What is dengue and how is it treated?

Dengue is a viral infection transmitted by the bite of an infected female Aedes mosquito. There are four distinct serotypes of the dengue virus (DEN 1, DEN 2, DEN 3 and DEN 4). Symptoms appear in 3–14 days (average 4–7 days) after the infective bite. Dengue fever is a flu-like illness that affects infants, young children and adults.

There is no specific treatment for dengue fever. Severe dengue is a potentially lethal complication but early clinical diagnosis and careful clinical management by experienced physicians and nurses often save lives.

More than 70% of the disease burden is in South-East Asia and the Western Pacific. In Latin America and the Caribbean, the incidence and severity of disease have increased rapidly in recent years. The African and Eastern Mediterranean regions have also recorded more outbreaks of the disease in the last ten years. In 2010 indigenous transmission of dengue was also reported in two countries of Europe. Urbanization, rapid movement of people and goods, favorable climatic conditions and lack of trained staff have all contributed to the global increase of dengue

Benefits of learning a second language last a lifetime

shutterstock_28674544For many expats learning a second or third language is par for the course, but studies have shown the benefits of speaking another language extend far beyond being able to communicate. Learning a language benefits the brain in ways that can pay off later in life, according to the deepening field of study into the relationship between bilingualism and cognition.

Increasing numbers of studies are finding learning a language benefits an ageing brain. In one large Scottish study, researchers looked at the standard intelligences tests, administered to 11-year olds, of 835 native English speakers born in Edinburgh in 1936. Many were retested in their 70s and those who spoke two or more languages performed significantly better cognitively on certain tasks than would be expected from their original IQ tests, said study author Dr. Thomas Bak of the University of Edinburgh.

“Our results suggest a protective effect of bilingualism against age-related cognitive decline, independently of IQ,” Bak and his co-authors concluded.

In a separate study from Canada, psychologists also studied bilingualism and its effects on the brain in dementia patients. They discovered people who speak two or more languages outperformed monolinguals in tasks which require attention, selection and inhibition. These are the high-level cognitive processes which we need to multitask effectively.

For the brain the process of multitasking is complicated and taxes energy resources, said Ellen Bialystok in CBC News, who runs a cognitive research lab at York. She first observed how bilingual children perform better in the 1980s writes expathealth.org

“What a bilingual always has to do is draw attention to the right language, and keep that other active language out of the way. Now the system that selects, inhibits, and switches is the executive function system, she explained.

“That means that every time a bilingual opens their mouth, they’re using their executive function system. It’s getting practised, it’s getting fortified, and it’s becoming more efficient.”

BrokerFish launches ALC Health Company Page

Brokerfish.com, one of the world’s leading international medical insurance comparison sites launched a dedicated ALC Health Company Page on their web site: https://www.brokerfish.com/companies/alc-health

What BrokerFish.com says about ALC’s health insurance:

“ALC consistently stands out among other international medical insurance companies by its approach to customer care and where we have found their service to be both highly responsive and efficient.

We like ALC World – their dedicated online member service which brings together a range of services. They work hard to make sure that your experience of ALC Health is the best it can be. Whether it’s when you receive your policy documents for the first time or need their assistance when making a claim, their knowledgeable and highly experienced team are on hand to help you every step of the way.”.