The flu vaccine is so far proving more effective in children than in adults in the UK, mid-season figures suggest. The nasal spray flu vaccine is 87% effective in children aged two to 17 against the main circulating flu strain, influenza A(H1N1)pmd09, Public Health England data indicates. Meanwhile, the flu vaccine is 39% effective against the same strain in adults aged 18 to 64. Continue reading
Washington State USA – measles infections have reappeared in the Pacific Northwest of the USA and also other states where parents have relatively broad leeway over whether to vaccinate their children. Seventy-nine cases of measles have been reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention since the start of this year. Fifty cases of the highly contagious disease were in Washington State.
England will be the first country in world to have no new HIV cases, the health secretary said today. Matt Hancock told a global summit that the goal is “now within our grasp” with the capital already surpassing targets which were set by the United Nations. The Health Secretary said medical breakthroughs, including medication to treat and prevent the spread of disease, meant Aids is no longer a death sentence. Continue reading
Scientists say they have discovered the secret behind why some people are skinny while others pile on the pounds easily. Their work reveals newly discovered genetic regions linked to being very slim. The international team say this supports the idea that, for some people, being thin has more to do with inheriting a “lucky” set of genes than having a perfect diet or lifestyle. Continue reading
Our interview with Julia Hartley-Brewer on Talk Radio this morning covered the updated advice that aspirin should not be used to prevent heart attacks because it has an unacceptable level of side effects, particularly the risk of bleeding which can be serious. We have observed cerebral (brain ) bleeds in patients on preventative aspirin and for this reason we have not advised taking low dose aspirin to ward of heart attacks. Continue reading
The variation in the availability of GPs in different parts of England is shocking, doctors’ leaders say. A BBC analysis has found close to a threefold difference between the areas with the most and fewest doctors. In one area – Swale in Kent – there is only one GP for every 3,300 patients, while in Rushcliffe in Nottinghamshire it is just under one for every 1,200. Continue reading
Public health experts have suggested it may be necessary to introduce a “Pudding Tax” to tackle the high rates of sugar consumption. By the age of 10, the average child has exceeded the recommended level of sugar intake for an 18-year-old. A sugar tax was introduced in April 2018, but it just applies to fizzy drinks. The levy is applied to manufacturers – whether they pass it on to consumers or not is up to them. There are 457 producers registered for the levy. Drinks with more than 8g per 100ml face a tax rate equivalent to 24p per litre. Those containing 5-8g of sugar per 100ml face a slightly lower rate of tax, of 18p per litre. Continue reading
We conducted an interview with Talk Radio about the possible effect of additives to ham and bacon. Leading scientists and a cross-party group of politicians are calling for chemicals called nitrites to be removed from processed meats like bacon. Cancer specialists and politicians are among those backing the campaign to take out nitrites. Continue reading
We were interviewed by Talk Radio about the increase in amputations in diabetes. Diabetes UK has branded the rate of diabetes-related amputations in England a ‘national scandal’, following the publication of new data.