Please take note that I'll no longer actively update this blog. Do visit Cindy's Lovely Life in future. This blog will update only when necessary (paid post). LOL! Kindly update my link in your blogs accordingly, do let me know if I've yet to put your link in my new blog.


Sunday, August 22, 2010


Leptospirosis is a bacterial zoonotic disease caused by spirochaetes of the genus Leptospira that affects humans and a wide range of animals, including mammals, birds, amphibians, and reptiles.

Though being recognised among the world's most common zoonoses, leptospirosis is a relatively rare bacterial infection in humans. The infection is commonly transmitted to humans by allowing water that has been contaminated by animal urine to come in contact with unhealed breaks in the skin, eyes or with the mucous membranes.

Leptospirosis is transmitted by the urine of an infected animal and is contagious as long as it is still moist. Humans become infected through contact with water, food, or soil containing urine from these infected animals. This may happen by swallowing contaminated food or water, or through skin contact. The disease is not known to be spread from person to person and cases of bacterial dissemination in convalescence are extremely rare in humans. Although rats, mice and moles are important primary hosts, a wide range of other mammals including dogs, deer, rabbits, hedgehogs, cows, sheep, raccoons, possums, skunks, and certain marine mammals are able to carry and transmit the disease as secondary hosts.

Leptospiral infection in humans causes a range of symptoms, and some infected persons may have no symptoms at all. Leptospirosis is a biphasic disease that begins with flu-like symptoms (fever, chills, myalgias, intense headache). The first phase resolves, and the patient is briefly asymptomatic until the second phase begins. This is characterized by meningitis, liver damage (causing jaundice), and renal failure. The infection is often wrongly diagnosed due to the wide range of symptoms. This leads to a lower registered number of cases than actually exist. Symptoms of leptospirosis include high fever, severe headache, chills, muscle aches, and vomiting, and may include jaundice, red eyes, abdominal pain, diarrhea, and rash. The symptoms in humans appear after a 4–14 day incubation period.

Rats, rats, rats!

LEPTOSPIROSIS is not the only disease you can get from rats. Here are some other diseases we can also get from our rodent friends.

1. Bubonic plague

You can get bubonic plague – a disease characterised by swollen, painful lymph glands – if bitten by a rodent flea that carries a bacterium called Yersinia pestis. While modern antibiotics are effective against it, if you do not get it treated promptly, it can still cause illness and death.

2. Murine typhus

You can also get murine typhus, an illness caused by a bacterium called Rickettsia typhi, if you are bitten by an infected rodent flea or mite. According to the second home edition of the Merck Manual of Medical Information, common symptoms include fever, severe headache, a characteristic skin rash and a general feeling of illness (malaise). Modern antibiotics are also effective against this disease. However, if left untreated or treated too late, death can occur.

3. Rat-bite fever

As it name suggests, rat-bite fever is an acute illness which usually develops after having been bitten or scratched by an infected rat or other rodents (such as mice and gerbils). In Asia, it is usually caused by the bacterium Spirillum minus. According to the US Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, common symptoms include fever, ulceration at the rate-bite wound, swollen lymph nodes near the wound, and a distinct rash. This occurs following partial healing of the wound.

4. Salmonellosis

Rodents can also carry Salmonella, a group of bacteria that can cause diarrhoeal illness in humans, in their faeces. We can be infected if we eat foods that are contaminated with the bacteria.

Although many recover without treatment, this infection can be life-threatening, especially for infants and young children, pregnant women and their unborn babies, older adults, and people with weakened immune systems. There is still no vaccine for this disease, but antibiotics can be prescribed to treat it. It can be prevented by washing your hands properly before preparing food or eating.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Avoid drinking fresh sugar cane juice

This email was sent by a friend whose father is working with the Ministry of the Environment in S'pore.

Health News - About Sugar Cane Drinks

A friend whose father works for the government health inspection passed on his info. Their job is to inspect all hawkers, their cooked food, their store hygiene, etc. They found sugar cane juice has the highest content of bacteria among all food. In fact, it has exceeded the set limit.

Hence, these guys had to find out why. They went round all sugar cane stores and watched the way the hawkers handled their sugar cane, wash their glasses, their entire procedure. But they couldn't find the problem.

One day, they stayed till closing time and discovered some shocking facts! Whenever, the hawkers closed their stores, they would wash the floor with detergent. As we know, the
remaining sugar canes will be placed at the back of the store, vertically standing and as sugar canes are very porous, they tend to absorb whatever liquid around them. Besides the soapy water, the dirt on hawkers' boots, cats' urine, etc, will all be absorbed?? Now, whenever I
eat at a hawker centre, I would warn all my friends about this and of course I stopped drinking my favorite sugar cane juice.

A friend, who loved sugar cane juice, was pregnant. She was always drinking sugar cane juice. Anyway, one day she miscarried and the fetus was already like 6 or 7 months old,
I think. When the doctors did an autopsy to find out why all of a sudden the fetus had died inside her, they found traces of some chemical substance, which was found in cat urine... Large traces of it.

While it would not be able to harm adults, it was extremely toxic to babies, what more a fetus? So they tried to determine how this cat urine thing could have ended up in the fetus. This meant that it had to be digested by the mother, right? And the only logical conclusion they could come up with was that since these sugar cane juice stall holders just leave the canes lying around on the wet and dirty floor, it would not be impossible to think that stray cats could have peed on those sugar canes or near those sugar canes. So think carefully the next time you order that
favorite sugar cane juice!