The Health News – 19 August 2015

Overview:

• An aggressive, disease-carrying Asian tiger mosquito is regarded as a public health threat has been detected at the Port of Cairns in far north Queensland. It has a voracious appetite for blood, can survive in a variety of climates, and spreads dengue fever, ross river virus and chikungunya.

• Patients at Calvary hospitals with Medibank Private Cover have now been given until the end of October before potentially being slugged with out-of-pocket expenses.

• A team of researchers from the University of Canberra and the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) is investigating whether wearing compression clothing can increase the brain function of athletes.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 19th August 2015. Read by Rebecca Foster.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-08-18/asian-tiger-mosquito-detected-in-cairns/6705704

An aggressive, disease-carrying species of mosquito that is regarded as a public health threat has been detected at the Port of Cairns in far north Queensland.

The Asian tiger mosquito … has a voracious appetite for blood, can survive in a variety of climates, and spreads dengue fever, ross river virus and chikungunya.

State and federal authorities have been trying to keep it out of mainland Australia through a monitoring and trapping program at international seaports.

Dr Roscoe Taylor from Queensland Health’s Tropical Public Health Service said an adult female mosquito was caught next to a berth for international vessels in Cairns on August 12.

“[It] very probably came from one of three ships that visited the port in the preceding week or so,” he said.

The Asian tiger mosquito has not been found on the mainland since April last year when it was detected in Perth.

“This is a significant mosquito for Australia because we don’t want it on our mainland; it already exists in the Torres Strait,” Dr Taylor said.

Dr Taylor said the Federal Department of Agriculture alerted his team the day the insect was found.

Dr Taylor said if more of the suspect mosquitoes were found, authorities would spray and lay traps over a wider area. Health News

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-08-18/short-term-reprieve-for-calvary-medibank-patients/6704676

Patients at Calvary hospitals with Medibank Private cover have now been given until the end of October before potentially being slugged with out-of-pocket expenses.

Medibank Private has 70,000 members in Tasmania, and has told them they will not be fully covered at Calvary hospitals when the contract between the parties ends at the end of August.

Contractual negotiations have broken down over Medibank’s refusal to pay for what it is calling “preventable events” like falls in care and readmissions.

In a letter to members on Monday, Medibank Private said it would now fund all treatment at Calvary Hospital in Hobart until the end of October, providing it was booked before the end of August.

The Tasmanian branch of the Australian Medical Association’s (AMA) Tim Greenaway said it was a reprieve for members.

Dr Greenaway said a new agreement had to be signed between Medibank Private and Calvary Health care or it would put pressure on the public health system.

The AMA wants the Federal Government to help with the negotiations.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-08-18/compression-clothing-can-it-increase-brain-function/6704094

A team of researchers from the University of Canberra and the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) is investigating whether wearing compression clothing can increase the brain function of athletes.

It is widely accepted that compression garments can improve muscle power and strength, and also enhance recovery following hard exercise.

But physiologist Nathan Versey from the AIS said while the physical benefits of compression gear were well known, it is thought the clothes could also increase blood flow to the brain.

Assistant Professor Ben Rattray from the University of Canberra said that during extreme exertion, the decision-making ability of athletes can be significantly affected.

To determine if the compression garments increase cerebral blood flow, and therefore brain function, the researchers have spent the past few months performing cognitive tests on cyclists, as they undergo intense physical exercises.

Participants in the study are asked simple questions, while being pushed to exhaustion in a series of gruelling time trials.

The process is repeated, with the participant wearing hospital strength compression gear, commercially available compression clothes, and no compression garments at all.

The theory that compression clothes could improve cerebral blood flow was sparked by cases of improved brain function in elderly people, after they had performed basic exercises in water.

Assistant Professor Rattray said the results of the study were expected to be known before the end of the year.

This has been the news on Health Professional Radio. For more information on today’s items head to hpr.fm/news and subscribe to our podcast on itunes.