The Health News – 15 June 2015

Health News

Health News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 15th June 2015. Read by Rebecca Foster.

A major Seoul hospital has suspended all non-emergency surgery after being identified as the epicentre of the spread of the deadly Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) that has killed 14 people since being diagnosed in South Korea on May 20.

South Korea’s health ministry reported seven new cases on Sunday, taking the total number of cases to 145.

The 14 people who have died from the disease were all elderly people, or people with existing ailments.

Authorities have sealed off at least two other hospitals with patients and medical workers inside, as the number of people who have come into contact with patients and were put under quarantine either at state facilities or at home rose Sunday by more than 800 to 4,856.

The Samsung Medical Centre, a prominent hospital in the capital, said it was suspending all non-emergency surgery and would take no new patients to focus on stopping MERS, after more than 70 cases were traced back to it.

Among the cases at the Samsung Medical Centre was an emergency ward orderly who worked for days after developing symptoms, coming into contact with more than 200 people, the hospital said.

The orderly is believed to have picked up the virus from an infected person who waited three days in different parts of the emergency ward, with nearly 900 staff, patients and visitors coming and going.

The World Health Organisation has called an emergency meeting for Tuesday on South Korea’s “large and complex” outbreak of MERS — the largest outside Saudi Arabia, where it was first identified in humans in 2012.

In a first for Canberra’s public schools system, two girls living with type 1 diabetes and anxiety have been allowed to bring their assistance dog into the classroom.

For seven-year-old twins Hannah and Olivia Weber, having silky terrier Molly by their side at Ainslie School could mean the difference between life and death.

Molly has been specially trained to detect when either of the girls’ glucose levels becomes unstable, and to calm them down when they become anxious.

When she [was] approached the school’s principal, Kate Chapman, about allowing Molly to attend, Ms Chapman was navigating uncharted territory.

“There wasn’t a lot of advice to be had in the [education] directorate, though everyone was willing,” she said.

“We felt very positive about it, but we started slowly.”

Molly began attending the school a few hours each day, and immediately showed her value as a service dog.

On the third day, she alerted Hannah’s teacher to dangerously low blood sugar levels.

“Hannah is hypo-unaware, which makes her condition dangerous,” Ms Cottell said.

Molly will soon become a full-time presence at Ainslie School.

Health experts are warning people to check they have been immunised against measles, after the number of people diagnosed with the disease in Australia hit a 16-year high.

Concerns were prompted by a “surge” in the number of cases in 2014.

There were 340 cases nationwide and 62 of those were children under the age of five.

Professor Robert Booy, from the National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance, said many of those cases were from unvaccinated people who travelled overseas and became infected before returning to Australia.

Professor Booy said it was a “concern” that Australia had hundreds of cases of measles last year.

Professor Booy urged people to check they had received two vaccinations if they had not been sick with measles before.

If people are unsure, they should speak to their GP.

Some people can experience serious and sometimes fatal complications including pneumonia and brain inflammation.

Worldwide, measles is the fifth highest cause of illness and death in children.

Symptoms include fever, runny nose, dry cough, sore and red eyes, red and blotchy skin rashes that appear on the face, the hairline and spreads to the body.

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