- HIV rates are climbing in the over-50’s in the UK and across Europe, while the rate of new infections among younger people is dropping, according to new research which warns that the epidemic may be taking a new direction.
- Global health leaders have said that The UK has eliminated measles for the first time.
Elimination of measles or rubella can be verified once a country has sustained “interruption of endemic transmission” for at least thirty six months, according to the WHO.
- Doctors are highlighting a rare but serious complication of liposuction, which can lead to fat globules entering the lungs. Liposuction is increasingly common in the UK and being carried out in higher risk patients according to a BMJ report.
News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 29th of September 2017. Read by Tabetha Moreto. Health News
HIV rates are climbing in the over-fifties in the UK and across Europe, while the rate of new infections among younger people is dropping, according to new research which warns that the epidemic may be taking a new direction. The study, from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control in Sweden, says that older people are most likely to be infected through heterosexual sex. They are also likely to have more advanced disease – which will be harder to treat and could be life-threatening – when it is finally picked up.
The study’s authors suggest that the over-fifties may be either complacent or ignorant of the risks of HIV, which has dropped out of the headlines since it became a treatable disease. Their doctors also tend to assume that older people are not running risks through unsafe sex.
Lead author Doctor Lara Tavoschi said: “Our findings suggest a new direction in which the HIV epidemic is evolving. This potentially is a result of older peoples’ low awareness of HIV and how it is transmitted, leading to misconceptions and low perception of their own risk.’’
The study, published in the Lancet HIV journal, has found that one in six new cases of HIV are in people over the age of fifty. Between two thousand four to two thousand fifteen, the rate of diagnosis in older people increased in sixteen countries. That included the UK, where the rate of new diagnoses went up from three point one per one hundred thousand to four point thirty two. Belgium, Germany and Ireland also saw rises in the rate of infection among older people. The National Aids Trust said they had been aware of the rising rates in older people in the UK for some time and that action was needed to prevent these infections, such as targeting different age groups – not just the young – with information about their risks and offering HIV tests in places other than sexual health clinics, such as GP surgeries. Government cuts to public health budgets were damaging local authorities’ capacity to offer prevention and testing to older people.
Global health leaders have said that The UK has eliminated measles for the first time.
Elimination of measles or rubella can be verified once a country has sustained “interruption of endemic transmission” for at least thirty six months, according to the World Health Organization. The UK nearly achieved this in the nineteen nineties but was set badly off course by the MMR scandal, which saw vaccination rates plunge.Health officials said rates have now reached the recommended ninety five percent coverage level in five-year-olds. The European Regional Verification Commission said the UK has now achieved elimination status as of two thousand sixteen for measles.
Doctor Mary Ramsay, head of immunisation at Public Health England, said: “We are delighted that the WHO has confirmed that the UK achieved measles elimination in two thousand sixteen and that rubella elimination continues to be sustained.
Suggestions of a link between the MMR vaccine and autism caused a steep drop in the number of children being immunised in the nineteen nineties. But the controversial study by Doctor Andrew Wakefield that made the possible link has since been widely discredited. At the time, measles had been virtually eliminated in the UK but the bad publicity meant vaccination rates subsequently fell to less than eighty five percent in two thousand five. Just a few years ago there was a large increase in outbreaks of measles in England. In two thousand twelve, there were nearly two thousand cases, the highest number since nineteen ninety four. Nearly one in five of those cases required hospital admission, and a small number led to complications like chest infection or meningitis. In two thousand sixteen, about eighty five percent of children worldwide received one dose of measles vaccine by their first birthday, up from seventy three percent in two thousand.
Doctors are highlighting a rare but serious complication of liposuction, which can lead to fat globules entering the lungs. They reported on the case of a forty five-year-old woman who developed respiratory failure after fat was sucked out of her lower legs and knees.
She recovered from the life-threatening condition, the Birmingham medics said. Liposuction is increasingly common in the UK and being carried out in higher risk patients, the British Medical Journal report said. Doctor Adam Ali, from Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals intensive care unit, said no previous case of fat embolism syndrome or FES had been reported in the UK before.
But he said it was important to consider the possibility that it could occur. The patient in question had been morbidly obese and had undergone a gastric bypass before having liposuction to help her become more mobile and start to lose weight. But thirty six hours after the operation, she became very unwell with serious breathing problems and was transferred to intensive care. Thanks to the prompt actions of doctors, she was sedated and ventilated. She was discharged from hospital three weeks later. The report said recognising and diagnosing FES was “a significant challenge” for most doctors because there were few obvious symptoms.
Liposuction is a cosmetic procedure where fat is sucked out of the body from areas where it is hard to shift, such as the thighs, hips and tummy. It works best in people who are a normal weight and in areas where the skin is tight. The results normally last for a long time, providing a healthy weight can be maintained.