Jamaica Health Tips Online - Protecting the Environment, Protecting your Health
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Jamaica Health Tips Blog

December 2014

Three health tips you should consider for 2015

As the clock ticks and we approach the New Year, many Jamaicans are elated and fired up, knowing that they have another chance to pursue and achieve all their aspirations that did not materialized in 2014. With that said, the team from Jamaica Health Tips Online would like to share with you Three health tips you should make a part of your New Year’s resolution list.
  • Make physical activity a lifestyle: Many will agree that losing weight is one of the top five items on a New Year’s resolution list.  On the contrary, the will power to maintain it fades in the distance rather quickly and then we are back to square one. Do not exercise to lose weight but to be healthy. According to the American Heart Association, thirty minutes a day for three days a week is good enough to maintain a health heart.  This may simply include walking on the spot, while watching your favorite show for three, ten minutes intervals.  Note, exercise should not be a burden but rather a desire, so do what you like.


  • Maintain healthy relationships/friendships: It has been said that if you should live to see age seventy, approximately sixty years of your life will be spent sleeping and working (24 years and 35 year respectively). Hence, have you ever wonder how you are living your life? While you cannot control the actions of others, you can control yours. Try to be honest, generous and loving not just with family members, your partner and friends but each person you come in contact with. If a problem arises in the relationship, focus on the solution and not the problem.  In contrast, there are some relationships that maybe considered toxic, unhealthy and harmful to your emotional well-being. If after trying all possible means to make ends meet and you still have not been able to make it work. You may need to let it go, but always be open and quick to forgive when the person is ready.

  • Maintain a clean and safe environment: Did you know that pollution is one of the biggest killers, affecting over 100 million persons worldwide? With all the new and emerging disease and other implications affecting our generation today, it’s imperative that we try to keep our surrounding clean and safe. The Atmosphere and the environment are there to protect us, so if we neglect it, then in time to come we will face dire implication. So as you ring in the New Year, reflect on these things. We wish you a Happy and Healthy New Year.                                                      ...


Do you think it’s important to make New Year’s resolution?


Ebola virus in Jamaica; what are public health officials doing?

 With the recent chaos on the media about the deadly Ebola virus, many Jamaicans seemingly are concerned with the lack of information and surveillance being conducted by the public health officials in our island. For this reason the Jamaica Health Tips Online team has seen the need to provide information to our fellow Jamaicans and the world that will help you better understand this disease.

 Ebola as outlined on the CDC website is a rare and deadly disease, it is known to affect humans and non-human primates for example; Monkey, Gorillas and Chimpanzees. There are presently five identified strains of the Ebola virus; Zaire, Sudan, Cote d’lvoire, Bundibugyo and the Reston (in non-human primates but not in humans).

 The first case of Ebola occurs in Southern Sudan in 1976 in a cotton factory. As reported by Dr Don Francis in a presentation at the University of Berkeley, California, he believes that the cotton was contaminated by urine of fruit bats in the area. As of August 8, 2014 it has been reported by several sources that there are over 3000 confirm cases with over 1000 deaths in the West Africa area.

Transmission Mode

  •  Human to human varies from; direct contact through broken skin  for example saliva, urine, vomit, blood and semen of an infected person) or through unprotected mucous membranes such as; eyes nose or mouth. Objects (like needles or syringe) used by infected person.
  • Butchering of animals infected with the Ebola virus.

The primary host is believed to be the fruit bats which infect other animals and by extension humans through butchering and the consumption of animals for food (bush meat).


Persons at high risk

  •  Health care providers e.g. nurses and doctors.
  •  Butchers
  •  Family and friends who are caring for infected persons.
  •   Funeral home workers.


Signs and Symptoms
  Fever, headache, chest pain, diarrhoea, vomiting, dry painful throat, rash, bleeding from the ear,eyes, nose and mouth, malanea (black tarry faeces) and desquamation (skin peeling). The symptoms may appear within 2-21 days after exposure, but on average 8-10 days.  

Prevention and Control 
  Practice careful hygiene, avoid funeral or burial rituals that require handling of infected bodies, avoid contacts with bats, and infected animals and humans, education of the public and proper training of health care providers, isolation of infected persons, constant re-hydration of patient(s) maintenance of oxygen and blood pressure status in patient(s) and an active quarantine and surveillance system.

Treatment
 There is no known vaccine or medicine to treat the Ebola Haemorrhagic Fever. However, several patients have recovered from their illness by just treating any opportunistic illness and maintaining patient(s) electrolytes, oxygen and blood pressure level. 

Do you think Jamaican public health officials are prepared for the Ebola virus?
Source: CDC website and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WCM3HWsIbDE  The 2014 Ebola Outbreak: Update on an Unprecedented Public Health Event .

Fight Against HIV AIDS

Most Jamaicans don’t know that a person doesn't actually "get" AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome). People sometimes get infected with HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus), and later they might develop AIDS. You can get infected with HIV from anyone who's infected, even if they don't look very sick and even if they haven't been tested and confirmed HIV-positive The semen, blood, vaginal fluid, and breast milk of people infected with HIV has enough of the virus in it to infect others. Most times the HIV virus is transmitted by:
 
·        Having sexual intercourse with someone who is infected;
·        Being born infected because the mother is infected, or drinking the breast milk of a woman who is infected.
·        Sharing a needle with someone who's infected;
 
Things Jamaican’s should keep in mind
 
Your risk of getting HIV or passing it to someone else depends on many factors. Do you know what they are? Here are a few health tips.
1.      Use a condom
2.      Abstaining from sex
3.      Talking about HIV with your partner
4.      Getting tested
 
It’s simple as ABC (A: Abstain B: Be faithful C: Use A Condom