Mar. 8 is International Women’s Day — and while we use it as a time to celebrate the women in the world, it is also an opportunity to focus on women’s health.

Sneezing, scratchy throat, runny nose — everyone knows the first miserable signs of a common cold. More severe symptoms, such as high fever or muscle aches, may indicate you have the flu rather than a cold. As there are more than 100 viruses that cause a common cold, signs and symptoms tend to vary greatly.

By global standards Vietnam is a safe place to live for foreigners — violent crime is relatively low and the sluggish traffic makes high-speed collisions rare. But accidents and medical emergencies, ranging from severe food poisoning and heart attacks to motorbike/ road accidents and bar fights, can happen to anybody.

The worst thing in the world is to try to sleep and not to” — F. Scott Fitzgerald

With this month marking the beginning of flu season — which lasts until March — people are more susceptible to getting the flu and falling ill for up to 12 days. Getting a flu vaccination can easily prevent this. However, many people are misled by the basic facts of influenza — the FAQ below should shed some light.

When preparing for the new school year, here are some health reminders to consider:

We see people with influenza or flu all year round, but the numbers peak during autumn and throughout the winter — this is why it is referred to as ‘seasonal flu.’ Flu is different from a cold and is caused by another group of viruses. The symptoms tend to be more severe and last longer.

With the thermometer at a Hanoi high, and humidity rising, we all need to remind ourselves how to stay healthy in the summer heat. The danger for some is heat exhaustion, which is a condition whose symptoms may include weakness, headache, dizziness, muscle cramps, nausea or vomiting and rapid heart beat. All of this as a result of your body overheating.

“Antibiotic Resistance a ‘Catastrophic Threat.’” — Reuter’s headline, March 2014
“Antibiotic Apocalypse. A terrible future could be on the horizon, a future which rips one of the greatest tools of medicine out of the hands of doctors.” — BBC headline

If you’ve ever experienced a rumbling of your stomach or the need to go to the toilet after consuming dairy products, you might just be suffering from lactose intolerance. Dr. Cynthia Dacanay, paediatrician at Family Medical Practice, provides more information on the causes, tests and tips related to lactose intolerance.

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