What You Need to Know About Dengue

Dengue is still a threat in most affected countries despite the precautions taken against it. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), half the world’s population is now at risk, but most especially those residing in subtropical and tropical climates including Singapore.

Here are some facts about dengue you need to remember.

Dengue Mosquito
The virus is primarily transmitted by the female Aedes aegypti mosquito, although there were instances that another species, Aedes albopictus, was also the transmitter. Ae. aegypti is the same transmitter for other mosquito-related diseases such as Zika infection, chikungunya, and yellow fever. The symptoms are almost similar as well.

Four Dengue Serotypes
Serotype is the name that describes varieties in a species, and in the case of the dengue virus, there are four distinct types that have been documented in recent years. These are DEN-1, DEN-2, DEN-3, and DEN-4. The treatment of the patient will depend on which serotype has infected the body and may even provide immunity in the future.

Incubation Period
If a person is bitten by a mosquito that carries the virus, dengue will incubate for a period of four to ten days before the symptoms show up. Usually, these symptoms last for two to seven days, but the severity will differ among affected individuals.

No Specific Treatment
Unfortunately, there is no one proven way to treat dengue. The affected individual must be taken to the hospital to monitor and maintain the correct levels of body fluids to help the body to fight off the infection naturally. It’s crucial for the patient to get the appropriate care at the first early signs of dengue. Do not wait for the symptoms to worsen, because the infection can cause severe bleeding, organ impairment, plasma leaks, respiratory distress, and fluid accumulation.

Platelet Monitoring
If an individual is suspected of having dengue, he/she needs to have tests to confirm the diagnosis, such as a platelet count test and an antigen test. The normal count should be anywhere between 150,000 to 450,000 platelets per microliter, that is why if the patient’s platelet count falls below 10,000 per microliter, he/she will need a platelet transfusion.

Different Symptoms
The infection will manifest differently among affected individuals, but there are common symptoms that you should look out for; such as high fever (usually 104° F or 40° C), severe headache, muscle and joint pains, pain behind the eyes, nausea and/or vomiting, rashes, and swollen glands. Severe dengue can cause more serious complications, that is why you should not wait for the following warning signs: vomiting, rapid breathing, severe pain in the abdomen, fatigue, blood in the vomit, and bleeding gums.

31 May 2018

5 Species of Large Fish You Can Catch in Singapore

Fishing is a great pastime to get into as a way to relax, get in touch with friends, and get acquainted with what nature has to offer, since Singapore is home to a wide variety of freshwater fish.

Because several reservoirs that have been previously closed to anglers have now been opened, now is the perfect time to get started on this hobby. Here are just some of the species of large fish you can reel in:

1. Catfish
This is one of the most recognizable fish that you can find in most places in Singapore because of its smooth grey color and prominent whisker-like barbels.

These fish can reach weights of as heavy as five or eight kilograms. There are several types of this fish that you can catch in Singapore, such as the warty catfish and the old world river catfish.

2. Peacock Bass
Belonging to a genus of large cichlids, this predatory freshwater fish is originally belongs to the Amazon water basin and is diurnal in nature. You can usually catch this type of fish any time of year in Singapore.

The peacock bass is a prized catch among anglers in Singapore as both food and game, as this fish is not only hard to find, but also quite hard to catch.

3. Giant Snakehead
The giant mudfish is capable of growing to a length of 1.3 meters, and can weigh up to as heavy as 20 kilograms. Though often found in Southeast Asia, this species is considered an invasive species in a number of countries since it has been introduced to different ecosystems, particularly those in Singapore.

4. Barracuda
This ray-finned fish is one of the most common species of large fish that you can catch in Singapore. Though not sought after as much as other species of prized fish, barracuda have an intimidating appearance and aggressive behavior that make them a challenge for any angler who happens to have them on the line.

Most characteristics of barracudas that make them distinct are their dark grey, green, or blue color, irregular black spots on one or both sides, and their pointed heads with a large under-bite. Given time, they can grow to 1.6 meters in length and weigh as much as 7 kilograms.

5. Grouper
Groupers are perhaps the largest and heaviest fish that you can catch in Singapore. Though the name “grouper” is given to most fishes belonging to the Epinephelus and Mycteroperca genera, it actually extends to other smaller genera, such as Anyperidon, Cromileptes, and Tirso.

Groupers are characterized by having a stout body and a large mouth. Not only can they reach lengths of more than 2 meters, but also weigh as much as 200 kilograms.

30 Apr 2018

4 Basic Items that Any First Aid Kit Should Always Have

Minor scrapes, burns, grazes, and cuts are only a small part of the whole package of being alive. However, nothing is perhaps more frustrating than having to dress a wound or bandage a burn only to find out that you don’t have the proper items to do so.

Whether or not you have kids, having a first-aid kit is a must-have in any home anywhere in the world, Singapore or otherwise. And because first-aid kits often make a huge difference in keeping otherwise minor scrapes from becoming bigger problems, here are the items that any kit should always have:

1. Band-Aids/bandages/gauze – Cuts, burns, and scrapes will need to be treated and dressed properly to avoid being exposed and possibly infected. Topical antibiotics are also a welcome addition for sterilizing, and hand sanitizer and gloves can come in handy in treating wounds.

In the off-chance that you need to make an emergency splint for a broken limb, having bandages would really come in handy.

2. Scissors, tweezers – Different situations would require different things to handle them. For some wounds that have debris stuck in them (e.g. broken glass, gravel), not only will you be needing scissors to cut off clothing and pieces of dressing, but also tweezers to remove debris.

You can also use tweezers to remove splinters and insect stings (but special splinter extractors can do the trick just as nicely – be sure to ask your pharmacist!).

3. Thermometer/Cold Pack – These two items should come together, and are really useful for helping someone who has a fever in the house. Depending on the case of fever, over-the-counter fever medication, lots of rest, and water could help decrease the body temperature.

Cold packs also come in handy for insect bites, minor burns, and sprains as it reduces the swelling.

4. Splint – Even though accidents rarely happen, they still do. Broken or sprained limbs can be the result of strenuous physical activity, and may need immediate medical attention. Already having a splint that you can use to immobilize a limb is more convenient than having to make one yourself.

Splints immobilize sprained or broken limbs or even a person’s spine in certain instances. The difference between a splint a cast is that a splint is “non-circumferential” (it doesn’t go all the way around the limb), where the cast goes all the way and encases the limb.

Always be sure to choose a brightly-colored container or plastic bag that can be easily identified. Place it somewhere in the house where only adults can access it and small children can’t (preferably, placing it on the top shelf on a central location in the house).

30 Apr 2018

5 of the Best Survival Mobile Games in 2018

Survival games aren’t new in the gaming industry. With the genre bringing thrill and excitement to its players, it’s not a surprise to know there’s a blooming fanbase in Singapore. This type of game has a general gameplay: you are to land somewhere, make use of the available tools around (such as guns), and fight other players to death. Your only goal is to survive.

These survival games aren’t exclusively played on a computer, too. Even just with your smartphone, you can enjoy the best survival experiences on your handheld device through downloading these games:

1. Rules of Survival
This game is arguably one of the leading survival games when it comes to graphics and gameplay. It is similar to PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG), a Battle Royale themed game that has been well-received by the PC community. The major difference is – you can play Rules of Survival on your smartphone. It allows solo, duo, and team games. A virtual thumb stick is used for smooth movement, but practice is still key.

2. Black Survival
Think of Black Survival as your typical survival game with an added twist: it has a visual-novel style gameplay. You will have to travel around static environments until the moment you come across another player – which is contrary to other survival games where you have the freedom to shoot around given you have a weapon. Your quick reflexes and better stats will render you victorious in this game.

3. Grand Battle Royale
Named after the 2000 survival-themed Japanese cult classic film, Grand Battle Royale mixes up the classic battleground set-up with Minecraft-style visuals. This adds another edge to the game, making it stand out from the rest. You simply spawn from one island to another – and once you hear the buzzer, the carnage begins. It’s a mad dash for nearby weapons once you begin to converge on the center.

4. Free fire – battleground
With high-end graphics, Free fire is considerably too beautiful for your typical mobile game. This easily makes the game the most visually pleasing title in this article. It boasts of a smooth and clean gameplay, and it also adheres to the general playbook of survival games (with the inclusion of teamplay and vehicles). The map may be too wide for the initial small player count – but just wait until the safe zone shrinks sufficiently!

5. Last Battleground: Survival
This game has a similar gameplay to that of Rules of Survival, but its visuals rely heavily on crude aesthetic. Nonetheless, it adds to the game’s appeal. It’s almost as if you are playing a PS2 game on your handheld device in many ways. This free-to-play game only has a 32-player count and doesn’t offer duo/team plays. However, the core gameplay of Last Battleground: Survival remains addictive enough to encourage loyal players to continue playing.

26 Mar 2018

Healthy Breakfast Options to Start Your Day Right

Eating the right breakfast food can provide you the energy you need and make you last for the long day ahead. Considered as the most important meal of the day, it is encouraged to eat breakfast even if you are on-the-go. Having a hearty meal in the morning also prevents you from eating too much for the rest of the day.

More than just filling your stomach with food, choosing what you eat for breakfast is important if you want to give your system the appropriate nutrients and sufficient amount of energy it needs. Here are some of the healthy breakfast options to start your day right:

1. Oatmeal
If you’re a cereal lover, having oatmeal in the morning might just be the perfect breakfast! Made from ground oats, oatmeal contains beta-glucan – a unique fiber which can bring the body many health benefits such as reducing one’s cholesterol count. It also promotes a feeling of fullness, preventing you from snacking on other food shortly after your meal.

2. Coffee
Considered as one of the best beverages to jumpstart your day, coffee can also be considered as a healthy breakfast option especially when taken moderately. Since the drink contains high caffeine content, it effectively improves your mood, alertness, and your general mental performance. The ideal amount of coffee to be taken on the daily ranges from around 1 – 4 cups, depending on how strong the coffee is.

3. Eggs
Eggs are not only delicious, but they are also packed with the essential nutrients we need to get going. Eating eggs at breakfast also increases your fullness, maintains a steady insulin and blood sugar levels, and reduces calorie intake during your next meal. What’s more, three large eggs can already provide you around 20 g. of protein!

4. Fruit
If you’re running out of time to prepare a hearty breakfast meal, simply grab a fruit and you’re all set! Fruits are relatively low in calories and they are packed with fiber, vitamins, potassium. A cup of chopped fruit only ranges for about 80 to 130 calories – depending on the fruit type. Having fruits for breakfast can also make you full, thanks to their high water and fiber content.

5. Protein shake
Fitness gurus and bodybuilders aren’t the only people who can enjoy protein shakes. If anything, having a protein shake or smoothie is a great way to start your day. You can use various types of protein powder: either egg, pea, soy, and whey protein. It is known to provide the body with several health benefits and effectively reduces your appetite. Enjoying a high-protein shake is both filling and satisfying.

To provide you additional antioxidants and fiber content, feel free to add nut butter, fruit, seeds, and even greens to your shake!

26 Mar 2018

4 Qualities of a Good Teacher

There’s something that makes our teachers recognizable in a good way and once we end up appreciating our teacher, we then slowly begin to learn a little more from them. The thing about good teachers is that they become really admirable to us. Once we admire something, we end up paying a little more attention to what we admire. Attention is one thing, but once we’ve fully dived into curiosity, there’s no stopping us from learning great things.

Here are a few things that make up a great teacher:

1. Wise
Since we enroll in our classes to learn, a wise teacher is definitely someone we look up to. The problem with some teachers is that although they are knowledgeable, they are not wise. Okay then, what is wisdom? Wisdom is the application of knowledge, knowing when and what to use for certain situations around. It’d be much better to learn business from an entrepreneur who has made up a huge company rather than just learning from someone who took masters at a business school.

Don’t get us wrong, if you graduate from Master’s in business school, you are truly knowledgeable! But not everyone who knows, knows what to do when the situation approaches. This is what makes the entrepreneur wise, he’s been through the experience himself.

2. Relatable
It’s pretty hard for you to learn from someone who you can’t connect with. Connecting with your teacher is very important. Teachers who are willing to connect with you on a personal level are the best. Not only does it feel better to be their student, you connection comes with more importance to what they say. Giving importance to someone’s words is a great way for you to be able to remember it.

3. Charismatic
Aha! We all love a teacher who is charismatic. Not only can they grab your attention, they hook you in with their oozing charisma. From the way a teacher greets you to the way they explain their lesson, there’s something about the way they communicate or maybe even present themselves. It’s really hard to turn your eyes and ears away from a charismatic teacher.

4. Skilled
Last but not the least, we need a teacher who is skilled at doing what they are teaching, a person who can walk his talk. This is a basic trait every teacher is required to have and this is why we should give our respects to every teacher out there.

A great teacher only comes by once a while. Make the most of the time you spend with your teacher and make sure to learn and absorb as much as you can from them. Don’t let the opportunity pass you by as you might regret not learning a little more.

21 Feb 2018

3 Marks of a Bad Teacher

Sadly, not every teacher is a good one. Although teaching is an admirable career, not every teacher is doing their utmost best to transform the lives of their students. This seems like a lot to expect from teachers but then again, all of us want the best. Sometimes though, the problem is not with the teacher but rather with the student.

Students can sometimes become their own hindrances when it comes to learning. Besides, no matter how amazing a certain view may be, if we close our eyes, we still won’t be able to see it. Talking about teachers is something a lot of us may have a hard time talking about because of our utmost respect for them but sometimes we have to determine for ourselves if a teacher is wrong or not.

Here are a few ways to spot the bad teacher:

1. No respect for students
Sadly, in our modern generation, respect is supposedly earned rather than innate. People end up respecting people who they think are above them and give little importance to people bellow them. Respect should definitely be given to people of all different kinds of social positions whether you would look at them as above you or not. Respecting students is something every teacher has to do. Of course, students are expected to respect their teachers but there is also the same expectation the other way around.

2. Does not answer questions
Questions are the keys to open the doors of learning. Having unanswered questions is like a car without fuel, it gets you nowhere. Sadly, it is a matter of fact that we will never be able to know everything but that is not exactly what we expect from teachers. If somebody does not know the answer, they just have to be honest instead of blocking you off. There are certain cases when some teachers get mad at a certain student for asking a very critical question which they cannot answer instead of giving props to the person who asked it. Academics is about growth and growth in everyone always functions on different speeds.

3. Does not allow opinions
Opinions are to be respected. Period. Sadly, people believe that because of their position or authority, their opinions magically become more correct compared to others without any sufficient basis. This is a very dangerous mind-set as this would definitely crush progress of not just the subject you are learning but learning in general. Everyone goes to school with the intention of learning and growth while some teachers become the actual hindrance towards them.

Here are a few ways to tell if your teacher isn’t doing a good job. We do not encourage complaints, we just want everyone to know.

21 Feb 2018