Author: ongtim

I have allergy. Can I take the Covid-19 vaccine?

I have allergy. Can I take the Covid-19 vaccine?

This is a well-written and well-researched article by Dr. Amar Singh, and would be of great interest for those who have history of allergy and are considering taking the Covid-19 vaccine.

As we implement the National Covid-19 Vaccination Programme, those of us who are healthcare professionals have numerous friends and acquaintances asking us about the safety of the Covid-19 vaccines.

In particular, is the issue of the risk of taking the vaccine if we have a history of allergies. It is recognised that some individuals get a rare, serious side effect, for example, a severe allergic reaction called anaphylaxis.

Anaphylaxis can occur after taking a drug, from a bee sting, eating some food item, etc, and not just vaccines. We often never know who is going to react in this way.

Click here for the complete article.

Healing the body with the power of the mind

Healing the body with the power of the mind

Researchers have long studied the healing power of the mind on the body. What they have concluded is that when the element of belief is strong, healing the body with the mind is possible.

The placebo effect

The placebo effect has become a well-recognised phenomenon in modern-day medical treatments. A placebo is defined as an inert, innocuous substance that has no effect on the body. When given a placebo, patients simply believe they are taking an actual drug and subsequently feel better because of it, although they didn’t actually receive any “active” treatment.

In this instance, “belief” is the factor that triggers the subconscious mind-healing programme. However, that trigger is not always obvious.

The current body of evidence now shows the benefits of placebos and sham surgeries that deliver the same effects as potent drugs or actual surgery, proving that the power of the mind or power of belief can really be a healing force. It accounts for one-third of all improvements and cures documented in many studies.

Science and mind healing

Scientist who have extensively researched this phenomenon in order to gain a fuller understanding of when and how mind-healing works have come to the conclusion that mind-healing powers lie in the subconscious.

The goal of the subconscious is to create coherence and agreement between what the mind believes and what is reality.

It allows the brain to accept beliefs as truths and act accordingly. Beliefs can either heal or make you sick.

The science of epigenetics can explain the way your mind heals your body. The primary factor that affects how a gene expresses itself is the cell’s environment, except for the case when a gene has a programmed defect.

Nutrients, hormones, brain chemicals, and toxins are the main factors that determine the quality of a cell’s environment.

However, the most important elements are perception and beliefs. The fact remains that your thoughts and emotions have an impact on the brain to make it release chemicals.

Because the healing and the damage-controlling property of your mind happens inside your body and takes place unconsciously, you normally don’t take any notice of its progress.

Mind–healing methods

Mind-healing techniques, both ancient and new, are to guide the subconscious to heal. When used correctly and consistently, these methods can bring positive effects to your mental and physical health.

Some common methods include visualisation, hypnosis, tapping and so on. It is important not to let your subconscious be primed, coaxed, manipulated, or bullied.

Mind-healing techniques can be used in combination with conventional medical treatment and natural remedies.

There are a variety of options such as therapy, herbs, medication, healing foods, emotional healing techniques, meditation, hypnosis or surgery.

This article first appeared in and was reviewed by Dr Duyen Le. The Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

What you need to know about (Covid-19) vaccines

What you need to know about (Covid-19) vaccines

There are a lot of news now about the Covid-19 vaccines. They are many different types coming into the market. This means that the different vaccines are made differently using specific methods, and therefore their safety profiles and efficacy are different as well.

To understand the Covid-19 vaccines better, it is useful to know:

  1. How vaccines are made or what are the different methods available in making a vaccine
  2. What are the clinical trials of vaccines so that you can understand what is meant by preclinical, phase 1, phase 2, phase 3 and phase 4 trials.
  3. Types of Covid-19 vaccines (see a simple summary in the image below)
  4. All you want to know about the Malaysian Covid-19 vaccine programme and when you can expect to be vaccinated
Latest Guidelines on Management of Close Contact

Latest Guidelines on Management of Close Contact

On 14 January 2021, the Health Ministry released a new guideline on the management of close contact – people who were exposed to patients diagnosed with Covid-19.

A person who is exposed for 15 minutes or more, at a distance of less than 6 feet, to someone diagnosed with Covid-19 infection is generally regarded as a close contact. The risk is increased if one or both were without a face mask during that contact.

All close contact must get their rt-PCR swab done.

A close contact can be asymptomatic or symptomatic.

  1. If a close contact is asymptomatic, and has a negative rt-PCR swab test, and continues to be asymptomatic, self home quarantine ends after 10 days.
  2. If a close contact is asymptomatic, and has a negative rt-PCR swab test, and then becomes symptomatic, this individual needs a second rt-PCR swab test and needs to be quarantined for 10 days, beginning from the first day of symptoms.
  3. If a close contact is symptomatic, and has a negative rt-PCR swab test, and the symptoms cleared, then quarantine ends after day 10.

Home Quarantine Guidelines for Covid-19 Patients with no or mild symptoms

Home Quarantine Guidelines for Covid-19 Patients with no or mild symptoms

As the number of Covid-19 patients increases, our hospitals are quickly running low in beds, tests, personnel and resources. As such, the Health Ministry has issued new guidelines for quarantine.

Those Covid-19 patients with no or mild symptoms are no longer admitted to our hospitals for quarantine. Instead, they are required to do self-quarantine at home.

For those who have tested positive for Covid-19, AND has no or very mild symptoms, here are the guidelines for home quarantine:

Home Quarantine Guidelines
Home Quarantine Guidelines for Patients
Guidelines for Duration of Quarantine

Colchicine effective oral drug for Covid-19

Colchicine effective oral drug for Covid-19

Canadian doctors have claimed a first in the use of a common oral medication that appears to be effective in treating Covid-19 infections.

In a study that involved 4,159 patients diagnosed with Covid-19 with PCR tests, patients taking colchicine were able to reduce risk of death or hospitalisation by 21% compared to placebo. The need for mechanical ventilation was reduced by 50% and death by 44%.

For more on this story, click here.

Understanding the Different Types of Covid-19 Vaccines

Understanding the Different Types of Covid-19 Vaccines

Now that many private companies are coming out with different types of Covid-19 vaccines, it may be difficult for lay people to understand what they are, how they are made, what are the pros and cons.

Well, you can now equip yourself with a better understanding of the different types of Covid-19 vaccines that are available by reading up on them from this well written article (click here).

Examining our own fears

Examining our own fears

What is fear and why do we fear at all? Traditionally, we say that fear arises when the self is threatened with harm. This can be threat to the physical body or the psychological body, or both.

What are the conditions that allow fear to arise? For fear to arise, two conditions are required.

The first is that we do not see reality as it actually is. We have this fear of the unknown. Some scientists say that this fear of the unknown is innate in us. So, the more we don’t know or don’t understand something, the more we fear it. Conversely, if we know more about that thing, we have less fear of it, and if we know it completely as it actually is, we should have no more fear of it. Yet, from our own observation alone, we realise that even when we know something completely, we can still be fearful of it. This is because the second condition is also present.

The second condition is that we are unable or unwilling to accept things as they really are. If we are not able to accept reality as it is, we will resist it. Fear will arise because deep down inside, we know that we cannot win this resistance. We will lose, and then we will grief what what we have lost. We will feel the pain of not getting what we want, or of getting what we do not want.

Conversely, if we can see things as they really are, and if we can then accept them as they are, then we can eliminate fear.

How to reduce or eliminate fear

So the first step to eliminate or reduce our fear in anything is to learn as much about it as we can. We must know it objectively and rationally. For this, we need a discerning mind that is free from bias, free from the ego.

This is where the ability of our mind to examine and analyse a situation is important. In this Covid-19 pandemic, for example, we need to be able to differentiate facts from fictions, truth from beliefs, real news from fake news, rationality from fearful emotions. If we can do this well, we can reduce our fear. If not, we are only going to make matter worse. We see how nations following science are faring much better than nations that follow beliefs. Countries like South Korea, Singapore, China, and Taiwan are doing so much better than countries like USA, UK and other countries in Europe.

The next step is to have the courage and determination to change the things that we can and have to change, such as changing our lifestyle, our daily routines, our expectations, our desires, and accepting the things that we cannot change, such as the fact that the virus is here to stay for a long, long time. Accept the reality that the virus IS in our community, and then protect yourself accordingly by following strictly to the SOP – wear you face mask properly, wash your hands regularly, physical distancing, and avoiding contact with others as much as possible. Accept also the fact that our lifestyle has to change. We can no longer go back to how it was before the pandemic – at least not for a long, long time. Adapt gracefully into the new situation instead of resisting and fighting it all the time.

So, learn to see things clearly and rationally. Have the courage to change what needs to be changed, and the ability to accept what cannot be changed. Do these and you will start to be able to manage and reduce your fear.

Suspected case of Covid-19

Suspected case of Covid-19

The guideline below is meant for doctors and HCW. Doctors need to have a high index of suspicion and be actively on the look out for possible Covid-19 patients, especially if you are in a red zone.

You should be highly suspicious if your patient meets BOTH the clinical AND epidemiological criteria, AND in the absence of a more likely diagnosis.

Understanding the Covid-19 tests

Understanding the Covid-19 tests

There are generally two types of tests being used currently to detect Covid-19 infections.

The first type of test looks for the presence of the virus in the body. It is called rt-PCR test (real time polymerase chain reaction). It can be used in the early phase of the infection to detect whether the virus is in the body or not. This is a swab test of the nose and throat. A positive result is diagnostic of a Covid-19 infection. A negative result means there is no virus presence in the body. However, this is also dependent on how the swab is done. There is still a small chance that the area swabbed was free of the virus despite it being present elsewhere. This is the sensitivity rate of the test. No test is 100% sensitive.

The second type of test looks for the antibody response to the Covid-19 virus. Since these antibodies take some time to appear in the body even after the virus is present, this test may not pick up an infection if it is used too early. This is called a false negative. A repeat test after 7 – 10 days is recommended. This is a blood test.

There are two types of antibodies that can be detected in the body. IgM appears earlier than IgG, which can remain for a long time even after recovery from the infection. Thus, a positive test for IgG does not necessarily mean the infection or virus is still in your body. It unsure, it is best to get your doctor to interpret the result for you.