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Exotic mosquitoes could bring Zika, dengue outbreaks

Friendship bands and hair braids may not be the naffest things you bring home from Bali this summer, says an insect and biosecurity expert, who warns that Australia is at risk of an outbreak of Zika or dengue unless more is done to stop exotic mosquitoes setting up home here. Cameron Webb, medical entomologist at […]

The Australian

Which mosquito sprays are safe and which ones actually work

There’s something very Australian about the smell of mosquito spray. It’s got a metallic tang, a hint of botanicals and a chemical up-the-nose sensation that spurs memories of camping holidays and cricket games at dusk. But surely all those chemicals can’t be good for you? NSW Health pathology and Sydney University Medical Entomologist Cameron Webb […]

The Huffington Post

‘No jab, no play’ succeeds in prompting forgetful parents

Childcare centres’ ‘no jab, no play’ policies have proved successful in prompting forgetful parents to fully vaccinate their children, a study shows. However, the policies have had no effect on intractable vaccine refusers, according to research carried out in one of Australia’s low-vaccination blackspots in northern NSW. Interviews with the operators of 10 childcare centres […]

Australian Doctor

E-cigarettes may pose passive smoking risk

Passive exposure to the vapour from e-cigarettes may pose a health risk, an Australian study says. Health Protection NSW researchers reviewed the current evidence on passive exposure, finding most studies concluded e-cigarettes (ECs) could pose a risk to bystanders. “The risk from passive exposure to e-cigarettes is likely to be less than conventional cigarettes but […]

Nine News

Early caesarians ‘put babies at risk’

More than one-third of repeat elective caesareans are being delivered earlier than the term mandated by the government, jeopardising the health of thousands of babies each year. NSW Health issued a policy directive to hospitals in 2007 requiring them not to perform elective caesareans before 39 weeks’ gestation unless there was a compelling medical reason. Caesarean […]

The Sydney Morning Herald

Aust youth smoking rates at ‘record low’

Australian adolescent smoking rates are at a record low, but experts say constant vigilance is needed to combat new tobacco marketing strategies. They attribute the drop to rising cigarette prices, smoke-free environment and advertising policies, plain packaging, and restrictions on adolescents’ access to tobacco. A perspective paper, published in the journal Public Health Research & Practice, […]

SBS World News

Pet dogs could pose Hendra risk

CONCERN that humans could be put at risk by pets infected with Hendra virus has led NSW authorities to change quarantine regulations to enforce isolation of exposed companion animals. This follows an outbreak in July 2013 on the NSW mid-north coast in which a dog at one of four affected properties tested positive for Hendra virus […]

Medical Observer

GPs and OzDoc top list of Twitter influencers

A number of individual GPs and Australian Doctor have been highlighted as among the most influential Twitter users in the health and medical fields. A list analysing the top 10 Australian Twitter accounts in health and medicine has been compiled by University of Sydney public health researchers Professor Simon Chapman and Dr Becky Freeman. The researchers took […]

Leave the anti-vaxers alone, says academic

Attacking anti-vaccination activists could have an unintended consequence of drawing attention to their argument and alienating parents who “sit on the fence”, says a public health expert. It’s better to play the issue, not the opponent, says Associate Professor Julie Leask, whose views are at odds with pro-vaccination lobby groups like Stop the AVN. While […]

Vaccine expert Julie Leask says internet outrage about vaccination risks make problem worse

Don’t feed the trolls. It’s advice always better heeded than not, but one of Australia’s immunisation experts says it is particularly important when it comes to vaccine deniers. University of Sydney Associate Professor Julie Leask says the trend towards collective moral outrage about people who don’t vaccinate their children risks making the problem worse. Read […]

The Sydney Morning Herald