Archive for the ‘CDC’ Category

"Chronic Fatigue Syndrome” and Sen. Miriam D. Santiago’s tiredness

February 6, 2009

I hope Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile was correct when he said that Sen. Miriam D. Santiago needed an indefinite leave from her legislative work because of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS.) I don’t know if what he meant coincided with what we know of the disease.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is a nebulous medical condition with unknown cause whose manifestations run from physical to the psychological. As such CFS comes as a diagnosis only after careful and thorough health investigation which considers a plethora of possibilities—-hormonal problems (i.e. thyroid disease, diabetes,) chronic infections (TB, malaria,) exogenous drugs (substance abuse), malignancies, organ dysfunctions, nutritional, immunologic, and metabolic derangements (malnutrition, poisonings, autoimmune diseases) and psychiatric problems (bipolar disorder, depression, schizophrenia) among others.

CFS is a hard diagnosis to make because there are no specific tests or laboratory markers to pinpoint the ailment; many illnesses have fatigue as among their prominent symptoms and a good fraction of patients looks well. The manifestations of CFS vary in severity and its course is characterized by periods of remissions and exacerbations.

A CFS diagnosis should be considered in patients who present with six months or more of unexplained fatigue accompanied by other characteristic symptoms. These symptoms may include:

• cognitive dysfunction, including impaired memory or concentration
• malaise or exhaustion lasting > 24 hours after physical or mental exercise
• unrestful sleep
• joint pain without signs of inflammation
• persistent musculo-skeletal pain
• depression
• mood swings
• headaches
• tender cervical or axillary lymph nodes
• sore throat
• cardiac and respiratory symptoms

According to the Center of Disease Control (CDC) between 1 and 4 million Americans suffer from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), an illness which presents with overrid ing tiredness. A fraction of patients are seriously impaired; at least a quarter are unemployed or on disability. About 50% of those affected come to their doctors and 40% of them have previously unrecognized medical or psychiatric condition.—Source: Center for Disease Control (CDC) at

What CDC tells us is just the tip of the iceberg. From the medical perspective, one can however surmise if Sen. Miriam D. Santiago really suffers from a serious disease. Is she really sick? Does she have CFS or is she plainly tired. Let her doctor investigate so she can be treated.

The flamboyant senator who is known for her “intelligence and tartness” just wrapped up her investigation on the scandalous World Bank (WB) allegations that top-ranked officials in government colluded in rigging of project deals by contractors. She must really be tired as the Filipinos— for nothing of great significance came out of a senate probe of this nature. The investigation only broke open the unhealing wounds of corruption that has left the country mired in shame. (Photo Credits: St.ChristopherLucky; diong) =0=


Cancer races to be #1 disease killer in 2010

December 10, 2008

The World Health Organization (WHO) recently reported that cancer will lord as the leading cause of death by 2010. The disclosure predicts that if trends continue, by 2030 new cancer diagnosis can reach 27 million, jacking up the number of sufferers to 75 million worldwide. A staggering 17 million of them are expected to die in that year surpassing the top killer: cardiac diseases.

It has been noted that cancer worldwide is on the rise, eclipsing the upward climb of infections and heart diseases. Countries like China, Russia, Indonesia, and India are known to have a huge smoking population. It is believed that tobacco-smoking in developing countries is the main reason for the increase in cancer cases, mostly in developing countries where at least 40% of smokers reside. Population growth and better disease recognition also add to fresh cancer diagnoses which are expected to reach 12 million this year.

Country/%/# of Smokers in Millions
Malaysia————2.90%——– —-3.65
ASEAN Countries–Total————- 125.8
Source: Southeast Asia Tobacco Control Alliance (SEATCA) Philstar (09/04/07, Crisostomo, S)

Cancer is one of the greatest untold health crises of the developing world…Few are aware that cancer already kills more people in poor countries than HIV, malaria, and tuberculosis combined. And if current smoking trends continue, the problem will get significantly worse,” said Dr. Douglas Blayney, president-elect of the American Society of Clinical Oncology.

“This is going to present an amazing problem at every level in every society worldwide,” added Peter Boyle, director of the WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer. —Reuters (12/10/08)

The concern for the cancer problem is real. Though it is potentially preventable and treatable among the major life-threatening chronic diseases, malignancies are blamed for 1 in 8 deaths worldwide. With the rising cost of medical services and the sharp increase of those who need care, treatment for cancer will over-burden the healthcare services.

Many countries worldwide aren’t prepared. The medical infrastructures needed to manage cancer patients are lacking or virtually non-existent. Governments are therefore urged to embark on aggressive cancer prevention programs, grassroots anti-smoking and anti-cervical cancer campaigns among others, to combat the emerging top killer. (Photo Credits: Andreia; Laura la Fataliste)=0=

RELATED BLOG: “The Death Clock and the Dangers of Smoking” Posted by mesiamd at 10/22/2008; “Cancer races to be #1 disease killer in 2010” Posted by mesiamd at 12/11/08.


September 28, 2008: World Anti-Rabies Day

September 27, 2008

Rabies aka hydrophobia is a viral zoonotic neuroinvasive disease transmitted by infected domesticated animals like dogs and cats. Wild animals such as bats, raccoons, skunks, coyotes and wolverines still affect many people particularly from poor countries. About 15, 000 human rabies cases are reported worldwide.

“The number of cases of rabies in the Philippines which currently ranks fourth worldwide in incidence of the disease is increasing, despite government promises to rid the country of the problem by 2020. In 1998, 362 Filipinos died of rabies, compared with 321 in 1997 and 337 in 1996. About 10000 dogs are believed to be infected with the disease each year. “ Center for Disease Control CDC (2007 Wallerstein, C); BMJ 1999;318:1306.

In observance of the world anti-rabies day, activities to promote the prevention of rabies have been slated in the Philippines. From the, the following are some of them:

Zamboanga City, Philippines (Local event)

Dog Fashion Show II-A World Rabies Day Celebration
Duration: September 28, 2008, 2:00 P.M. to September 28, 2008, 5:00 P.M.

This event started last year during the city’s observance of The World Rabies Day. For this year, we’re doing it again with a carrying theme of; “Trabaha Quita Junto Para El Rabis Ay Queda Historia” — a translated theme from english to chavacano (our local dialect). The event is targeted to the public to increase awareness of healthy and responsible pet-owner relationships and introduce the existing city ordinances (C.O. 241-The Rabies Control and Eradication Ordinance; and C.O. 242-The City Pound Ordinance) and the Animal Welfare Act of the Philippines.

Event is open to public
To get more information: Through radio, television, flyers, posters and personal communication
Contact name: Office of the City Veterinarian-City Government of Zamboanga
Contact email: !Please, turn on JavaScript or go to the contact us page!

Pagbilao, Quezon Province, Philippines (Regional event)

World Rabies Day Commemoration
Duration: September 29, 2008, 7:30 am to September 29, 2008, 12:00 pm

The Center for Health Development for CaLaBaRZon will commemorate World Rabies day by mourning the deaths caused by Rabies which could have been prevented. The attendees will be wearing black shirts and black ribbons. The program will include a motorcade to raise the awareness of the people in the locality and a symposium will be held with students as participants.

Event is open to public

Naga City, Philippines (Regional event)

World Rabies day Celebration
Duration: September 28,2008, 8:00 am to September 28, 2008, 5:00 pm

There will be a free dog vaccination, dog castration and deworming.

Event is open to public. (Photo Credits: Juna Cullador; Bvalves) =0=