The Health News – 15 May 2015

  • E-cigarettes with appealing fruity flavours are being sold next to cash registers alongside lollies aimed at children, the Cancer Council has warned.
  • Scientists have discovered how flu-killing immunity cells can memorise strains of influenza and destroy them, raising hopes for a new type of flu vaccine to give lifelong protection against the illness.
  • ACT Health has conceded it did cut the number of beds originally planned for the new University of Canberra Hospital.


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

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-05-14/e-cigarettes-sold-alongside-lollies-cancer-council-warns/6467708

E-cigarettes with appealing fruity flavours are being sold next to cash registers alongside lollies aimed at children, the Cancer Council has warned.

The health group audited 1,519 retailers in NSW and found that four out of five shops which sold e-cigarettes placed them near the counter next to lollies and chocolates targeting children.

The audit has prompted the Cancer Council to call on the State Government to implement comprehensive laws similar to cigarette controls to crack down on the devices.

Cancer Council NSW tobacco control unit manager Scott Walsberger said the council was worried the use of confectionary and fruit flavours in the liquid nicotine of e-cigarettes was an attempt to lure young people to smoke.

During the audit researchers found 5 per cent of NSW retailers registered to sell cigarettes also sold e-cigarettes.

While the percentage of shops selling the devices was low, the marketing where the devices were for sale was prominent and involved flavourings.

Among the outlets that did sell the e-cigarettes, 82 per cent of retailers sold them at cash register locations.

Mr Walsberger said research suggested Australia was following the US and UK in uptake of e-cigarette sales.

The results of the audit are to be presented at the Cancer Council’s Behavioural Research in Cancer Control conference.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-05-14/lifelong-flu-vaccine-hopes-raised-by-immune-cell-discovery/6468478

Scientists have discovered how flu-killing immunity cells can memorise strains of influenza and destroy them, raising hopes for a new type of flu vaccine to give lifelong protection against the illness.

The teams from The University of Melbourne and the Shanghai Public Health Centre in China found some patients who contacted the H7N9 bird flu in China in 2013 recovered more quickly than others.

Ninety-nine per cent of the people who got the virus were hospitalised and 30 per cent died.

Those who recovered appeared to have had an early immunity from so-called killer T-cells, Melbourne University Associate Professor Katherine Kedzierska said.

“These cells are like hit men of our immune system and they can efficiently eliminate the virus-infected cells,” she said.

“This is the first time we’ve shown that those killer T-cells are important in protecting against very serious disease very early on in the infection.”

Those who lacked the early killer T-cells had a more severe case of influenza or died.

The researchers want to use a component of those early killer T-cells to make a vaccine.

…Associate Professor Kedzierska said…

“It could lead to a one shot influenza jab for life, or [it may need] occasional boosting.

The findings of the research was published in the journal Nature Communications.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-05-14/act-health-concedes-it-cut-bed-numbers-for-new-uc-hospital/6468100

ACT Health has conceded it did cut the number of beds originally planned for the new University of Canberra Hospital.

The ACT Government committed to constructing a new 200-bed sub-acute hospital before the last election, but when Health Minister Simon Corbell released the proposed design for the University of Canberra Hospital earlier this year, it was only described as a 140-bed facility.

The nurses union and Canberra Liberals accused the Government of reneging on its original promise and cutting 60 beds from the hospital.

The Government strenuously denied the claims and said there would also be 75 spaces designed for patients not staying overnight.

Asked to help clarify the confusion, ACT Health provided a statement that explained after the 200-bed facility was announced, it began consultation with experts to test what was required from the new hospital.

ACT Health clarified that patients using the day service would not occupy a traditional hospital bed.

“Their program of treatment and therapy might be conducted in a gym, the hydrotherapy pool or consultation rooms, or a combination of these spaces,” ACT Health said.

The department said the initial range of services were “refined for a number of reasons, but mostly relating to the need for some patients and services to be on an acute hospital site”.

The statement said that ACT Health realised it would also be more efficient to keep some beds at the existing Calvary and Canberra hospitals.

The response came after Greens Minister Shane Rattenbury called on the Government to put an end to the confusion and be more transparent about its planning for the hospital.

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