[COLUMN] Medical facts

COVID-19 kills

The 20 percent of Americans (around 60 million) who refuse to get vaccines to protect themselves against the deadly COVID-19 are at grave risk of being infected with this killer virus. More than 4 million individuals have been killed by COVID-19 worldwide, greater than 624,000 in the United States. Practically all of those who have been infected and have died were unvaccinated people.

The 60 percent of Americans fully vaccinated are protected. Around 3.5 billion people worldwide have been vaccinated. The vaccines are safe. This stresses the importance of getting the vaccines. The risk of dying from the vaccines is a tiny fraction compared to the high risk of dying from COVID-19 or its more serious variants. A simple arithmetic. No brainer. If people continue to refuse to get vaccinated, they will serve as long term hosts of the SARS-CoV2 virus – a reservoir, a breeding ground for continuous mutation to produce deadlier strains. This will result in new and more fatal waves of this killer infection in the U.S., worse than in India. Spreading a preventable infection that kills people is technically “a crime against humanity.” God forbid a COVID-21 and up!

Let us all share the obligation and noble responsibility of fighting this pandemic by at least getting the vaccines to protect ourselves, our loved ones, and society as a whole, if not humankind itself.

Men’s sweat good for women

Don’t laugh. This is true. Biologists at the University of Pennsylvania found that men’s perspiration has beneficial effects on women’s mood, reduces stress and induces relaxation. It even has a soothing effect on a woman’s menstruation. Blood tests revealed a rise in the level of reproductive luteinizing hormone, which normally surges before ovulation. The study was done on men who were asked not to use deodorant during the research, and extracts of their sweat collected. The women subjects thought the substance they were testing (smelling) was a type of perfume. It is true then that when women say they love the scent of their man, it is genuine and scientifically founded. Guys, this, however, does not mean we have to stop taking showers!

Violence of television

Children, boys and girls alike, who watch violence on television have increased risk of aggression, including spousal abuse and criminal offenses as adults, reported psychologist L. Rowell Huesmann and his cohorts at the University of Michigan’s Institute for Social Research, in the March 2003 issue of the Journal for Developmental Psychology. The study was conducted in the late 1970s on 329 children 6 to 9 years of age and again in their early 20s, to discern the long-term effects of televised violence. The study included interviews with these subjects in the 1990s together with their spouses and children. This significant study confirmed the hypothesis that violence on television adversely affects children’s lives by eroding into their inborn and natural aversion to violence, making aggression, violence, and in many cases, crime as acceptable social behaviors for them when dealing with their family and the public. Programs like “The Six Million Dollar Man,” “Starsky and Hutch,” and even “Road Runner” were considered very violent, among many of the 80 popular programs included in the study.

Filtered water scam       

A few years ago, in this column, we cautioned the public against unscrupulous entrepreneurs selling tap (faucet) water as “filtered water.” This fraud is apparently practiced worldwide. Thus, everybody has to be warned. Fortune Magazine had reported that the bottled water business “is a $7.6-billion industry in the United States alone,” having more than quintupled the bottled water consumption and revenues from $2.5 billion in 1991. Drinking at least 6-8 glasses of water per day is, in general, good for us. The current U.S. statistics show the following “gallon per person” consumption: carbonated soft drinks, which are unhealthy, 54%; beer, 22.6%; milk, 22.6%; coffee, 21.9%; and, bottled water, 21.1%. So bottled water is in, and for a healthy reason. But be certain the bottled water is produced by a reputable company. And make sure you break the seal-lock on the cap of the bottle yourself, to preclude the possibility of tampering and contamination. It is prudent to instruct the waiters in restaurants NOT to open the bottle, NOT to break the seal, so you could do it yourself.

Food warning

Some food may increase the risk for the development of colon cancer. New studies among women have shown that diets that favor red meat (especially grilled and burnt) or processed meat, French fries, sweets, and refined grains (like white bread, pasta) are associated with higher colon cancer rate. The recommended diet, as we have repeatedly “prescribed” in this column the past several years, should consist of fish, vegetables, fruits, legumes (beans), and whole-grain foods (high-fiber items like bran, oatmeal). This healthy diet reduces the risk of colon and other cancers. To make the equation complete, add: abstinence from tobacco, daily exercise, and if desired, a glass or two of red wine with dinner (with romantic soft music to further calm the nerves). And don’t forget your loved one when you do this.

Avoiding pregnancy

The following are myths: A woman is guaranteed 100% not to get pregnant IF: (1) penetration is done only a few times without completion of intercourse; (2) withdrawal is done before ejaculation; (3) coitus is done during the “safe” period; (4) sex is done during menses; (5) the woman did not have orgasm during sex; (6) the lovers drink wine before sex; (7) aspirin is inserted into the vagina as contraceptive; (8) the woman is on top during the act; (9) the man uses any plastic wrap in the absence of, and in lieu of, a condom; (10) the man already had sex with another woman, or had masturbated, an hour or so earlier; (11) oral sex preceded normal intercourse; and (12) the woman douches immediately after sex. These are all myths and cannot be relied upon to prevent pregnancy. Only total abstinence, or use of an intact condom, or use of prescribed birth control pills under medical supervision can prevent pregnancy.

Inhalants are deadly

Statistics in the U.S. reveal that about half a million people, between ages 12-17, die annually from Sudden Sniffing Death Syndrome. The deadly inhalants included glue, spray paint and markers. The report showed that age 12 is when most children start to experiment on chemicals and drugs. March 16-22 has been declared in the U.S. as National Inhalant and Poison Awareness Week.

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The opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed by the author do not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs and viewpoints of the Asian Journal, its management, editorial board and staff.

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Visit our websites: philipSchua.com and FUN8888.com; Email: scalpelpen@gmail.com.

Dr. Philip S. Chua

Philip S. Chua, MD, FACS, FPCS, Cardiac Surgeon Emeritus in Northwest Indiana and chairman of cardiac surgery from 1997 to 2010 at Cebu Doctors University Hospital, where he holds the title of Physician Emeritus in Surgery, is based in Las Vegas, Nevada. He is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons, the Philippine College of Surgeons, and the Denton A. Cooley Cardiovascular Surgical Society. He is the chairman of the Filipino United Network – USA, a 501(c)(3) humanitarian foundation in the United States.

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