The Health News Australia January 24 2018

  • Tasmania is currently the only place in Australia which has a fully operational system that offers doctors and pharmacists real-time prescription history access from their desks or counters while the patient is present. Since it was launched in 2012 DORA, it’s short for Drugs and Poisons Information System Online Remote Access, has been credited with saving dozens of lives in a jurisdiction only 25% more populous than the ACT.
  • The idea of a sugar tax is being mooted once again but Canegrowers is adamant if it ever becomes a reality it will have dire consequences for the Bundaberg economy. The AMA is calling on the Federal Government to implement a tax on sugary drinks and ban junk food ads in a bid to curb the country’s growing obesity problem. Bundaberg’s rich economy is built on the backbone of the region’s sugar cane. Last year alone, 390,184 tonnes of sugar was exported from the Port of Bundaberg.
  • A major review UNSW medical researchers has identified strong evidence that a virus called Enterovirus D68 is the cause of a mystery polio-like illness that has paralysed children in the US, Canada and Europe. Enterovirus D68 or EV-D six eight is a virus known since the early 1960’s to cause runny noses, coughs, muscle aches, fever and difficulty in breathing. The virus is still rare in Australia.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 24th of January 2018. Read by Tabetha Moreto.

https://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/national/act/national-response-to-prescription-drug-abuse-epidemic-a-matter-of-urgency-20180122-h0mdjc.html

In the three years before his death on January six, two thousand ten, twenty one-year-old Paul Fennessy had obtained, and filled, more than one hundred fifty prescriptions for opioids, antidepressants and antipsychotics. A post mortem revealed not a single one of the seven drugs present in his body was illegal.

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The Australian Capital Territory, the jurisdiction in which he lived and died, did not have a central register or database that medical practitioners and pharmacists could access to check his past prescription history. Opioid prescriptions were logged, with the data updated once a month, but it could only be accessed by the ACT Government. Tasmania is currently the only place in Australia which has a fully operational system that offers doctors and pharmacists real-time prescription history access from their desks or counters while the patient is present.

Since it was launched in two thousand twelve DORA, it’s short for Drugs and Poisons Information System Online Remote Access, has been credited with saving dozens of lives in a jurisdiction only twenty five percent more populous than the Australian Capital Territory. Tasmanian deaths from prescription drug overdoses have fallen from an average of twenty five to seventeen a year. Doctors, pharmacists and health officials are “red flagging” about forty suspect incidents a day.

https://www.news-mail.com.au/news/industry-opposes-amas-sugar-tax/3315959/

The idea of a sugar tax is being mooted once again but Canegrowers is adamant if it ever becomes a reality it will have dire consequences for the Bundaberg economy. The Australian Medical Association is calling on the Federal Government to implement a tax on sugary drinks and ban junk food ads in a bid to curb the country’s growing obesity problem. Bundaberg’s rich economy is built on the backbone of the region’s sugar cane.

Last year alone, three hundred ninety thousand one hundred eighty four tonnes of sugar was exported from the Port of Bundaberg. Canegrowers chief executive Dan Galligan said the organisation was opposed to the introduction of a sugar tax.
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Mister Galligan said Canegrowers supported empowering people with information to make healthy food choices across all food categories and was a strong supporter of the work done by governments in Australia to provide information about a balanced diet and exercise regime.
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Mister Galligan added: “The increase in obesity can be attributed to our modern lifestyle of eating more and moving less – not a single ingredient such as sugar.” Cancer Council Queensland chief executive Chris McMillan disagreed and said the state’s obesity epidemic was not slowing down and a twenty-per cent tax on sugary drinks was a must. She added: “The average Australian who drinks a three hundred seventy five milliliter can of sugary drink a day will consume around fourteen point six kilograms of sugar a year, or a six hundred milliliter bottle a day would equate to twenty three point three kilograms of sugar a year.”

https://newsroom.unsw.edu.au/news/health/virus-shown-be-likely-cause-mystery-polio-illness

A major review by University of New South Wales medical researchers has identified strong evidence that a virus called Enterovirus D six eight is the cause of a mystery polio-like illness that has paralysed children in the US, Canada and Europe. The study, by a team led by UNSW Professor Raina MacIntyre, Director of the NHMRC Centre for Research Excellence in Epidemic Response, is published in the journal Eurosurveillance. The professor stated: “In two thousand fourteen, children in the US began to be diagnosed with a mystery illness that caused a polio-like paralysis.”
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That same year there were also unusually large outbreaks of infection with Enterovirus D six eight, or EV-D six eight – a virus known since the early nineteen sixties to cause runny noses, coughs, muscle aches, fever and difficulty in breathing. About two thousand two hundred eighty people in the US, Canada and Europe were infected with the virus, many of them children, and their respiratory symptoms were more severe than usual. Clusters of the paralysing illness, also mostly in children, were reported in the same regions.
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The virus is still rare in Australia. Hygiene methods such as washing hands with soap and water for twenty seconds can help prevent the spread of the virus.

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