October 28, 2017

Health Roundup: Aussie flu and more

No border can protect against viruses.  Australia is in the grip of its worst season on record with more than 70,000 cases of flu and standing room only in some emergency departments.  Great Britain and North America likely to be hit by the Aussie flu.

What Australia's bad flu season might mean for us and other flu facts you need to know

The culprit in Australia is the H3N2 strain of flu, which is included in this year’s vaccine and dates back to Hong Kong in 2014,  H3N2 strains are the hardest ones for the flu vaccine to combat. All flu viruses make frequent genetic changes that help them slip around a vaccine. Influenza H3N2 viruses are particularly adept at changing as the vaccine is being made, rendering the vaccine less effective against them, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

You should get the flu shot—even if it won’t keep you from getting sick 

Get it for all the people who can’t. Even if you are healthy, you can still become ill. And if you do become ill and are around someone who is at higher risk — such as a baby too young for vaccination or a person with a compromised immune system — you could put them at risk.  Vaccination is recommended for everyone over the age of six months.

Cheap yoghurt drinks can make the flu jab work better:

Taking probiotic supplements when you get home from having your flu jab could make it work better, research suggests. University of Melbourne researchers reviewed 26 trials to make the conclusion. The review, which involved 3,812 participants, highlighted benefits of probiotics in around half of the studies. Scientists claim the yoghurt drinks offer a cheap boost, as the dreaded Aussie flu begins its journey in time for Britain's winter.

Advice to patients to fast before surgery may be scrapped after pilot scheme finds drinking tea, coffee or juice helps recovery

Current guidelines were developed by the Royal College of Nursing in conjunction with the Royal College of Anesthetists in 2005 after a major review examined evidence from 22 studies and found that healthy patients fasting for shorter periods and given drinks just a few hours before surgery were at no greater risk.Official guidance states that healthy adults having elective surgery can drink water up to two hours before anesthesia, and should not have food, including solids, milk and milk-containing drinks for at least six hours before.

Staff at Nottingham University NHS Trust began pioneering a new approach in 2014 after a survey revealed patients fasted for an average of nine hours, and overwhelmingly disliked the experience which left them anxious and thirsty.Patients on the pilot scheme were allowed liquids – including tea and coffee with no more than a fifth milk, diluted squash and still energy drinks – until up to two hours before surgery. Solid food could be eaten up to six hours before, and if patients had an afternoon operation this meant they were allowed a light breakfast.

Dr Arani Pillai, consultant anesthetist at Nottingham who is involved in the pilot, said: 'Fasting really was a belt and braces approach. If there were delays with an operation, it could mean patients went for hours without a drink.This can leave them dehydrated, nauseous and anxious, and with low blood sugar and increases the risk of electrolyte imbalance and kidney injury."

Antihistamine shown to improve function in MS patients

Taking statins raises the risk of Type 2 diabetes by nearly a third

A decade-long study of more than 3,200 patients found those who took statins were 30 per cent more likely to develop the condition...The researchers, from Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, think this may be because statins impair insulin production. These findings reopens the debate about the benefits and side effects of statins.

One in nine American men has oral HPV

Researchers from the University of Florida analyzed data of people who contracted HPV in the United States. They found an estimated 11.5 million men had oral HPV compared to 3.2 million women. Human papillomavirus (HPV) is the most common sexually transmitted infection. Washington D.C. ranked at the top of the list for the highest rate of STDs based on population according to a new study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

'Never thought a stupid lil wrist computer would save my life':

Apple Watch notification spots 28-year-old’s life-threatening blood clot.

Men are at-risk of an early death if they receive blood from mothers - but experts are clueless as to why

The most common cause of such death is transfusion-related acute lung injury. Women are unaffected by receiving blood from females who have been pregnant. Researchers are unsure why such blood donations solely cause male mortality
Posted by Jill Fallon at October 28, 2017 11:42 AM | Permalink