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Post-COVID-19: Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C)

MIS-C in children

According to the Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome Covid-19 (MIS-C) Malaysian Study Group found that a total of 174 cases were identified. Furthermore, about 57% of the total cases are among children aged 5-11 years between June 2020 and December 2021.

Consequently, a large number require critical care in the pediatric intensive care unit (PICU). In addition, seven cases have been confirmed as dead.

MIS-C in children

What is a multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C)?

Multisystem inflammatory syndrome (MIS-C), in other words known as a pediatric multisystem inflammatory syndrome because it usually happens in children than older people.

This syndrome is actually a post-infectious complication of covid-19. Thus, we can see the syndrome develop after several weeks when kids get infected with the virus.

Besides that, Sick-Samuels says that MIS-C have signs and symptoms similar to toxic shock syndrome called Kawasaki disease, which both cause inflammation throughout the body such as the heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, skin, eyes, or gastrointestinal organs.

Moreover, the symptoms can be milder or very serious. As a result, require urgent medical care.

Symptoms of MIS-C?

  • A fever (exceed more than four days)
  • Red eyes
  • Rash
  • Vomiting and diarrhea
  • Cracked lips
  • Enlarged lymph node
  • Swollen hands or feet
  • Neck pain
  • Cough and shortness of breath
  • Dizziness and fatigue
  • Loss of odor and taste
  • Fast heartbeat

Above all, if he is experiencing any of this symptoms and getting even worse. Very bad belly pain, looking bluish on the lips or face, confusion, or inability to wake or stay awake for instance. Then, immediately take them to the nearest emergency department or call 911 or your local emergency number.

Diagnosis

Diagnosis of MIS-C

As stated before, the symptoms of MIS-C are similar like Kawasaki disease. So, to differentiate, doctors will perform certain tests that look for signs of inflammation in the body. For examples:

  • Covid-19 test
  • Blood and urine tests
  • Chest x-ray
  • Electrocardiogram (measures electrical activity in the heart)
  • Echocardiogram (Heart ultrasound)
  • Abdominal ultrasound
  • Other tests, depending on signs and symptoms

MIS-C Treatment

Furthermore, kids with the MIS-C syndrome need to monitor for their health by a medical providers at the hospital. Meanwhile, some of them might be admitted to a Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) due to their critical conditions. 

The doctor will provide medicines such as:-

  1. Intravenous Immunoglobulin (IVIG)
  2. Corticosteroids
    • Glucocorticoids such as methylprednisolone
    • Tocilizumab
  3. Antiplatelet /Anticoagulant therapy
    • Aspirin
  4. Antibiotics
    • Ceftriaxone + vancomycin
    • Clindamycin
  5. Antiviral therapy
    • Remdesivir

supportive care may include, for instance:

  1. Intravenous Fluids (dehydration)
  2. Ventilator
  3. In very rare cases, use extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO

Moreover, children need to be followed up after discharge from the hospital. Nonetheless, the period of full recovery is about six months. Also, no further follow-up if there are no serious complications. 

Apart from that, MIS-C is a treatable condition and most children recover entirely from the disease. Hence, with prompt attention, medications can control the inflammation and help prevent long-term organ damage, especially the heart.

Is it necessary to vaccinate children against COVID-19?

Yes. Vaccines protect children from developing serious complications like multisystem inflammatory syndrome (MIS-C), which infects other organs with inflammation.

However, when your kids diagnose with MIS-C, the doctor must hold the vaccine from being injected. This is because the COVID-19 vaccine needs to be delayed for at least 90 days until they are fully recovered.

The Ministry of Health (Malaysia) is implementing the COVID-19 vaccine for children aged 5 to under 12 years old starting in February 2022. So, the mRNA vaccine Comirnaty® 10 mcg Concentrate for Dispersion (PfizerBioNTech) will be used.

To conclude, the results of a clinical study of this vaccine showed an effectiveness of 90.7% as well as the ability to enhance a high immune response to COVID-19 disease. Therefore, the complete dose requires two vaccine dose injections with an interval of eight (8) weeks after the first dose.

MIS-C cases picture

Diagram of MIS-C cases

To read more articles or information about health management, our Mayflax provides the best articles for you. Feel free to click here!

About the author

Bachelor of Science (Hons) Pharmacology, is a Customer Relationship Executive of Mayflax, one of the nation’s leading healthcare and marketing companies.

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Omicron SARS-CoV-2 variant: What scientists know so far

Omicron variant picture

Omicron SARS-CoV-2 variant: What scientists know so far

Table of Contents

The Omicron appears to be a concern today. This virus is very popular among us and has caught our attention due to its unusual mutations. Some are rare and have never existed before.

In late November, the World Health Organization (WHO) classified this variant as a point of concern. A growing number of the cases are being reported across the country at the moment.

But what do we know about this virus so far?

What is the Omicron variant?

Omicron variant

Mutations of a virus are inevitable. A new SARS-CoV-2 variant, Omicron (B.1.1.529), was reported to WHO on 24 November 2021 from South Africa, raising alarms among researchers and the global community.

In the bronchi (lung airways), Omicron replicates 70 times faster than Delta, but evidence suggests it is less severe than previous strains.

How did it get its name?

Omicron is the Greek letter “O”, and was named after the 15th letter of the alphabet.

The World Health Organization name the virus as omicron to makes public communication easier, less confusing, and stigma. If using scientific names for the variants, it can be difficult to say and recall. They want it to be simple and accessible to others.

Here are the five current variants:

Types of Covid virus
  • Alpha – B.1.1.7 (United Kingdom)
  • Beta – B.1.351 (South Africa)
  • Gamma – P.1 (Brazil)
  • Delta – B.1.617.2 (India)
  • Omicron – B.1.1.529 (South Africa)

The Delta variant is currently the dominant strain all over the world.

Where does the Omicron come from?

Maps of where omicron came from

This variant is found in South Africa. Over the past few weeks, the Omicron version is spreading throughout the world, faster than any previously known variant.

What are the signs and symptoms of Omicron?

The Omicron variant can infecting person with the symptoms that are similar to the previous covid-19.

All of the variants, including delta and omicron, cause similar COVID-19 symptoms, like cough, fever, and fatigue. There is some evidence that fewer people is losing their taste and smell. Besides that, this virus less likely to causing  pneumonia that may require oxygen treatments in the hospital.

symptoms of omicron variant

Symptoms of Omicron variant

Based on the analysis, neither Delta nor Omicron showing any clear differences in symptom profiles. About 50% experience common signs such as fever, cough, and loss of taste or smell.

Dr. Rahul Sharma from the emergency physician-in-chief at the New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center said “We’re seeing a lot of sore throat, runny nose, fatigue and mild headache,”.

How fast Omicron spread compared with other variants?

Omicron variants are spreading two or three times faster than Delta.

The earliest evidence for the rapid spread is from South Africa, where it is growing rapidly to dominate one region after another. In other countries, researchers view the cases are doubling every 2 to 4 days.

As a result, the country recording 3,402 cases on 26 November. Then on December 1, it increased to 8,561 cases.

The omicron variant is it more severe than other covid-19 variants?

Bollinger said, “For omicron, there is less data on this,”

Moreover, Omicron is a mutant virus that is still in early stages. World Health Organization classifying Omicron as a Variant of Concern (VOC). This mutation increase transmissibility, and disease severity. 

For your information, Omicron is mutated with 43 spike protein mutations compared to Delta is about 18 spikes.

WHO picture

The World Health Organization (WHO)

Early findings suggest that there is a reduced risk of hospitalization for Omicron variant. According to the WHO, an increase in transmission can lead to more hospitalizations.

Thus, it is important to remember that all variants of COVID-19 can cause severe disease or may result in death.  Our responsible is preventing the spread and reducing the risk of exposure to the virus is so important right now.

This variant is spreading and infecting other countries. For further study, they need to conduct more research to collect various types of data. The Omicron cases are rising, so the large size of sample such as geographical for researchers can increase a chance for generalizing early reports.

Meanwhile, scientists measured the severity of a coronavirus variant by examining the number of people infected in the hospital. The Delta variant turned out to be much worse than the Omicron variant.

A British study found that the risk of hospitalization due to Omicron is half of the delta.

Is the covid-19 vaccine effective against omicron?

Scientists are studying any potential effects of Omicron variants on the effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccine. Information is still scarce. However, the effectiveness of vaccines against mild, severe illness and death, may be declining.

Moreover, the WHO reports that, so far, the booster vaccines available provide significant protection against serious disease and death.

For now, it is important to be vaccinated to protect against Omicron and other variants. So, when your turn to get vaccinated make sure you get the doses in order to have the maximum protection to protect yourself and those around you.

Do current boosters provide better protection against omicron?

Yes. Because several studies show that people with full vaccination plus a booster shot have strong protection against the Omicron variant. Without a booster shot, two doses of a vaccine-like Pfizer-BioNTech’s or Moderna’s became less protection to our immune system. 

Booster doses

Covid-19 Booster

To see whether the booster improves protection or not, scientists collect blood from patients who are fully vaccine and mix their antibodies with Omicron in a petri dish containing human cells.

Consequently, every vaccine tested so far has performed worse at neutralizing Omicron than other variants. Not only that, antibodies from people who received two doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine or one dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine do not seem to have any effect on Omicron at all.

But when researchers tested antibodies from people who had received boosters of Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines, they saw a different picture. Many Omicron viruses were blocked from infecting cells by boosted antibodies.

The researchers found that the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine had a 80%  efficacy against Omicron infection.

Can vaccines reduce the severity of Covid?

As I mentioned above, in a large study of more than a million cases of Covid, British researchers found that people who had received booster doses were 81 percent less likely to be admitted to the hospital, compared to people who have not been vaccinated yet.

Those who had received two doses of vaccine had a 65% lower risk of being admitted to a hospital.

How antibodies fight Omicron variant?

Additionally, even people who have had vaccines may be at risk of infection with Omicron. For instance, the variant can evade antibodies produced by vaccines and multiply in the nose and throat. But vaccines not only trigger the production of antibodies against coronavirus, they also stimulate the growth of T cells that help fight a specific disease.

T cells antibody

T cells learn to recognize when other cells are infected with specific viruses and destroy the pathogen. As a result, the infection becomes slow.

To determine how well the Covid-19 vaccine fight Omicron, scientists do research on T cells that produce by the vaccine. Researchers found that these T cells are able to recognize the Omicron variants.

In addition, this preliminary evidence indicates that Omicron infections enable to penetrate the T-cell barrier. By killing infected cells, T cells may make it harder for Omicron to reach into the airway inside the lung tissue.

Are the current covid-19 tests detecting the omicron variant?

a Covid-19 test

Commercial diagnostic PCR (polymerase chain reaction) and available antigen COVID tests can be uses to identify and detect the omicron variant. And yet, we will know more in the coming weeks about how well the rapid at-home tests to detect a new variant.

How long does omicron last on surfaces?

The WHO states that COVID can be transmitted through close personal contact as well as through aerosols in crowded areas and poorly ventilated environments.

Furthermore, people can get the viruses by touching their eyes, nose, or mouth after coming into contact with contaminated objects or surfaces.

viruses on surface

Japanese researchers found that Omicron is the most easily transmitted variant of SARS-CoV-2, but a new study found this virus survives longer than any previous variant on plastic surfaces and skin.

Hence, Omicron stays on plastic for about 8 days and on the skin for less than 24 hours.

What can we do to protect ourselves and our families from the omicron variant?

The most important thing we can do is reduce the risk of exposure to the virus. Make the following precautions to protect ourselves and our loved ones:

  • Wear proper mask

Wear masks that meet a standard with multiple layers of non-woven material such as a 3ply face mask that covers your nose and mouth. Make sure that your hands are clean when you put on and remove your mask.

  • Physical distance

Keeping a distance of one meter helps limit the spread of COVID-19. Recommended by the World Health Organization.

  • Avoid poorly ventilated and crowded spaces.

Indoor air quality, ventilation, and occupancy have become growing concerns in the battle to slow the spread of COVID-19. 

  • Open windows to improve ventilation indoors.

If it’s safe to do so, open doors and windows as much as possible to let in fresh air from outside.

  • Wash your hands regularly.

You can help yourself and your loved ones stay healthy by washing your hands often, especially during this pandemic.

  • Get a shot

When it’s your turn, get vaccinated. WHO-approved COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective.

  • Do Covid tests

Performing Covid tests at home regularly using a device that can detect variants

Precautions such as those outlined above will help prevent the spread of Omicron.

After all, researchers are trying to understand the Omicron variant. “We still have a lot to learn about omicron,” Ray said. WHO will continue to closely monitor the Omicron variant and update it with more information.

In order to protect ourselves from being infected with this virus, we need to do a covid test when we feel unwell or meet a lot of people.

However, test devices can be inaccurate, you should use the one  recommended by the WHO. You can buy it at any pharmacy and medical supplier like Mayflax. Mayflax provides a covid-19 self-test kit and you can purchase with us. If you want to know more, click here.

About the author

Bachelor of Science (Hons) Pharmacology, is a Customer Relationship Executive of Mayflax, one of the nation’s leading healthcare and marketing companies.

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The Pfizer-BioNTech Vaccine Covid-19

Picture of vaccine- Mayflax

The Pfizer-BioNTech Vaccine Covid-19

Picture of vaccine- Mayflax

The Pfizer-BioTech vaccine COVID-19 help our bodies develop immunity against the virus without getting the illness. It usually takes a few weeks for the body to produce T-lymphocytes and B-lymphocytes after vaccination.

On December 11, 2020, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued the first emergency use authorization (EUA) of vaccine for the prevention of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2).

As a result, a Covid-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech appears to protect against a coronavirus variant that spreads rapidly to others.

How the Pfizer/BioNTech Vaccine works?

Vaccine Covid-19 works?

Side effects

After vaccination, symptoms such as fever sometimes can occur during the immune-building process.

These symptoms are normal and are signs that the body is building immunity.

The most common side effects are pain, swelling as well as redness on the arm where you got the shot. 

Moreover, you may also experience other common side effects such as chills, tiredness and headache.

Usually, the side effects last within a day or two of receiving the vaccine.

Due to the flu-like symptoms, it may affect your ability to do daily work.

But don’t worry, the side effect will go away in a few days.

COVID-19 Vaccines Require More Than One Doses

This specific vaccine requires two doses.

After the first dose, immunity starts to build after 12 days.

Then, a second dose is given after 21 days.

Finally, your body will reach full immunity by day 28.

Doses of vaccine covid-19

Who Should Get Vaccinated

  • The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine now includes for people 12 years of age and older.
  • Pregnant mothers between 14 to 33 weeks of pregnancy.

Who Should Not Get Vaccinated

  • If you have had a severe allergic reaction such as anaphylaxis or an immediate allergic reaction to any ingredient in the mRNA COVID-19 vaccine, you should not receive the vaccine.
  • Moreover, anyone developing a severe allergic reaction or an immediate allergic reaction, even if it was not severe, after receiving the first dose of the vaccine, should not be given another dose of the mRNA COVID-19 vaccine.
  • Anyone who develops an immediate allergic reaction within 4 hours after vaccination. Symptoms includes hives, swelling, or wheezing.
  • People who are allergic to PEG or polysorbate should not receive the mRNA COVID-19 vaccine.

To read more articles like this, click here!

 

References

  1. https://www.itv.com/news/2021-01-20/
  2. https://www.statista.com/
  3. http://covid-19.moh.gov.my/vaksin-covid-19

About the author

Bachelor of Science (Hons) Pharmacology, is a Customer Relationship Executive of Mayflax, one of the nation’s leading healthcare and marketing companies.

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Immunity After COVID-19 Vaccination: Detect Through Neutralising Antibodies

Neutralising antibody (NAb) is an antibody responsible for defending cells from organisms that cause diseases, or pathogens.

This antibody is naturally produced as an immune response. It is mainly as a response towards infections and vaccinations against infections.

Neutralising Antibodies (NAb) and SARS-CoV-2

If you have taken your vaccine against SARS-CoV-2, how do you know if you are protected?

So, this is where  Neutralising Antibodies Quantitative Test plays its role.

As mentioned earlier, our body will produce NAb in response to vaccination against infections. This proves to be true too after you receive the SARS-CoV-2 vaccination.

The immune response consists of many antibodies acting as an army to fight off the virus.

But, only a small subset of those antibodies can block the virus from infecting additional cells.

These antibodies are Neutralising Antibodies.

Neutralising Antibodies

NAb can result in lifelong immunity to certain infections.

But how exactly does the level of NAb correlated with the level of protection you have against this disease?

To simplify, NAb plays a role as a ‘Security Guard’. It stops pathogens from infecting the body by affecting their entrance into the body cell.

In enveloped viruses, NAb blocks the attachment of a virus to the cell and its entry into the cell.

On the other hand, in non-enveloped viruses, NAb binds to its protein shell surrounding the genetic information within a virus cell.

However, pathogens can change their structure and shape, or also known as conformational changes. Conformational changes ables pathogens to enter and replicate within a cell.

In this situation, NAb is able to stop pathogens to perform conformational changes. Thus, preventing them from entering.

Then, the white blood cell will degrade the pathogens and the spleen will then filter the pathogens. Lastly, it is excreted through urine or faeces.

Multiple studies have been done to show that neutralization level is highly predictive of immune protection.

However, even though your immune shows a positive result, you should still adhere to the COVID-19 prevention practices.

This means you should continue practising social distancing, wash hands and use hand sanitisers regularly.

Mayflax is a one-stop pharmaceutical product and service. We here at Mayflax provides test kits as well as medications for all kinds of diseases and ailments. 

Contact us here to know more.

References

  1. https://www.news-medical.net/
  2. Neutralizing Antibodies Against SARS-CoV-2 Variants After Infection and Vaccination

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How Community Pharmacies Evolve During Covid-19 Pandemic

COVID-19 is a pandemic affecting socioeconomics and causing health challenges across the globe. While most clinics start practicing appointments for non-essential care, community pharmacy have become the first choice for patients seeking fast remedies for non-essential care.

So how exactly did community pharmacies in Malaysia evolve in response to COVID-19?

1. Practice social distancing and physical barriers

The markings on the ground re-enforce physical distancing between customers especially during payment and waiting for pharmacy consultations.

These pharmacies also provide hand sanitizers which are freely available for customers and employees.

Moreover, physical barriers such as acrylic glass barriers in front of counter acts as an interception for respiratory droplets from transmitting between staff and customer. Some pharmacies even require their staff to wear face shield and disposable gloves.

2. Adjusting pharmacy services

While most pharmacies adapted by enhancing social distancing, some pharmacies went out of their way by innovating new services.

Among these services are drive-through service, home-delivery service as well as curbside delivery.

These services enable customers to avoid visiting physical stores to get their medications.

Customers may now stay in the comfort of their home or vehicle, minimizing contact while waiting for their medications to be safely delivered.

3. Communication with patients

As pharmacies opt to reduce contact to maintain social distancing, this would mean fewer interactions between pharmacists and their customers.

The communication between pharmacist and their customers is crucial since it could be the pull factor for customers to become repeat customers.

Hence, telepharmacy was introduced. This enables pharmacist and customers to interact virtually and reducing unnecessary visits.

To sum up, community pharmacies have played their part of the community. They go above and beyond to take care of their community and more innovations are encouraged to provide high-quality pharmaceutical care.

If you own a pharmacy, save yourself from the hassle of having multiple suppliers. Mayflax is a pharmaceutical wholesaler with over 25 years of experience and over 2,000 products. We promise a convenient ordering process with quick and timely delivery. Find out more here!

Reference

Pharmaceutical Journal: How to keep community pharmacy running during Covid-19 pandemic

Gill M. S. (2021). Challenges and Changes of Pharmacy Practice During the COVID-19 Crisis in Malaysia: Instability as an Opportunity. The Malaysian journal of medical sciences : MJMS28(2), 171–176. https://doi.org/10.21315/mjms2021.28.2.16

Depression and Anxiety During a Pandemic: 9 Common Tips

Anxiety and Depression- Mayflax

Depression and Anxiety During a Pandemic: 9 Common Tips

The pandemic has caused a mental strain on many people around the world. And for those living with anxiety and depression, the impact is severe.

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a major effect on our lives. Many aspects of everyday life, including mental health, have been affected. The COVID-19 pandemic is impacting our physical, economic, and mental well-being. As a result, many people face struggles that can be frustrating, daunting, and cause adults and children to have strong emotions.

However, social distancing and stay-at-home orders are very challenging, especially for people living with mental illness, COVID-19 exacerbates feelings of depression and anxiety.

Thus, during the Movement Control Order (MCO), with the limited movement, closed borders, and roadblocks, some individuals easily get heightened temperament and irritability at home.

Dr. Robert Leahy an attending psychologist at New York-Presbyterian said: “This is the perfect storm for depression and anxiety,”.

All data and statistics are based on the short article “Prevalence  of  Anxiety, Stress,  Depression  among  Malaysian  Adults during COVID-19 Pandemic Movement Control Order”.

Therefore, the  prevalence  in a score  of Stress  70%  (Mean=2.02), Anxiety  67%  (Mean=1.71) and Depression  42.3% (Mean=2.28). There is a significant prevalence of psychological health problems among adults during adverse events due to the COVID-19 Pandemic Movement Control Order.

In the midst of the global COVID-19 pandemic, it’s easy to felt hopeless and despair. But these tips can help to improve your mood and ease your mental health problem.

1. Keep a schedule

Schedule your day with useful things. At the end of the day, check everything and make a list of things to do for the next day, so you can look forward to things.

Furthermore, create a set of goals for the week and month. This is the right time to set short-term and long-term goals.

2. Sleep well

Prioritizing sleep is not always easy when you are in a state of mental health. Stress, Anxiety, and Depression can affect the quality of your sleep.

Therefore, poor sleep can also lead to depression. Fixed your daytime habits and sleep routine can help improve how well you sleep at night and reduce the symptoms of depression.

Finding relaxing activities such as reading, writing a journal, or listening to slow music can cause your brain to slow down before bed.

3. Connect with others

Just because we are isolated does not mean we have to completely isolate ourselves. Make a list of friends to contact whenever you feel bored and lonely. Always stay connected with others !

Set a regular time each day to contact others, and schedule virtual get-togethers on online platforms to talk or share your problem and maybe even play games. Stay in touch with friends, family, and especially the mental health care team if you are diagnosed with anxiety and depression.

4. Find simple sources of joy.

Encourage yourself to do things that will boost your mood throughout the day. Try to listen to uplifting music and dancing around if you can as long as can make you happy all day long.

Alternatively, you can watch funny videos or favorite sitcoms on TV, Instagram, Facebook, or YouTube. Spending time in nature such as walking in the park, or playing with your kids or a pet also can relieve stress.

5. Eat a mood-boosting diet

In times of stress, people always find “comfort foods” such as unhealthy fats, sugar, and refined carbs to release their stress and depression. Therefore, drinks too much caffeine and alcohol also can adversely affect our mood.

Moreover, wholesome foods, fresh food such as salmon, codfish can increase your intake of mood-enhancing nutrients.

6. Stay informed and limit social media usage.

Nowadays, the government always announces information that constantly changes regarding SOP. It is important to stay up-to-date but not to overconsuming sensationalistic news or unreliable social media coverage. This makes your mind full of negative thought and fear.

Limit how often you check the news or social media and limit yourself to reputable sources. Thus, healthcare professionals also recommend not checking the news at least one hour before bedtime.

7. Exercise

Importantly, physical activity is good for mental health. Scientific research has shown that exercise, especially in particular aerobic exercise, can be beneficial for depression and anxiety.

Exercise will release good hormones and lowers your stress hormones. Since covid-19, you cannot go to the gym or fitness studios, try online broadcasts, YouTube workouts, or use the equipment at home to exercise.

Besides that, you can go running or cycling as long as you stay a safe distance away from others who are passing by.

8. Continue treatment or services from mental health professionals

If you are undergoing therapy, taking medication, or both before coronavirus started, make sure to keep up with your treatment regimen. Almost all psychiatrists or mental health professionals are now used online practices like video calls.

Alternatively, you can try an online therapy platform like WhatsApp video, Zoom, Webex, and others.

9. Practice gratefulness and mindfulness

During challenging times, be grateful and mindful can help to cope with anxiety and depression.

“When we take note of the good things in our lives, it bumps up the feel-good hormones of serotonin and dopamine,” said Serani.

As we know, practicing mindfulness meditation is very popular for overcoming depression, anxiety, and stress adds Guttentag.

Also, you can start the practice by taking a few minutes to sit or lying down and try to focus on your breathing. Besides, train your mind to get rid of negative thoughts and feelings to stay away from you.

Counseling and hotlines mental health services in Malaysia

If you are struggling to cope, there are many ways to get help. Contact a healthcare provider if the sign of anxiety, and depression get in the way of your daily activities for many days and also if you are in crisis, immediately get help such as:-

  • Call 999
  • Talian Kasih at 15999
  • Befrienders (main suicide hotlines in Malaysia): 03-7627 2929/ 03-79568145
  • Malaysian Mental Health Association: 03-2780 6803
  • People Psychological Solutions : 017-899 2207
  • HELP University’s Centre for Psychological and Counselling Services (CPCS): 03-2096 1212
  • The Mind Faculty KL: 03-2780 6803
  • HumanKind Community Counselling (victims of physical and sexual abuse): 012-300 5453
  • Soul Mechanics: 010-252 1734 (Gia) / 019-395 9211 (Devi)
  • MentCouch Psychology Centre: 03-2712 9372

Depression and anxiety are soaring and there are many fears that we will face an epidemic of mental health.

COVID-19, make life very difficult for everyone, but they may pose an even bigger challenge for people with depression. Depression is a serious mental health condition that can give a huge impact on people’s lives.

However, depression can be treated. Even in this pandemic, it is important to continue to seek treatment and stick with it until you get cured.

Therefore, there are self tests that you can answer to check whether you have anxiety or depression, if the score tells you are having these mental health issues you need to see the doctors who specialize in psychiatry to diagnosed your disease. We cannot simply just do the test only. These self tests ask some important questions that can help you to know where you are at so you can make a sooner plan for feeling better.

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Raihan Ridzuan

Raihan Ridzuan, Bachelor of Science (Hons) Pharmacology, is Customer Relationship Executive of Mayflax, one of the nation’s leading healthcare and marketing company.

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COVID-19: Can vitamin C help boost your immune system?

COVID-19

COVID-19: Can vitamin C help boost your immune system?

COVID-19

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Corona Virus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). It happened in December 2019 in Wuhan, China, and spread globally, resulting in an ongoing pandemic.

The COVID-19 pandemic was confirmed as a global pandemic by the World Health Organization.

Thus, it continued to spread and a vaccine is urgent for immunization and a cure. Meanwhile, waiting for the production of vaccine done, taking precautions action is considered the best approach.

This disease is asymptomatic and the severity of covid-19 may lead to severe respiratory tract infections and become deadly.

Furthermore, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), these factors related to immunity such as age and underlying conditions determine the risk of infection.

Therefore, individuals who are at higher risk of having covid-19 complications is a person that having a pre-existing illness like type 2 diabetes, liver disease, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, and respiratory issues.

It also increases with age as the general immunity reduces when you getting older.

Besides, immune factors play a major role to protect our bodies, with this variety factor which indicates the influence the severity of the disease.

Does Vitamin C help boost your immunity and keep you from COVID-19-free?

Not exactly!  It strengthens your immune system, but there is no concrete evidence that it can treat or prevent the disease caused by a SARS-CoV-2 infection. However, our body still needs vitamins to boost the immune system

Similarly, no evidence said that vitamin C supplements can help to prevent COVID-19, “Dr. William Schaffner, a professor of preventive medicine and infectious diseases at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Tennessee, told New York Times Parenting”.

“If there’s going to be an advantage, it’s going to be very modest,” Schaffner said.

Picture of Vitamin C

Vitamin C

Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is a water-soluble vitamin that has immune-boosting micronutrients and it is relatively easy to get such as can be found in a variety of fruits and vegetables.

Hence, low vitamin C levels are also resulting in many health problems such as poor immunity, bleeding gums, and tooth loss.

Since your body cannot produce vitamin C, it’s important to include essential nutrients in your daily diet.

Humans cannot produce vitamin C on their own, because they don’t have the specific enzyme needed. Hence, we need to get it from an exogenous source which is food that includes essential nutrients in daily diet.

In addition, vitamin C plays a role in maintaining the immune system comprehensively through its antioxidant ability to protects against damage induced by oxidative stress, collagen synthesis, or directly strengthens immune cells in the fight against infection.

 It also helps prevent the common cold.

However, you can purchase the vitamin C supplement at the pharmaceutical wholesaler if you want in a bulk quantity such as mayflax

How much your body need Vitamin C per day?

The recommended daily dosage of vitamin C follow by age and gender. As per the National Institutes of Health, the Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs) for vitamin C are as follows:

AgeMaleFemalePregnancyLactation
0–6 months40 mg40 mg
7–12 months50 mg50 mg
1–3 years15 mg15 mg
4–8 years25 mg25 mg
9–13 years45 mg45 mg
14–18 years75 mg65 mg80 mg115 mg
19+ years90 mg75 mg85 mg120 mg

Note: Individuals who smoke need more doses than non-smokers needed, which is add 35 mg per day.

Here, have five clinical stages of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) :

Table of Stages Covid-19

Figure 1: Covid-19 treatment stratification in a Malaysian public hospital setting.

Can we consume vitamin C too much ?

Vitamin C is water-soluble, meaning it absorbs and passes through your body faster. Besides that, vitamin C is eliminated when you urinate.

Taking more than 2000 milligrams per day of vitamin C can lead to unpleasant side effects such as:-

  • Stomach pain
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhoea
  • Vomiting
  • Heartburn
  • Headache
  • Insomnia

Other food sources that are high in Vitamin C

Foods rich in vitamin C include :-

  • Oranges and orange juice
  • Grapefruits
  • Strawberries
  • Kiwis
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Spinach
  • Kale
  • Red and green peppers
  • Potatoes

Immune booster to maintain body health

 There are 6 immune boosters to help you to maintain a healthy body other than vitamin C :-

Vitamin A (Beta Carotene): This vitamin helps the health of your intestines and respiratory system. Foods rich in vitamin A include carrots, sweet potato, spinach, broccoli, and red bell peppers, egg yolk, butter, milk, cheese, etc.

Picture of carrots

Vitamin E: Vitamin E can be a cancer prevention agent preventing cells from oxidative harm from free radicals. These nutrients also can neutralization of free radicals by working as an antioxidant such as vegetable oils, nuts, seeds, and avocado.

Picture of avocado

Zinc: There are many zinc-dependent enzymes in our body and their deficiency is associated with immune dysfunction. Zinc-rich foods such as beans, seeds, nuts, meat, poultry, some shellfish, legumes, whole grains, and fortified cereals.

Picture of shellfish

Selenium: Selenium is another body’s antioxidant system, that ensures the body against oxidative pressure. It a mineral that helps certain immune cells function at their best. For examples, seafood, meat, whole grains, dairy, fruits and vegetables.

Picture of whole grains

Probiotics: The function of probiotics to helps the gut to become a healthy gut because it is made up of good bacteria that help keep your body healthy and working well. Moreover, not only that, probiotics can contribute to immune function.

Picture of healthy gut

Protein: Specific amino acids can be found in protein. There are essential for T-cell function, which are cells that protect the body from pathogens. For instance, meats, poultry, seafood, eggs, beans, nuts, and all seeds which contain a lot of protein.

Picture of ham

These nutrients are proven to help your body’s immune system function most efficiently and effectively, but if you eat too much, it can be harmful.  Thus, eat these nutrients in moderation and do not overeat.

Can taking vitamin C help to prevent COVID-19?

Frankly, without a vaccine, it is important to find ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Again, there are many things about this virus that we still do not know because viruses keep changes through mutation, and new variants of a virus are expected to occur over time. Sometimes new variants emerge and disappear. 

Right now, vitamin C is one of the few vitamins that your body needs to do its best. Getting enough vitamins and nutrients in your diet can help in strengthening your immune system, which also can possibly help you prevent this virus.

There is nothing wrong with taking vitamin C as part of your COVID-19 prevention plan, but no evidence it is true! There is a lot of ongoing research with positive results on the use of vitamin C as a treatment.

However, there is not enough information and evidence to know for sure whether it is effective against COVID-19.

Ways to prevent COVID-19

Furthermore,  have other ways can help to prevent the covid-19 spread. Now, you can follow easy tips to add to your “new normal” as a daily routine :-

Diagram How to avoid covid
  1. Wash your hands for 20 seconds.
  2. Apply hand sanitizer
  3. Wear a mask
  4. Social Distance
  5. Stay at home
  6. Disinfect or sanitize all the things
  7. Try not to touch your face or mouth.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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Raihan Ridzuan

Raihan Ridzuan , Bachelor of Science (Hons) Pharmacology, is  Customer Relationship Executive of Mayflax , one of the nation’s leading healthcare and marketing company.

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Therapeutic potential in COVID-19 with colchicine

Cr. Fusion Medical Animation

Source from MIMS.com

Based on a study, survival rate in patients with COVID-19 was improved with the use of colchicine, which are usually used for the treatment of gout and other inflammatory disorders as compared with standard of care (SoC).

The well-recognised anti-inflammatory effects and potential antiviral properties made it as one of the drugs that was considered for the treatment of COVID-19.  140 hospitalized patients who contracted COVID-19 had their outcomes evaluated as they were treated with SoC (hydroxychloroquine and/or intravenous dexamethasone; and/or lopinavir/ritonavir) and in 122 patients treated with colchicine and SoC.

The SoC group, have lower serum concentrations of C-reactive prottein and ferritin, as well as neutrophil count but higher PaO2/FiO2 ratio at baseline.

Survival when being compared over 21 days of follow-up, it was more favourable in the colchicine than the SoC group. A lower risk of death was strongly associated with colchicine, on Cox proprortional hazards regression (hazard ratio, 0.151).

At entry, there were a higher serum levels of ferritin, worse Pa02/Fi02 and poor survival at older age for the risk factors. 

With no treatment discontinuation due to severe adverse events, colchicine had a good safety profile. In nine patients, dosing was reduced from 1 to 0.5 mg/day due to diarrhoea.

With the aim of preventing the patient’s autoinflammatory response, the current study provides proof-of-concept data supporting the possible use of colchicine in the treatment of the early phase of COVID-19.

To determine the efficacy and safety of colchicine, properly designed trials are needed with the best protocol in terms of dosage and timing of administartion in patients with COVID-19, said the researchers.

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