Value Care Health Systems, Inc., an HMO established in 1997, is a wholly-owned Filipino corporation founded by a group of physicians whose objective is to make healthcare services accessible and affordable to the people. It provides quality healthcare to its members through a wide network of service providers and comprehensive hospitalization benefit and healthcare packages.

BE HEALTHY! Know your Body Mass Index
      By: Elmer M. Palomata, MD - Assistant Vice President

Bird flu, also called avian influenza, is a viral infection that can infect not only birds, but also humans.
Water fowl – most notably wild ducks – are the natural carriers of bird flu viruses. It is suspected that infection can spread easily from wild fowl to domestic poultry.

Most forms of the virus are restricted to birds, but the strain reported to have affected those from several farms in Pampanga in early August is H5N6, a strain that can be transmitted to humans. This can be so through contact with infected bird or poultry feces, nasal secretions, or secretions from the mouth or eyes.

The Department of Agriculture assured that the transmission rate is very low and that it does not spread easily from person to person.

However, you may have a greater risk of contracting the virus if you are:
•  a poultry farmer
•  a traveler visiting affected areas
•  exposed to infected birds
•  someone who eats undercooked poultry or eggs
•  a healthcare worker caring for infected patients
•  a household member of an infected person

Touching contaminated surfaces can also spread the infection. Call your doctor if you have flu symptoms within 10 days of handling birds or traveling to areas with a known avian flu outbreak. These symptoms may include:
•  cough
•  diarrhea
•  respiratory difficulties
•  fever (38°C)
•  headache
•  muscle aches
•  runny nose
•  sore throat
•  sore eyes

If you are exposed and if you show any of the foregoing symptoms, you must be brought to a medical facility or to the nearest DOH referral hospital immediately. Your family or others in close contact with you might be prescribed antivirals as a preventive measure, even if they aren’t sick. You will be placed in isolation to avoid spreading the virus to others. You will also be advised to wear a face mask that covers the nose and mouth.

The practice of good hygiene cannot be over-emphasized. Always wash hands properly, take a bath, and change clothes particularly after managing sick patients or handling dead birds/poultry animals.

References: DOH, CNN Philippines, Healthline, WebMD


    Calculate Your Body Mass Index

BMI stands for Body Mass Index. It is important to know what your BMI does and does not indicate about your weight, health and lifestyle choices. Your BMI is calculated from your height and weight. It is a fairly reliable indicator of body fat for most adults, with athletes and the elderly being two exceptions. BMI is an inexpensive alternative to direct measurements of body fat, such as underwater weighing, but it is only one of many factors that you and your health-care provider should use in evaluating your health status.

How is BMI used?
BMI is used as a screening tool to identify possible weight problems for adults. However, BMI is not a diagnostic tool. For example, a person may have a high BMI. However, to determine if excess weight is a health risk, a healthcare provider would need to perform further assessments. These assessments might include skinfold thickness measurements, evaluations of diet, physical activity, family history, and other appropriate health screenings.