The News – 18 Feb 2015

Overview

  • A fourth frozen berry product has been recalled in the wake of a spate of cases of hepatitis A linked to produce sourced in China.
  • Scientists at the University of Queensland discovery could be the key to improved treatments for diseases like Alzheimer’s, arthritis and multiple sclerosis.
  • Renewable energy company Pacific Hydro has ruled out any changes to its operations at a wind farm in south-west Victoria, after a study into impacts on nearby residents.



News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 18th February 2015. Read by Rebecca Foster.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-02-17/fourth-frozen-berry-product-recalled-in-hepatitis-a-scare/6126272

A fourth frozen berry product has been recalled in the wake of a spate of cases of hepatitis A linked to produce sourced in China.
Nanna’s raspberries one-kilogram packs are being withdrawn by Patties Foods as a precautionary measure, days after the company recalled the Nanna’s and Creative Gourmet brands of mixed berries.

Nine people — three in Victoria, four in Queensland and two in New South Wales — have become sick with hepatitis A after eating Nanna’s frozen mixed berries.
The company’s managing director, Steven Chaur, said there were no tests linking the product to hepatitis A.

Mr Chaur said scientific tests into the berries were ongoing.
“We are sending samples internationally to be tested for this virus to identify whether there is actually a link between hepatitis A and our products, but in the meantime our number one priority is public safety,” he said.
Mr Chaur apologised to consumers and said the company was “working proactively” with health authority investigations.
“The supplier of raspberries is no longer used by Patties Foods,” he said.
“Some product that was previously supplied by the source may still be in the market and we are taking this added precautionary measure of conducting an additional consumer recall of all frozen raspberries associated with this specific source located in China, in the interests of public safety.”
Poor hygiene among Chinese workers as well as potentially contaminated water supplies in China are thought to be the likely causes of the outbreak.
The recall of Nanna’s raspberries one-kilogram packets relates to products with best before dates up until September 15.
Hepatitis A attacks the liver, causing jaundice, nausea and vomiting for up to eight weeks.
According to the World Health Organisation, the disease is primarily spread when an uninfected or unvaccinated person ingests food or water contaminated with the faeces of an infected person.
Concerned consumers can call Patties Foods on 1800 650 069.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-02-17/molecule-breakthrough-improve-alzheimers-arthritis-ms/6125810

A Queensland discovery could be the key to improved treatments for diseases like Alzheimer’s, arthritis and multiple sclerosis.
Scientists at the University of Queensland worked with an international team to develop a molecule that fights one of the main causes of inflammatory diseases, a breakthrough researchers say could lead to safer and cheaper treatments.

Professor Matt Cooper, from the University’s Institute for Molecular Bioscience, said the molecule known as MCC950 could help prevent inflammation in immune cells.

Professor Cooper said the molecule was tested on animals and blood samples from patients in the US.
“Patients have donated blood samples, these are patients with a very severe form of inflammation called Muckle-Wells syndrome,” he said.

Professor Cooper pointed out the new molecule could be taken orally and would be cheaper to produce than current protein-based treatments.

Professor Cooper said it was not clear whether the molecule could cure inflammatory diseases or just treat the symptoms.
The study is an international collaboration with scientists from the United States, Trinity College in Dublin and Germany. The next step is clinical trials.
The research was published in the journal Nature Medicine.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-02-17/business-as-usual-for-wind-farm-operator-despite/6126018

Renewable energy company Pacific Hydro has ruled out any changes to its operations at a wind farm in south-west Victoria, after a study into impacts on nearby residents.

Pacific Hydro last month released a report that linked sensations reported by residents near its Cape Bridgewater wind farm to low-frequency noise.
The study’s Steven Cooper addressed more than 150 people in Portland last night.
Pacific Hydro’s Lane Crockett said no causal link had been proven between the frequencies and residents’ observations and the company would not change its Cape Bridgewater operations.

Study participant Sonia Trist is disgusted by the response.
“I found it cold and hateful really,” she said.
Pacific Hydro also announced it was closing complaints that led to the commissioning of the report and said the study did not justify compensation.

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