[COLUMN] Health news

STEM cell embryo

Neuroscience news revealed that researchers headed by Magdalena Zernicka-Goetz, Professor of Mammalian Development and Stem Cell Biology from the University of Cambridge, “have created model embryos from mouse stem cells that form a brain, a beating heart, and the foundations of all other organs of the body – a new avenue for creating the first stages of life.” This was accomplished asexually, without semen or ova (eggs). A potential Nobel Prize winner, and deservedly so.

This sacred discovery is not only mind-boggling but marvelous for the future of human organ (heart, lungs, liver, kidney, etc.) transplantation, which today has minimal donors, or none at all. Many patients die while waiting for donors. If this “new technology” is fully developed and successfully tried with human stem cells in producing human organs, countless lives could be saved or made healthier, comfortable, and productive. Obviously, this will take years or decades to come to fruition, but this “first step” proves this technology works. This would certainly be a boom to our universal goal of conquering diseases. The ethical, moral, religious, legal, and other ramifications will surely follow suit later.

Post COVID risks

New studies revealed that even after two years people who had COVID-19 were at a high risk for several neurological and psychiatric late complications like cognitive deficits, dementia, and seizures. Others (about 20 percent of patients) develop Long COVID four or more weeks following the infection. These are the reasons why “refusing the vaccines, wanting to acquire natural immunity by getting infected with COVID-19” is unwise and dangerous. There were people who died from COVID-19 and never achieved their goal. The vaccines and other mitigating measures (masking, distancing, hygiene, avoiding crowds) are still the best strategies to minimize or even prevent COVID-19 infection and reinfections. The newly “tailored” vaccines and booster for Omicron are even better.

Tomato Flu

Cases of what is termed “Tomato Flu” (a misnomer) were first reported in Kerala, India, in early May, mostly involving children under 5. As of July 26, there were 100 cases diagnosed. It is a very contagious disease, but said to be non-fatal, presenting with rashes (like tiny flat tomatoes) in the mouth, hand, foot. It is not a new virus. It is suspected to be the well-known illness, “hand, foot, and mouth disease,” caused by coxsackie virus A16. They tested negative for monkeypox.

Jobs and COVID

Just like in the Philippines and other countries, the COVID pandemic negatively impacted businesses. The U.S, has about 10.7 million unfilled jobs, about 4 million accounting for the labor shortage because of the pandemic. COVID cases in the United States still average about 90,000 new cases and about 400 deaths a day for the past several months. The correct figures are not known because countless people who had tested positive with their home test kits never reported themselves to the health authorities, in view of milder symptoms.


There were about 16,000 cases per day of Monkeypox in the United States the past several weeks, but the past two weeks the increase was only about 3 percent, a welcome sign. California and New York have the lowest number now. Monkeypox is transmitted through male-to-male sexual contact or from touching the infected bodily fluid. In spite of the seeming plateau, the CDC is not abandoning its guard.

CPAP and Ozone

CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) is the clinically proven state-of-the-art effective treatment for Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), a condition where the person, during sleep, holds the breath for a prolonged period of time, even 100 times during the night, causing low blood oxygen level, impaired sleep, tiredness during the day, lack of concentration, and sleepiness while driving or at work. OSA also increases the risk for diabetes, high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, and even cancer.

There are some “ozone totes or boxes” for cleaning CPAP masks and tubing sold in stores. Ozone is very harmful to the lungs. The safer way to sanitize the masks and tubing, after washing them well with soap and water (no detergents), is the use of “UVC light totes” ([email protected]). UVC lights, discovered in 1877, have been used since 1908, for sterilizing operating rooms, ICUs, patient rooms, food items at warehouses or at home, jewelries, cellphones, watches, toothbrushes, combs, etc. Anything that will fit in the tote is safely sanitized by the UVC light, which also destroys bacteria and viruses, like the SARS-CoV2 virus of COVID-19.

Erectile Dysfunction

Erectile Dysfunction (ED) is the inability of a man to have a good and sustained erection to perform sexual intercourse. Foods good for those with ED, young or old, are fish, oatmeal, spinach, blackberries, pistachio, watermelon, pomegranate juice, chili pepper, and most green leafy vegetables. Three items that worsen ED are alcohol, sugary drinks and some food items, like soy-based products and licorice. Blood pressure medication also aggravates ED. A healthy lifestyle, including abstinence from tobacco, minimal alcohol intake or abstinence, exercise, multivitamins, counseling, and the ED pills, like Viagra, Cialis, Levitra, etc., are helpful. A good foreplay is always a must to initiate an exciting romantic adventure.

Cervical Cancer

About 80 million people have been infected with the human papilloma virus (HPV), the most common sexually transmitted disease in the United States, and around 150,000 in the Philippines. Annually, there are about 13,000 cases of cervical (mouth of the womb) cancer and it kills about 4,000 women each year in the U.S. and about 342,000 a year in the world. The 5-year survival rate of those treated is about 66 percent. While Hispanic women are more prone to get it, Black women have higher mortality rates compared to others.

Fortunately, there are now vaccines (Gardasil 2,4,9) which could prevent 98-99 percent of HPV (Human Papilloma Virus) infection types 16 and 18, which cause cervical cancer. Children (boys and girls ages 9-12 and 13-26, respectively) are recommended to get Gardasil vaccines to prevent developing cancer later in life. The sad reality, though, is some parents, either ignorant, misinformed, or simply against vaccines, refuse Gardasil for their children, who are then helpless sitting ducks for HPV infection and cancer. Today, this cancer is totally preventable, with the vaccines. It is indeed most unfortunate. A devastating reminder of the millions of people who died from COVID-19 because they refused the vaccines. Great lessons to remember.

* * *

The opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed by the author do not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs and viewpoints of the Asian Journal, its management, editorial board and staff.

* * *

The main objective of this column is to educate and inspire people live a healthier lifestyle to prevent illnesses and disabilities and achieve a happier and more productive life. Any diagnosis, recommendation or treatment in our article are general medical information and not intended to be applicable or appropriate for anyone. This column is not a substitute for your physician, who knows your condition well and who is your best ally when it comes to your health.

* * *

Philip S. Chua, MD, FACS, FPCS, a Cardiac Surgeon Emeritus based in Northwest Indiana and Las Vegas, Nevada, is an international medical lecturer/author, Health Advocate, newspaper columnist, and Chairman of the Filipino United Network-USA, a 501(c)3 humanitarian foundation in the United States. Websites: FUN8888.com, Today.SPSAtoday.com, and philipSchua.com; Email: [email protected].


Dr. Philip S. Chua

Philip S. Chua, MD, FACS, FPCS, Cardiac Surgeon Emeritus in Northwest Indiana and chairman of cardiac surgery from 1997 to 2010 at Cebu Doctors University Hospital, where he holds the title of Physician Emeritus in Surgery, is based in Las Vegas, Nevada. He is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons, the Philippine College of Surgeons, and the Denton A. Cooley Cardiovascular Surgical Society. He is the chairman of the Filipino United Network – USA, a 501(c)(3) humanitarian foundation in the United States.

The Filipino-American Community Newspaper. Your News. Your Community. Your Journal. Since 1991.

Copyright © 1991-2023 Asian Journal Media Group.
All Rights Reserved.