Hepatitis is a generic term for inflammation of the liver. This can be due to viral infection, exposure to toxic substances, alcohol, certain medications, or immune system disorder. Hepatitis A is a liver inflammation caused by infection with the Hepatitis A virus (HAV). In Singapore, the majority of the reported Hepatitis A cases had past histories of consuming contaminated food from raw or partially cooked cockles.
Hepatitis A is a viral infection that causes the liver to become enlarged, inflamed and tender. There is no chronic (long-term) infection. The virus is excreted in faeces and transmitted through contaminated food and water. Eating shellfish taken from sewage-contaminated water is a common means of contracting Hepatitis A. It can also be acquired by close contact with individuals infected with the virus.
A person is infectious for 2-3 weeks before he or she experiences symptoms and during the first week of illness.
Causes & risk factors
Hepatitis A is caused by a virus that belongs to the Picornavirus which is non-enveloped and contains a single-stranded RNA.
Hepatitis A virus infections often occur in conditions of poor sanitation and overcrowding. Outbreaks of HAV have resulted from those infected food handlers who failed to wash their hands after going to the toilet. There were also reported cases of contracting HAV from sexual contact and drug use with infected persons.
Signs & symptoms
There is no specific medication for Hepatitis A virus infection. People often recover after 2 weeks with bed rest and medications to relieve symptoms.
Take the following measures to help you feel better and improve you condition:
Hepatitis A vaccination is the best protection. Immune globulin can be given for short-term protection. It is given before and within 2 weeks after coming in contact with Hepatitis A virus. The vaccine is recommended for those travelling to developing countries, sexually active homosexual men and people with chronic liver disease.
Always wash your hands with soap and water after using the toilet, before preparing and eating food.
Text taken from Singapore Health Promotion Board
The ear canal is lined with hair follicles and glands that produce a waxy oil called cerumen. The wax usually makes its way to the opening of the ear, where it may fall out by itself or during bathing. Ear wax can build up and obstruct the ear canal, and blockage from ear wax is one of the most common causes of hearing loss.
Ear wax protects the ear by trapping and preventing dust, bacteria and small objects from entering and damaging the ear. It also protects the delicate skin of the ear canal from getting irritated when water enters the canal.
In some people, the glands produce more wax than can be easily removed from the ear. This extra wax may harden in the ear canal and cause blockage. When you try to clean the ear with cotton buds, instead of helping , you may instead push wax deeper and cause more problems. Common symptoms of excessive or impacted ear wax include earaches, fullness in the ear, ringing noises in the ear, or hearing loss.
Most cases of ear wax blockage can be treated at home. The following can be used to soften wax in the ear:
Another method is to wash out the wax.
To avoid damaging your ear or causing an infection:
**Never try to clean the ear by putting any object such as a cotton bud/rod into the ear canal.**
If you cannot remove the wax plug or you have discomfort, consult your doctor, who may remove the wax by:
Text adapted from: MedlinePlus
Cervical cancer is the 9th most common cancer in Singaporean women. It can be effectively treated if it is detected early. The best protection against cervical cancer is to go for regular Pap smear once every three years. You can also speak to your doctor about the HPV vaccination to determine if you are suitable.
The link between cervical cancer and HPV
Types of cervical cancer
Women with the following conditions are at a higher risk of developing cervical cancer
Women who have never had sexual intercourse are at low risk for cervical cancer.
In the early stages, women with cervical cancer may not have any symptoms.
As the cancer progresses, these symptoms and signs include:
Screening for cervical cancer
Click here for more information on Pap Smear.
To confirm the diagnosis, the specialist may perform the following tests:
Cervical cancer if detected in its early stages can be treated. Treatment is simple and almost 100% effective. Treatments of early stage cancer include:
Cervical cancer that invades deeper into the cervix is referred to as invasive cancer and requires more extensive treatment. Treatment options may include:
You can reduce your risk of cervical cancer by:
Text taken from Singapore Health Promotion Board.
There was a measles outbreak in Singapore recently, which serves as a timely reminder to all of us to make sure our loved ones are adequately immunized. Measles is a highly infectious disease that is endemic in almost every country in the world, including Singapore. It typically begins with fever, cough, runny nose and red eyes, followed by a rash a few days later. The MMR (Measles, Mumps and Rubella) vaccination is part of the Singapore National Immunization Schedule and is given to children at 12 months and 15-18 months of age.
If you are unsure if your child has received his immunization or have other queries or concerns, do visit your family doctor with his/her health booklet and any other relevant documentation.
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