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Waiting for a miracle

When a 46-year-old school teacher in Pinetown, KwaZulu-Natal was diagnosed with aplastic anaemia in 2010 she thought she would not live to watch her two daughters reach adulthood. Neither she nor her family and friends had ever heard of the illness and, after browsing the internet, Patience Thusi (51) was convinced that her “life stopped”. […]

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Human rhinovirus infection

Costing billions annually in medical visits and missed days of work, the human rhinoviruses (HRVs) occur worldwide and are responsible for more than half of cold-like illnesses. According to Dr Ananya Mandal, MD, the rhinovirus (RV) is one of the smallest types of virus, with a diameter of around 30 nanometres. “Most other viruses such […]

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Yusuf Degam - cover

Championing blood drives

Difficulty to walk during a pilgrimage to Mecca was a sign of new problems for a young man who has lived with a kidney condition since birth.   It was Yusuf Degam’s difficulty to walk that indicated the gradual collapse of his bone marrow resulting in a decline in his blood cell and platelet count, […]

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First-line treatment for rhinitis

Global statistics show a sharp increase in the prevalence of rhinitis, a symptomatic disorder of the nose resulting from an immunoglobulin-mediated immunological reaction following exposure to allergens. According to the World Allergy Organisation (WAO), the prevalence of rhinitis in children varies between 0.8% and 14.9% in 6-7 year olds and between 1.4% and 39.7% in […]

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cold sores

CASE STUDY: Combatting cold sores

A systematic review and meta-analysis of the effectiveness of topical corticosteroids in addition to antiviral therapy in the management of recurrent herpes labialis. Herpes labialis infection is a global public health problem, with 15 to 40% of the population who experience symptomatic outbreak [1]. Infection rates are high among HIV positive patients; about 95% of […]

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OTC treatments for pharyngitis and tonsillitis

Pharyngotonsillitis is an inflammatory condition of the pharyngeal wall. A variety of systemic and topical therapies are available. This brief review discusses over-the-counter medicines that may be considered for both adults and children. Pharyngotonsillitis is an inflammatory condition of the pharyngeal wall and is sometimes divided into pharyngitis and tonsillitis. Respiratory viruses are the major […]

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Probiotics and children COVER

Probiotics and children

Is the use of probiotics necessary for paediatric clinical management? The term “probiotics” actually refer to a formulated mixture of living micro-organisms, which are normally resident in our gastrointestinal tract. There is considerable public, media, and scientific interest in such products in their ability to modulate intestinal inflammation and health in general. The question which […]

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Osteoarthritis myths

  MYTH 1: Osteoarthritis is just a condition of old age Osteoarthritis is a painful condition that becomes more common with age and is due in part to the gradual wear and tear of cartilage (bone cushion) in the joints. However, injuries, obesity, family history and weak muscles also play a part in osteoarthritis development, […]

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Influenza and vaccination

Every year during the winter months, South Africa experiences an increase in influenza circulation. According to the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD), “The 2015 influenza season started in the second week of May.” To-date 2015 flu activity appears to be higher than that between 2010 and 2013, however google flu trends point to a […]

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Less common headaches

You’d be hard pressed to find a person who hasn’t suffered from a headache at one point or another. Arguably one of the most common maladies in life, 150 different diagnostic headache categories have been established. The more common headaches include: Tension headaches Migraines Mixed headache syndrome Cluster headaches Sinus headaches Acute headaches Hormone headaches […]

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