The Health News United Kingdom August 9 2017

Overview

  • A very small number of eggs contaminated with a toxic insecticide reached the UK earlier this year. The country’s agricultural ministry said that some of the eggs, which originated from the Netherlands, were also found in France. The UK’s Food Standards Agency say the risk to the public is very low.
  • Public Health England has announced emergency measures because of a global shortage of the hepatitis B vaccine. The risk of catching hepatitis B in the UK is very low, but the vaccine is usually offered to individuals who are at specific risk of being exposed to body fluids from an infected person.
  • The BBC has learned that a number of UK women from South Asian backgrounds who have cancer hide it because of a perceived stigma about the disease. The stigma surrounding cancer in South Asian communities spans different forms of the disease. Some experts are concerned that women are suffering unnecessarily.

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

http://www.bbc.com/news/health-40850460

A very small number of eggs contaminated with a toxic insecticide reached the UK earlier this year. The country’s agricultural ministry said that some of the eggs, which originated from the Netherlands, were also found in France. The UK’s Food Standards Agency say the risk to the public is very low. The agency is “urgently investigating” the issue, but to the best of their knowledge, the affected products are no longer on shelves. It says there is no need for people in Britain to avoid eating eggs and any potential exposure is unlikely to harm.The revelations come after the supermarket chain Aldi withdrew all eggs from sale in its stores in Germany last week.

Tests had shown the chemical fipronil, which can harm kidneys and the liver, was found in the eggs. It is feared that farmers in the Netherlands may now need to cull millions of birds as it seeks to eradicate traces of the insecticide from production, according to LTO, a Dutch farming organisation.

Shops in Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany, have removed the eggs from sale as a precaution. About one hundred eighty poultry farms in the Netherlands have also been temporarily shut in recent days while investigations are held. The FSA says approximately twenty one thousand eggs were distributed to the UK from implicated farms in the Netherlands between March and June of this year. But it says this is a very small proportion of the one point eight billion eggs the UK imports each year. Around eighty five percent of eggs consumed in Britain are home-produced.

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/aug/07/global-shortage-of-hepatitis-b-vaccine-declared

Public Health England has announced emergency measures because of a global shortage of the hepatitis B vaccine.The “prioritisation guidance” has been put in place to protect those at highest immediate risk from the shortage, which has been caused by problems in the manufacturing process. The measures, which mean that only the most vulnerable will receive the vaccine while others will have to wait, are expected to continue until two thousand eighteen. Hepatitis B is an infection of the liver, which is spread through contact with infected blood and body fluids. The risk of catching hepatitis B in the UK is very low, but the vaccine is usually offered to individuals who are at specific risk of being exposed to body fluids from an infected person.

This includes babies born to mothers who are infected with hepatitis B, the sexual partners of infected individuals and a range of other groups such as men who have sex with men, health care workers and intravenous drug users. It is also recommended for anyone undertaking activities such as getting a tattoo overseas.The recently announced addition of hepatitis B protection to the routine childhood immunisation programme at two, three and four months will go ahead as the combined vaccine is not affected by the shortage.

Individuals can reduce their risk of contracting hepatitis B by avoiding unprotected sex and injecting drugs, by not sharing needles when injecting, by avoiding having tattoos, piercings or acupuncture when overseas and by avoiding medical or dental care in high-prevalence countries.

http://www.bbc.com/news/health-40802527

A number of UK women from South Asian backgrounds who have cancer hide it because of a perceived stigma about the disease, the BBC has learned. One woman chose to “suffer on [her] own” through chemotherapy for fear of her family’s reaction, and questioned whether God was punishing her. Experts said others were seeking help too late, causing preventable deaths.

In one case a woman sought treatment only when her breast was rotten. She later died as the cancer had spread.

Pooja Saini, the lead researcher at Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care North-West Coast, a research arm of the NHS that looks into health inequalities, said her own review into the issue “really surprised” her.

“Some women went to the extent of not even having treatment because, if they went, people would know as they’d lose their hair,” she explained. She added others “feared it might affect their children because no-one would want to marry them”. It is difficult to say how widespread the problem was, because little information has been collected on ethnicity and mortality.

But in two thousand fourteen, research from Bridgewater NHS found Asian women between fifteen and sixty four years old had a significantly reduced survival rate for breast cancer of three years.

The stigma surrounding cancer in South Asian communities spans different forms of the disease. Some experts are concerned that women are suffering unnecessarily.

South Asian women are more likely to be from poor, deprived backgrounds, meaning their levels of awareness of cancer are likely to be lower. National screening statistics show people from ethnic minority communities do not go for screening as much as their white counterparts.

 

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