Health


Arctic stronghold of world’s seeds flooded after permafrost melts

20th May 2017

It was designed as an impregnable deep-freeze to protect the world’s most precious seeds from any global disaster and ensure humanity’s food supply forever. But the Global Seed Vault, buried in a mountain deep inside the Arctic circle, has been breached after global warming produced extraordinary temperatures over the winter, sending meltwater gushing into the entrance tunnel.

The vault is on the Norwegian island of Spitsbergen and contains almost a million packets of seeds, each a variety of an important food crop. When it was opened in 2008, the deep permafrost through which the vault was sunk was expected to provide “failsafe” protection against “the challenge of natural or man-made disasters”.

But soaring temperatures in the Arctic at the end of the world’s hottest ever recorded year led to melting and heavy rain, when light snow should have been falling. “It was not in our plans to think that the permafrost would not be there and that it would experience extreme weather like that,” said Hege Njaa Aschim, from the Norwegian government, which owns the vault

“A lot of water went into the start of the tunnel and then it froze to ice, so it was like a glacier when you went in,” she told the Guardian. Fortunately, the meltwater did not reach the vault itself, the ice has been hacked out, and the precious seeds remain safe for now at the required storage temperature of -18C.

But the breach has questioned the ability of the vault to survive as a lifeline for humanity if catastrophe strikes. “It was supposed to [operate] without the help of humans, but now we are watching the seed vault 24 hours a day,” Aschim said. “We must see what we can do to minimise all the risks and make sure the seed bank can take care of itself.”

The vault’s managers are now waiting to see if the extreme heat of this winter was a one-off or will be repeated or even exceeded as climate change heats the planet. The end of 2016 saw average temperatures over 7C above normal on Spitsbergen, pushing the permafrost above melting point.

“The question is whether this is just happening now, or will it escalate?” said Aschim. The Svalbard archipelago, of which Spitsbergen is part, has warmed rapidly in recent decades, according to Ketil Isaksen, from Norway’s Meteorological Institute.

 

 

source/read more:https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/may/19/arctic-stronghold-of-worlds-seeds-flooded-after-permafrost-melts

Doctors warn parents about anti-vaccination documentary

16th May 2017

Doctors have taken the rare step of warning parents about an anti-vaccination film that will be screened for the first time in Perth on Friday.

The anti-vaccination documentary argues there’s a link between vaccinating children and autism.

Vaxxed is an American documentary about children who allegedly became disabled almost overnight after receiving an injection.

“He was walking and running. After the vaccine he was no longer able do that,” one woman in the documentary claimed.

The film will be shown in Perth on Friday.

Dr Andrew Miller from the WA Australian Medical Association told 7News, “This film is lies and playing on people’s emotions.”

The documentary claims there’s a link between Autism and vaccinating children. And it is directed by a former doctor, Andrew Wakefield.

“(This is) an advertisement that’s been made by a discredited ex-doctor,” Dr Andrew Miller claims.

Wembley mother Judy says the information in Vaxxed is the truth – and she’s written a thesis on it, published by the University of Woolongong.

She says her 18-year-old is also unvaccinated and healthy.

Researcher Judy Wilyman told 7News, “It’s not just my opinion, it’s having studied this topic at university and in the medical journals there are over a 100 independent studies in the peer-reviewed journals linking vaccines as a cause of autism.”

The location of the screening has so far been kept a secret. Source: 7News.

The documentary has been advertised over social media and will be screened at 7.30 on Friday night – but where has so far been kept a secret.

Viewers will be texted the address thirty minutes before show time.

Mrs Wilyman says that’s because the group who has organised the screening is worried they will be targeted for their views.

 

 

 

 

source:https://au.news.yahoo.com/wa/a/35521728/doctors-warn-parents-about-anti-vaccination-documentary/#page1

Whooping cough rates have leapt on the NSW north coast, where anti-vax sentiment is high

8th May 2017

THIRTY-SEVEN new cases of whooping cough were reported last week in the idyllic northern NSW nerve centre of militant anti-vaxxers and jab-suspicious hippies.

In April there were 83 cases in children and a total of 152 so far this year in the Northern NSW Health District, sparking calls from health authorities for parents to immunise their children against the potentially deadly disease.

But the area has dangerously low rates of vaccination in children, lowering the vital “herd immunity” — large numbers of vaccinated people — to guard against a significant whooping cough outbreak.

The rate of whooping cough in the northern district is nine times that of the neighbouring Mid-North Coast Health District which has only registered 17 cases this year.

A Sunday Telegraph analysis of the Local Health Districts reveals Northern NSW also had a much higher incidence of whooping cough than any other area in the state in 2016 as well.

A total of 10,832 NSW children contracted whooping cough statewide in 2016, according to NSW Health Data.

Children living in the north coast region, which has the lowest vaccination rate in the country, suffered four times more whooping cough than comparable areas in 2016.

Herd immunity is the linchpin of the national immunisation program.

Immunisation rates of 95 per cent offer herd immunity to minimise vaccine preventable diseases such as whooping cough spreading, however if rates fall below 90 per cent disease is more prevalent.

The Northern NSW Health district registered 518 cases of whooping cough in children last year, almost four times the rate of the Mid North Coast Health District which registered only 158 cases.

The two health districts have similar population numbers, but the Mid North Coast has a higher vaccination rate and therefore better herd immunity.

The Central Coast Local Health District, which boasts some of the highest immunisation rates in NSW only registered 372 cases despite a greater population than Northern NSW.

The Byron shire is the third most visited place in Australia behind Sydney and Melbourne.

Only 50 per cent of five-year-olds are fully vaccinated in Mullumbimby and 60 per cent in nearby Byron Bay.

Australian Medical Association president Dr Michael Gonnon said whooping cough rates in Northern NSW were probably much higher than recorded figures because many in the community eschew the GP in favour of alternative practitioners.

“A lot would not get diagnosed. People should hold their breath when driving through northern NSW but it’s a bit hard to hold your breath for 100 kilometres,” Dr Gannon said.

The director of the North Coast Public Health Unit told the Sunday Telegraph that ‘’the community is at a much greater risk of outbreaks that can run out of control”.

“Communities with low vaccination levels will have more disease,” he said.

Two babies died in the region during the 2009-12 outbreak of whooping cough.

At one month old, both Dana McCaffery and Kailis Smith were too young to be vaccinated and succumbed to the horror disease in 2009 and 2011 respectively.

Toni McCaffery has campaigned for a targeted campaign to address immunisation rates in the region since death of her daughter Dana.

“The perfect storm when Dana died is brewing again. It’s crucial pregnant women in the area get that booster shot to protect their newborns,” Mrs McCaffery said.

“When Dana died, whooping cough was four times the rate as well.

“We need to explain to parents why they should vaccinate their child and educate them about the diseases that they are preventing.

“In many cases, there is no cure and all that modern medicine can do is support a child through it,” Mrs McCaffery said.

 

source:http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/nsw/whooping-cough-rates-have-leapt-on-the-nsw-north-coast-where-antivax-sentiment-is-high/news-story

Medical studies are almost always bogus

7th May 2017

How many times have you encountered a study — on, say, weight loss — that trumpeted one fad, only to see another study discrediting it a week later?

That’s because many medical studies are junk. It’s an open secret in the research community, and it even has a name: “the reproducibility crisis.”

For any study to have legitimacy, it must be replicated, yet only half of medical studies celebrated in newspapers hold water under serious follow-up scrutiny — and about two-thirds of the “sexiest” cutting-edge reports, including the discovery of new genes linked to obesity or mental illness, are later “disconfirmed.”

Though erring is a key part of the scientific process, this level of failure slows scientific progress, wastes time and resources and costs taxpayers excesses of $28 billion a year, writes NPR science correspondent Richard Harris in his book “Rigor Mortis: How Sloppy Science Creates Worthless Cures, Crushes Hope, and Wastes Billions” (Basic Books).

“When you read something, take it with a grain of salt,” Harris tells The Post. “Even the best science can be misleading, and often what you’re reading is not the best science.”

Take one particularly enraging example: For many years research on breast cancer was conducted on misidentified melanoma cells, which means that thousands of papers published in credible scientific journals were actually studying the wrong cancer. “It’s impossible to know how much this sloppy use of the wrong cells has set back research into breast cancer,” writes Harris.

Another study claimed to have invented a blood test that could detect ovarian cancer — which would mean much earlier diagnosis. The research was hailed as a major breakthrough on morning shows and in newspapers. Further scrutiny, though, revealed the only reason the blood test “worked” was because the researchers tested the two batches on two separate days — all the women with ovarian cancer on one day, and without the disease the next. Instead of measuring the differences in the cancer, the blood test had, in fact, measured the day-to-day differences in the machine.

So why are so many tests bogus? Harris has some thoughts.

For one, science is hard. Everything from unconscious bias — the way researchers see their data through the rosy lens of their own theses — to the types of beaker they use or the bedding that they keep mice in can cloud results and derail reproducibility.

Then there is the funding issue. During the heyday of the late ’90s and early aughts, research funding increased until Congress decided to hold funding flat for the next decade, creating an atmosphere of intense, some would say unhealthy, competition among research scientists. Now only 17 percent of grants get funded (compared to a third three decades ago). Add this to the truly terrible job market for post-docs — only 21 percent land tenure track jobs — and there is a greater incentive to publish splashy counterintuitive studies, which have a higher likelihood of being wrong, writes Harris.

One effect of this “pressure to publish” situation is intentional data manipulation, where scientists cherry-pick the information that supports a hypothesis while ignoring the data that doesn’t — an all too common problem in academic research, writes Harris.

“There’s a constant scramble for research dollars. Promotions and tenure depend on making splashy discoveries. There are big rewards for being first, even if the work ultimately fails the test of time,” writes Harris.

‘Promotions and tenure depend on making splashy discoveries. There are big rewards for being first, even if the work ultimately fails the test of time.’

This will only get worse if funding is cut further — something that seems inevitable under proposed federal tax cuts. “It only exacerbates the problems. With so many scientists fighting for a shrinking pool of money, cuts will only make all of these issues worse,” Harris says.

Luckily, there is a growing group of people working to expose the ugly side of how research is done. One of them is Stanford professor John Ioannidis, considered one of the heroes of the reproducibility movement. He’s written extensively on the topic, including a scathing paper titled “Why Most Published Scientific Research Findings Are False.”

He’s found, for example, out of tens of thousands of papers touting discoveries of specific genes linked to everything from depression to obesity, only 1.2 percent had truly positive results. Meanwhile, Dr. Ioannidis followed 49 studies that had been cited at least a thousand times — of which seven had been “flatly contradicted” by further research. This included one that claimed estrogen and progestin benefited women after hysterectomies “when in fact the drug combination increased the risk of heart disease and breast cancer.”

Other organizations like Retraction Watch, which tracks discredited studies in real time, and the Cochrane group, an independent network of researchers that pushes for evidence-based medicine, act as industry watchdogs. There is also an internal push for scientists to make their data public so it’s easier to police bad science.

The public can play a role, too. “If we curb our enthusiasm a bit,” Harris writes, “scientists will be less likely to run headlong after dubious ideas.”

 

 

source: http://nypost.com/2017/05/06/medical-studies-are-almost-always-bogus/

New computers could delete thoughts without your knowledge, experts warn

2nd May 2017

New human rights laws are required to protect sensitive information in a person’s mind from ‘unauthorised collection, storage, use or even deletion’

 

“Thou canst not touch the freedom of my mind,” wrote the playwright John Milton in 1634.

But, nearly 400 years later, technological advances in machines that can read our thoughts mean the privacy of our brain is under threat.

Now two biomedical ethicists are calling for the creation of new human rights laws to ensure people are protected, including “the right to cognitive liberty” and “the right to mental integrity”.

Scientists have already developed devices capable of telling whether people are politically right-wing or left-wing. In one experiment, researchers were able to read people’s minds to tell with 70 per cent accuracy whether they planned to add or subtract two numbers.

Facebook also recently revealed it had been secretly working on technology to read people’s minds so they could type by just thinking.

And medical researchers have managed to connect part of a paralysed man’s brain to a computer to allow him to stimulate muscles in his arm so he could move it and feed himself.

The ethicists, writing in a paper in the journal Life Sciences, Society and Policy, stressed the “unprecedented opportunities” that would result from the “ubiquitous distribution of cheaper, scalable and easy-to-use neuro-applications” that would make neurotechnology “intricately embedded in our everyday life”.

However, such devices are open to abuse on a frightening degree, as the academics made clear.

They warned that “malicious brain-hacking” and “hazardous uses of medical neurotechnology” could require a redefinition of the idea of mental integrity.

“We suggest that in response to emerging neurotechnology possibilities, the right to mental integrity should not exclusively guarantee protection from mental illness or traumatic injury but also from unauthorised intrusions into a person’s mental wellbeing performed through the use of neurotechnology, especially if such intrusions result in physical or mental harm to the neurotechnology user,” the ethicists wrote.

“The right to mental privacy is a neuro-specific privacy right which protects private or sensitive information in a person’s mind from unauthorised collection, storage, use, or even deletion in digital form or otherwise.”

And they warned that the techniques were so sophisticated that people’s minds might be being read or interfered with without their knowledge.

“Illicit intrusions into a person’s mental privacy may not necessarily involve coercion, as they could be performed under the threshold of a persons’ conscious experience,” they wrote in the paper.

“The same goes for actions involving harm to a person’s mental life or unauthorised modifications of a person’s psychological continuity, which are also facilitated by the ability of emerging neurotechnologies to intervene into a person’s neural processing in absence of the person’s awareness.”

They proposed four new human rights laws: the right to cognitive liberty, the right to mental privacy, the right to mental integrity and the right to psychological continuity.

Professor Roberto Andorno, an academic at Zurich University’s law school and a co-author of the paper, said: “Brain imaging technology has already reached a point where there is discussion over its legitimacy in criminal court, for example as a tool for assessing criminal responsibility or even the risk of re-offending.

“Consumer companies are using brain imaging for ‘neuromarketing’ to understand consumer behaviour and elicit desired responses from customers.

“There are also tools such as ‘brain decoders’ which can turn brain imaging data into images, text or sound.

“All of these could pose a threat to personal freedom which we sought to address with the development of four new human rights laws.”

And his colleague Marcello Ienca, of the Institute for Biomedical Ethics at Basel University, said: “The mind is considered to be the last refuge of personal freedom and self-determination, but advances in neural engineering, brain imaging and neurotechnology put the freedom of the mind at risk.

“Our proposed laws would give people the right to refuse coercive and invasive neurotechnology, protect the privacy of data collected by neurotechnology, and protect the physical and psychological aspects of the mind from damage by the misuse of neurotechnology.”

He admitted such advances might sound like something out of the world of science fiction.

But he added: “Neurotechnology featured in famous stories has in some cases already become a reality, while others are inching ever closer, or exist as military and commercial prototypes.

“We need to be prepared to deal with the impact these technologies will have on our personal freedom.”

 

source:http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/delete-thoughts-read-your-mind-without-your-knowledge-neurotechnology-new-human-rights-laws-a7701661.html

A 42 per cent increase in autism diagnoses is no cause for alarm

30th April 2017

The number of Australians diagnosed with autism increased by 42 per cent between 2012 and 2015, but research and advocacy groups are adamant it’s not a cause for alarm.

In 2015, 164,000 Australians had autism diagnoses, according to results of an ABS survey released on Wednesday. That’s an increase of around 50,000 people since 2012.

This figure reflects the number of diagnoses – not the number of people with conditions that might be classified as autism if they sought a diagnosis.

Professor Andrew Whitehouse, Senior Principal Research Fellow at the University of Western Australia’s Telethon Kids Institute, said that Australia’s autism diagnosis rate was now in line with other countries at around 1.1 per cent.

“What this figure represents is a rise in the numbers of children and adults diagnosed with autism,” he said.

“All the evidence that we have to date is showing that the rise in the number of kids and adults being diagnosed with autism is due to increased awareness, not just at the health professional side, but also at the family side.”

He added that the roll-out of the NDIS has led to more Australians seeking formal diagnosis in order to access services.

A new Muppet called Julia, has autism, is about to be introduced to Sesame Street’s TV family.

Autism Awareness Australia CEO, Nicole Rogerson, said we are only now understanding the true prevalence of autism in the community.

“I would hate to think that this statistic freaked out new parents of little babies and toddlers right now that think we are in the grip of some frightening epidemic,” she said.

“That’s where silly conspiracy theories and vaccination theories [about a link with autism] come from, and that’s all really unhelpful.”

Autism is a condition that affects the brain’s growth and development, and can be characterised by difficulty in social communication and interaction.

Professor Cheryl Dissanayake, from the Olga Tennison Autism Research Centre at La Trobe University, said the rise was also caused by a broadening of the criteria of autism and improvement in identifying autism earlier in children.

She said the increase may also be linked to biological factors and that children of older fathers and premature babies have a higher chance of receiving autism diagnoses.

“Premature babies live now, in the past they used to die. Prematurity is a risk factor for autism,” she said.

“There are biological factors that work to increase the risk, they haven’t all been identified.”

IT companies are reaching out to support the development of programming skills for people with autism.

She said one paper she contributed to found that the mean age of diagnosis for people under seven was around four years of age whereas in the 1980s children were rarely diagnosed before five or six, “so we are getting better.”

Ms Rogerson said diagnosing a child and providing dedicated assistance from age two or three will help them achieve “their best outcome”.

“Children with autism can make marked improvements and make autism a lot less disabling in their life if they have got access to good quality early intervention,” she said.

“But it’s the ‘early’ in early intervention that’s important.”

According to the ABS survey of 63,500 people in 2015, of those with autism, almost two-in-three were classed as having “profound or severe disability” and almost three-in-four needed help with cognitive and emotional tasks. About half needed help with communication.

The ABS classifies autism as including Asperger’s Syndrome, pervasive developmental disorder, Rett Syndrome and childhood disintegrative disorder.

 

 

source:http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/2017/03/29/why-42-cent-increase-autism-diagnoses-no-cause-alarm

Italian court finds link between cell phone use and tumor

21st April 2017

A longtime Telecom Italia employee has been awarded monthly social security payments after a court found that his brain tumor was caused by improper use of a company-issued cellphone.

Lawyer Stefano Bertone said Thursday that it was the first trial court verdict of which he was aware in the world “to recognize a link between cellphone use and the development of brain tumor.”

Bertone said one factor that appeared to have contributed to the verdict was the refusal by the court’s expert to accept into evidence studies that were funded by the telecom industry.

The legal reasoning behind the ruling, which was issued by a court in the northern city of Ivrea last month but only made public on Thursday, is expected to be released in the coming weeks.

The employee, Roberto Romeo, used the company cellphone for three hours a day for 15 years without taking any precautions, resulting in the non-cancerous tumor and the subsequent loss of hearing in one ear.

“The norms say intense use is one hour a day,” Romeo told Sky TG24. “I went well beyond the limits.”

Romeo sued the state social security agency, not Telecom Italia, where he still works. He said he is not against cellphone use, but that consumers should adopt safety measures. His lawyer said those could include reducing cel phone use and using specialized anti-radiation ear buds.

Under the ruling, Romeo will receive between 6,000 and 7,000 euros ($6,000-$7,500) a year, Bertone said.

The Codacons consumer protection agency says it is considering a class-action based on the Romeo decision to have cellphones carry health warnings in Italy, and also to have the health risks associated with cellphone use recognized generally by Italy’s social security agency.

Bertone said that a 2012 decision by Italy’s highest court awarding social security payments to a sales manager who was on a cellphone five or six hours a day helped paved the way for the ruling in his client’s case. In the earlier case, the trial court denied the claim, but Italy’s highest court accepted a link between excessive cell phone use and the manager’s tumour.

source:http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/E/EU_ITALY_CELL_PHONE_TUMOR?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2017-04-20-14-24-32

WA kids under 7 years-old on antidepressants

15th April 2017

Almost 5000 WA children under 16 years old are being prescribed antidepressants, which doctors argue reflects the rates of mental health and behavioural issues.

Figures from the Department of Human Services show 4922 children aged two to 16 were supplied with antidepressants in 2015, including 178 under seven years old and 910 aged seven to 11.

Nationally, 49,000 children were prescribed the drugs, while across all ages 2.8 million Australians were on antidepressants.

It comes only weeks after a study by primary care provider 360 Health and Community found 31 per cent of GP referrals for depression help in Perth were for patients aged 10 to 19.

Three per cent, or more than 200 referrals, were for children under 10.

In December, the Therapeutic Goods Administration reiterated a warning to doctors that the use of antidepressants had been linked to a small increased risk of suicidal thinking in some children and adolescents.

The main risk was associated with the newer generation of antidepressants known as serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs.

Nick Kowalenko from the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists’ faculty of child and adolescent psychiatry, said the figures for antidepressant use in children did not seem out of order.

He said low doses of older-type antidepressants were sometimes prescribed to very young children for issues such as persistent bedwetting, to change their sleep cycle.

“I’m guessing that the rationale behind the 178 kids aged two to six on antidepressants in WA is about bedwetting rather than treating depression,” Dr Kowalenko said.

He said SSRI drugs were used to treat depression but also childhood anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorders. The risks and benefits of antidepressants were always weighed up, including the risk of a child missing a lot of school if they were not treated.

Dr Kowalenko said the 2015 Australian Child and Adolescent Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing had found that about 14 per cent of four to 17-year-olds — or 600,000 children — had been assessed as having mental disorders.

About 40 per cent of them had moderate or severe conditions such as major depressive and anxiety disorders.

“So when you look at those numbers, the prescribing rates don’t jump out as high, but the question to ask is if the right children, the most severely impaired, are being treated,” he said.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

source:

Research Finds Possible Link Between Sinus Problems & Depression

chri

5th April 2017

New research suggests that chronic sinus problems may be linked to depression.

More than 12 percent of adults have been diagnosed with sinusitis. Many report calling out sick from work or school because they can’t breathe, can’t focus and feel miserable.

More than 100 people, with an average age of 52, were entered into a study. They filled out questionnaires about their sinusitis symptoms, including things like sleep, pain and emotional function.

The study’s results show that most people missed an average of three days of work or school, and the days they missed were most strongly linked with symptoms of depression.

Some doctors say they plan to pay more attention to quality of life issues, including depression, when treating patients with chronic sinusitis. One allergist worries some patients don’t voice their concerns.

“I think very few of them make a direct connection between the depression and the sinus symptoms, or why they’re depressed,” says Dr. James DeAngelo of Allergy and Clinical Immunology Associates.

Other doctors believe insurance concerns can contribute to the problem. They believe more economic research is needed to look at chronic, life-threatening conditions.

 

 

 

source: http://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2017/04/04/new-research-finds-possible-link-between-sinus-problems-depression/

Unvaccinated Australian children being refused medical care over immunisation, survey finds

disgut

8th March 2017

Some unvaccinated Australian children are being turned away for medical treatment because their immunisation is not up-to-date, a survey has found.

The Australian Child Health Poll of almost 2,000 parents found among 5 per cent of children who were not up-to-date with the vaccinations, one in six had been refused care — particularly those under the age of six years.

The survey found:

  • One in three parents still hold concerns about vaccinations
  • 74 per cent of parents believe they should be told how many children are not up-to-date with vaccines at schools or childcare centres
  • Seven out of 10 parents say knowing the number of under-vaccinated children would influence their decision over child care, schools
  • Parents are confused about whether to delay vaccines when a child has a minor illness
  • One in 10 Australian parents believe that vaccines can cause autism, and a another 30 per cent are unsure

*Australian Child Health Poll

Anthea Rhodes from Melbourne’s Royal Children’s Hospital said the finding was a concern.

“It’s been a topic in the US for a long time and it’s a complex one about rights to refuse care to unvaccinated kids,” Dr Rhodes told ABC News Breakfast.

“At the Royal Children’s Hospital we are clear in our position that all children have equal rights to access health care, regardless of their vaccination status.

“It’s concerning for us to find that this practice is happening in Australia and it needs some more research now to look at who, how, why and when.”

The study found most Australian children — 95 per cent — were fully vaccinated, but one in three parents still held concerns.

One in 10 parents believed that vaccines could cause autism, and a further 30 per cent were unsure — despite medical research showing no causal link.

“Look, vaccinations work. They are safe. They have saved many, many lives in Australia and across the world and we are pleased to see in the study that the vast majority of Australian parents do support vaccination and keep their kids up-to-date,” Dr Rhodes said.

“But there is a small number out there who continue to have unfounded worries and concerns. They need to speak to their healthcare providers to keep them up-to-date.”

The survey also found 74 per cent of parents believed they should be informed about the number of children not fully vaccinated in their child’s school, kindergarten or childcare centre.

Seven out of 10 of those parents said that information would influence their decision to send their child there.

Dr Rhodes said there were also myths around delaying vaccinations in unwell children.

“For example, around half of parents felt a child on antibiotics who was otherwise well would need their vaccines delayed. That’s untrue,” she said.

‘I’ve never heard of any doctor refusing treatment’

The Australian Medical Association’s (AMA) Victorian president Lorraine Baker said she had never heard of any doctor refusing a child treatment.

“I’ve never heard, and I can say that with absolute confidence, of any doctor refusing treatment to an unvaccinated child where the child needed treatment immediately. You find work arounds for that,” Dr Baker said.

Dr Baker said she was unsure whether those parents surveyed were reporting an outright refusal of care or that it had been delayed.

“I consider situations where for instance a maternal and child health service may have had a baby or child visit and the nurse suspects that child has chicken pox or another infectious disease and knows there’s a mother with a newborn coming,” she said.

“What’s the advice? There’s a two-hour exclusion zone when the active virus is in your enclosed space, so I need to make sure no-one enters who isn’t immunised.

“Is it care at a given moment because it wasn’t an appropriate time to deliver care for that child exposed to a particular potential contact with another virus? I don’t know.”

The issue has been in the spotlight in recent days after One Nation leader Pauline Hanson described the Government’s ‘no jab, no pay’ policy as a “dictatorship” and said parents should do their own research into vaccinations.

 

 

 

source:http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-03-08/children-without-vaccinations-being-refused-medical-care:-study/83