Pneumocystis pneumonia in the UK – Health Protection Agency – 15 March 2013

Posted on March 18, 2013. Filed under: Infectious Diseases | Tags: |

Pneumocystis pneumonia in the UK – Health Protection Agency – 15 March 2013

Study recommends changes to pneumonia prevention strategies

“A Health Protection Agency (HPA) report published today has found since 2000 the number of cases of Pneumocystis jirovecii pneumonia (PCP) has increased in England by an average of seven per cent each year. The findings of the paper suggest that further work is needed to re-assess the prevention strategies currently in place for dealing with this infection.”

Increasing Pneumocystis Pneumonia, England, UK, 2000–2010

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Human Radiosensitivity – RCE 21 – Health Protection Agency [UK] – 14 March 2013

Posted on March 15, 2013. Filed under: Radiology | Tags: , |

Human Radiosensitivity – RCE 21 – Health Protection Agency [UK] – 14 March 2013

Synopsis

“This report reviews evidence for variation in human radiosensitivity from epidemiological, clinical and experimental studies, considers mechanisms of radiosensitivity and ethical implications of current and potential future knowledge on the range of radiosensitivity in the human population. It concludes that there is growing evidence from a range of sources for variation in radiosensitivity that can affect the risk of radiation-induced cancer or, at higher doses, tissue damage. A proportion of this range is likely to have a genetic origin but there is also substantial evidence for lifestyle factors, and particularly tobacco smoking, affecting individual risk. Currently there is no adequate test predictive of individual radiation health risk, but knowledge is accumulating and therefore consideration of how this new knowledge might be used in radiological protection is important and timely.”

News release

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A follow-up study of hygiene practices in catering premises at large scale events in the United Kingdom – Health Protection Agency – 13 March 2013

Posted on March 14, 2013. Filed under: Environmental Health, Infectious Diseases | Tags: |

A follow-up study of hygiene practices in catering premises at large scale events in the United Kingdom – Health Protection Agency – 13 March 2013

“Research from the Health Protection Agency (HPA) has revealed that food, water, chopping boards, cleaning cloths and security wristbands sampled from mobile and outdoor food vendors were contaminated with a range of bacteria including E.coli. This bacteria, which originates from human or animal faeces indicates either poor hygiene, undercooking or cross-contamination in the kitchen.”

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GRASP: The Gonococcal Resistance to Antimicrobials Surveillance Programme – Health Protection Agency – 26 February 2013

Posted on February 28, 2013. Filed under: Infectious Diseases | Tags: , , |

GRASP: The Gonococcal Resistance to Antimicrobials Surveillance Programme – Health Protection Agency – 26 February 2013

“The first Gonorrhoea Resistance Action Plan for England and Wales is published today, recommending a heightened national response to combat this serious threat. The Action Plan was developed by the Gonococcal Resistance to Antimicrobials Surveillance Programme (GRASP), established by the Health Protection Agency (HPA) to monitor the growing global problem of emerging resistance over the last decade in the absence of new therapeutic options.”

… continues

 

 

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Health Effects of Climate Change in the UK 2012 – Health Protection Agency – 11 September 2012

Posted on September 25, 2012. Filed under: Infectious Diseases | Tags: , |

Health Effects of Climate Change in the UK 2012 – Health Protection Agency – 11 September 2012

“The study, Health Effects of Climate Change in the UK 2012, is an extensive update of earlier reports published by the Department of Health and the report is also being presented at the HPA’s annual conference – Health Protection 2012 – at the University of Warwick today.

Alongside a more detailed look at the effect of temperature rises on death rates in hot and cold spells, the scientists also investigated the effects a changing climate will have on pollen production, outdoor and indoor air pollution, floods, ultraviolet radiation, food, water and insect-borne diseases.”

… continues

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Acute respiratory illness associated with a new virus identified in the UK – Health Protection Agency – 23 September 2012

Posted on September 25, 2012. Filed under: Infectious Diseases | Tags: , |

Novel coronavirus infection – update – WHO – 25 September 2012

Acute respiratory illness associated with a new virus identified in the UK  – Health Protection Agency – 23 September 2012

Novel Coronavirus infection in the United Kingdom – WHO – 23 September 2012

Images of the new coronavirus – WHO

New ‘Sars-like’ coronavirus identified by UK officials – BBC – 24 September 2012

How threatening is the new coronavirus? – BBC – 24 September 2012

New Coronavirus Revives SARS Memories

Outbreak of new coronavirus – same family as SARS – has WHO on alert

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Sexually transmitted infections in England, 2011 – Health Protection Agency – 31 May 2012

Posted on June 1, 2012. Filed under: Infectious Diseases | Tags: |

Sexually transmitted infections in England, 2011 – Health Protection Agency [UK] – 31 May 2012

Media release:  New data show sexually transmitted infection diagnoses on the rise in England – 31 May 2012

“Figures released today by the Health Protection Agency (HPA) show new sexually transmitted infection (STI) diagnoses rose by two per cent in England in 2011, with nearly 427,000 new cases, reversing the small decline observed the previous year. Young heterosexual adults (15-24 years) and men who have sex with men (MSM) remain the groups at highest risk.”

… continues

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English National Point Prevalence Survey on Healthcare-associated Infections and Antimicrobial Use, 2011: preliminary data – Health Protection Agency – 22 May 2012

Posted on May 25, 2012. Filed under: Infection Control, Patient Safety | Tags: |

English National Point Prevalence Survey on Healthcare-associated Infections and Antimicrobial Use, 2011: preliminary data – Health Protection Agency – 22 May 2012

Media release: Snapshot survey of healthcare associated infections (HCAI) reveals overall drop in infections down to 6.4 per cent – 23 May 2012

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Health Effects from Radio Frequency Electromagnetic Fields – Health Protection Agency – 26 April 2012

Posted on April 26, 2012. Filed under: Health Technology Assessment, Radiology | Tags: |

Health Effects from Radio Frequency Electromagnetic Fields – Health Protection Agency – 26 April 2012

ISBN: ISBN 978-0-85951-714-0

“Synopsis

A report by the Health Protection Agency’s independent Advisory Group on Non-ionising Radiation (AGNIR) has concluded that there is still no convincing evidence that mobile phone technologies cause adverse effects on human health.

The report updates AGNIR’s previous review in 2003, considers the scientific evidence on exposure to radiofrequency (RF) electromagnetic fields, which are produced by mobile phone technologies and other wireless devices, such as Wi-Fi, as well as television and radio transmitters.”

Press release:  Comprehensive review on mobile phone technologies finds no solid evidence of health effects

26 April 2012

“A new report by the Health Protection Agency’s independent Advisory Group on Non-ionising Radiation (AGNIR) has concluded that there is still no convincing evidence that mobile phone technologies cause adverse effects on human health.”

… continues

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Guidelines for prevention and control of group A streptococcal infection in acute healthcare and maternity settings in the UK

Posted on January 11, 2012. Filed under: Infectious Diseases | Tags: |

Guidelines for prevention and control of group A streptococcal infection in acute healthcare and maternity settings in the UK.
Steer JA et al
J Infect. 2012 Jan;64(1):1-18. Epub 2011 Nov 17.
“Abstract
Hospital outbreaks of group A streptococcal (GAS) infection can be devastating and occasionally result in the death of previously well patients. Approximately one in ten cases of severe GAS infection is healthcare-associated. This guidance, produced by a multidisciplinary working group, provides an evidence-based systematic approach to the investigation of single cases or outbreaks of healthcare-associated GAS infection in acute care or maternity settings. The guideline recommends that all cases of GAS infection potentially acquired in hospital or through contact with healthcare or maternity services should be investigated. Healthcare workers, the environment, and other patients are possible sources of transmission. Screening of epidemiologically linked healthcare workers should be considered for healthcare-associated cases of GAS infection where no alternative source is readily identified. Communal facilities, such as baths, bidets and showers, should be cleaned and decontaminated between all patients especially on delivery suites, post-natal wards and other high risk areas. Continuous surveillance is required to identify outbreaks which arise over long periods of time. GAS isolates from in-patients, peri-partum patients, neonates, and post-operative wounds should be saved for six months to facilitate outbreak investigation. These guidelines do not cover diagnosis and treatment of GAS infection which should be discussed with an infection specialist.”

Media release: New Guidelines to Control Group A Streptococcal (GAS) Infections in UK Hospitals Launched – 10 January 2012

“The Health Protection Agency (HPA) together with the group A streptococcal (GAS) Working Group* has today launched new guidelines for the investigation, control and prevention of GAS infection in acute healthcare settings, including maternity units, in the UK.”   … continues

… continues

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HIV in the United Kingdom: 2011 report – Health Protection Agency [UK] – 29 November 2011

Posted on November 30, 2011. Filed under: Infectious Diseases | Tags: |

HIV in the United Kingdom: 2011 report – Health Protection Agency [UK] – 29 November 2011

News release: HPA urges ‘universal testing’ for HIV as it is revealed more than 21,00 people are unaware they have the infection
 
“The number of people living with HIV in the UK reached an estimated 91,500 in 2010, with a quarter of those unaware of their infection, according to Health Protection Agency (HPA) figures published today (Tuesday) ahead of World AIDS Day on 1 December.
 
The report also showed how in 2010, one in five people visiting an STI clinic did not accept an HIV test. This comes as the HPA calls for universal testing for HIV, so that no one leaves an STI clinic without knowing their HIV status.
 
The HPA is concerned that over half of people diagnosed in 2010 came forward for testing after the point at which treatment for their infection should ideally have begun. Late diagnosis is associated with an increased risk of AIDS and death. Among the 680 people with HIV who died in 2010, two thirds were people who had been diagnosed late. The HPA report recommends that in areas where prevalence of HIV is high, there should be universal testing for the infection in all new GP registrants and patients admitted to hospital so as to reduce late diagnosis.
 
The HPA’s annual ‘HIV in the UK’ report found 6,660 people were newly diagnosed with HIV in the UK. The report confirmed that infections probably acquired within the UK almost doubled in the last decade from 1,950 in 2001 to 3,640 in 2010 and exceed those acquired abroad – 3,020. This rise is mostly due to infections acquired among men who have sex with men, who remain the group most at risk of HIV infection in the UK.”
 
… continues on the site

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Guidelines for the management of norovirus outbreaks in acute and community health and social care settings – Health Protection Agency – 25 November 2011

Posted on November 28, 2011. Filed under: Infection Control, Infectious Diseases | Tags: |

Guidelines for the management of norovirus outbreaks in acute and community health and social care settings – Health Protection Agency – 25 November 2011

“This guidance gives recommendations on the management of outbreaks of vomiting and/or diarrhoea in hospitals and community health and social care settings, including nursing and residential homes. They are not specifically intended to cover schools, colleges, prisons, military establishments, hotels or shipping although there will be some general principles that will be of use in managing outbreaks in those institutions.”

Media release

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Migrant Health Guide – Health Protection Agency (UK) – 26 January 2011

Posted on January 28, 2011. Filed under: Public Hlth & Hlth Promotion | Tags: , |

Migrant Health Guide – Health Protection Agency (UK) – 26 January 2011

From the HPA press release

“The guide has been developed by a team of clinical and public health experts, as well as primary care practitioners, in collaboration with the HPA’s travel and migrant health section. It has been endorsed by both the Royal College of General Practitioners and the Royal College of Nursing.”

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Scientists issue comprehensive report into health effects of ultrasound – [UK] Health Protection Agency – 2 February 2010

Posted on February 5, 2010. Filed under: Radiology | Tags: , |

Scientists issue comprehensive report into health effects of ultrasound – [UK] Health Protection Agency – 2 February 2010

“The independent Advisory Group on Non-Ionising Radiation (AGNIR), which reports to the Health Protection Agency, has reviewed the latest scientific evidence on the health effects of ultrasound (frequencies above 20 kilohertz) and infrasound (below 20 Hz).

The report finds that the available evidence does not suggest that diagnostic ultrasound affects mortality of babies during pregnancy or soon after birth. The evidence also does not suggest any effect on childhood cancer risk. There have, however, been some unconfirmed reports suggesting possible effects on the developing nervous system – for instance, on handedness of the child.

AGNIR concluded that there is no established evidence that diagnostic levels of ultrasound are hazardous. However, further research is needed to determine whether there are any long-term adverse health effects, especially following exposure of the unborn child.”

…continues

AGNIR report: Health Effects of Exposure to Ultrasound and Infrasound

The Health Protection Agency’s full response to the AGNIR report

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Application of the 2007 Recommendations of the ICRP to the UK – Advice from the Health Protection Agency. RCE-12. June 2009

Posted on July 3, 2009. Filed under: Radiography, Radiology | Tags: , |

Update of radiation exposure guidance for the UK
Info copied from from the Health Protection Agency’s website:
2 July 2009

“Scientists at the Health Protection Agency have published their advice to UK bodies following new international guidance on ionising radiation*.

The International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) published updated recommendations on protection against ionising radiation in 2007. The Health Protection Agency (HPA) has now published its advice on applying those recommendations.

Broadly the HPA has welcomed the ICRP’s recommendations and says that much of the advice is already being applied in the UK.

After reviewing ICRP guidance, the HPA recommends that the Government tightens control of public radiation exposure at any new build nuclear power stations or radioactive waste disposal sites to a level of less than 0.15 millisieverts (mSv) a year. The average annual dose that a person receives from natural ionising radiation is 2.2 mSv a year.

Part of the ICRP report looks at management of, and responses to, radiation emergencies. The HPA has concluded the ICRP’s guidance is helpful and is calling on all appropriate bodies to review their plans on how the aftermath of an incident could be managed.

Dr John Cooper, Director of the HPA’s Centre for Radiation, Chemical and Environmental Hazards, said: “ICRP’s recommendations have resulted from extensive international consultation, and in the UK we have also carried out an open consultation.

“Mostly there is no need to change UK regulations and procedures, but when these are reviewed in the future, the new recommendations should be implemented as described in our advice”.

Press enquiries:  Contact the Press Office at HPA Chilton, the Centre for Radiation, Chemical and Environmental Hazards. Tel no: 01235 822786, 8822745 or 822737.

* Application of the 2007 Recommendations of the ICRP to the UK – Advice from the Health Protection Agency. RCE-12. June 2009. ISBN: 978-0-85951-647-1. Available by download from the HPA website:

Notes to editors
*The International Commission on Radiological Protection published its recommendations in 2007 following extensive consultation. In 2008 the HPA carried out a national consultation on the ICRP’s recommendations, and the feedback received during that process will be published later.
*Under the Health Protection Act 2004 which set up the HPA, one of its functions is to advise Government and other interested parties on the application of international recommendations on radiation protection in the UK.
*Previous advice from the former National Radiological Protection Board was that public exposure levels at radiation facilities, including new build, should be controlled below a maximum of 0.3mSv. ”

Last reviewed: 2 July 2009

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Swine Flu Sample Resistant to Antiviral Oseltamivir – UK Health Protection Agency – 30 June 2009

Posted on July 1, 2009. Filed under: Influenza A(H1N1) / Swine Flu | Tags: , |

Swine Flu Sample Resistant to Antiviral Oseltamivir

Info copied from the HPA website.

“The National Influenza Centre of Denmark at Statens Serum Institut has reported to the World Health Organisation (WHO) the identification of an isolate of swine flu (H1N1v) resistant to the antiviral oseltamivir.

Following testing in Denmark, resistance was also confirmed by the WHO Collaborating Centre at the Medical Research Council (MRC) National Institute for Medical Research (NIMR) in the UK.

The virus remained susceptible to the antiviral zanamivir.”  … continues on the website

For further information on swine flu visit the Health Protection Agency’s website.

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UK Health Protection Agency produces swine flu vaccine candidate – 28 May 2009

Posted on May 29, 2009. Filed under: Influenza A(H1N1) / Swine Flu | Tags: |

Health Protection Agency produces swine flu vaccine candidate

“A crucial step towards large scale production of a vaccine against swine flu has been completed in the UK by the National Institute for Biological Standards and Control (NIBSC), part of the Health Protection Agency.

A strain of virus suitable for vaccine manufacture has now been produced and is being made available to the pharmaceutical industry and other flu laboratories.

NIBSC is one of a handful of laboratories around the world belonging to a WHO collaborative network that have been racing to produce a strain of virus suitable for manufacturing vaccine in eggs, the mainstay of influenza vaccine production.  Without suitable starting strains vaccine production on a global scale cannot begin. ” … continues on the website

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A Children’s Environment and Health Strategy for the United Kingdom 24 March 2009

Posted on April 29, 2009. Filed under: Child Health / Paediatrics, Environmental Health | Tags: |

A Children’s Environment and Health Strategy for the United Kingdom

The Children’s Environment and Health Action Plan for Europe (CEHAPE) is an initiative led by the World Health Organization Regional Office (WHO) for Europe. It was launched in June 2004 and signed by all 53 member states of the WHO European Region, including the UK. The aim of the CEHAPE is to protect the health of children and young people from environmental hazards.

The Health Protection Agency has been commissioned by the Department of Health, on behalf of the Interdepartmental Steering Group on Environment and Health, to evaluate children’s environmental health in the United Kingdom (UK) and develop recommendations as to how the UK can best meet its commitments under CEHAPE and further protect children’s health.

A Children’s Environment and Health Strategy for the UK was published on 24 March 2009. The Strategy provides a brief overview of children’s health in relation to their environment in the UK and recommends areas that should be taken forward in order to protect and promote children’s health and to meet the UK’s commitment to CEHAPE.

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