The Health News – 25 January 2017

Overview:
• There’s a spike in cases of legionnaires’ disease  this month  in South Australia, with 2 latest reported cases. Experts say it could have been released from air conditioning cooling towers as a result of “strange weather” putting the units under heavy loads in a stop and start regime. The public health risk is low as the authorities had been disinfecting airconditiong towers.

• More Australian women are outperforming men when it comes to keeping active. 61% of women are exercising at least three times a week, while 57% of men perform exercises.

• Researchers had a major breakthrough in finding a solution to a potentially fatal pregnancy complication called Pre-eclampsia, which occurs when the placenta releases a toxin into the mother’s bloodstream, damaging her organs and forcing the early delivery of her baby.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the  25th of January 2017. Read by Rebecca Foster. Health News

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-01-24/two-more-casess-of-legionanaires-disease-in-sa/8209392

Another two cases of legionnaires’ disease have been reported in South Australia, bringing to eight the number linked to a single cluster.

There has been a spike in cases of the disease this month, with the latest involving two men aged 66 and 67 years old.

SA Health said seven of those with legionnaires’ disease visited Adelaide’s CBD between December 27 and January 11 but no single common location had been identified as a source of the disease.

Acting chief public health officer Dr Ken Buckett last week said the disease was contracted by breathing in bacteria, which could have been released from air conditioning cooling towers.

He said SA’s recent “strange weather” of regular storms, heat and rain, had put air conditioners under heavy loads in a stop and start regime

SA Health …said the risk to public health was low because councils, businesses and health authorities had been disinfecting air conditioning cooling towers since the first cases were identified earlier this month.

Symptoms include flu-like symptoms, such as fever, headache and muscle ache, while a mild cough is also possible.

People can also develop diarrhoea, vomiting and abdominal pain, with symptoms usually progressing rapidly into a high fever, shortness of …[breath] and chest pain.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-01-24/women-more-active-than-men-nationwide-study-finds/8209146

Australian women are outperforming men when it comes to keeping active, according to data from the Australian Sports Commission (ASC).

Sixty-one per cent of Australian women are exercising at least three times a week, while among men the figure is 57 per cent.

The ASC this week released its state-by-state breakdown of its AusPlay report, tracking sports participation and physical activity nationwide.

The trend was consistent in every state and territory, with the difference the starkest in Queensland.

Paul Fairweather from the ASC said the gender split partly came down to the different motivations men and women have in exercising.

…when you look at women, it’s around the benefits they get from health and fitness – mental health, and they look at it as a source of maybe reducing weight, or at least keeping their health stable.

“For men, it’s very much around fun and enjoyment and the social side of things.”

Mr Fairweather said the difference in the figures was small enough that it should not cause great concern.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-01-24/preeclampsia-breakthrough-potentially-life-saving/8207566

Researchers have stumbled across a major breakthrough in their quest to treat the potentially fatal pregnancy complication pre-eclampsia.

Pre-eclampsia occurs when the placenta releases a toxin into the mother’s bloodstream, damaging her organs and forcing the early delivery of her baby.

It affects about one in 20 pregnancies, killing an estimated 70,000 women around the world each year, and there is no medical treatment.

But a team from Melbourne’s Mercy Hospital has found Nexium, a drug used to treat reflux, could stop the production of the toxins.

Dr Natalie Hannan from Melbourne’s Mercy Hospital said the discovery was “exciting” as it meant babies would be able to remain in the womb for longer.

She said the diagnosis for pre-eclampsia came in the middle of most pregnancies, forcing clinicians to deliver the baby early in order to save the mother.

Dr Hannan said the discovery could potentially save the lives of both mother and baby.