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In Depth Articles

Cutaneous Biopsies in General Practice

March 06, 2019

Cutaneous disorders are among the most common conditions presented to primary care doctors. Many are easily identifiable and may be dealt with effectively without the need for cutaneous biopsy. Nevertheless, in many instances the diagnosis is not obvious on clinical grounds. The rash may display atypical features or may not …

Don’t Delay Antibiotics for UTI

So here’s the exception that proves the rule.
Urinary tract infections need immediate treatment with antibiotics to avoid an increased risk of sepsis and death.
That’s the quite definitive conclusion from a large retrospective study involving GP data from the UK recently published in the BMJ.
After analysing the records of over 150,000 …

Explainer: What is Murray Valley Encephalitis Virus?

February 27, 2019

Western Australian health authorities recently issued warnings about Murray Valley encephalitis, a serious disease that can spread by the bite of an infected mosquito and cause inflammation of the brain.
Thankfully, no human cases have been reported this wet season. The virus that causes the disease was detected in chickens in …

Enuresis Management in General Practice

Australian GPs are confident and competent at managing kids with bedwetting issues, new research confirms.
But they are less sure what to do with children with daytime wetting or when childhood enuresis persists into adulthood, according to the study findings recently published in the Australian Journal of General Practice.
As you may …

Here’s what You Need to Know About Melioidosis, the Deadly Infection that Can Spread After Floods

February 20, 2019

The devastating Townsville floods have receded but the clean up is being complicated by the appearance of a serious bacterial infection known as melioidosis. One person has died from melioidosis and nine others have been diagnosed with the disease over the past week.
The bacteria that causes the disease, Burkholderia pseudomallei, …

Improving the Outlook for Cerebral Palsy Children

Despite the incidence of cerebral palsy decreasing, it is still Australia’s most common cause of physical disability in childhood, experts say.
And with the condition affecting over two in every 1000 live births, it is more than likely a GP will be caring for these patients in their clinical practice.
The authors …

One in Six Australian Women in Their 30s Have Had an Abortion – and We’re Starting to Understand Why

February 12, 2019

Abortion is a common experience for Australian women. Around one in six have had an abortion by their mid-30s, according our new research published today in the Australia New Zealand Journal of Public Health.
Narratives about abortion often stigmatise women who have had one or seek access to one. But our …

Bad News for Sinus Sufferers

Chronic rhinosinusitis is a misery-generating condition – literally.
According to a large study just published in The Journal of the American Medical Association, having chronic rhinosinusitis significantly increases your risk of depression and anxiety. And if you also have nasal polyps the risk is higher still.
The Korean study was admittedly observational …

E-cigs Work Better than Nicotine Replacement Therapy

February 06, 2019

It’s a controversial topic here in Australia.
But a new UK study, just published in the New England Journal of Medicine, gives strong support the role of e-cigarettes as a smoking cessation therapy.
The randomised controlled trial of almost 900 adult smokers wanting to quit found the one-year abstinence rate was 18% …

Guide to Allergy Testing

February 05, 2019

Allergy: What is it?
Allergic disorders result from an inappropriate, usually IgE-mediated, immune response upon exposure to either environmental or food allergens. Common manifestations of allergy include rhinoconjunctivitis, asthma, eczema, acute urticaria and anaphylaxis.
Disorders, such as chronic urticaria, hereditary angioedema and T-cell contact dermatitis (metal allergy), while clinically similar in some …

Preventing Alzheimer Disease

January 30, 2019

At first read, the study results seemed disappointing. Yet another promising premise fails to deliver when it comes to actual proof.
But the researchers aren’t ready to give up on this hypothesis just yet.
In fact, commentators on the study say the results offer ‘great hope’ and represent ‘a major leap forward.’
The …

Why People Born Between 1966 and 1994 Are at Greater Risk of Measles – and what to Do About It

Australia was declared free of measles in 2014. Yet this summer we’ve seen nine cases of measles in New South Wales, and others in Victoria, Western Australia, South Australia and Queensland.
High vaccination rates in Australia means the measles virus doesn’t continuously spread, but we still have “wildfire” outbreaks when travellers …