With people hitting the road during the 10-day Lunar New Year holiday, a healthcare expert advised preparing six types of protection as a safeguard against COVID-19 and other types of diseases.
First is preparing drugs to treat COVID-19, flu and cold symptoms, including fever, pain, runny nose, cough and sputum, Federation of Taiwan Pharmacists Associations spokesman Huang Yen-ju (黃彥儒) said, adding that parents can prepare liquid solutions for children who do not know how to take pills.
Many people have already been vaccinated against COVID-19, so even if they contract the virus, they are likely to be sick for about five days only, he said.
Photo: Tony Yao, Taipei Times
Acetaminophen (Panadol, Tylenol and other brands) is commonly used to treat fever and pain, he said.
The typical dosage is one 500mg tablet at a time for up to four times a day, he said, warning that overdosing could cause acute liver damage, so people with liver disease have to be especially careful about how much they take.
Ibuprofen is a type of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug that is also widely used to relieve pain and inflammation, but it can cause stomach irritation or ulcers, and some people might have an allergic reaction to it, he said.
Many people think that if taking a pill does not work, they should take two or three more, but that could lead to an overdose, Huang said.
If taking one pain reliever is not enough, they should consider taking another type of pain reliever with different ingredients or metabolic pathway and ask a pharmacist on how to take such drugs, he said.
Antihistamines are often used to relieve a runny nose, sneezing, or skin allergies, especially in the winter, when many symptoms of allergies worsen, he said.
First-generation antihistamines work by affecting the histamine receptors in the brain and spinal cord, and can cause sleepiness, while second-generation antihistamines, which do not cross the blood-brain barrier and hence do not cause drowsiness, which would be better for people who need to drive or concentrate, he said.
Second is masks and alcohol-based hand sanitizers, Huang said.
While surgical masks are good, people taking long-haul flights could consider using N95 respirators, especially if passengers nearby show symptoms of respiratory problems he said.
Third is having at-home COVID-19 rapid test kits, a pulse oximeter and a thermometer, he said, advising people to take a rapid test when they develop symptoms to protect their travel companions, and to have a pulse oximeter at hand if their travel companion has underlying health conditions.
The fourth is essential medicine for travelers, such as drugs for allergies or motion sickness, he said, adding that people who are traveling to countries with lower hygiene standards should prepare drugs to treat diarrhea or topical ointments for outdoor injuries.
The fifth is medicines for chronic health conditions, Huang said.
People who need to refill their prescriptions for chronic illnesses can do so from Jan. 10, while those traveling abroad for more than a month can refill their prescription for up to three months by presenting their plane ticket and an affidavit, he said.
Lastly, people should have their medical records on hand, he said.
They can download the National Health Insurance Administration’s mobile app (全民健保行動快易通), as well as keep their over-the-counter or prescription drug packets which contain information about the medicine they are taking and show them to healthcare providers when they seek medical attention abroad to avoid adverse drug reactions, he said.
In other news, the Central Epidemic Command Center yesterday reported 20,773 new local COVID-19 cases, 305 imported cases and 33 deaths from the disease.
The total number of cases rose 3.1 percent from the same day a week earlier, it said.
Additional reporting by CNA
Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) is aware that Beijing’s treatment of Hong Kong has weakened any possible sentiment for a “one country, two systems” arrangement for Taiwan, and has instructed Chinese Communist Party (CCP) politburo member Wang Huning (王滬寧) to develop new ways of defining cross-strait relations, Japanese news magazine Nikkei Asia reported on Thursday. A former professor of international politics at Fu Dan University, Wang is expected to develop a dialogue that could serve as the foundation for cross-strait unification, and Xi plans to use the framework to support a fourth term as president, Nikkei Asia quoted an anonymous source
CHAMPION TREES: The team used light detection and ranging imaging to locate the tree, and found that it measured a height of 84.1m and had a girth of 8.5m A team committed to finding the tallest trees in the nation yesterday said that an 84.1m tall Taiwania cryptomerioides tree had been named the tallest tree in Taiwan and East Asia. The Taiwan Champion Trees, a team consisting of researchers from the Council of Agriculture’s Taiwan Forestry Research Institute and National Cheng Kung University (NCKU), in June last year used light detection and ranging (LiDAR) imaging to find the giant tree, numbered 55214, upstream of the Daan River (大安溪). A 20-member expedition team led by Rebecca Hsu (徐嘉君), an assistant researcher at the Taiwan Forestry Research Institute, set out to find the
SELF-RELIANCE: Taiwan would struggle to receive aid in the event of an invasion, so it must prepare to ‘hold its own’ for the first 70 days of a war, a defense expert said Taiwan should strengthen infrastructure, stock up on reserves and step up efforts to encourage Taiwanese to fight against an enemy, legislators and experts said on Tuesday last week. The comments sought to summarize what the nation should learn from the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which has exceeded 300 days, since Feb. 24 last year. Institute of National Defense and Security Research fellow Su Tzu-yun (蘇紫雲) said that the war in Ukraine highlighted the importance of being ready for war. Taiwan’s development of an “asymmetrical warfare” doctrine and extending mandatory conscription to one year is a good start to preparation of defense against a
The Tourism Bureau plans to offer incentives to attract international tourists as the nation plans to gradually lift all travel restrictions to contain COVID-19, Minister of Transportation and Communications Wang Kwo-tsai (王國材) said yesterday. The incentives would be funded by surplus national tax revenue from last year, Wang said. The funding could be appropriated after the legislature passes draft special statutes governing the use of the surplus tax revenue in the upcoming legislative session, he said. Of the NT$450 billion (US$14.97 billion) in surplus tax revenue, the government plans to spend NT$100 billion on seven categories of projects to bolster Taiwan’s