The Health News Australia October 2 2017

Overview

  • A new world-first alert system has been launched in Victoria in a bid to prevent another thunderstorm asthma disaster like the one in Melbourne last year that killed 9 people.
    The system is part of a $15 million dollar joint effort by the Victorian Government in partnership with the Bureau of Meteorology and Melbourne and Deakin universities.
  • One Australian will die every five hours from skin cancer, which is why The Melanoma Institute has teamed up Home and Away stars to encourage you to keep your hat on this spring. Home and Away stars Sophie Dillman, Jackson Heywood, Raechelle Banno and Scott Lee know the importance of being sun safe, having to spend long days at the beach while filming.According to the National Drug Strategy Household Survey 2016, women aged in their 50s (13 per cent) are now the most likely to drink at risky levels, overtaking those aged 18-24 (12.8 per cent), who previously had the highest levels of risky drinking.
  • Four new cases of measles have been confirmed in Melbourne with 8 of the 11 cases identified in the past fortnight linked to a Docklands office building. The Victorian Health Department said the cases were linked to the Collins Square building in Collins Street, Docklands, that houses commercial offices and a retail space.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 2nd of  October 2017. Read by Tabetha Moreto. Health News

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-10-01/thunderstorm-asthma/9000320

A new world-first alert system has been launched in Victoria in a bid to prevent another thunderstorm asthma disaster like the one in Melbourne last year that killed nine people.
The system is part of a fifteen million dollar joint effort by the Victorian Government in partnership with the Bureau of Meteorology and Melbourne and Deakin universities.
It takes into account weather conditions, hospital presentations and pollen levels, with the aid of five new pollen monitoring sites. A website and app provide forecasts, information and alerts about potential thunderstorm asthma conditions. This new alert is in response to the disaster on the twenty first of November last year, when Ambulance Victoria became overwhelmed by desperate calls from thousands of people with acute respiratory problems. Ambulance Victoria’s Health Commander Paul Holman said it had been extremely traumatic.

“We never envisaged being overwhelmed, we never envisaged not having ambulances to send to emergencies, we never envisaged not being able to answer Triple 0 calls,” Mister Holman said. Last November’s outbreak was the result of plentiful rye-grass pollen and a thunderstorm that lifted and ruptured pollen into tiny fragments. Mister Holman said the pollen grains had been saturated with water before they exploded into millions of fine particles. Thunderstorm asthma is a well documented phenomenon in south eastern Australia. Wagga Wagga, Newcastle and Canberra have all had events in the past. Thunderstorm asthma does not just occur in traditional asthma sufferers, it affects those who have an allergic reaction to the grains in the air.
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The Victorian Department of Health advised those who suffered from breathing difficulties to remain indoors when an event was forecast. The nine victims of last year’s storm — that also hospitalised ten thousand people — could not be reached by the ambulance service in time. The new early warning system will help Victorian emergency services to be proactive and prepare in advance for thunderstorm asthma events. The forecasting system will run from October one until the end of December during the Victorian grass pollen season.

http://www.news.com.au/national/nsw-act/home-and-away-stars-encouraging-aussies-to-keep-slip-slop-slap-in-spring/news-story/d1c5a640f13ecba1975ad9c4d458b17e

One Australian will die every five hours from skin cancer, which is why The Melanoma Institute has teamed up with Home and Away stars to encourage you to keep your hat on this spring.
Melanoma Institute Chief Executive Officer Carole Renouf said the real tragedy of skin cancer is that it is easily preventable. Miss Renouf said “I think a number of people have struggled to get that message through and we wanted to try and design a campaign that would be fun and engaging.”

Home and Away stars Sophie Dillman, Jackson Heywood, Raechelle Banno and Scott Lee know the importance of being sun safe, having to spend long days at the beach while filming.
“Being on the beach three to five days a week means that I’m exposed to a lot of sun,” Raechelle Banno said. She said she doesn’t leave the house without sunscreen on each day and will apply more once she gets to Palm Beach for filming.

Jackson Heywood said many of his family members have battled skin cancer in the past.
Sophie Dillman’s family have also been affected by skin cancer and said being a Queenslander, she grew up knowing the importance of sun safety. She said: “The statistics are shockingly scary and the more people that know, the more people that will slip slop slap.” She added: “I always wear a hat when I do sport outside and I try and cover up as much as possible when I can.” Miss Renouf is very excited to have the Home and Away cast on board.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-10-01/measles-outbreak-number-cases-in-melbourne-rises-to-11/9005430

Four new cases of measles have been confirmed in Melbourne with eight of the eleven cases identified in the past fortnight linked to a Docklands office building. The Victorian Health Department said the cases were linked to the Collins Square building in Collins Street, Docklands, that houses commercial offices and a retail space. Chief Health Officer, Charles Guest, said people who work in the area need to be aware of the symptoms of measles, including a runny nose, red eyes and a cough, followed by a fever and a rash. Other cases have been linked to the AFL preliminary final at the Melbourne Cricket Ground last weekend, Melbourne train stations and Melbourne Airport.

Measles has an incubation period of between seven and eighteen days so those who were exposed might not develop symptoms until mid-October

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Measles is now uncommon in Australia because of the widespread use of the measles vaccine, however it is still a risk because the infection can be brought in by overseas travellers, such as those coming from Bali, where the disease is prevalent.

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