Health and Science

Doctor claims HPV can be contracted multiple ways

Taipei Times
Date: Nov 01, 2019
By: Fang Chih-hsien and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

A Kaohsiung urologist has warned people to be wary of personal hygiene when using public facilities, as it is possible to contract human papillomavirus (HPV) through casual contact and not just through sexual intercourse.

Cheng Pin-jui (鄭斌睿) of the Cisian Gaomei Urology Clinic said he treated a 30-year-old man who complained of a constant itch in his anus.

The man said he thought he had felt some protrusions and that he was afraid of having contracted genital warts.

The clinic’s diagnosis confirmed the patient’s suspicion.    [FULL  STORY8]

“Asian Flush”: Taiwan ranks first in the world in enzyme deficiency

Radio Taiwan International
Date: 23 September, 2019
By: Natalie Tso

Stanford study:Taiwanese have highest prevalence of “Asian flush”

Taiwan ranks first in the world in the prevalence of “Asian flush” – or alcohol flush reaction. It’s a phenomenon where people turn red when they consume alcohol, because of an enzyme deficiency that affects 47% of the population in Taiwan.

The “Asian flush” is not just a physical response to drinking alcohol, it’s a sign of an enzyme deficiency.

People who lack the ALDH2 enzyme cannot metabolize alcohol. This results in flushed faces, respiratory problems, nausea, vomiting and possibly diseases.

Nearly half of the people in Taiwan have this deficiency.    [FULL  STORY]

Taipei to require ramen chains to reveal ingredients

Taipei Times
Date: Sep 24, 2019
By: Lee I-chia  /  Staff reporter

The Taipei Department of Health yesterday said it soon plans to require all ramen stores with two or more shops in the city to register their ingredients to ensure food safety and disclose information about food products to the public.

Established in 2013, the city’s food ingredient registration Web site — Food Tracer Taipei — contains results from the health department’s food inspections, as well as data posted by stores and restaurants about the ingredients that they use.

There were 10 major categories of food establishments that need to register ingredients — including chain beverage and iced dessert stores, chain coffee shops, fast food restaurants and chain breakfast shops — and the health department announced that it has opened two new categories: chain Japanese ramen stores and traditional markets.

Fourteen Japanese ramen brands have already registered 95 types of products on the platform, including 682 ingredients, department section head Chen Yi-ting (陳怡婷) said.    [FULL  STORY]

Taiwan develops new scrub typhus rapid test kit

Focus Taiwan
Date: 2019/08/31
By: Chen Wei-ting and Chung Yu-chen

Taipei, Aug. 31 (CNA) The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has developed a locally produced testing kit for quick and effective diagnosis of scrub typhus, a mite-borne infectious disease, the agency announced recently.

According to CDC Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥), the newly designed device can analyze 96 samples in four hours, while the existing infection diagnostic system can only examine 60 samples in four hours and requires highly trained personnel to administer the test and interpret the results.

The testing kit is applicable for the detection of the widest range of scrub typhus strains, Chuang said.

The device can not only detect scrub typhus cases in Taiwan, but can also be used for scrub typhus diagnosis in Thailand, Sri Lanka, Malaysia and Australia, the CDC said, citing research results from the U.S. Naval Health Research Center, where the kit was sent for testing in June.

Hygiene item suspected of transmitting HPV

Taipei Times
Date: Aug 23, 2019
By: Hsieh Chieh-yu and Sherry Hsiao  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

A doctor in Nantou County advised people not to share personal hygiene products, after a growth of

Nantou Hospital otolaryngology department physician Wu Chao-kuan points to an image of a surgically removed wart yesterday in an examination room at the hospital.
Photo: Hsieh Chieh-yu, Taipei Times

warts inside a 70-year-old man’s ears was likely caused by a reusable ear pick used at a hair salon.

The man, surnamed Huang (黃), experienced itchiness inside his right ear and occasional pus and bloody discharge, Nantou Hospital otolaryngologist Wu Chao-kuan (吳昭寬) said.

Huang visited the hospital after losing hearing in the ear, Wu said, adding that an endoscopic exam confirmed the growth of warts.

The warts were surgically removed and Huang’s hearing gradually recovered, he added.

Heart attack survivor to sue ministry over app

DIGITAL MONITOR:A Tainan man said he was wrongly diagnosed with acid reflux and his condition could have been detected if an ECG app was available in Taiwan

Taipei Times
Date: Aug 11, 2019 
By: Hung Ju6i-ching and Jonathan Chin  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

A Tainan man who survived a heart attack said on Friday that he would sue the Ministry of Health and

An Apple Watch Friday displays a message that to configure the electrocardiogram, the iPhone Health app must be opened.
Photo: Hung Jui-chin, Taipei Times

Welfare for not making a mobile electrocardiography (ECG) app available for Apple Watch Series 4.

The tech worker, surnamed Lee (李), said he would file a civil lawsuit for damages and an administrative suit for negligence if the ministry does not change its regulations, which he said resulted in the app being disabled in Taiwan.

Lee said that he bought the smartwatch from a friend in the US in March, a month before the ministry banned the app on the grounds that it would turn the smartwatch into an unapproved medical device.

The smartwatch cost him about NT$140,000 and he had bought it specifically for the heart monitoring app, as he was feeling unwell and was worried about his well-being, because his family has a history of heart disease, he said.    [FULL  STORY]

Taiwan health care system ranked first by online business magazine

Focus Taiwan
Date: 2019/08/08
By: Chang Ming-hsuan and Chung Yu-chen

Photo courtesy of the NHI

Taipei, Aug. 8 (CNA) Taiwan's health care system has been ranked best in the world out of 89 countries surveyed, according to the 2019 Health Care Index compiled by CEOWORLD, an online business magazine and news site.

The Index measures the overall quality of health care systems, including health care infrastructure, competencies of health care professionals, cost and availability of quality medicine, the magazine said.

It also takes into consideration other factors including environmental factors, access to clean water, sanitation, government willingness to impose penalties on risks such as tobacco use and obesity, according to CEOWORLD.

Of the 89 countries surveyed, Taiwan's health care system scored 78.72 out of 100, the index shows. However, the CEOWORLD index provided no information on how the individual category calculations were made.    [FULL  STORY]

Wash eggs to avoid salmonella, experts say

HYGIENIC COOKING: While salmonella can be treated with antibiotics, infants, elderly people and people with a weakened immune system can suffer serious complications

Taipei Times
Date: Jun 09, 2019
By: Lin Hui-chin  /  Staff reporter

People should wash eggs before cooking them and avoid storing them at room

Two eggs sit on a cutting board on Thursday. Doctors say that washing eggs before cooking them and not storing them at room temperature helps to avoid salmonella contamination.
Photo: Lin Hui-chin, Taipei Times

temperature or eating raw or half-cooked eggs to prevent salmonella infection, health experts said on Friday.

Local Chinese-language media reported that the Chiayi District Prosecutors’ Office on Thursday indicted four people running a breakfast eatery in Chiayi County after a student died and 44 people fell sick after allegedly eating their meals.

People can contract salmonellosis — an infection caused by salmonella bacteria — by eating food tainted by animal or human feces, such as uncooked or half-boiled eggs, milk and meat products, the Centers for Disease Control said.

Infants and adults with urinary incontinence are more vulnerable to the disease, it said.

Acute gastroenteritis is one of the disease’s most common symptoms, while nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fever and stomach pain can occur within six to 48 hours of infection, the centers said.    [FULL  STORY]

Taiwan halts exports of Kinmen pork products

AN ‘ASSAULT’: After 10 carcasses that washed up on Kinmen tested positive for swine fever, the Ocean Affairs Council told China to ‘get your pigs in order’

Taipei Times
Date: Jun 09, 2019
By: Staff writer, with CNA

The government has suspended the export of pigs and pork products from Kinmen County

Disease prevention staff wearing protective clothing guard a pig carcass on a beach in Kinmen’s Jinhu Township on Tuesday.
Photo provided by Kinmen County Government

for at least one week after another two dead pigs that drifted to the outlying county close to China tested positive for African swine fever.

The two carcasses were found on Tuesday and Wednesday, and the polymerase chain reaction test of samples from them revealed they had been infected with the virus, the African Swine Fever Response Center said.

To prevent an outbreak of African swine fever in Taiwan proper, Kinmen County would be banned from exporting its pigs and pork products to Taiwan’s mainland and other outlying islands under Taiwan’s jurisdiction for at least a week, the center said.

However, seven companies in Kinmen that passed the government’s inspections could still sell their products to Taiwan proper and nearby outlying islands, it added.

McDonald’s inspected over alleged foreign object found in burger

Focus Taiwan
Date: 2019/03/19
By: Chiang Chun-liang, Wu Hsin-yun and William Yen

Taipei, March 19 (CNA) A McDonald’s fast food restaurant in Chiayi City is being

Image taken from Pixabay

inspected by local health authorities after a customer was allegedly injured by a sharp object after biting into a burger, an official said Tuesday.

A 27-year-old man, surnamed Shih (施), was taken to a hospital emergency room by McDonald’s employees early that day after complaining to them that he had been cut by a sharp object in his burger and was bleeding from the mouth, according to Liao Yu-wei (廖育瑋), deputy chief of Chiayi City Health Bureau.

Shih is in a stable condition after receiving treatment and a tetanus shot, Liao added.

Health inspectors have already been dispatched to the McDonald’s restaurant and if any negligence is found the outlet could be fined NT$60,000 (US$1,948) to NT$200 million in accordance with the Act Governing Food Safety and Sanitation, Liao said.