The Health News – 28 January 2016

Overview:
•  Some types of antibiotics known as macrolides may alter the gut biology of young children for up to two years after they have taken them, according to a study of Finnish children.

• The Australian Olympic Committee has warned pregnant team members will need to carefully consider whether to go to the Rio Olympics due to a Zika virus outbreak in Brazil.
• AMA President, Professor Brian Owler, and AMA Vice President, Dr Stephen Parnis, will release the AMA Public Hospital Report Card 2016, an AMA analysis of the performance of Australia’s public hospitals.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 28th January 2016. Read by Rebecca Foster. Health News

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-01-27/some-antibiotics-may-alter-children’s-gut-microbiome/7115348

Some types of antibiotics may alter the gut biology of young children for up to two years after they have taken them, according to a study of Finnish children.

The use of these antibiotics, known as macrolides, was also associated with an increased risk of developing asthma and becoming overweight, reported a group of researchers in the journal Nature Communications.

Professor Willem de Vos of Wageningen University and his colleagues analysed the bacteria in faeces samples from 142 children aged between two and seven that attended a Finnish day care centre.

The samples were matched with details of any antibiotics that had been prescribed to the children for respiratory infections, their body mass index and allergy information.

The two most prescribed groups of antibiotics were penicillin and macrolides such as azithromycin.

The researchers found the use of macrolide antibiotics, but not penicillins, was associated with marked changes in the richness and balance of gut microbiota.

The gut flora of children treated with this type of antibiotic took between one to two years to fully recover — which was longer than the average time between courses of drugs prescribed to the children.

Dr Laura Weyrich of the Australian Centre for Ancient DNA at Adelaide University said the study is the first to show that antibiotic use is associated with long-term health effects in children.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-01-27/aoc-warns-pregnant-olympic-team-members-about-zika-virus/7117934

The Australian Olympic Committee has warned pregnant team members will need to carefully consider whether to go to the Rio Olympics due to a Zika virus outbreak in Brazil.

In recent weeks the Brazilian government announced a suspected link between the mosquito-borne Zika virus and microcephaly, a rare birth defect that sees babies born with unusually small heads and can cause lasting developmental problems.

In a statement released on Wednesday, the AOC said “any team members who are pregnant at the time of the Games need to consider the risks very carefully before deciding whether to proceed with travel to Brazil”.

All athletes and officials at the Games will be given mosquito repellent, with 500 tons to be made available.

The AOC is advising team members to wear long sleeves in areas where they perceive a risk of being bitten and not to leave windows or doors open while living in the village.

https://ama.com.au/media/australia’s-public-hospitals-facing-funding-‘black-hole’

AMA President, Professor Brian Owler, and AMA Vice President, Dr Stephen Parnis, will …[today] release the AMA Public Hospital Report Card 2016, an AMA analysis of the performance of Australia’s public hospitals.

The AMA Report Card examines public hospital capacity; emergency department waiting and treatment times; and elective surgery waiting and treatment times. It also provides a State-by-State snapshot of performance.

Professor Owler said that the latest AMA Report Card reveals a public hospital funding ‘black hole’ as Commonwealth funding cuts hit the States and Territories.

“The cuts are already making it hard for hospitals to meet performance benchmarks, and the situation will only get worse in coming years,” Professor Owler said.

“Public hospital funding will be the biggest challenge facing State and Territory budgets.”

Professor Owler and Dr Parnis both work in public hospitals, and know first-hand the pressure faced by hospitals and hospital staff when public hospitals do not have the capacity to provide treatment efficiently and effectively to people needing acute care.

Launch of AMA Public Hospital Report Card 2016

Time:               10.00am

Date:               Thursday, 28 January 2016

Venue:             AMA NSW Conference Centre

                        Ground Floor

                        69 Christie Street

                        ST LEONARDS  NSW

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