Brain Tumour Survivor

Regular Flu Vaccine Actually INCREASES Risk of Swine Flu
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Author:  kenobewan [ Sun Aug 19, 2012 5:58 am ]
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Cyclists take the long route for charity

Fuelled by their commitment to conquer cancer, more than 1500 cyclists are powering their way from St Lucia to Wivenhoe this weekend, as part of Australia’s largest cycling fundraiser.

The 1519 riders and their 294 crew left the University of Queensland St Lucia campus this morning on a 200km trek across the western suburbs to their Wivenhoe camp ground. Tomorrow morning, they’ll turn around and do it all over again.

The ride, now in its second year, not only heralds the end of winter, it also helps to raise money for the Queensland Institute of Medical Research.

Last year, more than $4.7 million was raised by the Rio Tinto Ride to Conquer Cancer. This year, the riders topped that, raising more than $5.2 million.

The riding teams are made up of cancer survivors and their supporters know firsthand how those funds are helping to save lives.

"I was diagnosed with serious Melanoma in 2000 and have had three others since,” said Klaus Bartosh of Brisbane, who is riding for the second year.

“Every rider here today has their own story and motivation for participating, but there is an untold sense of camaraderie from the start, along the route, at camp and especially at the finish, which is quite emotional.

We’re all here together with the same goal of raising money for vital cancer research at QIMR, so that we can find a cure in our lifetime. And that is why I ride.”

QIMR director Professor Frank Gannon said that 23,000 Queenslanders will be diagnosed with a cancer this year; 7,500 will die.

“Many of the scientists working on these projects are riding here today and the funds raised for QIMR will allow us to continue to do more research and better research on the cancers in the community,” Professor Gannon said. ... z23vhRzx9t

Author:  kenobewan [ Sat Aug 25, 2012 5:59 am ]
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Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young 'regrettably' cuts free flu shots for health workers

QUEENSLAND Health has dismantled a statewide program offering free flu shots to health workers, instead allowing new local hospital boards to choose if they will continue funding the vaccinations.

The change has sparked fears some areas could opt out amid budget pressures, potentially putting patients at risk.

The statewide immunisation program had operated since 2008 and helped boost vaccination rates for Queensland Health's 80,000 staff from 26 per cent to 60 per cent.

But in a memo to district immunisation coordinators sent in June, Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young said "regrettably" the program had to cease.

A spokeswoman for Health Minister Lawrence Springborg last night said new local health boards had been given the power to decide if they wanted to continue the free vaccinations and some had already opted in.

"The minister stands by the capacity of the boards and the clinical expertise they have on the boards to take decisions about vaccinations for their staff," she said.

She said the boards would continue to be offered the vaccinations for $8 each under a whole-of-government buying arrangement but would no longer be given an extra $8 to administer the shots because districts could use their own medical staff.

Queensland has been in the grip of a flu epidemic this winter.

The Courier-Mail yesterday revealed the plight of Katrina Day, 38, who has spent 29 days in intensive care after contracting the flu.

Last month Dr Young issued a media statement saying it was "strongly recommended" those who might spread flu to high-risk people be vaccinated, with health workers named.

But Dr Young said in the June memo that "national health reforms" and the decision to convert Queensland Health's corporate office to a "system manager role" meant the free statewide program could not continue beyond June 30.

Federal Health Minister Tanya Plibersek yesterday denounced the move, warning it could prove disastrous in the long term for health workers and patients. ... 6457000621

Author:  kenobewan [ Sun Aug 26, 2012 5:31 am ]
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Lack of new drugs for depression and obesity

OBESITY and depression have been identified by the federal government as key health concerns, but a report shows that few new treatments to help both conditions have been developed over the past decade.

The report, Medical Milestones, commissioned by the Australian Medicines Industry, which represents pharmaceutical companies, shows there have been no approvals for medicines to treat obesity in the past 10 years and only six approvals for drugs to treat depression.

Obesity and depression feature in the federal government's National Health Priority Areas, alongside cancer, diabetes, asthma, arthritis and cardiovascular disease. The Therapeutic Goods Administration has approved 56 drugs to treat cancer, 53 arthritis and musculoskeletal medications and 29 treatments for cardiovascular conditions.

Malcolm Hopwood, the joint acting director of the University of Melbourne's department of psychiatry at Austin Health, said there was a lot to gain from developing treatments. ''Antidepressants have a true rate of producing remission … in about 40 per cent of cases with any one antidepressant,'' Professor Hopwood said.

Christine Bennett, the chairwoman of Research Australia and dean of the University of Notre Dame Australia's medical school, said progress had been slow. ... 24t4a.html

Author:  kenobewan [ Tue Aug 28, 2012 5:28 am ]
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Family of Katrina Day warn against ignoring flu symptoms after she died in hospital

KATRINA Day never regained consciousness to read the card her devoted husband placed by her hospital bed for their wedding anniversary earlier this month.

The young mum died on Sunday night in The Prince Charles Hospital's intensive care unit, after falling ill with the flu last month.

She and her husband Nick had been married 14 years on August 8.

"I wasn't allowed to bring flowers because you weren't allowed flowers in the ICU,'' Mr Day said.

"But I wrote on a card and sat it beside her.''

"To My Darling Trine,'' the card said.

"I cannot wait to hear your voice again. It's been 14 wonderful years.''

Mr Day has vowed to raise awareness about the dangers of the flu to help other families avoid a similar heartache.

He didn't have to think long last night when asked what he would most remember about his wife.

"She had a great sense of humour,'' he said.

"She had a very smart and quick-witted cheekiness about her.''

The 38-year-old from Woombye, on the Sunshine Coast, was also described as having a "heart of gold''.

A previously healthy mum, who worked four days a week and was busy bringing up four young children, Mrs Day was preparing for her mother Pam Farlow's 60th birthday this Friday before she fell ill.

Her parents and husband were by her side when she died.

Hours earlier, her identical twin 13-year-old girls Kate and Sophie, and son Will, 9, visited their mother one last time.

"I'm very proud of all three of them,'' Mr Day said. "Sophie had a hard day. Kate was very strong. Will was exceptionally strong.

"It's a true testament to Trine what she's done with them. They're very strong and very brave.

"They're bloody remarkable. She was a much-loved mum.''

Two-and-a half-year-old Tom is too young to understand the gravity of his mother's loss.

Mr Day praised staff at The Prince Charles for the care they gave his wife, a former nurse, in her final weeks.

"Without them, we wouldn't have had five extra weeks with her,'' he said.

"We could come and talk to her. She did have a day when she was looking at us and acknowledging us.

"We told her not to be scared, that everything would be all right and we're doing everything we can for her. I hope she knew that we tried.''

Mr Day told his wife's story to The Courier-Mail last week to highlight the dangers of the flu, even in fit, healthy, young people.

"She's touched a lot of people in that hospital,'' he said. "That's the sort of girl she is.

"I don't want to see other people go through what we have,'' he said.

"Please, wash your hands, cover your cough, look after yourselves, don't put yourselves in this situation because you mightn't get out of it.

"My wife, she wasn't a triathlete or anything. But she was healthy.''

Mr Day, who met his wife 16 years ago at Troppo's Nightclub, Mooloolaba, described her as a "strong-willed, lovely lady''.

"If she didn't have anything nice to say she wouldn't say anything,'' he said.

"If she didn't like you she wouldn't talk to you but she wouldn't be rude to you either. That was just how she was. She was very good at picking people.

"You didn't have to talk to her and she knew whether you were a genuine person or not. That was one of her attributes.''

Mr Day, who plans to resign from his travelling job in the oil and gas industry, has set up the Katrina Day Family Appeal to help take care of his kids and to raise money to buy life-saving equipment for Queensland hospitals.

His wife was kept alive on a heart-lung bypass machine before losing her fight for life.

Donations can be made at the Bank of Queensland BSB no 124 161, Acct no 218 622 95. ... 6459344041

Author:  kenobewan [ Wed Sep 05, 2012 5:30 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Regular Flu Vaccine Actually INCREASES Risk of Swine Flu

Aussie kids love salty foods

MOST Australian children are eating too much salt, according to research revealed at a dietician's conference in Sydney on Monday.

The research involving 238 children showed seven in 10 were eating more than the recommended amount of salt each day.

Professor Caryl Nowson presented the research at the International Congress of Dietetics yesterday revealing the average child was eating about 6gm of salt a day, or more than four times the amount of salt they needed.

"We know that a high salt intake pushes up blood pressure, and that's linked with serious conditions like heart disease and stroke," she said.

"A hot dog alone provides about 65% of an eight-year-old's maximum daily salt limit.

"And a take-away cheeseburger contributes around half the upper limit of salt." ... lty-foods/

Author:  kenobewan [ Thu Sep 06, 2012 6:44 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Regular Flu Vaccine Actually INCREASES Risk of Swine Flu

Girl, 7, catches bubonic plague

A seven-year-old girl is believed to have caught the bubonic plague from fleas on a dead squirrel while camping with her family in the US state of Colorado.

Sierra Jane Downing was diagnosed with the bubonic plague, after she was rushed to hospital with a temperature of 42 degrees, Colorado's 9 News reports.

Sierra had also had a seizure and presented with a high heart rate and low blood pressure, Dr Wendi Drummond at the Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children said.

Dr Drummond and her colleague Dr Jennifer Snow recognised the symptoms of the rare condition, which killed 25 million people when it swept through Europe in the 14th century.

"You learn about it in medical school during microbiology, but I had never seen a case of it before," Dr Snow said.

It is the first case of bubonic plague in Colorado since 2006.

Sierra was quickly given an antibiotic but her condition continued to get worse for two days before she began to recover. She left the intensive care ward on Monday.

Doctors believe Sierra contracted the disease from the fleas on a dead squirrel while camping in Pagosa Springs.

Left untreated, the plague kills about two thirds of infected humans within four days.

"It's one of those things that you don't necessarily expect to see," Dr Drummond said.

"But, it's definitely one of those things you don't want to miss." ... nic-plague

Author:  kenobewan [ Mon Sep 10, 2012 5:55 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Regular Flu Vaccine Actually INCREASES Risk of Swine Flu

Hepatitis epidemic must be tackled to stop liver cancer cases doubling

THE number of new cases of liver cancer will soar in Australia over the next decade unless urgent action is taken to diagnose and treat an epidemic of viral hepatitis, experts warn.

A physician with the Victorian Infectious Diseases Service, Benjamin Cowie, said liver cancer cases were expected to double to about 2500 a year if more was not done to tackle the underlying causes. Hepatitis B and C were the primary causes of liver cancer, with hepatitis B the most significant single cause of cancer worldwide, after tobacco, Dr Cowie said.

Hepatitis B affected about 200,000 Australians, most of them Aboriginal or born overseas in countries where there was an epidemic. Hepatitis C affected about 230,000 Australians and was most commonly caused by drug users sharing needles.

Dr Cowie is among a group of experts to use a viral hepatitis conference in New Zealand today to urge governments and health professionals to set new targets for the number of people receiving treatment.

''A substantial scaling up of resources and efforts is needed to stop these epidemics in their tracks,'' the experts said.

''Otherwise liver cancer will continue to be among the fastest increasing causes of cancer death in Australia and New Zealand.'' Targets include ensuring that at least 80 per cent of people with hepatitis B or C are diagnosed and that 5 per cent of people with hepatitis C and 10 per cent of those with hepatitis B receive antiviral treatment every year.

It is estimated that one in three people with hepatitis B, and one in four with hepatitis C, are undiagnosed. They may not have symptoms of the disease but without treatment their condition can progress to liver cancer or liver failure.

Only 2 per cent of Australians who have hepatitis C and 3 per cent with hepatitis B receive medical treatment. Dr Cowie said part of the problem was long waiting lists.

''If you are living with hepatitis B and have undiagnosed cirrhosis and wait for a year to be seen, you have a 2 to 3 per cent chance of getting liver cancer. From a human rights perspective, I think that is unacceptable in rich societies like Australia and New Zealand.''

Experts said new drugs to treat hepatitis C offered improved efficacy and had less toxicity.

''We need to be exploring not just sending people to hospital and waiting for liver clinics but getting these treatments into the community, and that means supporting general practitioners and nurses to take a greater role,'' Dr Cowie said before today's eighth Australasian Viral Hepatitis Conference 2012 .

More than 10,000 Australians and New Zealanders are diagnosed with hepatitis C each year and 7000 with hepatitis B.

The ''Auckland statement'' calls for new hepatitis C infections to be halved by 2016, including by introducing needle and syringe programs in prisons, where the transmission rate for infection is of concern. ... z263FQSQpn

Author:  kenobewan [ Thu Sep 13, 2012 5:30 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Regular Flu Vaccine Actually INCREASES Risk of Swine Flu

Dog slobber could solve child allergy problems

A PET dog, siblings and a healthy dose of germs could be the recipe for reducing the risk of children developing an egg allergy.

Allergy experts from Melbourne's Murdoch Childrens Research Institute studied more than 5000 babies and found those with young siblings and infants exposed to a dog inside the home were less likely to develop an allergic reaction to egg.

Food allergies now affect up to 10 per cent of babies, according to the study published in the journal Allergy.

The study found 10.8 per cent of infants with no siblings were allergic to egg but as the number of brothers and sisters increased the incidence of egg allergy decreased.

Meanwhile, about 10 per cent of babies in households without a dog had an egg allergy compared to only six per cent of those with a dog.

Lead researcher Dr Jennifer Koplin said the risk of developing a food allergy seemed to be a combination of genetic and environmental factors.

She said the immune system evolved at a time when people were exposed to more bacteria in food and the water supply, and infections through crowding and larger families.

Dr Koplin said it was possible developing infants were now not exposed to the right environmental factors to teach their immune systems how to react appropriately.

"They are reacting inappropriately to something that they should be able to tolerate which is in this case, food allergens, or food proteins," Dr Koplin told AAP.

The research suggested the protective effect of a family dog on egg allergy could be due to exposure to endotoxin, a type of bacteria.

Dr Koplin said endotoxin stimulates the immune system to attack bad bacteria and in doing so, is distracted from attacking harmless things in the environment like foods.

The study also found babies with a family history of allergy and those with parents born in East Asian countries like China and Vietnam are at increased risk of egg allergy.

Dr Koplin said East Asian families, as well as being genetically at higher risk of food allergy, may be exposed to different bacteria in their home countries.

"When they migrate over here and the kids are born here, they don't have that same exposure that suppresses the development of allergy," she said.

The researchers have previously shown introducing egg to infants later, at about 10 months of age, is strongly associated with the risk of egg allergy. ... z26HlNEKYP

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