Flu vaccines mandatory for residential aged care staff immunisation
The Australian Government has announced that the provision of influenza vaccination programs to all staff in residential aged care homes will be compulsory to maximise protection for senior Australians ahead of this year's flu season.
Last year, just over 1,100 influenza-associated deaths were reported in Australia, with people aged 65 years and older accounting for more than 90 per cent of these. At the same time, aged care homes with only a quarter of their staff vaccinated, had a 25 per cent higher rate of flu outbreaks than those with three quarters or more of their staff vaccinated. For more information click here.
Fluad trivalent influenza vaccine risk to patients with latex allergy immunisation
The Therapeutic Goods Administration has confirmed the presence of natural rubber latex in the sheath covering the needle of the trivalent influenza vaccine, Fluad, which is available for people aged 65 years and over through the National Immunisation Program (NIP).
While reactions to latex are rare, anyone who has a severe allergy to latex should not receive Fluad. Patients aged 65 years and over can still be safely vaccinated with the alternative trivalent influenza vaccine, Fluzone High-Dose, available through the NIP. Note there are no safety concerns regarding the Fluad vaccine itself. For more information, click here.
Multi-drug resistant gonorrhoea detected in Australia sexually transmitted infections
Two cases of multi-drug resistant gonorrhoea infection have been detected in Australia. The emergence of this strain, resistant to ALL antibiotics that have been in routine use to treat gonorrhoea, is a major public health concern.
Victorian gonorrhoea notifications have increased over the last few years in men who have sex with men (MSM) as well as in heterosexual men and women. For more information, click here.
Clinical placement program in cancer survivorship cancer
The Australian Cancer Survivorship Centre (ACSC) is coordinating hospital placements for GPs, practice nurses and community-based allied health professionals to upskill them in cancer survivorship care. The placement is free and ongoing from January 2018 to April 2019. Eight hospitals across Melbourne are offering placements including: Peter Mac, Western Health, Austin Health, Royal Women's Hospital, Royal Melbourne Hospital, Monash Health, St Vincent's and South West Healthcare.
One of the priorities for the program is to enable participation from health professionals based in regional areas. The ACSC provides financial support to cover transport, meals and accommodation for regional participants travelling more than 200 kilometres. For more information visit the RACP website or the Peter Mac website.
Genomics in general practice genomics
The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) has released a new guide aimed at assisting general practitioners in the fields of genetics and genomics. Advances in these fields offer great potential for identifying patients at risk of disease and targeting treatment, however GPs need up-to-date knowledge and skills in this domain.
Genomics in general practice is designed to assist clinical decision-making by presenting a snapshot view of the identification and diagnosis on a range of genetic conditions and the use of genetic testing and technologies. For more information click here.