such, a pharmaceutical company in the US, Mylan, has manufactured a generic version of EpiPen. This will see its price being slashed by half of its original version, costing only approximately 460 pounds for 2 doses.

The outcry over the price increase has sent Mylan shares fell by 12% last week. With Mylan being the manufacturer of EpiPen which generates $1 billion sales annually, this move seems to be unusual. This is because the autoinjector is still under patent which causes many companies to not successfully gain regulatory clearance for their new treatments.

Interested? Read more here.


For our future

Malaysian doctors:

Initially, there were many medical graduates. Now, there are many housemen (HO) becoming medical officers (MOs).

There have been reports that HO need to wait for a longer period of time to be promoted as MOs. According to Datuk Dr S. Jeyaindran, the deputy health director-general of the Malaysian Health Ministry, it takes at least four months to get the MO application processed. With more applications, HO are advised to apply by their fifth posting to allow sufficient time for processing. However, complications arise when some apply at the end of housemanship, did not submit all the necessary documents or did not want to work at Sabah and Sarawak.

Interestingly, some MOs are still paid with HO salaries, as reported in The Star.


In a nutshell, don’t be stressed out. Go out and find some fun but please, beware of Zika. If you have an allergic attack but have no EpiPen, go to your nearest health centre. Many doctors are there to help.