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Editorial Note

Editorial Team Editor: Dr. Biji Thomas George Associate Editor: Dr. Yousef Abdel Mohsin El Qabbany Issue Manager: Shyju Joseph

As winter approaches our mood changes. Many of us look back over the past year and see if we have achieved our goals of the year. Many of us count the blessings that we received this year. Positive or negative balances in our experiences over the year lead to either happiness or depression among some. Most of us are happy enough with our lives, even though we miss being with our loved ones back home, especially

Magazine Coordinator: Anu Joseph Design & Layout Dantis Mathew

at Christmas and New Year. The winter also brings its share of colds, coughs and more severe lung illnesses. A new variety of severe lung illness is the MERS-Cov virus infection which, unfortunately has a very high death rate in those infected. Our issue this month wants to bring this killer disease to our reader’s notice so that all of us can be on our guard. Due to the bitter cold, most of us don’t venture out too much in the outdoors and spend our time mostly indoors. Maybe in front of the television or the computer. If we don’t pay heed to ergonomics and good posture at these times, we can develop back pain which takes a long time to recover in the cold season. We bring you an article about ergonomics which will help you to prevent such maladies. We also tend to drink much less water as due to decreased sweating and body loss of water, our thirst response is blunted. However, our article on the health benefits of water should stimulate you to drink

Issue: 12 P.O. Box 198,PC 101, As Seeb Sultanate of Oman Tel: +968 24557200, Email:


enough water even if one doesn’t really feel like it. Our usual news, views and quiz features will delight you as always. We at the Starcare family and the editorial team wish all our dear readers a very Merry Christmas and a peaceful and prosperous New Year. Keep caring…

Dr. Biji George Editor

Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) is a viral respiratory illness, the first case of which was reported in Saudi Arabia in 2012. It is caused by a coronavirus called MERS-CoV. MERS –CoV is similar to the virus which caused SARS a few years back. Most people who are infected with MERS-CoV develop severe lung illness with symptoms of fever, cough, and shortness of breath. The mortality rate of the diseace is very high. On the other hand, some individuals who are infected only have mild disease. MERS CoV infection presents like a flu but can deteriorate to signs and symptoms of pneumonia. It may also lead to kidney failure. The following groups of people are more susceptible to MERS-CoV infections and complications and should take extra precaution: • Patients with chronic diseases, such as diabetes and heart conditions • Organ transplant recipients who are on immunosuppressive medications • Other patients whose immune systems are weak, such as cancer patients undergoing treatment • Of the over sixty cases of MERS-CoV infections confirmed so far, the vast majority have been male (it is too early to confirm that males are more vulnerable than females) It can be transmitted to close contacts including health care professionals usually it is air borne.

For appointments Call: 98088705 / 24557200

MERS-CoV virus

Dr. Gowri Sankar

MBBS, M.D, MRCP (UK) Internal Medicine (Sr. Physician)

We offer few tips to help prevent respiratory illnesses: • Wash hands many times with soap and water, help young children do the same. An alcohol-based hand sanitizer can be used if soap and water is not available. • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze then throw the tissue in the trash. • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands. • Avoid close contact, such as kissing, sharing cups, or sharing eating utensils, with sick people. • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces, such as toys and doorknobs. Suspected patients should seek immediate medical care and treatment is usually symptomatic, laboratory tests like PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) are confirmatory for diagnosis.

Department of Internal Medicine Dr Gowri Sankar is having experience in management of acute and chronic illnesses. He is highly educated to deal with the entire range of the patient's medical problems and choose drugs and other medical therapies wisely to prevent and treat diseases

Ergonomics at Office

Everyone experiences back pain at some point in their lives. The most common cause of back ache is poor posture. Some of the everyday activities such as sitting in office chairs, looking at the computer, driving, standing for long periods of time, or even sleeping can cause poor posture over time. Poor posture can easily become second nature, causing or aggravating episodes of back pain and damaging spinal structures. Fortunately, the main factors affecting posture and ergonomics are completely within one's ability to control and are not difficult to change. Warning signs of back pain due to poor ergonomics: a) The back pain is worse at certain times of day or week (such as after a long day of sitting in an office chair in front of a computer, but not during the weekends, unless you spend the weekends too in front of the computer. b) Pain that starts in the neck and moves downwards into the upper back, lower back and extremities. c) Pain that goes away after switching positions while sitting or standing; d) Sudden back pain that is experienced with a new job, a new office chair, or a new car; and/or back pain that comes and goes for months HOW TO AVOID POOR POSTURE 1) Be Aware of Body Position and Posture

• Shoulder: roll your shoulders gently up, back, down and forwards 5 -10 times. • Chest: open up your chest area by extending your arms straight out to your sides with the thumbs up or stand up to find a doorway to the classic doorway chest stretch. • Hips: Shift your hips so that you are sitting on the edge of the chair with one leg off. Place that leg back like a seated lunge with your knees bent to 90 degrees one. Reach your arms overhead to get a get a stretch on the side which is off the side. • Spine: Sit-up tall. Take a nice breath in; turn to one side while focusing on making sure that the rotation comes from the thoracic spine. Breathing properly helps the ribs rotate. Also, periodically tilt your head side to side or look left and right.

Being aware of your body's position is a key to good posture. To

3) Move Every Hour

achieve good alignment ensures that you are weight bearing

Movement helps to improve your circulation and it can help

through your 'sitting bones’ that you are sitting up tall with a

keep your muscles long and strong. Break up your day by

lengthened spine.

trying the following: stand up and walk around for a few

• Lean back once in awhile to use the back support.

minutes, refill your water, deliver a message in person, take the

• Complete a posture check every 15 min-are you starting to

stairs, stretch and go for a 20 min walk with your colleagues as

lean your head in?

part of your lunch break.

2) Develop Good Office Stretching Habits An office stretching routine can help prevent and alleviate aches and pains. The below mentioned stretching exercises would help and can be done easily at work: • Neck: Slowly flex your head down and up, rotate left and right, and flex side to side.

4) Maintain Body Weight Weight gain is one of the most common problems faced by office workers which in turn lead to more stress over spine. Have a good balanced diet and remain healthy.

Physiotherapy Department ( Starcare hospital)


Health benefits of water

• Illnesses or health conditions. When you have fever, vomiting or diarrhea, your body loses additional fluids. In these Water is your body's principal chemical component and makes up about 60 percent of your body weight. Every system in your body depends on water. For example, water flushes toxins out of vital organs, carries nutrients to your cells and provides a moist environment for ear, nose and throat tissues. Lack of water can lead to dehydration, a condition that occurs when you don't have enough water in your body to carry out normal functions. Even mild dehydration can drain your energy and make you tired. How much water do you need ? Every day you lose water through your breath, perspiration, urine and bowel movements. For your body to function properly, you must replenish its water supply by consuming beverages and foods that contain water. So how much fluid does the average, healthy adult living in a temperate climate need? The Institute of Medicine US determined that an adequate intake (AI) for men is roughly 3 liters (about 13 cups) of total beverages a day. The AI for women is 2.2 liters (about 9 cups) of total beverages a day. Just keep in mind that "Drink at least eight 240 ml glasses of fluid a day," because all fluids count toward the daily total. Factors that influence water needs You may need to modify your total fluid intake depending on how active you are, the climate you live in, your health status, and if you're pregnant or breast-feeding. • Exercise. If you exercise or engage in any activity that makes you sweat, you need to drink extra water to compensate for the fluid loss. An extra 400 to 600 milliliters (about 1.5 to 2.5 cups) of water should suffice for short bouts of exercise, but intense exercise lasting more than an hour (for example, running a marathon) requires more fluid intake. Also, continue to replace fluids after you're finished exercising. • Environment. Hot or humid weather can make you sweat and requires additional intake of fluid. Heated indoor air also can cause your skin to lose moisture during wintertime.

cases, you should drink more water. In some cases, your doctor may recommend oral rehydration solutions. Also, you may need increased fluid intake if you develop certain conditions, including bladder infections or urinary tract stones. On the other hand, some conditions such as heart failure and some types of kidney, liver and adrenal diseases may impair excretion of water and even require that you limit your fluid intake. • Pregnancy or breast-feeding. Women who are expecting or breast-feeding need additional fluids to stay hydrated. Large amounts of fluid are used especially when nursing. The Institute of Medicine US recommends that pregnant women drink 2.3 liters (about 10 cups) of fluids daily and women who breast-feed consume 3.1 liters (about 13 cups) of fluids a day. Beyond the tap: Other sources of water You don't need to rely only on what you drink to meet your fluid needs. What you eat also provides a significant portion of your fluid needs. On average, food provides about 20 percent of total water intake. For example, many fruits and vegetables, such as watermelon and tomatoes, are 90 percent or more water by weight. In addition, beverages such as milk and juice are composed mostly of water. Even beer, wine and caffeinated beverages — such as coffee, tea or soda — can contribute, but these should not be a major portion of your daily total fluid intake. Water is still your best bet because it's calorie-free, inexpensive and readily available. Staying safely hydrated To ward off dehydration and make sure your body has the fluids it needs, make water your beverage of choice. It's also a good idea to: • Drink a glass of water or other calorie-free or low-calorie beverage with each meal and between each meal. Mayo Clinic

Starcare in the

NEWS Our new Doctors Dr. M Yusuff

MBBS, MRCP(UK), FRCP(Lon) Sr. Consultant-Internal Medicine

Dr. Sonia Tahir MBBS GP

Dr. Shamsa Mohammad Adi Alhinai MD, FRCSC (Canada) Sr. Consultant – OB/ GYN (visiting)

For appointment & more details Call: 98088705 / 24557200

Flu vaccine for you & your family

Fight the infection. Be safe. Take your shot today !

An annual flu vaccination is the best way to prevent the flu. It is recommended for everybody including pregnant and breast feeding woman. Say goodbye to fever, sore throat, runny nose and prevent more serious complications.

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WHO also recommends annual vaccination specifically for :

The elderly or disabled

People diagnosed with chronic medical conditions

Pregnant women

children from ages six months to two years.

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Answer the below questions

A farmer has 15 cows, all but 8 die. How many does he have left?

2. A window cleaner is cleaning the windows on the 25th oor of a skyscraper, when he slips and falls. He is not wearing a safety harness and nothing slows his fall, yet he suered no injuries. Explain. 3. What can you put in a wooden box that would make it lighter? The more of them you put in the lighter it becomes, yet the box stays empty.

Answers to Quiz in December issue: 1. The surgeon cannot operate on her own son; she is his mother. 2. 1 3. SIX - the single line is curved in the form of an 'S'

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Visit:, E-mail: Contact: +968 24557200, GSM: +968 98252030, P.O.Box: 198, PC 101, As Seeb, Sultanate of Oman

Disclaimer This magazine does not attempt to endorse or promote any information presented. Please keep in mind that information about health matters changes constantly as new studies are performed and new treatments are discovered. Consult your physician or other health professional for your health related advice.



MD, FRCSC (Canada)

98088705 / 24557200

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HEALTH SPLASH_issue 12  

Health splash having articles of MERS CoV as well as on the ergonomics at office. There is also an article on importance of drinking water...