The Health News – 21 February 2017

• A medical trial will be launched to test the impact of Q fever vaccine for children below 5 years old. Q fever is an infectious disease transmitted in animal urine and faeces, which can lead to chronic lethargy.

• Walking for 40 minutes every day can lessen the risk of cancer and other health problems for people aged 55 and above, according to studies.

• Imogen Mitchell, dean of the ANU’s medical school, helped launch a new campaign against bullying and harassment in the medical profession.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the  21st of February 2017. Read by Rebecca Foster. Health News

A medical trial is soon to begin testing the impact of the Q fever vaccine on children under the age of 15.

Q fever is a highly infectious disease transmitted in animal urine, faeces and placenta and can lead to chronic lethargy.

It has long been thought that farmers, veterinarians and abattoir workers are the most at risk of contracting the disease.

But academics are now investigating instances of the disease amongst non traditional “at risk” groups like children or those living closer to the city.

On the far south coast of New South Wales, a diagnosis of Q fever came as a shock to Cobargo dairy farmer Phillip Norris.

Mr Norris’s wife Rhonda Ayliffe said when her husband was hit with the disease, it placed a lot of pressure on the whole family.

Associate Professor Nicholas Wood from the University of Sydney and based at the Children’s Hospital at Westmead in Sydney, said Q fever could have a dramatic impact on a child’s development.

The only registered vaccine available in the world is Q-Vax, manufactured by CSL and in Australia it is only licensed for those 15 years and over.

According to Dr Wood, the reason for that is not due to an identified safety risk but rather, that the initial drug testing did not include young children.

This has prompted him to launch a small study monitoring the impact of the vaccine on children between 10 and 15 years old.

Walking an extra 40 minutes every day can reduce the number of days in hospital for Australians over 55 and lower the risk of cancer, new research shows.

People who increased their steps from 4,500 to 8,800 steps per day spent an average of one less day in hospital every three years, researchers from the Centre for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the University of Newcastle found.

The study, published in the Medical Journal of Australia, reported that even an extra 1,000 steps per day would reduce hospital bed days by 9 per cent.

Dr Ewald and his research team recruited more than 2,100 Newcastle residents aged over 55 and recorded their steps via a pedometer for a week from 2005 to 2007.

The participants then had their hospital data collected for eight years up until March 2015.

To ensure hospital stays were not associated with existing conditions or illnesses, the researchers excluded follow-up hospital visits in the first two years of the study.

The results showed that the more active people who walked an extra 4,300 steps per day — about three kilometres — needed one third of a day less in hospital for every year of follow up.

The study also found that higher step counts were associated with fewer bed days for cancer and diabetes.

The dean of the ANU’s medical school has helped launch a new campaign to stem bullying and harassment in the medical profession, saying she herself was a victim as a junior doctor.

Imogen Mitchell said she experienced this kind of bad behaviour early in her career.

The comment was made at the launch of a new booklet for victims outlining where to find help, written by two medical students.

Professor Mitchell said although she was still uncomfortable talking about her own experiences, she hoped ANU students would feel safe enough to speak up.

A 2003 Medical Journal of Australia study found 81 per cent of medical students had witnessed humiliation during adult clinical rotations.

The same study found 74 per cent of students had experienced humiliation.

Professor Mitchell said the ANU medical school would not accept bullying and harassment.


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