~ Weekly Health Advice from PMGH – The Herpes Simplex Virus – Part 2 of 3 ~

Signs and Symptoms
Herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1): Oral herpes infection is mostly asymptomatic, and the majority of people with HSV-1 infection are unaware they are infected. Symptoms of oral herpes include painful blisters or open sores called ulcers in or around the mouth, sores on the lips are commonly referred to as “cold sores.” Those infected will often experience a tingling, itching or burning sensation around their mouth, before the appearance of sores. After initial infection, the blisters or ulcers can periodically recur, the frequency of recurrences varies from person to person. Genital herpes caused by HSV-1 can be asymptomatic or can have mild symptoms that go unrecognized. When symptoms do occur, genital herpes is characterized by 1 or more genital or anal blisters or ulcers. After an initial genital herpes episode, which may be severe, symptoms may recur however genital herpes caused by HSV-1 often does not recur frequently.
Herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2): Genital herpes infections often have no symptoms, or mild symptoms that go unrecognized. Most infected people are unaware that they have the infection. When symptoms do occur, genital herpes is characterized by one or more genital or anal blisters or open sores. In addition to genital ulcers, symptoms of new genital herpes infections often include fever, body aches, and swollen lymph nodes. After an initial genital herpes infection with HSV-2, recurrent symptoms are common but often less severe than the first outbreak. The frequency of outbreaks tends to decrease over time. People infected with HSV-2 may experience sensations of mild tingling or shooting pain in the legs, hips, and buttocks before the occurrence of genital ulcers.
 
Diagnosis and Treatment of Genital Herpes
It is important to have an open and honest discussion with your doctor about your sexual history. In diagnosing genital herpes your doctor may require blood tests or perform a swab test on a genital sore (recommended in the first 48hours of an ulcer forming for accurate results). Left untreated, the herpes virus can cause meningitis, and exposed blisters can increase the risk of acquiring HIV. Genital herpes is a life-long disease of which these is no cure. Medications are available to help reduce the severity and frequency of symptoms but does not cure the infection. Individuals with genital HSV infection should abstain from sexual activity whilst experiencing symptoms of genital herpes. HSV-2 is most contagious during an outbreak of sores however it can also be transmitted when no symptoms are present. Consistent and correct use of condoms can reduce the risk of spreading genital herpes however its important to remember that condoms only provide partial protection as HSV can be found in other areas not covered by a condom. Always practice safe sex.
 
We will be posting more useful information on Herpes Simplex Virus tomorrow. Please check back soon. Missed Part 1? Head to the PMGH Facebook timeline and scroll down.

~ Weekly Health Advice from PMGH – The Herpes Simplex Virus – Part 1 of 3 ~

Welcome to another health update from the Port Moresby General Hospital, this week we are focusing on the herpes simplex virus. Always practice safe sex and talk to your doctor about STD testing.
 
What is the Herpes Simplex Virus?
Infection with the herpes simplex virus, commonly known as herpes, can be due to either herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) or herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2). HSV-1 is mainly transmitted by oral to oral contact to cause infection in or around the mouth (oral herpes) while HSV-2 is almost exclusively sexually transmitted, causing infection in the genital or anal area (genital herpes). However, HSV-1 can also be transmitted to the genital area through oral-genital contact to cause genital herpes. Both oral herpes infections and genital herpes infections are mostly asymptomatic (showing no symptoms) but can cause mild symptoms or painful blisters or ulcers at the site of infection. An estimated 3.7 billion people under age 50 have HSV-1 infection globally while an estimated 417 million people aged 15-49 worldwide have the HSV-2 infection according to World Health Organization (WHO).
 
HSV-1 is most contagious during an outbreak of symptomatic oral herpes. Those with active symptoms of oral herpes should avoid oral contact with others including sharing objects that have come in contact with saliva and should abstain from oral sex to avoid transmitting herpes to the genitals of a sexual partner. Individuals with genital HSV infection should abstain from sexual activity whilst experiencing symptoms of genital herpes. Both HSV-1 and HSV-2 can be transmitted in the absence of symptoms which is why it is always important to always practice safe sex.
 
Neonatal Herpes
World Health Organization (WHO): Neonatal herpes is a rare, but sometimes fatal, condition that can occur when an infant is exposed to HSV in the genital tract during delivery. The risk for neonatal herpes is greatest when a mother acquires HSV infection for the first time in late pregnancy. Women who have genital herpes before they become pregnant are at very low risk of transmitting HSV to their infants. Talk to your doctor.
 
Herpes and HIV
In immunocompromised people, such as those with advanced HIV infection, HSV-1 can have more severe symptoms and more frequent recurrences. Rarely, HSV-1 infection can also lead to more severe complications such as encephalitis or keratitis (eye infection) according to World Health Organization (WHO). HSV-2 and HIV have been shown to influence each other. HSV-2 infection increases the risk of acquiring a new HIV infection by approximately three-fold. In addition, people with both HIV and HSV-2 infection are more likely to spread HIV to others. HSV-2 is amongst the most common infections in people living with HIV, occurring in 60-90% of HIV-infected persons. Infection with HSV-2 in people living with HIV (and other immunocompromised individuals) often has a more severe presentation and more frequent recurrences. In advanced HIV disease, HSV-2 can lead to more serious, but rare, complications such as meningoencephalitis, esophagitis, hepatitis, pneumonitis, retinal necrosis, or disseminated infection.
 
We will be posting more information on Herpes Simplex Virus tomorrow. Please check back soon.

~ Future looks a lot brighter at Blood Bank, thanks to a generous donation ~

The Port Moresby General Hospital blood bank looked a lot brighter and welcoming this week after South Pacific Paint generously donated materials and painting supplies from Nippon Paints to the hospital.

PMGH CEO Mr. Grant R. Muddle thanked Sam Webb and South Pacific Paint team for the donation. The painting of the Blood Bank over the weekend was timely as the Miss Pacific Islands Pageant patron and wife of Prime Minister O’Neill visited the blood bank during the week alongside the 2016 Pacific Islands Pageant contestants who visited PMGH to donate blood.

Miss PNG Pacific Pageant patron, Lady Lynda Babao-Neill was exceptionally impressed with the colours used in all customer areas – Sea Urchin and the Spice of Life really livens up the place while natural white was used on some walls, doors, and frames. “It’s fantastic, Nippon paint treats the walls and prevents mould from forming. The new facelift also makes the room looks charming and will make the donors feel relaxed and comfortable in a clean and refreshed space”.

~ Weekly Health Advice from PMGH – Prostate Cancer – Part 3 of 3 ~

Reduce your Risk of Prostate Cancer
While there is no proven way to prevent prostate cancer there are some things you can do to reduce your risk such as:
 
Choose a healthy diet: Healthy eating is a first step in reducing your cancer risk. Poor eating habits increase your risk of cancer in many sites in the body. Poor eating habits can also contribute to weight gain, and being overweight or obese increases your risk of cancer. The good news is that a healthy diet, combined with regular physical activity and a healthy body weight can reduce cancer risk.
 
Eat fish: Omega-3 (n-3) fatty acids (FAs) are associated with a range of health benefits. Oily fish such as swordfish, atlantic salmon, and spanish mackerel, are rich sources of n-3 FAs. While research is still ongoing, the cancer council of Australia recommends people eat eat fish (preferably oily) at least two times per week; and include some plant foods and oils rich in n-3 FAs in their diet.
 
Exercise: Regular exercise is good for your general health, those who keep active are more likely to be a healthy weight and less likely to develop health problems such as heart disease and some cancers. While research hasn’t confirmed whether physical activity can help prevent prostate cancer studies suggest it can reduce your risk, particularly in aggressive prostate cancers. Vigorous exercise may be better than light exercise – but any exercise is better than none at all according to Prostate Cancer UK. New to exercise? Talk to your doctor and remember to start slow. Try to aim for 30 minutes of exercise most days of the week.
 
Regular health checks: Talk to your doctor about a regular prostate cancer screening that’s right for you. If you experience any new symptoms or any changes in symptoms talk to your doctor.

~ Karim Belle Organisation Donates Valuable Equipment to PMGH ~

The Port Moresby General Hospital is thankful to the Karim Belle organisation for their kind medical equipment donation containing five baby warmers’.
 
Two ladies from Karim Belle, Ms. Monica Seddon, and Mrs. Sara Hillman visited the ward last Friday and presented the equipment to nurses at the special care nursery ward at the Port Moresby General Hospital. “We have heart for women and children of this hospital, and we would like contribute and make a difference in their lives.”
 
The nurses at PMGH said the timing is perfect; this donation will increase the number of babies we can assist at any given time in getting their body temperatures to a healthy level.
 
PMGH Director Medical Services, Dr. David Mokela received the equipment on behalf of the nurses and thanked the Karim Belle Organisation for its continuous charity support to improve the health of mothers and children at PMGH.

~ A leading Blood Donor receives thank you from the First Lady Herself ~

Emmanuel Simeth is one of the leading blood donors at the Port Moresby General Hospital blood bank who has donated blood a total of 31 times.
 
Mr. Simeth, who visited the blood bank for his regularly scheduled blood donation was surprisingly welcomed by the Miss Pacific Islands Pageant contestants, who had also visited the centre to donate blood.
 
The 31-year-old, from East New Britain, who works for BSP said he has been donating blood for 14 years now and first started when he was in high school. “one the benefits of donating blood is that it strengthens my immune system and I don’t get sick often. I encourage all Papua New Guineans to donate blood regularly; there are lots of people out there who are in need of your help”.
 
Miss PNG Pacific Islands Pageant patron, Ms. Lynda Babao-O’Neill was inspired by Mr. Simeth in promoting the regularity in donating blood. “You’re a superhero, leading the way for us to follow,” Ms. Babao-Neill said.

~ Pageant Contestants Donate Blood ~

The 2016 Miss PNG Pacific Islands Pageant contestants visited the Port Moresby General Hospital blood bank on Monday this week and donated blood. These young women are setting the standard of what it means to be a leader by getting involved in charity work and giving back to the community.
 
These five young women are vying to become Miss Pacific Islands to represent the country at the 30th annual Miss Pacific Islands Pageant in Apia, Samoa on the 27th Nov to 2nd Dec.
 
The beauties were led by the reigning Pacific Queen, Miss Abigail Havora and accompanied by the patron of the Miss PNG Pacific Pageant and the wife of our Prime Minister, Lynda Babao-O’Neill.
Patron, Ms Lynda Babao-O’Neill thanked these women for taking this great opportunity to visit the blood bank and most importantly, donate blood to save lives.
 
Ms. Babao-Neill said the Youth Blood Drive and the Corporate Blood Drive have provided more insight into the benefits of donating blood not only to the recipient but for the donor as well.
 
Miss Italpreziosi a pageant contestant acknowledged the hard work of the blood bank team and appreciated a visit from Lady O’Neill and PMGH CEO Mr. Grant R. Muddle.

~ Weekly Health Advice from PMGH – Prostate Cancer – Part 2 of 3 ~

Prostate Cancer Symptoms
The Australian Cancer Research Foundation identifies that the symptoms of prostate cancer can include:
– Waking frequently at night to urinate
– Difficulty in starting to urinate
– Sudden or urgent need to urinate
– Reduced ability to get an erection
– Slow flow of urine and difficulty in stopping
– Discomfort when urinating
– Blood in the urine or semen
– Painful ejaculation
– Decrease in libido
 
Remember: If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, it is important to have these evaluated by your doctor. Please note the above symptoms may be caused by other conditions and does not necessarily mean cancer is present. Talk to your doctor.
 
Diagnosis and Treatment
A doctor will usually perform a physical examination and/or a blood test to check the health of the prostate and possible prostate cancer. A physical examination entails inserting a gloved, lubricated finger into the rectum which allows your doctor to feel the size of the prostate and check for any abnormalities. A blood test (Prostate Specific Antigen – PSA) and a biopsy may also be required on advice from your doctor. The treatment of prostate cancer will depend on many factors such as the type of cancer, whether it has spread (metastasized), a patient’s age, general health, and if they have received any prior prostate treatments, however, treatment may include surgery, radiation therapy or for some active surveillance “watchful waiting” which is only suggested when a patient is not showing any symptoms and the cancer is expected to grow very slowly. This approach is sometimes suited for men who are older or have other serious health problems.
 
We will be posting more useful information on Prostate Cancer tomorrow. Please check back soon.

~ Weekly Health Advice from PMGH – Prostate Cancer – Part 1 of 3 ~

Welcome to another health update from Port Moresby General Hospital. This week we are focusing on prostate cancer and the importance of regular screening. When was the last time you had your prostate checked? Getting screened could save your life.
 
What is a Prostate?
The prostate is a walnut-sized gland which is a part of the male reproductive system; it is located behind the base of a man’s penis, in front of the rectum, and below the bladder. It surrounds the urethra, the tube-like channel that carries urine and semen through the penis. The prostate’s main function is to make seminal fluid, the liquid in semen that protects, supports and helps transport sperm. Growing older raises your risk of prostate problems the three most common causes being inflammation (prostatitis), enlarged prostate (BPH, or benign prostatic hyperplasia), and prostate cancer. If you are experiencing any changes in urination such as getting up more at night to urinate, urgency or trouble urinating this should be evaluated by your doctor. Talk to your doctor about a regular prostate cancer screening that’s right for you.
 
Prostate Cancer
Prostate cancer occurs when abnormal cells develop in the prostate. These abnormal cells can continue to multiply in an uncontrolled way and sometimes spread outside the prostate into nearby or distant parts of the body. Prostate cancer is generally a slow growing disease and the majority of men with low-grade prostate cancer live for many years without symptoms or without it spreading or becoming life threatening; however, high-grade disease spreads quickly and can be lethal. Appropriate management is key. In 2012 there was an estimated 307,000 deaths from prostate cancer according to the International Agency for Research on Cancer making it the fifth leading cause of death from cancer in men.
 
Prostate Cancer Risk Factors:
Research shows that men with certain risk factors are more likely to develop prostate cancer including:
 
Age over 65: this is the main risk factor for prostate cancer. The older a man gets, the more likely he will develop prostate cancer. This disease is rare in men under 45 years of age.
 
Family History: one’s risk of prostate cancer is higher if you have a father, brother or son with prostate cancer.
 
Race: Prostate cancer is more common among African-American men and less common among Asian/Pacific Islanders, Native American, and Native Alaskan men.
 
Certain Prostate Changes: Men with cells called high-grade prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia (PIN) may be at increased risk for prostate cancer.
 
Certain Genome Changes: research suggests that the risk for prostate cancer many be linked to specific changes on particular chromosomes.
 
We will be posting more useful information on Prostate Cancer tomorrow. Please check back soon.

~ Today is Global Hand Washing Day – October 15th ~

When to Wash Your Hands

Adults and children should wash their hands with soap and water:
– Before, during, and after preparing food
– Before eating food
– Before and after caring for someone who is sick
– Before and after treating a cut or wound
– After contact with any body fluids like blood, urine or vomit
– After using the toilet
– When your hands are visibly dirty
– After changing nappies or cleaning up a child who has used the toilet
– After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
– After touching an animal, animal feed, or animal waste
– After handling pet food or pet treats
– After touching garbage

How to Wash Your Hands – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):
– Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, and apply soap.
– Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Be sure to lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.
– Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Need a timer? Hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice.
– Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.
– Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them.

For more information on Hand Washing head to the PMGH Facebook timeline and scroll down:
https://www.facebook.com/portmoresbygeneralhospital/