The Health News – 5 May 2017

Overview:

• Medicinal cannabis advocate Jenny Hallam is facing drug charges for producing cannabis oil for terminally ill people has faced court, with dozens of supporters turning up at the hearing. It is legal in South Australia for doctors to prescribe cannabis under particular circumstances, but advocates such as Greens Upper House MLC Tammy Franks argue that getting suitable products is a problem.

 The death cap mushroom (Amanita phalloides), and the yellow-staining mushroom (Agaricus xanthodermus) are spawning in huge numbers in the parks, gardens, and laneways of urban Melbourne, to the hills and fields of rural and regional Victoria.

• Northern New South Wales Public Health Unit acting director Greg Bell said there had been 37 reported cases of whooping cough in the past week, which was double that of the previous week. “It is a spike that adds concern to us for protecting our little ones, unvaccinated and little ones that haven’t started vaccinations,” Mr Bell said.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the  5th of May 2017. Read by Rebecca Foster. Health News

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-05-04/medicinal-cannabis-advocate-jenny-hallam-appears-in-court/8497756

An Adelaide woman who is facing drug charges for producing cannabis oil for terminally ill people has faced court, with dozens of supporters turning up at the hearing.

Medicinal cannabis advocate Jenny Hallam made a brief appearance in Elizabeth Magistrates Court.

The woman’s lawyer Heather Stokes said she would argue the charges were not in the public interest, and she was keen to discuss the issue with the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).

Ms Hallam’s house at Hillier in northern Adelaide was raided in January, and three months later she was charged with manufacturing a controlled drug and possessing cannabis for supply.

She said she supplied it without cost to people with life-threatening illnesses.

Ms Hallam’s supporters who turned up at the hearing included Katrina Spraggon, who said her eight-year old-daughter suffers from 19 medical conditions.

“I’ve travelled from Queensland today because I’ve had enough. I’ve travelled to every state to educate people and to tell people that this woman saved my daughter’s life — I’m not giving her CPR any more,” she said.

“She’s been bag-masked, about to be put on life support [then] I give her a drop of Jenny Hallam’s cannabis oil and she’s sitting up in bed smiling and they discharge us from hospital.”

It is legal in South Australia for doctors to prescribe cannabis under particular circumstances, but advocates such as Greens Upper House MLC Tammy Franks argue that getting suitable products is a problem.

The court hearing went for less than five minutes and Ms Stokes sought that all the prosecution’s statements be made available to the defence before a further hearing in July.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-05-04/victoria-worlds-deadliest-mushroom-outnumbering-edible-variety/8497638

The world’s most deadly mushrooms are spouting across Victoria, and would-be foragers need to stay away, the state’s health agencies have warned.

“One mushroom can be fatal; these are strong toxins in these mushrooms,” said Victoria’s chief health officer Professor Charles Guest.

The death cap mushroom (Amanita phalloides), and the yellow-staining mushroom (Agaricus xanthodermus) are spawning in huge numbers in the parks, gardens, and laneways of urban Melbourne, to the hills and fields of rural and regional Victoria.

Above-average rainfall has created the perfect growing conditions for the mushrooms.

Making matter worse, both outnumber the amount of edible mushrooms that a sprouting, and both look very similar to safe varieties.

That has health authorities worried that foreigners, new migrants, exchange students, or Australian interested in foraging for their own wild or raw food could make a deadly mistake.

Professor Guest said both can kill, in slow and horrible ways.

The most recent death in Australia happened in 2012, when two people were poisoned after eating death caps at a New Year’s Eve dinner party.

Professor Guest said the only way to be safe from accidental mushroom poisoning is to only eat mushrooms from the supermarket or greengrocer.

“If you have any doubts, don’t eat it,” he said.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-05-04/whooping-cough-cases-spike-northern-nsw/8497706

Health officials are urging parents to ensure their children are immunised against whooping cough after a spike in diagnoses of the disease in northern New South Wales.

Northern New South Wales Public Health Unit acting director Greg Bell said there had been 37 reported cases in the past week, which was double that of the previous week.

“A week ago we had 15 cases, which is drifting along to what we would expect, then all of a sudden it doubled up to 37 cases and this week we are looking quite high again,” Mr Bell said.

“It is a spike that adds concern to us for protecting our little ones, unvaccinated and little ones that haven’t started vaccinations.”

Northern New South Wales has some of the lowest vaccination rates in Australia, which the public health unit’s immunisation coordinator Marianne Trent said was concerning.

“Whooping cough is not called the 100-day cough for nothing,” Ms Trent said.

 

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