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Some cold, hard facts about Hypothermia



Hypothermia – not a matter to be taken lightly by anyone venturing outdoors – is the No. 1 killer of outdoor enthusiasts in North America.
For those unaware of this deadly medical condition, hypothermia occurs when the core temperature is reduced below its normal level, which is 98.6 degrees. The most common cause of hypothermia is an overexposure to cold temperatures when outside for prolonged periods.

While normally associated with freezing weather, one can experience hypothermia even in the mild months of the year, generally when temperatures range between 20 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Hypothermia is caused by four elements, not always linked to each other in concert to be deadly in their effects:

– First and most obviously is the cold, literally freezing you.

– Second is moisture, probably the sneakiest of the four in it’s ability to chill the body even in otherwise mild weather.

– Third is the wind, which penetrates clothing and pulls away vital body warmth, as it blows by.Hypothermia

– Fourth is exhaustion or overexertion, which lowers the body’s ability to produce energy and create warmth.

What are the symptoms of hypothermia to watch for in yourself and others with you outdoors? First and foremost is an uncontrollable bout of shivering brought on by the body trying to produce heat.

This is usually followed by a slurring or thickness of speech and an incoherent thought process. Stumbling while walking and an exhausted attitude to the point of being unable to get up after rest are a couple more symptoms to watch for.

Skin that is openly exposed to the elements may become blue. A weak or irregular pulse, retarded breathing, slow heart rate, and unconsciousness are usually the deepest stage of hypothermia. That is followed shortly by a loss of life functions if treatment isn’t started immediately
As in most cases, an ounce of prevention is the best cure. Before setting out on the water or going afield watch the weather for the area you will be in and dress accordingly.

Using a layered approach to clothing works best and allows the outdoors person to dress up or down to suit the changing conditions. Foul weather gear should always be an important part of your outdoor outfit as well to round out your protective covering from Mother Nature and her fickle moods. And last but certainly not least, always use a liberal dose of common sense when engaging in any outdoor activity so that your adventures under the big sky don’t become big tragedies.

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Hundreds of Indonesian healthcare workers contract COVID-19 despite vaccination, dozens hospitalised



JAKARTA: More than 350 Indonesian doctors and healthcare workers have contracted COVID-19 despite being vaccinated with Sinovac and dozens have been hospitalised, officials said, as concerns rise about the efficacy of some vaccines against more virulent virus strains.

Most of the doctors were asymptomatic and self-isolating at home, said Badai Ismoyo, head of the Kudus district health office in Central Java, but dozens were in hospital with high fevers and declining oxygen saturation levels.

Kudus is battling an outbreak believed to be driven by the more transmissible Delta variant which has pushed bed occupancy rates above 90 per cent in the district.

Designated as a priority group, Indonesian healthcare workers were among the first to be vaccinated when the inoculation drive started in January.

Almost all have received the COVID-19 vaccine developed by Chinese biopharmaceutical company Sinovac, according to the Indonesian Medical Association.

While the number of Indonesian healthcare workers dying from COVID-19 has decreased significantly – dropping from 158 deaths this January to 13 this May, according to data initiative group LaporCOVID-19 – public health experts say the Java hospitalisations are cause for concern.

“The data shows they have the Delta variant so it is no surprise that the breakthrough infection is higher than before because as we know the majority of healthcare workers in Indonesia got Sinovac, and we still don’t know yet how effective it is in the real world against the Delta variant,” said Dicky Budiman, an epidemiologist from Australia’s Griffith University.

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China’s Covid-19 vaccine flops in Singapore too



New Delhi: In a major setback to Chinas Covid vaccines, Singapore is not counting its citizens who received Sinovac Biotech shots as being vaccinated against Covid-19 due to lack of data to show that the doses are effective against coronavirus, especially the Delta strain.

“We don’t really have a medical or scientific basis or have the data now to establish how effective Sinovac is in terms of infection and severe illnesses on Delta,” local media cited health minister Ong Ye Kung as saying at a press conference on Wednesday.

The decision comes close on the heels of serious doubts arising over Chinese vaccines in Indonesia as those who have received the shots are also contracting Covid-19 and infections are surging in the country.

The Delta variant is currently the dominant strain of Covid-19 in Singapore and was identified in the city state in May. Only people who have received the Moderna and Pfizer shots, are being considered as vaccinated in the official records.

Singapore had allowed some private clinics to offer the Sinovac shot, CoronaVac, from mid-June. Around 17,000 people are reported to have received one dose of CoronaVac.

Local media had also reported Singapore’s director of medical services saying last month that evidence from other countries showed people who had taken CoronaVac were still getting infected.

Most of the vaccines being used by Indonesia have also come from China’s Sinovac Biotech. Some health workers inoculated with Sinovac jabs have been hospitalized due to Covid-19. A few have even died despite being fully immunized, according to a report in Nikkei Asia.

The Indonesian Doctors Association says that of the 14 doctors who died from the virus between February and May, ten had been fully vaccinated with Sinovac, while the rest had been given one dose.

Although there is a serious problem with Chinese vaccines due to inadequate data to show their efficacy, some countries are being forced to opt for them because of the cute shortage of vaccines worldwide amid the devastating pandemic.

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102 people qualify for S$451,000 in Covid-19 vaccine injury financial aid to date: Ong Ye Kung



SINGAPORE — The authorities have approved S$451,000 worth of financial aid to people who had suffered serious side effects from Covid-19 vaccines in Singapore, Health Minister Ong Ye Kung said on Tuesday (July 6).

The payments have either been paid out or are being processed to 102 applicants under the Vaccine Injury Financial Assistance Programme (Vifap) introduced by the Government in January.

They were among a total of 292 applicants who had submitted a complete Vifap application as of June 25, Mr Ong said.

Of these, 159 did not meet the eligibility criteria and 31 applications are waiting to be reviewed by an independent clinical panel or pending more medical information from the applicant’s doctor.

Mr Ong was responding in a written answer to a parliamentary question filed by Ms He Ting Ru, Member of Parliament for Sengkang Group Representation Constituency, who had asked about the applications made and payments approved under the programme.

TODAY has asked the Ministry of Health (MOH) for details of these approved payouts.

Vifap provides three tiers of support to people assessed to be adversely affected by their Covid-19 inoculation.

The first is a one-time payout of S$2,000 for patients who need hospitalisation and medical intervention and who later recover.

The second is a payout of up to S$10,000 that will be given to those who were hospitalised and required care in a high dependency or intensive care unit, but later recover from the side effects caused by the vaccine.

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