The Health News Australia November 7 2017

  • Research by the Kirby Institute released shows the rates of gonorrhoea and infectious syphilis are on the rise, highlighting the need to be aware of the diseases you might be at risk of contracting or passing on, and knowing how to prevent, diagnose and treat infections. The STIs people should worry about are chlamydia, gonorrhoea, syphilis, HIV, herpes, hepatitis B and trichomonas.
  • Aged Care nurses are angry they have been excluded from an “expert” taskforce to develop an industry workforce strategy, describing it a “a major insult”. The taskforce was announced by Aged Care Minister Ken Wyatt who said everything would be on the table, “but there are only two things that matter, safety and quality”. The task force membership includes academics, government officials, industry representatives and a seniors’ advocate.
  • Health experts says that pre-pregnancy screening for genetic diseases should be recommended to all couples planning a family, irrespective of whether they have a known family history. Recessive genetic diseases do not cause symptoms in the people who carry them, and go largely undetected until the birth of a child with a genetic condition. New research has found the combined affected pregnancy rate of three of the most common genetic conditions — cystic fibrosis, Fragile X syndrome and spinal muscular atrophy — is comparable to the population risk for Down syndrome.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 7th of November 2017. Read by Tabetha Moreto.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/health/2017-11-06/sti-symptoms-dangers-and-treatments/9107656

The last thing you want to think about when you’re getting up close and personal with a new love is a sexually transmitted infection, but the truth is STIs are a reality for many Australians.
Research by the Kirby Institute shows the rates of gonorrhoea and infectious syphilis are on the rise, highlighting the need to be aware of the diseases you might be at risk of contracting or passing on, and knowing how to prevent, diagnose and treat infections. Seeking advice if you think you might be at risk is important, even if it makes you feel nervous or squeamish, says Associate Professor Martin Holt, who co-authored the University of New South Wales’s Annual Report of Trends in Behaviour.  The STIs people should worry about are chlamydia, gonorrhoea, syphilis, HIV, herpes, hepatitis B & trichomonas.

The most effective way of avoiding these infections if you’re having penetrative sex is to use a condom. But Doctor Holt warned that even consistently using condoms isn’t a get-out-of-jail free card for avoiding STIs — you should still get checked regularly. In general, the more partners that you have the greater the risk of contracting an STI, particularly if those sexual encounters are unprotected. But some groups are at higher risk of infection. Young people should get checked for chlamydia annually if you’re aged between fifteen and twenty nine. Consider a
Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine if you haven’t already been vaccinated at school. For people at the beginning or end of a relationship, once you change your partner, it’s a good time to talk to your doctor about a check, particularly if you’re considering dating for a while. For women, have a pap smear every two years to check for warning signs of cervical cancer. For men who have sex with men (MSM): If you’re in a relationship, get tested annually for chlamydia, gonorrhoea, syphilis, HIV, hepatitis A and B if not immunised, and hepatitis C if HIV positive or using intravenous drugs. If you’re having casual sex, unprotected anal sex, participate in group sex or use recreational drugs during sex, get tested twice a year or more often.
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Blood tests are used to diagnose HIV, syphilis and strains of hepatitis.
Just as the risk of contracting an STI varies from person to person, a sexual health check-up will also vary from one person to the next.

https://www.thesenior.com.au/news/nurses-excluded-from-aged-care-strategy-taskforce/

Aged care nurses are angry they have been excluded from an “expert” taskforce to develop an industry workforce strategy, describing it a “a major insult”. The taskforce was announced by Aged Care Minister Ken Wyatt who said everything would be on the table, “but there are only two things that matter, safety and quality”.

The task force membership includes academics, government officials, industry representatives and a seniors’ advocate. It will be chaired by Professor John Pollaers. “The taskforce will explore short, medium and longer term options to boost supply, address demand and improve productivity for the aged care workforce,” said the Minister. He added:
“With Australia’s current aged care staffing need predicted to grow from around three hundred sixty thousand currently to almost one million by two thousand fifty, workforce issues are vital to the quality ongoing care of older Australians. He said Professor Pollaers brought a strong combination of business leadership skills and international experience to the table. However, the country’s largest union, the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation has questioned why frontline nurses and care staff have been excluded from the task force.

Miss Butler said “It’s inconceivable that the Government has set-up a taskforce to investigate workforce issues and plan a future workforce strategy without nurses and carers.”
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She added: “Nurses and carers working on the frontline in aged care are best placed to advise on what is required to ensure proper, safe care is provided to elderly nursing home residents.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/health/2017-11-03/genetic-carrier-screening-should-be-recommended/9115880

Health experts says that pre-pregnancy screening for genetic diseases should be recommended to all couples planning a family, irrespective of whether they have a known family history.
That’s because recessive genetic diseases do not cause symptoms in the people who carry them, and go largely undetected until the birth of a child with a genetic condition. New research has found the combined affected pregnancy rate of three of the most common genetic conditions — cystic fibrosis, Fragile X syndrome and spinal muscular atrophy — is comparable to the population risk for Down syndrome. While testing for Down syndrome has been routinely offered for two decades, pre-pregnancy screening for serious inherited diseases has not been widely recommended since the test become available in two thousand twelve. “This type of testing is relatively new … so it takes time for the message to get out,” lead author Professor David Amor said.
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Genetic carrier screening involves testing healthy individuals (via a blood or saliva sample) for gene mutations that cause diseases that are not present in them. The test is performed before pregnancy, but can also be done in the first twelve weeks of gestation. When two people are found to carry the same recessive gene, they have a one in four chance of having a child who will develop that condition. Researchers from the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute analysed data from twelve thousand women (and their partners) who chose to have genetic carrier screening. They found that one in twenty people screened were carriers of at least one of the three conditions they screened for — cystic fibrosis, Fragile X syndrome and spinal muscular atrophy. Of those carriers, eighty eight per cent had no family history of the condition.

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