- When Sydney man Christiaan Van Vuuren was diagnosed with drug-resistant tuberculosis, he had no idea his experience would lead to a career in comedy.
- Paramedics seeking treatment for a three-year-old boy with breathing difficulties have been forced to use an emergency alarm at the Royal Hobart Hospital.
- A suspected case of the Ebola virus has been discovered in the Swedish capital Stockholm, a local official said.
News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 2nd September 2014. Read by Rebecca Foster.
When Sydney man Christiaan Van Vuuren was diagnosed with drug-resistant tuberculosis, he had no idea his experience would lead to a career in comedy.
For six months he was quarantined in a 4×3-metre hospital room, not knowing how long it would take for a daily cocktail of drugs to start killing the infection in his lungs.
Christiaan Van Vuuren first began to feel sick on a backpacking holiday in South America in late 2009. A lingering cough and a fever followed him home to Sydney, but assuming it was just a bad cold, he returned to his job at an advertising agency.
Two weeks later during a lunch with clients, he took a dramatic turn for the worse.
“I started coughing, and it was just not stopping,” he said.
“I felt that my hand was getting a little bit wet and I pulled my hand away from my face and looked down at it. It was covered in blood, and immediately I was like, ‘OK, this is not good’.
He was rushed to hospital and an X-ray revealed a hole the size of a 50-cent piece in his lung. When the doctor mentioned tuberculosis, Mr Van Vuuren had no idea what it was.
Globally, tuberculosis kills more than 1 million people each year. In Australia, few people die of TB however the drug-resistant strains are more difficult to treat.
Initially, doctors diagnosed Mr Van Vuuren with standard tuberculosis and told him he would need to stay in hospital quarantine for three weeks.
To fight the boredom, he decided to write a rap song about being sick.
A friend suggested he make a video for the song, so Mr Van Vuuren uploaded it to YouTube because the file was too large to email.
The next morning, he woke to an inbox full of messages and more than 1,000 views on the clip. Suddenly he was fielding interview requests from the media and was quickly dubbed the “Fully Sick Rapper”.
The next Fully Sick Rapper video he posted got about 300,000 hits in a day. [Check out more of his story on ABC Australian story online or via You Tube]
Paramedics seeking treatment for a three-year-old boy with breathing difficulties have been forced to use an emergency alarm at the Royal Hobart Hospital.
The Australian Paramedics Association said ambulances were ramped outside the hospital on Sunday because no beds were available in the emergency department.
Paramedics said the boy’s condition had deteriorated during a 90-minute wait.
The association’s Craig Bindley said he was only admitted when paramedics hit an emergency alarm.
Mr Bindley said the State Government promised before the March election to fix the issue of ambulance ramping.
“There’s little that has been done to sort of address the issues at the moment, and it needs to be addressed.
“We can’t have this sort of thing happening on a regular basis, it should never happen.”
Federal Denison MP Andrew Wilkie has also called on the Government to tackle ambulance ramping.
He believed there were extra beds in other areas of the hospital that could be used to take the pressure off the emergency department.
The hospital and Health Minister have been contacted for comment.
A suspected case of the Ebola virus has been discovered in the Swedish capital Stockholm, a local official said.
“So far it’s just a suspected case,” the official said, without giving more details.
The person fell ill after visiting an area known to be hit by the virus and is now being held in isolation, the newspaper Svenska Dagbladet reported on its website.
Aake Oertsqvist, a specialist in infection control responsible for the Stockholm area, was quoted as saying the risk of an Ebola outbreak in Sweden was “very low”.
“The virus is not airborne, but is spread among humans through direct or indirect contact via blood and other fluids,” he was quoted as saying.
More than 1,550 people have died in from Ebola in West Africa since it was was first detected in the forests of Guinea in March.
It is the worst outbreak of the hemorrhagic fever in history, with cases confirmed in Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria and Senegal.
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