Every week, HEADlines brings you the latest news, stories and commentaries
in education and healthcare. This week, get insights on the latest developments in healthcare.
Tackling rising dengue infection
Despite ongoing mosquito control efforts, Singapore is experiencing what could be her worst dengue outbreak, with total cases exceeding 12,000 in the first half of 2022.
The reasons behind this? Warmer temperatures, increased mosquito population, and the re-emergence of a previously uncommon dengue virus stereotype. Beyond these, Dr. Hannah Clapham and Dr. Alex Cook from the Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health attribute the dengue surge to two broader factors:
Lower population immunity – Due to the government’s success in vector control, fewer people have been exposed to dengue and are hence more susceptible to it.
Better diagnostics – Detection of dengue has become easier and faster with rapid diagnostics now available at GPs.
The challenge is not just in Singapore. Currently, half the world’s population is at risk of dengue fever. A total of 100 to 200 million cases of dengue occur annually and the numbers are rising. The hunt for an effective antiviral and vaccine is ongoing but difficult due to poorly coordinated clinical research and inadequate understanding of the evolving virus.
Until these obstacles are overcome, the strategy against dengue continues to be a combination of B-L-O-C-K-ing mosquito breeding and the use of Wolbachia mosquitos as a suppression strategy to fight dengue.
Healthcare in the Spotlight
STAT: Viruses that were on hiatus during COVID are back — and behaving in unexpected ways
Due to COVID restrictions, humans have far less recently-acquired immunity compared to two years ago. This makes us more susceptible to becoming sick.
Reuters: Unlikely monkeypox outbreak will lead to pandemic, WHO says
The strain of the monkeypox virus can kill a small fraction of those infected, but no deaths have been reported so far.
The Straits Times: Next COVID-19 wave could hit Singapore in July or August
Singapore is preparing for a COVID-19 wave driven by Omicron sub-variants that were first detected in South Africa.
South China Morning Post: Traditional Chinese medicine effective in treating mild COVID-19 cases, overseas study finds
A clinical trial conducted in Pakistan using Jinhua Qinggan granules found that patients who were treated with the medicine recovered faster than those in the placebo group.
The Straits Times: Project SG100K: DNA of 100,000 Singaporeans to be mapped
The genome database will be used to discover underlying causes of cancer and chronic illnesses, and identify new ways to prevent or slow down disease progression.
Channel News Asia (Commentary): Why clinical trials in Singapore are a win-win for patients and the economy
Clinical trials conducted locally allow patients in Singapore early access to revolutionary therapies and help derive economic benefit from our billion-dollar research investments.
BBC: Smart socks helping protect people with dementia
The socks, which track heart rate, sweat levels and motion, enable carers to intervene before things escalate.
World Health Organisation: Why mental health is a priority for action on climate change
Climate change poses serious risks to mental health and well-being, concludes a new WHO policy brief, launched earlier this month at the Stockholm+50 conference.
Neuroscience says these 5 habits improve memory and leadership
Keep forgetting things? Here are five specific tricks you can use to improve memory and recall things better.