Apr. 7 is World Health Day and the focus this year is on food safety. Living in Vietnam, this is a particular topic of interest as many of us are either eating street food or going to the supermarkets to buy the food that we consume every day.

Mar. 8 is International Women’s Day — and while we use it as a time to celebrate the women in the world, it is also an opportunity to focus on women’s health.

Sneezing, scratchy throat, runny nose — everyone knows the first miserable signs of a common cold. More severe symptoms, such as high fever or muscle aches, may indicate you have the flu rather than a cold. As there are more than 100 viruses that cause a common cold, signs and symptoms tend to vary greatly.

By global standards Vietnam is a safe place to live for foreigners — violent crime is relatively low and the sluggish traffic makes high-speed collisions rare. But accidents and medical emergencies, ranging from severe food poisoning and heart attacks to motorbike/ road accidents and bar fights, can happen to anybody.

The worst thing in the world is to try to sleep and not to” — F. Scott Fitzgerald

With this month marking the beginning of flu season — which lasts until March — people are more susceptible to getting the flu and falling ill for up to 12 days. Getting a flu vaccination can easily prevent this. However, many people are misled by the basic facts of influenza — the FAQ below should shed some light.

When preparing for the new school year, here are some health reminders to consider:

We see people with influenza or flu all year round, but the numbers peak during autumn and throughout the winter — this is why it is referred to as ‘seasonal flu.’ Flu is different from a cold and is caused by another group of viruses. The symptoms tend to be more severe and last longer.

With the thermometer at a Hanoi high, and humidity rising, we all need to remind ourselves how to stay healthy in the summer heat. The danger for some is heat exhaustion, which is a condition whose symptoms may include weakness, headache, dizziness, muscle cramps, nausea or vomiting and rapid heart beat. All of this as a result of your body overheating.

“Antibiotic Resistance a ‘Catastrophic Threat.’” — Reuter’s headline, March 2014
“Antibiotic Apocalypse. A terrible future could be on the horizon, a future which rips one of the greatest tools of medicine out of the hands of doctors.” — BBC headline

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