The Health News Australia September 8 2017

Overview

  • A hepatitis A outbreak has hit Sydney with 12 cases confirmed in the past 5 weeks. NSW Health has launched an investigation, saying 10 of the people contracted the disease in Australia.
  • The Victorian state health department says the flu has killed an eighth elderly resident at St John’s Retirement Village in Wangaratta. Federal health minister Greg Hunt announced on Sunday all aged care workers would get a mandatory flu jab in time for winter next year.
  • Researchers say that only a small proportion of Australians who claim to be gluten intolerant may actually display symptoms. It’s estimated up to 1 in 100 hundred people in Australia have coeliac disease, where the immune system reacts abnormally to eating gluten.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 8th of  September 2017. Read by Tabetha Moreto. Health News

http://www.news.com.au/national/nsw-act/sydney-hit-by-hepatitis-a-outbreak-with-12-news-cases/news-story/ebcaeb265a78a4b03e7df5d274a7db85

A hepatitis A outbreak has hit Sydney with twelve cases confirmed in the past five weeks.
New South Wales Health has launched an investigation, saying ten of the people contracted the disease in Australia. The average is two cases of locally acquired hepatitis A each year. Doctor Vicky Sheppeard, Director Communicable Diseases with New South Wales Health said: “New South Wales Health is working with the New South Wales Food Authority to investigate the outbreak, including assessment of patterns of food distribution and any links to overseas outbreaks. However, no specific food has yet been connected to the outbreak. Doctor Sheppeard added: “Two doses of vaccine prevent infection and is available through General Practitioners.” Hepatitis A is caused by a virus that spreads in contaminated food or through poor hygiene. Symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, fever and yellowing of the skin, dark urine and pale stools.

The cases have been found to be similar to an ongoing outbreak infecting over a one thousand people in Europe that’s suspected to be associated with lettuce. Authorities have been questioning the sick people in New South Wales and believe the common link may be a food distributor through supermarkets or cafes after they were unable to find a restaurant they’d all dined at.
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The sick people have been asked to recall what they ate and where it was purchased from for up to fifty days before they had symptoms. All ten cases have been diagnosed since June twenty six with the most recent detected on Friday. Samples from the sick people have been sent for genetic sequencing and comparison to an international database of hepatitis A cases.
Food can be contaminated with hepatitis A if human faeces are in the soil it’s grown in or the water used to wash it. The disease can also be spread by the food handlers if they are carrying the illness.

http://www.skynews.com.au/news/national/vic/2017/09/05/flu-claims-eighth-victim-in-vic-nursing-home.html

The Victorian state health department says the flu has killed an eighth elderly resident at a regional Victorian nursing home. The person died at St John’s Retirement Village in Wangaratta, where seven other residents died in the fortnight up to August thirty. A further one hundred twenty three residents and staff were left ill following the influenza A outbreak at the home. The health department was notified of the death on Monday but it would not release details on the age or the gender of the elderly resident. ‘If you are sick you should avoid visiting loved ones in an aged care facility or hospital,’ Victorian chief health officer Doctor Brett Sutton said.

This year there have been more than eleven thousand eight hundred confirmed cases of the flu in Victoria and outbreaks were at ‘very high levels’, a statement from the health department said.
The latest death comes after six residents died of flu at Uniting Agewell’s facility at Strathdevon in Tasmania between August nine and sixteen. Federal health minister Greg Hunt announced on Sunday all aged care workers would get a mandatory flu jab in time for winter next year.

http://www.skynews.com.au/news/national/2017/09/05/researchers-caution-gluten-free-diet.html

Researchers say that only a small proportion of Australians who claim to be gluten intolerant may actually display symptoms. With a gluten-free diet linked to poor health, researchers at the University of Newcastle have warned of people changing their diet without a formal diagnosis of gluten intolerance or wheat sensitivity. ‘It is likely that only a small proportion of Australians who associate adverse symptoms with gluten ingestion are truly sensitive to gluten or wheat. Little is known about the incidence of this disorder,’ they write in the Medical Journal of Australia.

It’s estimated up to one in one hundred people in Australia have gluten intolerance , where the immune system reacts abnormally to eating foods that have gluten. Another seven percent of Australians report adverse gastrointestinal and/or extraintestinal symptoms, such as bloating and cramping, after eating wheat products. However a paper, published in the Medical Journal of Australia, shows only sixteen per cent of those to report a sensitivity to gluten actually reproduced symptoms when challenged in a blind placebo study. That is they ate gluten without being aware of it and didn’t suffer any adverse reactions.

A gluten-free diet may adversely affect cardiovascular risk factors such as total cholesterol levels, weight gain leading to obesity, glucose tolerance and blood pressure. A recent US study published in the British Medical Journal found an association between a gluten-free diet and a increased risk of heart disease among one hundred ten thousand men and women.

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