The Health News – 8 May 2014

Overview

  • Scientists have found a new strain of bird flu in Antarctica. Adelie penguins have the virus but they don’t appear to be getting sick.
  • The Queensland Government has moved to quell concerns about foreign-trained doctors as investigations continue into a surgeon based at a regional hospital.

Scientists find new strain of bird flu among Antarctic penguins
http://www.abc.net.au/pm/content/2014/s3999992.htm
Felicity Ogilvie reported this story

MARK COLVIN: Scientists have found a new strain of bird flu in Antarctica. 

Adelie penguins have the virus but they don’t appear to be getting sick.  Associate Professor Aeron Hurt, from the World Health Organisation Collaborating Centre for Research on Influenza says that although previous studies have attempted to look for avian influenza in Antarctica, our study is the first to have actually detected the virus and to grow that virus.  Professor Hurt added that this virus was distinct from any other influenza virus that’s been detected previously, either in the southern hemisphere or the northern hemisphere, and it tells us a little bit about influenza evolution in some of these most extreme areas of the globe.  It looks to be a fairly low pathogenic avian influenza virus that doesn’t   cause extreme disease in animals.
When the virus was grown in the laboratory, we found the virus did not infect mammals, particularly easily, and from that we conclude that it probably is unlikely to be much of a risk for humans and is also unlikely to be much of a risk of infecting aquatic mammals that exist down in Antarctica such as seals.
Avian flu viruses can cross the species barrier and can infect humans, so it’s part of our work and our research into human influenza to ensure that we fully understand how avian influenza viruses work, how they transmit around the world, and which of the viruses are likely to be of risk to humans and which are not.

Qld Govt downplays foreign-trained doctor concerns
http://www.abc.net.au/pm/content/2014/s3999943.htm
Stephanie Smail reported this story

The Queensland Government has moved to quell concerns about foreign-trained doctors as investigations continue into a surgeon based at a regional hospital. 

Authorities are looking into four operations by Doctor Antonio Vega Vega, a Spanish urologist who was working at the Rockhampton Hospital in central Queensland. One patient is in intensive care after having the wrong kidney removed; another had an artery nicked during surgery and it went unnoticed.  Queensland’s Health Minister Lawrence Springborg says the fact the surgeon was trained overseas isn’t the problem. Doctor Vega trained in London and Spain but spent another two years getting his Australian qualifications before he started working Rockhampton Hospital adding that this is hopefully an isolated event that’s unacceptable.  The woman who had the wrong kidney removed earlier this year will be on dialysis for the rest of her life. The patient whose artery was cut is being treated in a Brisbane hospital after suffering massive blood loss. Another patient had a healthy testicle removed unnecessarily and a man had a stent inserted in the wrong place, but neither of them needs further treatment.
Doctor Vega Vega has been stood down on full pay from the Rockhampton Hospital until the investigations are complete, but he’s been told he won’t work there again while the acting director of medical services and the director of surgery – have both been sacked. The Queensland branch of the Australian Medical Association says it doesn’t think the incident has tarnished the reputation of international doctors.

Child Being Bullied can Lead to Suicide http://www.medindia.net/news/child-being-bullied-can-lead-to-suicide-135700-1.htm by Bidita Debnath Many children who are bullied suffer in silence. This trauma if not taken care of can lead to anxiety, depression, psychotic episodes and even suicide. There may be a way to identify victims of bullying before they experience serious mental health problems, according to a study presented at the Pediatric Academic Societies (PAS) annual meeting in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.  Researchers from the University of Warwick in the United Kingdom found that nightmares or night terrors were more common in 12-year-olds who had reported being bullied when they were 8 and 10 years old. Our findings indicate that being bullied is a significant trauma that leads to increased risk of sleep arousal problems, such as nightmares or night terrors,” said Dr. Wolke, professor of developmental psychology and individual differences at University of Warwick. “It is an easily identifiable indicator that something scary is being processed during the night. Parents should be aware that this may be related to experiences of being bullied by peers, and it provides them with an opportunity to talk with their child about it and that General practitioners also should consider peer bullying as a potential precursor of nightmares or night terrors in children.

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