The Health News Australia August 9 2017

Overview

  • More than  30,000 Australians who are at high risk of contracting HIV may soon be able to access a taxpayer-subsidised preventative drug called Truvada or PrEP. The drug has also been hailed as the silver bullet in the fight against HIV. Studies have found PrEP could have an effectiveness rate of stopping HIV infections upwards of 90%
  • The Sleep Health Foundation says that driving while tired should be made illegal because it contributes to the deaths of hundreds of Australians every year. Falling asleep at the wheel of a vehicle, and industrial accidents involving sleep-deprived workers, are estimated to claim the lives of 394 people a year.
  • Sixteen year old Sam Kanizay’s lower legs and feet were shown around the world after he was supposedly attacked by a swarm of sea fleas that have injured him. Museums Victoria marine biologist Genefor Walker-Smith examined part of the sample and found they were a scavenging crustacean known as lysianassid amphipods.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 9th of August 2017. Read by Tabetha Moreto. Health News

http://www.huffingtonpost.com.au/2017/08/07/hiv-preventative-drug-may-soon-be-subsidised-for-high-risk-austr_a_23068137/

More than thirty thousand Australians who are at high risk of contracting HIV may soon be able to access a taxpayer-subsidised preventative drug, should a Federal government health body approve its listing on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme or PBS. The drug used in HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis, Truvada, has been approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration for use in Australia, and is currently being used in several trials across the country for people at high risk of contracting HIV. The drug has also been hailed as the silver bullet in the fight against HIV and three variant brands of the drug, sponsored by Gilead Sciences and produced by Mylan Australia, are currently listed on the PBS as treatment for people who have already contracted the disease. Different studies have found PrEP could have an effectiveness rate of stopping HIV infections upwards of ninety per cent.

Last year, the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee or PBAC rejected proposals for the PBS listing to be expanded as a preventative measure for people yet to contract HIV, meaning Truvada is available in Australia, but its price is prohibitively high for many who are unable to take part in the trials and who would benefit from it — including an estimated thirty one thousand people who meet the ‘high risk’ criteria. According to a PBAC statement provided to HuffPost Australia on Monday, a spokeswoman for the Federal Department of Health said the Federal body revisited last year’s decision in July and considered submissions to expand Truvada’s PBS listing so that the drug would be available for preventative use.


http://www.9news.com.au/health/2017/08/08/09/20/calls-to-restrict-sleep-deprived-drivers

Driving while tired is contributing to the deaths of hundreds of Australians every year and should be made illegal, the Sleep Health Foundation says. It’s published a report showing four out of ten Australians aren’t getting enough sleep, affecting their learning and decision-making as well as increasing the risk of mental and physical illness. Falling asleep at the wheel of a vehicle, and industrial accidents involving sleep-deprived workers, are estimated to claim the lives of three hundred ninety four people a year. Sleep-deprived drivers should be treated like drunks and barred from getting behind the wheel. The report said that police departments should devote as much attention to tired and fatigued drivers as they do to speeding and inebriated ones.  

Australian research shows drivers with seventeen hours of sleep deprivation perform the same in the driver’s seat as someone with a blood alcohol concentration of zero point zero five per cent. The Sleep Health Foundation’s Professor David Hillman said for too many people, driving tired was a normal part of everyday life.

The report, compiled by Deloitte Access Economics, estimates the total economic cost of people not having enough sleep was $66.3 billion in 2016/17.

Just under half of that total was linked to productivity losses as well as medical and informal care expenses.

http://www.heraldsun.com.au/lifestyle/health/bloodied-melbourne-teen-eaten-by-mystery-sea-creatures/news-story/f8491eb771b0db371d4980a9bd4e29d0

A Gold Coast woman has recalled her own terrifying incident with legs that wouldn’t stop bleeding after seeing pictures of a Melbourne teen in the news. Adele Shrimpton said watching images of Sam Kanizay with bleeding feet caused her own story to come flooding back. She was untying her boat in knee-high water three years ago when she was swarmed by similar creatures that attacked the teenage boy. “It was like tiny pin holes everywhere in my legs … there must have been about three hundred bites,” Miss Shrimpton told 9NEWS. At the time, she told Tweed Daily News she had never come across anything like it.

On Monday shocking images of Sam Kanizay’s lower legs and feet were beamed around the world after the sixteen-year-old went for a dip at Brighton’s Dendy Street Beach on Saturday night to cool his aching muscles following a tough game of footy. A sample of the creatures that attacked Sam, leaving him covered in scores of tiny pin-prick sized bites that wouldn’t stop bleeding, have since been examined by an expert, after Sam’s father Jarrod Kanizay returned to the same spot and collected them in a net. Museums Victoria marine biologist Genefor Walker-Smith examined part of the sample and found they were a scavenging crustacean known as lysianassid amphipods. She said it was possible the bugs contained an anti-coagulant (cool a gulant) similar to that produced by leeches, which explained the inability to stem the flow of blood. While the creatures are not venomous and cause no lasting damage, Sam remains in Dandenong Hospital unable to walk.

Associate Professor at Monash University’s School of Biological Sciences Richard Reina, however, was confident Sam’s bites were caused by sea fleas. He told news.com.au that he thinks it’s very rare and that sea fleas did not travel in a pack, but once a couple began chewing on his feet, releasing some blood into the water, others would have been attracted.

Associate Professor Reina said sea fleas were common in shallow waters, but had a theory about why they may have been hanging around Brighton on the weekend.

“Maybe the strong westerly winds pushed them towards the shore and they congregated on the eastern side of the bay where Sam went,” he said.

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