The Health News – 13 April 2017

Overview:

• The Australian Government recommends everyone from six months old be vaccinated. All brands of flu vaccine available in Australia are safe; researchers are continuing to monitor for any side-effects week-by-week using SMS feedback from people who have been recently vaccinated.

• The report by Sonia Allan found decades of recommendations to formally collate and store information about donors, donor-conceived people and recipient parents had been effectively ignored by state governments. Dr Allan said during her review she spoke with people in South Australia worried about medical histories or even forming relationships with people they may be related to.

• The initiative to wind back excess salt consumption in Fiji and Samoa is being funded by the Australian National Health and Medical Research Centre and was assessed at a four-day meeting by scientists from the George Institute and Deakin University as well as collaborators from local health organisations.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the  13th of April 2017. Read by Rebecca Foster. Health News

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-04-12/flu-vaccine-wont-make-you-immune-but-its-still-important/8436684

As we head towards a southern hemisphere winter, many people are wondering if it’s worth getting the flu vaccine.

Generally speaking, if you are vaccinated, you’re less likely to get the flu. But that’s not the whole story.

For most healthy people, it’s about considering the cost and a few seconds of pain against the possibility that you’ll need to take time off work and endure a few days of misery due to infection.

For people who come into contact with vulnerable people — like the elderly, young or sick — getting vaccinated reduces the risk that you can pass it on.

For vulnerable people, the flu can be the difference between being at home with a chronic disease, and being in hospital with complications such as bacterial pneumonia.

When you should get vaccinated is a bit like playing the lottery.

If you are vaccinated too early, there’s the risk it doesn’t work when you most need it; …

The Australian Government recommends everyone from six months old be vaccinated, with those in the following higher-risk categories eligible for a free shot in 2017:

  • people aged 65 years and over;
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait people aged six months to less than five years;
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who are aged 15 years and over;
  • people aged six months and over with medical conditions, like severe asthma, lung or heart disease, low immunity or diabetes that can lead to complications from influenza.

All brands of flu vaccine available in Australia are safe; researchers are continuing to monitor for any side-effects week-by-week using SMS feedback from people who have been recently vaccinated.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-04-12/renewed-calls-sa-government-implement-sperm-egg-donor-register/8435726

A formal register of sperm, egg or embryo donors in South Australia should be established as a matter of priority to help people gain access to the information, a review of the state’s assisted reproductive treatment act has found.

The report by Sonia Allan found decades of recommendations to formally collate and store information about donors, donor-conceived people and recipient parents had been effectively ignored by state governments.

Dr Allan said during her review she spoke with people in South Australia worried about medical histories or even forming relationships with people they may be related to.

The report said amendments to the assisted reproductive treatment act in 2010 made way for the establishment of a register, but had not been acted on by the State Government.

Health Minister Jack Snelling said the Government would consider the latest push.

“Many people now appreciate the importance of the welfare of the child in knowing who they are and what their background is,” he said.

But Mr Snelling did commit to another recommendation from the review; prohibiting the destruction of reproductive treatment records.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-04-12/researchers-continue-fight-against-excess-salt/8436154

A project to wind back excess salt consumption in Fiji and Samoa is helping combat preventable lifestyle diseases.

The initiative is being funded by the Australian National Health and Medical Research Centre and was assessed at a four-day meeting by scientists from the George Institute and Deakin University as well as collaborators from local health organisations.

Dr Jacqui Webster from the George Institute headed the investigation team and says that while the project has made some inroads – the damage caused by excess salt consumption remains too high.