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Robert Irwin hits back over nasty reports about mum

<p>Robert Irwin has hit back at the nasty comments about his close relationship with mum Terri Irwin. </p> <p>The wildlife conservationist appeared with<em> I’m A Celebrity...</em>  co-star Julia Morris on <em>The Kyle & Jackie O</em> show on Monday morning to discuss their Gold Logie nominations, when Kyle Sandilands expressed his surprise that Terri didn't join Robert in the studio for the interview. </p> <p>“Are you saying that the press reports are inaccurate that everywhere you go, your mother’s there?” Sandilands asked. </p> <p>“I hear it all the time but I don’t believe it’s even true.”</p> <p>Robert laughed and jokingly responded: “Who would’ve thought press reports are inaccurate?” </p> <p>But, co-host Julia Morris was quick to come to his defence. </p> <p>“Can I just address that because it drives me absolutely nuts,” she said on-air.</p> <p>“It takes all my strength not to go onto the internet and go absolutely spare every time [Robert and Terri headlines are] written. All I want you to do is every time you see that written that, you know, ‘Terri hangs around’, I want you to go directly to who’s written that story and know that that person hates their parents.”</p> <p>“If you’ve got parents that are as unbelievably awesome as Terri, and you have a great relationship, you want them to be around at all times,” she added.</p> <p>“If you’re trying to hide stuff from your parents, or your parents are constantly badgering or at you, then you don’t want them around and you can’t get why anyone would want their parents around, you know?” she concluded. </p> <p>Robert then chimed in and explained that people often don't understand his close relationship with his mother, and how they became especially tight as a family following Steve Irwin's death in 2006. </p> <p>“I think loss brings a family together like nothing else. People forget,” he said.</p> <p>“I think when we lost dad, our little tight knit family unit became incredibly tight.”</p> <p>“And we travel with the whole family everywhere most of the time. It’s nice.”</p> <p>This comes after a few <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/travel/international-travel/every-day-is-precious-fans-defend-robert-irwin-over-posts-with-mum" target="_blank" rel="noopener">trolls</a> criticised his close relationship to his mother during a trip to the US back in May. </p> <p>A few outlets have also suggested that the mother and son are unhealthily attached, but many fans have since defended their close relationship. </p> <p>“People saying why Robert has he’s mum in so many photos. Remember every day is precious. Life is fragile. The Irwin’s like millions of other families have experienced loss on a monumental scale,” one wrote on Instagram. </p> <p><em>Image: The Kyle and Jackie O Show</em></p>

Family & Pets

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"I really thought he would kill me": Erin Molan opens up about abusive relationship

<p><em><strong>Warning: This article contains discussions of domestic violence which some readers may find confronting</strong></em></p> <p>Radio and TV presenter Erin Molan has opened up for the first time about horrific abuse she endured at the hands of an ex-partner. </p> <p>Speaking candidly to the <a href="https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/nsw/exclusive-interview-erin-molan-opens-up-about-horrific-abuse-she-suffered-from-a-man-she-dated/news-story/d2921145ef5010a413bab6c9a830f3bc" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><em>Sunday Telegraph</em></a>, the 40-year-old presenter recalled many of her "worst" moments with her former boyfriend, sharing how she feared for her life when he became physically abusive. </p> <p>'“He came in drunk and dragged me out of bed and started stamping his foot into my head over and over and over,” she told the publication. </p> <p>“I was lying on the floor screaming and normally if I screamed really loudly he would stop because neighbours would hear. But that time he just kept going and going and it felt like my skull was going to crack open.”</p> <p>She said the relentless physical violence became a pattern of behaviour, and she would regularly be brutally injured. </p> <p>“One time he smashed a bottle over my head,” she says. “Another time I was terrified he’d throw me off a balcony. Once I ran to hide in my car and he got a rubbish bin and started smashing it against the windscreen and I feared I would be killed by glass shattering over me.</p> <p>“Another time he covered my face with a pillow so I couldn’t breathe. I was crying for my mum. I really thought he would kill me.”</p> <p>Molan said she chose not publicly discuss the abuse while her beloved dad, Senator Jim Molan, was alive because she didn’t want to break his heart, but now she wants others to know what she went through.</p> <p>In sharing her heartbreaking story, she also hopes she can give other victims of domestic violence the courage to come forward. </p> <p>“I’m not sharing my story because I want to. My preference would be for this part of my life to never be shared but with every single death I see in this space, a part of me wonders whether I could have made a difference,” she says.</p> <p>“Could my experience have made these beautiful, innocent women feel less alone, less ashamed, less scared and could that have been the tiny thing that may have empowered them to ask for help, the thing that might have helped to save their lives?”</p> <p>Molan added that while it’s confronting for her to speak out, she wants things to change, not just for her generation but for her daughter’s.</p> <p>As she says, “I want to worry about my daughter’s first boyfriend breaking her heart, not her bones.”</p> <p><em>Image credits: for AWAPAC/Shutterstock Editorial </em></p>

Caring

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We have too few aged care workers to care for older Australians. Why? And what can we do about it?

<div class="theconversation-article-body"><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/hal-swerissen-9722">Hal Swerissen</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/la-trobe-university-842">La Trobe University</a></em></p> <p>In a country like Australia, we all expect that when we get old, we’ll be able to rely on a robust aged care system. But aged care providers can’t find staff and a crisis is brewing.</p> <p>If the problem isn’t fixed, there are serious risks to quality and access to services for older people who need support. There are also broader social, economic and political consequences for undervaluing the rapidly expanding health and social assistance workforce.</p> <p>Aged care <a href="https://www.health.gov.au/sites/default/files/documents/2021/10/2020-aged-care-workforce-census.pdf">employs</a> around 420,000 people. Around 80% of those are front line staff providing care and demand for them is increasing rapidly.</p> <h2>Australians are ageing</h2> <p>The number of people aged 80 and over is <a href="https://treasury.gov.au/sites/default/files/2019-03/IGR_2010_Overview.pdf">projected to double</a> by 2050. At the same time, informal family care is becoming less available. In the next 25 years, <a href="https://www.australianageingagenda.com.au/executive/shortfall-of-400000-aged-care-workers-predicted-by-2050/">twice as many</a> aged care staff will be needed.</p> <p>Currently, about 1.4 million older people <a href="https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/older-people/older-australians/contents/aged-care">receive</a> aged care services, including basic and more intensive home care and residential care.</p> <p>Health care and social support job vacancies and ads are the highest of any industry. Between 30,000 and 35,000 additional direct aged care workers a year are already needed. By 2030 the <a href="https://cedakenticomedia.blob.core.windows.net/cedamediacontainer/kentico/media/attachments/ceda-duty-of-care-3.pdf">shortfall</a> is likely to be 110,000 full time equivalent workers.</p> <h2>Why don’t enough people want to work in aged care?</h2> <p>Despite recent <a href="https://www.health.gov.au/topics/aged-care-workforce/what-were-doing/better-and-fairer-wages">pay increases</a>, it is difficult to attract and retain aged care workers because the work is under-valued.</p> <p>The Australian workforce is undergoing profound change. A generation ago, manufacturing made up 17% of the workforce. Today it has fallen to 6%. By contrast, the health care and social assistance workforce has doubled from 8% to 16%.</p> <figure class="align-center zoomable"><a href="https://images.theconversation.com/files/607090/original/file-20240716-17-hup1e8.png?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=1000&amp;fit=clip"><img src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/607090/original/file-20240716-17-hup1e8.png?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;fit=clip" sizes="(min-width: 1466px) 754px, (max-width: 599px) 100vw, (min-width: 600px) 600px, 237px" srcset="https://images.theconversation.com/files/607090/original/file-20240716-17-hup1e8.png?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=337&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=1 600w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/607090/original/file-20240716-17-hup1e8.png?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=30&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=337&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=2 1200w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/607090/original/file-20240716-17-hup1e8.png?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=15&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=337&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=3 1800w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/607090/original/file-20240716-17-hup1e8.png?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=423&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=1 754w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/607090/original/file-20240716-17-hup1e8.png?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=30&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=423&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=2 1508w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/607090/original/file-20240716-17-hup1e8.png?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=15&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=423&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=3 2262w" alt="" /></a><figcaption><span class="caption">The manufacturing workforce has declined, while health, aged care and social assistance has risen.</span> <span class="attribution"><span class="source">ABS 6291.0.55.001 Labour Force, Australia.</span></span></figcaption></figure> <p>Manufacturing jobs were <a href="https://australiainstitute.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/Manufacturing-Briefing-Paper-FINAL.pdf">mainly</a> secure, full-time, reasonably paid jobs dominated by male workers.</p> <p>By contrast, jobs in aged care are often insecure, part-time and poorly paid, dominated by women, with many workers coming from non-English speaking backgrounds.</p> <p>Since moving to take over aged care in the 1980s, the federal government has over-emphasised <a href="https://arena.org.au/a-genealogy-of-aged-care/">cost constraint</a> through service privatisation, activity-based funding and competition, often under the cover of consumer choice.</p> <p>The result is a highly fragmented and poorly coordinated aged care sector with almost 3,200, often small and under-resourced providers centrally funded and regulated from Canberra.</p> <p>This has <a href="https://www.health.gov.au/sites/default/files/a-matter-of-care-australia-s-aged-care-workforce-strategy.pdf">led to</a> high levels of casualisation, low investment in training and professional development, and inadequate supervision, particularly in the home care sector.</p> <p>Aged care is facing a perfect storm. Demand for care and support staff is increasing dramatically. The sector is poorly coordinated and difficult to navigate. Pay and conditions remain poor and the workforce is relatively untrained. There are no minimum standards or registration requirements for many front-line aged care staff.</p> <h2>What are the consequences?</h2> <p>An understaffed and under-trained aged care workforce reduces access to services and the quality of care and support.</p> <p>Aged care providers <a href="https://www.agedhealth.com.au/content/compliance-and-governance/news/troubled-outlook-for-aged-care-reforms-1224428737#:%7E:text=Its%20report%20found%20that%2053.8,was%20%22impossible%20to%20achieve%22.">routinely report</a> it is difficult to attract staff and they can’t meet the growing demand for services from older people.</p> <p>Staff shortages are already having an impact on residential care occupancy rates falling, with some regional areas now down to only 50% occupancy.</p> <p>That means older people either don’t get care or they are at increased risk of neglect, malnutrition, avoidable hospital admissions and a poorer quality of life.</p> <p>Inevitably, lack of aged care workers puts pressure on hospital services when older people have nowhere else to go.</p> <h2>What needs to be done?</h2> <p>Addressing these challenges requires a multifaceted approach. Australia will need a massive increase in the number of aged care workers and the quality of the care they provide. Wages have to be competitive to attract and retain staff.</p> <p>But better pay and conditions is only part of the story. Unless aged care becomes a career the community recognises, values and supports, it will continue to be difficult to train, attract and retain staff.</p> <p>The recent <a href="https://www.royalcommission.gov.au/aged-care">Royal Commission on Aged Care Quality and Safety</a> highlighted the need for a more skilled workforce, emphasising the importance of ongoing professional development for all staff.</p> <p>To date the federal government’s aged care workforce initiatives have been underwhelming. They are a limited and piecemeal rather than a coherent workforce strategy.</p> <p>In the short term, skilled migration may be part of the solution. But progress to bring in skilled aged care workers has been glacial. Currently only about 1% of providers <a href="https://theconversation.com/overseas-recruitment-wont-solve-australias-aged-care-worker-crisis-189126">have agreements</a> to bring in staff from overseas. At best, overseas migration will meet only 10% of the workforce shortfall.</p> <p>Registration, qualifications and training for direct care work have to become mandatory to make sure care standards are met.</p> <p>Much more significant and systematic incentives and support for training will be needed. Supervision, career progression and staff development will also have to be dramatically improved if we are to attract and retain the workforce that is needed.</p> <p>“Learn and earn” incentives, including scholarships and traineeships for aged care, are needed to attract the future workforce.</p> <p>At the same time, a much broader investment in upskilling the entire workforce through continuing professional development and good quality supervision is necessary.</p> <p>Like manufacturing a generation ago, aged care needs to become valued, skilled, secure and well-paid employment if it is going to attract the staff that are needed to avoid a looming crisis.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/232707/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/hal-swerissen-9722">Hal Swerissen</a>, Emeritus Professor of Public Health, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/la-trobe-university-842">La Trobe University</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock </em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/we-have-too-few-aged-care-workers-to-care-for-older-australians-why-and-what-can-we-do-about-it-232707">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

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3 signs your diet is causing too much muscle loss – and what to do about it

<div class="theconversation-article-body"><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/nick-fuller-219993">Nick Fuller</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-sydney-841">University of Sydney</a></em></p> <p>When trying to lose weight, it’s natural to want to see quick results. So when the number on the scales drops rapidly, it seems like we’re on the right track.</p> <p>But as with many things related to weight loss, there’s a flip side: rapid weight loss can result in a significant loss of muscle mass, as well as fat.</p> <p>So how you can tell if you’re losing too much muscle and what can you do to prevent it?</p> <h2>Why does muscle mass matter?</h2> <p>Muscle is an important factor in determining our metabolic rate: how much energy we burn at rest. This is determined by how much muscle and fat we have. Muscle is more metabolically active than fat, meaning it burns more calories.</p> <p>When we diet to lose weight, we create a calorie deficit, where our bodies don’t get enough energy from the food we eat to meet our energy needs. Our bodies start breaking down our fat and muscle tissue for fuel.</p> <p>A decrease in calorie-burning muscle mass slows our metabolism. This quickly slows the rate at which we lose weight and impacts our ability to maintain our weight long term.</p> <h2>How to tell you’re losing too much muscle</h2> <p>Unfortunately, measuring changes in muscle mass is not easy.</p> <p>The most accurate tool is an enhanced form of X-ray called a dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) scan. The scan is primarily used in medicine and research to capture data on weight, body fat, muscle mass and bone density.</p> <p>But while DEXA is becoming more readily available at weight-loss clinics and gyms, it’s not cheap.</p> <p>There are also many “smart” scales available for at home use that promise to provide an accurate reading of muscle mass percentage.</p> <p>However, the accuracy of these scales is questionable. <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8122302/">Researchers found</a> the scales tested massively over- or under-estimated fat and muscle mass.</p> <p>Fortunately, there are three free but scientifically backed signs you may be losing too much muscle mass when you’re dieting.</p> <h2>1. You’re losing much more weight than expected each week</h2> <p>Losing a lot of weight rapidly is one of the early signs that your diet is too extreme and you’re losing too much muscle.</p> <p>Rapid weight loss (of more than 1 kilogram per week) results in <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5702468/">greater muscle mass loss</a> than slow weight loss.</p> <p>Slow weight loss better preserves muscle mass and often has the added benefit of <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0195666312000153">greater fat mass loss</a>.</p> <p>One study compared people in the obese weight category who followed either a very low-calorie diet (500 calories per day) for five weeks or a low-calorie diet (1,250 calories per day) for 12 weeks. While both groups lost similar amounts of weight, participants following the very low-calorie diet (500 calories per day) for five weeks lost <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26813524/">significantly more muscle mass</a>.</p> <h2>2. You’re feeling tired and things feel more difficult</h2> <p>It sounds obvious, but feeling tired, sluggish and finding it hard to complete physical activities, such as working out or doing jobs around the house, is another strong signal you’re losing muscle.</p> <p><a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3648712/">Research</a> shows a decrease in muscle mass may negatively impact your body’s physical performance.</p> <h2>3. You’re feeling moody</h2> <p>Mood swings and feeling anxious, stressed or depressed may also be signs you’re losing muscle mass.</p> <p><a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26228522/">Research</a> on muscle loss due to ageing suggests low levels of muscle mass can negatively impact mental health and mood. This seems to stem from the relationship between low muscle mass and proteins called neurotrophins, which help regulate mood and feelings of wellbeing.</p> <h2>So how you can do to maintain muscle during weight loss?</h2> <p>Fortunately, there are also three actions you can take to maintain muscle mass when you’re following a calorie-restricted diet to lose weight.</p> <h2>1. Incorporate strength training into your exercise plan</h2> <p>While a broad exercise program is important to support overall weight loss, strength-building exercises are a surefire way to help prevent the loss of muscle mass. A <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29596307/">meta-analysis of studies</a> of older people with obesity found resistance training was able to prevent almost 100% of muscle loss from calorie restriction.</p> <p>Relying on diet alone to lose weight will reduce muscle along with body fat, slowing your metabolism. So it’s essential to make sure you’ve incorporated sufficient and appropriate exercise into your weight-loss plan to hold onto your muscle mass stores.</p> <p>But you don’t need to hit the gym. Exercises using body weight – such as push-ups, pull-ups, planks and air squats – are just as effective as lifting weights and using strength-building equipment.</p> <p>Encouragingly, moderate-volume resistance training (three sets of ten repetitions for eight exercises) <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/sms.14237">can be as effective</a> as high-volume training (five sets of ten repetitions for eight exercises) for maintaining muscle when you’re following a calorie-restricted diet.</p> <h2>2. Eat more protein</h2> <p>Foods high in protein play an essential role in building and maintaining muscle mass, but <a href="https://europepmc.org/article/MED/19927027">research</a> also shows these foods help prevent muscle loss when you’re following a calorie-restricted diet.</p> <p>But this doesn’t mean <em>just</em> eating foods with protein. Meals need to be balanced and include a source of protein, wholegrain carb and healthy fat to meet our dietary needs. For example, eggs on wholegrain toast with avocado.</p> <h2>3. Slow your weight loss plan down</h2> <p>When we change our diet to lose weight, we take our body out of its comfort zone and trigger its survival response. It then counteracts weight loss, triggering <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25896063/">several physiological responses</a> to defend our body weight and “survive” starvation.</p> <p>Our body’s survival mechanisms want us to regain lost weight to ensure we survive the next period of famine (dieting). <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5764193/">Research</a> shows that more than half of the weight lost by participants is regained within two years, and more than 80% of lost weight is regained within five years.</p> <p>However, a slow and steady, stepped approach to weight loss, prevents our bodies <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/38193357/">from activating defence mechanisms</a> to defend our weight when we try to lose weight.</p> <p>Ultimately, losing weight long-term comes down to making gradual changes to your lifestyle to ensure you form habits that last a lifetime.</p> <hr /> <p><em>At the Boden Group, Charles Perkins Centre, we are studying the science of obesity and running clinical trials for weight loss. You can <a href="https://redcap.sydney.edu.au/surveys/?s=RKTXPPPHKY">register here</a> to express your interest.</em><!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/223865/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/nick-fuller-219993"><em>Nick Fuller</em></a><em>, Charles Perkins Centre Research Program Leader, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-sydney-841">University of Sydney</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock </em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/3-signs-your-diet-is-causing-too-much-muscle-loss-and-what-to-do-about-it-223865">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

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Heading to Bali or somewhere tropical these holidays? Here’s what you need to know about dengue fever

<div class="theconversation-article-body"> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/cameron-webb-6736">Cameron Webb</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-sydney-841">University of Sydney</a></em></p> <p>If you’re looking to escape the Australian winter for your next holiday, don’t forget where there’s warmth, there will also be mosquitoes.</p> <p>In turn, tropical destinations can be hot spots of mosquito-borne diseases such as dengue. In fact, Australian health authorities have warned travellers to Bali <a href="https://www.health.wa.gov.au/Media-releases/2024/May/Dengue-fever-warning-for-Western-Australian-travellers">to be aware</a> of the risk of dengue, with cases surging in the region.</p> <p>So here’s how to protect yourself and your family on holidays.</p> <h2>What is dengue?</h2> <p><a href="https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/dengue-and-severe-dengue">Dengue virus infection</a> (commonly known as dengue fever, or just dengue) is caused by viruses spread by the bite of a mosquito. The mosquito species that typically transmit dengue are <em>Aedes aegypti</em> and <em>Aedes albopictus</em>.</p> <p>There are four strains of dengue virus. Each has the potential to cause illness that can range from <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/dengue/signs-symptoms/index.html">mild to severe and potentially life threatening</a>.</p> <p>Symptoms <a href="https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/Infectious/factsheets/Pages/dengue.aspx">typically include</a> rash, fever, chills, headache, muscle and joint pain, and fatigue. People also often report abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting.</p> <p>While infection with just one of these viruses can make you sick, subsequent exposure to other strains can have more <a href="https://theconversation.com/explainer-what-are-antibodies-and-why-are-viruses-like-dengue-worse-the-second-time-68227">serious health implications</a>. In these cases, symptoms can also include the presence of blood in vomit, bleeding gums and breathing difficulties.</p> <p>Dengue infection must be confirmed via a blood test, but there are <a href="https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/dengue-fever">no specific treatments</a>. Most people will recover on their own however <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/dengue/treatment/index.html">staying hydrated is crucial</a> and pain relief can help with symptoms. If more severe illness occurs, seek urgent medical care.</p> <h2>Are travellers at risk?</h2> <p>The disease is now endemic in around 100 countries and <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/dengue/areas-with-risk/index.html">an estimated 4 billion people</a> are considered at risk. Asian countries represent <a href="https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/dengue-and-severe-dengue">around 70%</a> of the global disease burden. Even <a href="https://theconversation.com/how-the-paris-olympics-could-become-a-super-spreader-event-for-dengue-231853">Europe is at risk</a>.</p> <p><a href="https://www.who.int/emergencies/disease-outbreak-news/item/2023-DON498">One of the worst years</a> on record was 2023, but the burden of dengue continues to grow. In the first four months of 2024, Indonesia reported <a href="https://www.who.int/emergencies/disease-outbreak-news/item/2024-DON518">three times as many cases</a> of dengue compared to the same period in 2023.</p> <p>Dengue is not a new risk to Australian travellers. Before COVID disrupted international travel, the number of Australians returning from tropical destinations with dengue <a href="https://europepmc.org/article/med/23692160">was steadily increasing</a>.</p> <p>For example, between 2010 and 2016, there was an average <a href="https://www.mdpi.com/2414-6366/3/1/9">annual increase of 22%</a> of travellers returning to Victoria with dengue. Almost half of these people contracted the illness in Indonesia. Bali is well documented as posing <a href="https://academic.oup.com/jtm/article/25/1/tay061/5065180?login=false">a risk of dengue</a> to travellers.</p> <p>International travel restrictions due to COVID <a href="https://academic.oup.com/jtm/article/31/2/taae014/7577676">abruptly stopped this trend</a>. But now Australians are again embracing international travel, <a href="https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-13303747/Worrying-reason-Aussie-travellers-Bali-coming-sick.html">cases are rising once more</a>.</p> <p>Bali isn’t the only destination with <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2024/06/30/dengue-puerto-rico-mosquito-climate-change/">a surge in dengue</a>, but we know it’s a popular holiday destination for Australian travellers. There’s little doubt plenty of families will be heading to Bali these school holidays.</p> <h2>How about the risk in Australia?</h2> <p>Not all mosquitoes can spread dengue viruses. This is why the risk is different in Bali and other tropical regions compared to Australia.</p> <p>Although there are more than 40 Australian mosquito species known or suspected to be transmitting local pathogens, such as <a href="https://journals.plos.org/plospathogens/article?id=10.1371/journal.ppat.1005070">Ross River virus</a>, Australia is generally free of local dengue risk due to the limited spread of <em>Aedes aegypti</em> and <em>Aedes albopictus</em>.</p> <p>While <em>Aedes aegypti</em> is found in <a href="https://www.health.qld.gov.au/clinical-practice/guidelines-procedures/diseases-infection/diseases/mosquito-borne/dengue/virus-fever">parts of Queensland</a>, thanks to interventions by the <a href="https://www.worldmosquitoprogram.org/en/global-progress/australia/cairns-and-surrounds">World Mosquito Program</a> and local authorities dengue risk is low. These interventions include the release of laboratory-bred mosquitoes that prevent mosquitoes in the environment <a href="https://www.worldmosquitoprogram.org/en/work/wolbachia-method">spreading viruses</a>, as well as <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2221169115309096">community education</a>. But <a href="https://theconversation.com/after-decades-away-dengue-returns-to-central-queensland-117821">local cases</a> occasionally occur.</p> <p><em>Aedes albopictus</em> is not currently found <a href="https://theconversation.com/how-we-kept-disease-spreading-asian-tiger-mozzies-away-from-the-australian-mainland-72873">on the Australian mainland</a> but is present in the islands of the Torres Strait. A dengue outbreak <a href="https://www.torres-cape.health.qld.gov.au/about-us/news/further-cases-of-dengue-fever-on-mer">has occurred</a> there this year.</p> <h2>Keep mozzies away during the day, not just at night</h2> <p>While there is a vaccine available, it’s not recommended for <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.5694/mja2.50471">short-term travellers</a>. There are <a href="https://www.health.gov.au/resources/publications/atagi-advice-on-the-use-of-dengvaxiar-for-australians">strict eligibility criteria</a> for its use, so speak to a health professional for advice.</p> <p>For the majority of travellers, preventing mosquito bites is the only way to prevent disease.</p> <p>But there are differences in the behaviour of dengue mosquitoes that mean the normal measures to avoid mosquito bites may not be as effective.</p> <p>During the Australian summer, mosquitoes found in local wetlands can be <a href="https://theconversation.com/the-worst-year-for-mosquitoes-ever-heres-how-we-find-out-68433">incredibly abundant</a>. We tend to need to reach for the repellent and cover up to stop bites as soon as the sun starts going down.</p> <p><em>Aedes aegypti</em> and <em>Aedes albopictus</em> <a href="https://journals.plos.org/plosntds/article?id=10.1371/journal.pntd.0010818">can aggressively bite people</a> but they’re not as abundant as the swarms of summer mosquitoes back home.</p> <p>They also bite during the day, not just at night. So for those travelling to Bali or other areas at risk of dengue, putting insect repellent on <a href="https://www.smartraveller.gov.au/news-and-updates/global-dengue-fever-outbreaks">throughout the day</a> is recommended.</p> <h2>What to pack for protection</h2> <p>If you’re staying in a major resort, there’s likely to be a mosquito control program in place. This may include minimising available water for mosquito breeding in combination with insecticide use. Mosquitoes are also less likely to be an issue in air-conditioned accommodation.</p> <p>But if you’re planning to spend time out and about visiting local villages, markets, or in nature, it’s best to protect against bites.</p> <p>Light coloured and <a href="https://www.health.wa.gov.au/Media-releases/2024/May/Dengue-fever-warning-for-Western-Australian-travellers">loose fitting clothing</a> will help stop mosquito bites (and help keep you cool). Covered shoes can help too – dengue mosquitoes <a href="https://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2016/02/22/465594861/why-zika-spreading-mosquitoes-love-ankles">love smelly feet</a>.</p> <p>Finally, it’s best to take some insect repellent with you. There may not be any available at your destination, and formulations on sale might not have been through the same thorough testing as products <a href="https://www.apvma.gov.au/">approved in Australia</a>.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/233670/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/cameron-webb-6736"><em>Cameron Webb</em></a><em>, Clinical Associate Professor and Principal Hospital Scientist, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-sydney-841">University of Sydney</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock </em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/heading-to-bali-or-somewhere-tropical-these-holidays-heres-what-you-need-to-know-about-dengue-fever-233670">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

Travel Tips

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How much do you need to know about how your spouse spends money? Maybe less than you think

<div class="theconversation-article-body"> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/scott-rick-1534612">Scott Rick</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-michigan-1290">University of Michigan</a></em></p> <p>Love is in the air, and wedding season is upon us.</p> <p>Like many elder millennials, I grew up watching sitcoms in the 1980s and ‘90s. Whenever those series needed a ratings boost, they would feature a wedding. Those special episodes taught me that weddings usually involve young lovebirds: think Elvin and Sondra from “The Cosby Show,” Cory and Topanga from “Boy Meets World,” or David and Darlene from “Roseanne.”</p> <p>But those were different times. People are getting married later in life than they used to: In the United States, <a href="https://www.census.gov/content/dam/Census/library/visualizations/time-series/demo/families-and-households/ms-2.pdf">the median age of newlyweds</a> has grown to 28 for women and 30 for men.</p> <p>This trend means that many Americans now enter marriage after being self-reliant for several years, including managing their own money. Will they be eager to change that once they get married? Don’t count on it. A 2017 <a href="https://bettermoneyhabits.bankofamerica.com/content/dam/bmh/pdf/ar6vnln9-boa-bmh-millennial-report-winter-2018-final2.pdf">Bank of America survey</a> suggests that millennial married couples are around 15 percentage points more likely than their predecessors to keep their finances separate.</p> <p>This is not necessarily a good development. As a behavioral scientist <a href="https://michiganross.umich.edu/faculty-research/faculty/scott-rick">who studies money and relationships</a>, I find that joint accounts <a href="https://doi.org/10.1093/jcr/ucad020">can bring partners closer</a>.</p> <p>There are some risks, however. Joint accounts create transparency, and intuitively, transparency feels like a good thing in relationships. But I argue that some privacy is important even for highly committed couples – <a href="https://us.macmillan.com/books/9781250280077/tightwadsandspendthrifts">and money is no exception</a>.</p> <h2>The newlywed game</h2> <p>Behavioral scientists <a href="https://kelley.iu.edu/faculty-research/faculty-directory/profile.html?id=jgolson">Jenny Olson</a>, <a href="https://som.yale.edu/faculty-research/faculty-directory/deborah-small">Deb Small</a>, <a href="https://www.kellogg.northwestern.edu/faculty/directory/finkel_eli.aspx">Eli Finkel</a> and I recently conducted <a href="https://academic.oup.com/jcr/article-abstract/50/4/704/7077142">an experiment with engaged and newlywed couples</a>. Each of the pairs had entirely separate accounts, but they were undecided about how they wanted to manage their money moving forward.</p> <p>We randomly assigned each of the 230 couples to one of three groups. One group kept their money in separate accounts; one merged their cash into a joint account and stopped using separate accounts; and one managed their money however they liked.</p> <p>We followed couples for two years, periodically asking them to complete surveys assessing their relationship dynamics and satisfaction. Our relationship quality measure included items such as “I cannot imagine another person making me as happy as my partner does” and “Within the last three months, I shouted or yelled at my partner.”</p> <p>Among the couples who could do whatever they wanted, most kept things separate. They and the couples assigned to keep separate accounts experienced a steady decline in relationship quality over time.</p> <p>This is a fairly typical pattern. For instance, in <a href="https://academic.oup.com/sf/article-abstract/79/4/1313/2234046">a large study that tracked U.S. couples’ marital happiness for 17 years</a>, <a href="https://www.unk.edu/academics/social-work/faculty_staff/van_laningham.php">sociologist Jody Van Laningham</a> and colleagues found that “marital happiness either declines continuously or flattens after a long period of decline.”</p> <p>Declines during the first two years of marriage are particularly important. Social scientist <a href="https://liberalarts.utexas.edu/prc/faculty/hustontl">Ted Huston</a> and colleagues call those first two years <a href="https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-3514.80.2.237">the “connubial crucible</a>.” They find that relationship dynamics that develop during that crucial period can foreshadow relationship quality for many years to come.</p> <p>Couples in our study who were prompted to take the plunge into a joint account, however, maintained their initial level of relationship satisfaction over the course of the two-year experiment.</p> <h2>Tit-for-tat</h2> <p>Our survey results suggest that, by turning “my money” and “your money” into “our money,” a joint account can help to reduce scorekeeping within a relationship. For example, we found that couples with joint accounts were more likely to agree with statements such as “When one person does something for the other, the other should not owe the giver anything.”</p> <p>Relationships usually don’t start with a scorekeeping orientation. In the 1980s and ‘90s, psychologist <a href="https://psychology.yale.edu/people/margaret-clark">Margaret Clark</a> and colleagues conducted experiments where partners had the option of keeping track of each other’s contributions to a shared task. <a href="https://clarkrelationshiplab.yale.edu/sites/default/files/files/Resource%20allocation%20in%20intimate%20relationships.pdf">They observed</a> that intimate relationships often begin with a “communal” orientation, where partners help one another without keeping careful track of who’s doing what.</p> <p>Eventually, however, they take on more of an “exchange” orientation – where inputs are tracked and timely reciprocity is expected. Couples that manage to stave off a tit-for-tat mindset <a href="https://doi.org/10.1177/0956797610373882">tend to be happier</a>.</p> <h2>Too much of a good thing?</h2> <p>The data from our experiment with young couples clearly suggests that using only a joint account is better than using only separate accounts. However, I argue in my new book, “<a href="https://us.macmillan.com/books/9781250280077/">Tightwads and Spendthrifts</a>,” that just a joint account is probably not optimal.</p> <p>When partners use only a joint account, they get an up-close-and-personal view of how the other person is spending money. This kind of transparency is <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/money-habits-successful-married-couples-avoid-2016-11">normally viewed</a> as a good thing.</p> <p>Some commentators argue that a healthy marriage should have no secrets whatsoever. For example, Willard Harley, Jr., a clinical psychologist who primarily writes for Christian audiences, argues that you should “reveal to your spouse <a href="https://www.marriagebuilders.com/the-policy-of-radical-honesty.htm">as much information about yourself as you know</a>: your thoughts, feelings, habits, likes, dislikes, personal history, daily activities, and plans for the future.”</p> <p>In addition, if your goal is to minimize optional spending, <a href="https://doi.org/10.1002/jcpy.1083">research suggests</a> that the transparency that comes with a joint account can be helpful. We spend less when someone is looking over our shoulder.</p> <p>Still, there are reasons to believe that <a href="https://doi.org/10.1177/0265407500172005">complete transparency can be harmful for couples</a>.</p> <p>Many people have become convinced that if they could just stop buying lattes and avocado toast, they could invest that money and become rich. Unfortunately, the underlying math is highly dubious, as journalist Helaine Olen points out in <a href="https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/308568/pound-foolish-by-helaine-olen/">her book “Pound Foolish</a>.” Still, many people view small indulgences as their primary obstacle to wealth. Complete transparency around these financially inconsequential “treats” <a href="https://slate.com/business/2021/09/partner-hates-retail-therapy-money-advice.html">can lead to unnecessary arguments</a>.</p> <p>Also, spouses may have different passions that their partner does not fully understand. Expenses that seem perfectly reasonable to another hobbyist may seem outrageous <a href="https://academic.oup.com/jcr/article-abstract/19/2/256/1929895">to someone without the proper context</a> – another source of <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S2352250X21000750">avoidable disagreements</a>.</p> <h2>'Translucent,’ not transparent</h2> <p>I propose that many couples may benefit from a combination of joint and separate accounts.</p> <p>A joint account is essential for ensuring that both partners have immediate and equal access to “our money.” Ideally, all income would be direct-deposited into the joint account, which would help to blur the gap between partners’ earnings. Conspicuous income differences <a href="https://doi.org/10.1086/432228">can jeopardize relationship quality</a>.</p> <p>Separate accounts attached to the joint account can allow some privacy for individual purchases and help partners maintain a sense of autonomy and individuality. Each person gets to spend some of “our money” without their partner looking over their shoulder. Spouses would have a high-level understanding of how much their partner is spending per week or per month, but avoid the occasionally irritating details.</p> <p>This kind of partial financial transparency – <a href="https://us.macmillan.com/books/9781250280077/tightwadsandspendthrifts">what I call “financial translucency</a>” – could help couples strike the right balance between financial and psychological well-being.</p> <p>Of course, this approach requires a lot of trust. If the relationship is already on thin ice, complete financial transparency may be necessary. However, if the relationship is generally in the “good, but could be even better” category, I would argue that financial translucency is worth considering.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/230070/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/scott-rick-1534612">Scott Rick</a>, Associate Professor of Marketing, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-michigan-1290">University of Michigan</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock </em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/how-much-do-you-need-to-know-about-how-your-spouse-spends-money-maybe-less-than-you-think-230070">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

Money & Banking

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Police Commissioner opens up about his son's tragic death

<p>Police Commissioner Grant Stevens and his wife Emma have opened up on their heart-breaking loss, sharing how they are still grieving the loss of their son eight months after his <a href="https://oversixty.com.au/health/caring/police-commissioner-s-son-killed-during-schoolies-week" target="_blank" rel="noopener">tragic passing</a>. </p> <p>Charlie Stevens was celebrating schoolies when he was killed in a hit-and-run accident, causing a brain injury that he wouldn't wake up from. </p> <p>He died a day after the accident on November 17th 2023 and was just 18 years old. </p> <p>Now, his distraught parents have spoken candidly about their last moments with their son. </p> <p>"It was good to spend time with him, but the hardest thing was leaving for the last time," Grant told <a href="https://9now.nine.com.au/60-minutes/charlie-stevens-south-australias-police-commissioner-opens-up-about-young-sons-tragic-death/c1ceaf2c-c2a4-492d-998e-1cc5e32ed29b" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><em>60 Minutes</em></a>.  </p> <p>Through tears, Emma shared her last words to her youngest born. </p> <p>"I just said, 'I love you. You're my baby, and you always will be'," she said.</p> <p>"You know, that's just ... it's devastating," Grant added. </p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/reel/C9I8g22yZfs/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"> </div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <div style="padding: 12.5% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; margin-bottom: 14px; align-items: center;"> <div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(0px) translateY(7px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; height: 12.5px; transform: rotate(-45deg) translateX(3px) translateY(1px); width: 12.5px; flex-grow: 0; margin-right: 14px; margin-left: 2px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(9px) translateY(-18px);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: 8px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 20px; width: 20px;"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 2px solid transparent; border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4; border-bottom: 2px solid transparent; transform: translateX(16px) translateY(-4px) rotate(30deg);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: auto;"> <div style="width: 0px; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-right: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(16px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; flex-grow: 0; height: 12px; width: 16px; transform: translateY(-4px);"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-left: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(-4px) translateX(8px);"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center; margin-bottom: 24px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 224px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 144px;"> </div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" href="https://www.instagram.com/reel/C9I8g22yZfs/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by 60 Minutes Australia (@60minutes9)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p>The commissioner and his wife shared that it was not difficult to forgive the young man who caused the death of their son, as the driver, Dhirren Randhawa, was only 18 years old as well. </p> <p>"I think being a parent, being a mum of an 18-year-old, they're not that smart. They're 18," Emma said. </p> <p>"And I look at it and I think it also could have been Charlie."</p> <p>Randhawa, who had no alcohol or drugs in his system at the time of the crash, was initially charged with causing death by dangerous driving, aggravated driving without due care, leaving the scene of a crash after death and failing to truly answer questions but, in reaching a plea deal, has admitted to a charge of aggravated driving without due care and leaving the scene of a crash.</p> <p>His admission of guilt to those two lesser charges has avoided the pain of going to trial, and instead faces court again next month for sentencing. </p> <p>Randhawa wrote a letter to the Stevens' apologising for his actions that caused the loss of their son, as Emma said, "And he’s written it, and that it’s words from an 18-year-old. I don’t think he’s been sat down and told what to write."</p> <p>“I think it’s him. In fact, I’m not so sure Charlie would be able to write something quite as good as that.”</p> <p>Grant added, "We're grateful that Dhirren has pleaded guilty. It gives us some understanding of his acceptance of his responsibility."</p> <p>"We appreciate it, we appreciate the fact that he's given us that apology."</p> <p>After Charlie's death, Grant and Emma asked mourners to channel their grief into donations for Operation Flinders, an outback adventure therapy program that has helped 10,000 at-risk teenagers.</p> <p>The response to Grant and Emma's request has been overwhelming, with close to $220,000 so far raised in Charlie's name. </p> <p>"He had an impact on so many, so many people but this is a way that he will continue to have a really positive impact on kids who will never even know about him," Grant proudly said.</p> <p><em>Image credits: 60 Minutes </em></p>

Family & Pets

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Ambulance ramping is getting worse in Australia. Here’s why – and what we can do about it

<div class="theconversation-article-body"><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/jonathan-karnon-290">Jonathan Karnon</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/flinders-university-972">Flinders University</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/andrew-partington-93821">Andrew Partington</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/flinders-university-972">Flinders University</a></em></p> <p>We’ve seen countless <a href="https://www.heraldsun.com.au/leader/ballarat/ambulance-ramping-leaves-paramedics-unable-to-respond-to-emergencies-says-union/news-story/54b6fee380eb7b7f1c9b2784edf3d2cd">media reports</a> in recent days, weeks and months about the <a href="https://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/qld-politics/worst-cases-of-ambulance-ramping-at-queensland-hospitals-revealed/news-story/bcf4833b5197774329cf983029d77cb4">ramping of ambulances</a> at <a href="https://thewest.com.au/news/health/ambulance-ramping-reaches-record-levels-in-june-as-hospitals-struggle-with-surging-winter-demand-c-15192504">hospital emergency departments</a> (EDs) around Australia.</p> <p>Ambulance ramping occurs when paramedics are made to wait at the hospital’s entrance and are unable to transfer their patient into the emergency department within an appropriate time frame – defined as <a href="https://www.sahealth.sa.gov.au/wps/wcm/connect/public+content/sa+health+internet/about+us/our+performance/ambulance+waiting+times">30 minutes</a> in South Australia.</p> <p>Ramping is an indicator of hospital stress. It means patients are waiting longer to receive care in the emergency department, and patients requiring inpatient care are waiting longer to access a hospital bed.</p> <p>Research suggests <a href="https://www.mja.com.au/journal/2022/217/5/influence-ambulance-offload-time-30-day-risks-death-and-re-presentation-patients">ambulance ramping</a> and <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/1742-6723.13699">having to wait longer</a> for a hospital bed are associated with a greater risk of patients dying up to 30 days after their initial presentation.</p> <p>So why is ambulance ramping still a problem? And what can we do to fix it?</p> <h2>Ramping is getting worse</h2> <p>Available data indicate the problem has become worse over time. In <a href="https://www.sahealth.sa.gov.au/wps/wcm/connect/public+content/sa+health+internet/about+us/our+performance/ambulance+waiting+times">South Australia</a>, for example, ramping has been steadily increasing since 2017, from around 500 hours “ramped” per month to around 4,000 hours per month in 2024. This is the sum of the time ambulances spend waiting beyond 30 minutes after arriving at the hospital.</p> <p>In <a href="https://www.bhi.nsw.gov.au/data-portal">New South Wales</a>, we calculate the numbers of patients being ramped increased from around 44,000 patients per month in early 2022 to more than 50,000 in early 2024.</p> <h2>What’s driving the increase in ramping?</h2> <p>The ambulance ramping bottleneck reflects an imbalance between the number of people presenting at emergency departments and the capacity to treat patients and transfer those requiring inpatient care to a ward.</p> <p>Potential drivers of this imbalance are increased emergency department presentations and reduced availability of inpatient beds. The latter may reflect increased demand for beds, including longer hospital stays.</p> <p>Between the financial years 2018–19 and 2022–23 (the latest period for which figures are available), Australian Institute of Health and Welfare data show the numbers of more serious presentations (triage categories 1 to 3) increased by <a href="https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports-data/myhospitals/sectors/emergency-department-care">almost 700,000</a> across Australia.</p> <p>Some 100,000 fewer patients who presented to an emergency department were <a href="https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports-data/myhospitals/sectors/admitted-patients">admitted as inpatients</a> during this period, but the additional presentations will nonetheless have contributed to more ramping.</p> <p>In the same period, admissions to inpatient beds that did not come through an emergency department increased by <a href="https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports-data/myhospitals/sectors/admitted-patients">almost 400,000</a> across the country. These include admissions for the management of chronic conditions (such as diabetes, heart disease, asthma and so on) and infections and viruses (COVID, flu, RSV and others).</p> <p>Further, COVID and other viruses are likely to have contributed to increased hospital stress via <a href="https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/workforce/health-workforce">workforce shortages</a>. This has possibly led to delays in seeing patients in the emergency department and in discharging patients from hospital.</p> <p>There has not been a significant increase in <a href="https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports-data/myhospitals/sectors/admitted-patients">patients’ time in hospital</a> receiving required care, but there appear to be increasing numbers of patients waiting for placement in an aged care facility or for home care services after their treatment <a href="https://www.ama.com.au/sites/default/files/2023-02/Hospital%20exit%20block%20-%20a%20symptom%20of%20a%20sick%20health%20system_Final.pdf">has finished</a>.</p> <h2>Many admissions may be preventable</h2> <p>Increased vaccination rates could reduce the impact of viruses. For example, only <a href="https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/australias-health/immunisation-and-vaccination">21% of Australians</a> aged 65 to 74 received the 2023 COVID booster recommended for their age group.</p> <p>We know there were significant increases in people delaying or avoiding seeing a GP <a href="https://www.abs.gov.au/media-centre/media-releases/more-people-putting-seeing-health-professionals-due-cost">due to cost</a> in 2022–23, which can put extra pressure on hospitals. The government is trying to address this issue by increasing <a href="https://www.health.gov.au/our-work/increases-to-bulk-billing-incentive-payments">incentives to GPs</a> to reduce costs to patients.</p> <p>Meanwhile, government health departments may not have been provided with enough funding to meet increasing demand for health care. Year on year the gap between supply and demand grows. <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/article/2024/jun/27/victoria-hospitals-recruitment-freeze-cost-cuts-premier-jacinta-allan">Victorian hospitals</a> are reportedly scrambling to reduce spending in light of proposed budget cuts.</p> <h2>What are the solutions?</h2> <p>The creation of new hospital beds is not the only option for increasing capacity. Governments should design, implement and scale up services that free up hospital capacity by providing appropriate and cost-effective out-of-hospital care.</p> <p>For example, there is further scope to care for patients admitted to hospital in their own homes with the support of digital technologies. Programs such as <a href="https://www.sahealth.sa.gov.au/wps/wcm/connect/public+content/sa+health+internet/services/hospitals/my+home+hospital/my+home+hospital">My Home Hospital</a> in South Australia aim to provide an alternative to inpatient care.</p> <p>Across Australia, such “hospital in the home” care was provided 150,000 times in 2022–23, compared to <a href="https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports-data/myhospitals/sectors/admitted-patients">6.8 million episodes of care</a> in public hospitals.</p> <p>Virtual ED services are a growing phenomenon across Australia, using <a href="https://theconversation.com/what-is-a-virtual-emergency-department-and-when-should-you-visit-one-228098">virtual consultations</a> to identify patients for whom urgent care can be provided outside hospital. The Victorian virtual ED service is targeting a capacity of <a href="https://www.afr.com/policy/health-and-education/meet-the-two-doctors-revolutionising-emergency-healthcare-20240415-p5fjud">1,000 consults</a> per day.</p> <p>Longer-term solutions require co-operation between state and territory governments and the federal government to prevent and better manage chronic conditions, such as diabetes and heart disease, outside hospital. This includes boosting access to GPs and improving communication between GPs and hospitals.</p> <p>Greater investment in well-designed policies and programs to support healthy ageing would also likely help, as well as improving access to required out-of-hospital aged care and disability services for patients waiting to leave hospital.</p> <p>All these measures could ease the pressure on hospitals and reduce the likelihood of patients waiting in an ambulance, unable to get inside and receive the care they need.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/232720/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/jonathan-karnon-290">Jonathan Karnon</a>, Professor of Health Economics, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/flinders-university-972">Flinders University</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/andrew-partington-93821">Andrew Partington</a>, Research Fellow (Health Economics), <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/flinders-university-972">Flinders University</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock </em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/ambulance-ramping-is-getting-worse-in-australia-heres-why-and-what-we-can-do-about-it-232720">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

Caring

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Jimmy Barnes warns fans about fake accounts

<p>Jimmy Barnes has issued a "fake account alert" to his fans.</p> <p>The Aussie singer took to Instagram to warn his followers that there have been an increase in the number of people online pretending to be him or claiming to have direct access to him. </p> <p>"There have been an increasing number of fake profiles appearing in the comments of my socials media posts, claiming to either be me, have direct access to me, sell tickets to shows, and even going as far as posing as a fan trying to connect with other fans," he wrote. </p> <p>"These accounts also send friend or follow requests, which then progresses to more false claims, often requesting large or small sums of money," the<em> Cold Chisel</em> star added. </p> <p>He then urged his followers to take action against these fake profiles. </p> <p>"Please block and report any profile and or comment that makes these claims, as it would never be myself or any of my team. Look after each other," he continued. </p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/C84CmW9yKBs/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"> </div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <div style="padding: 12.5% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; margin-bottom: 14px; align-items: center;"> <div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(0px) translateY(7px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; height: 12.5px; transform: rotate(-45deg) translateX(3px) translateY(1px); width: 12.5px; flex-grow: 0; margin-right: 14px; margin-left: 2px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(9px) translateY(-18px);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: 8px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 20px; width: 20px;"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 2px solid transparent; border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4; border-bottom: 2px solid transparent; transform: translateX(16px) translateY(-4px) rotate(30deg);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: auto;"> <div style="width: 0px; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-right: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(16px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; flex-grow: 0; height: 12px; width: 16px; transform: translateY(-4px);"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-left: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(-4px) translateX(8px);"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center; margin-bottom: 24px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 224px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 144px;"> </div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/C84CmW9yKBs/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by Jimmy Barnes (@jimmybarnesofficial)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p>He then shared screenshots of all the social media accounts posing as him, and a montage of all the messages they send to fans. </p> <p>One of the scammers wrote: "Hello thank you for your like and comments on my official page and for being a fan, it's great to know I have such a devoted fan. Much love, click on this page to send me a message." </p> <p>Many of the scammers had similar messages, asking fans to message them, click on a link or add them on social media. </p> <p>This is not the first time scammers have tried using the singer's name to con devoted fans. </p> <p>In 2022, Barnes slammed scammers pretending to be him and using a fake "farewell" ad on social media, which was nothing more than a cryptocurrency scam, according to <em>The Daily Telegraph</em>. </p> <p>Speaking through his manager, John Watson, Barnes said at the time that he was angry about the "illegal and misleading ads" that have allowed "scammers to prosper". </p> <p><em>Images: Instagram</em></p>

Legal

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What you need to know about protecting your children’s inheritance

<p>For many people, ensuring that their children’s inheritance is protected is of paramount importance to them. There are a number of strategies that you can put in place to achieve this objective, you just need to determine which one bests suits you and your family’s circumstances.</p> <p><strong>Put a Will in place</strong></p> <p>By putting a Will in place, you get to decide who your assets go to, allowing you to make provision in your Will for them to pass to your children upon your death. If you do not have a Will in place then it is up to the government where your assets get paid and this may mean that your assets do not pass to your children, or do not pass to them in the manner that you desire. Play it safe and ensure things go the way you want them by taking the time to put a Will in place.</p> <p><strong>Testamentary trust </strong></p> <p>Let me introduce you to Testamentary Trusts.  These amazing vehicles allow you to transfer your wealth to your children in the most asset protective and tax effective way possible. With an increasing number of marriages crumbling and divorce rates soaring, the last thing you want is your hard earned wealth passing to your child’s estranged partner in the event of one of your child’s marriage breakdown. By making provision in your Will leaving your children’s inheritance in a Testamentary Trust it protects their inheritance from any divorce or family law risks if your child’s relationship breaks down.</p> <p>Additionally, you may have a child who works in a high-risk occupation – a doctor, financial advisor or perhaps carrying on the role of a director. Alternatively, your child may be an entrepreneur, taking risks in their own business operations.  </p> <p>If something adverse happened to your child whilst they were undertaking these roles and they were sued, they could be personally liable for them for any actions brought upon them by the aggrieved party.</p> <p>Creditors and other associated parties could only seek recourse to moneys owed by your child from them in their own personal capacity. If your child had received their inheritance in their own name, and hence the assets were now individual assets, the creditors and other associated parties would have recourse in recovering funds owed to them by your child.</p> <p>However, if your child’s inheritance was paid to a Testamentary Trust for their benefit at the time of your death then these assets would be held on trust for them and are not personal assets, hence the creditors and other associated parties would not have recourse in respect to these assets.</p> <p><strong>Blended marriages</strong></p> <p>If you have children from a previous marriage, it’s imperative that you obtain the appropriate legal advice  in respect to how to protect your assets for your children. There are a number of options that you can put in place including a Binding Financial Agreement and a Mutual Wills Agreement. </p> <p>There are also strategies that you can put in place which ensure that your assets pass to your children upon your death. Options are also available where you may wish for your partner to receive some benefit of some of your assets during your lifetime with all assets passing to your children upon your partner’s death.</p> <p><strong>Choose the right executor </strong></p> <p>If you have young children, it will be your executor who looks after your children’s inheritance until your children reach the age that you have stipulated in your Will that you would like them to receive your assets.</p> <p>It is therefore imperative that you have the best person possible to undertake this role as you are effectively giving them the keys to everything that you own and control. That’s big. You need to appoint someone that you trust implicitly to undertake this role. You need to appoint your most trusted ally. </p> <p>Your executor also needs to be financial savvy or receptive to obtaining the appropriate financial advice to enable them to look after and grow your children’s inheritance.</p> <p>It is important that you seek the appropriate advice so that you can put the best strategies in place that protect your children’s inheritance in the best manner possible. There are a number of ways that you can protect your children’s inheritance, you just need to find the best one that works for you and your children.</p> <p><strong><em>Melisa Sloan, author of Big Moments, expert advice for conquering those moments that define us, is a lawyer, industry leader, author and board director who loves helping people put in place beautiful legacies. For more information visit www.melisasloan.com.au</em></strong></p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock </em></p>

Money & Banking

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Just 15 centimetres of water can float a car – but we are failing to educate drivers about the dangers of floodwaters

<div class="theconversation-article-body"><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/amy-peden-1136424">Amy Peden</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/unsw-sydney-1414">UNSW Sydney</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/kyra-hamilton-331594">Kyra Hamilton</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/griffith-university-828"><em>Griffith University</em></a></em></p> <p>Every year in Australia, people driving into floodwaters drown and many more are <a href="https://www.ses.nsw.gov.au/disaster-tabs-header/flood/">rescued</a>. Do <em>you</em> know what to do when there’s water on the road?</p> <p>We searched all state and territory learner and driver handbooks for information about floodwaters, including signage. Our findings, published in the <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0022437524000860?via%3Dihub">Journal of Safety Research</a>, are disturbing.</p> <p>Across half of Australia’s states and territories, the driver handbook ignores flooding. That’s a missed opportunity, considering the handbook contains road rules and provides advice on how to navigate safely. While some states fail to provide any flood-related information, others give detailed practical guidance. Only the New South Wales handbook includes explanation of the meaning and purpose of flood signage.</p> <p>This is despite almost all states and territories experiencing vehicle-related flood <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.1111/jfr3.12616">deaths</a>, including <a href="https://currents.plos.org/disasters/article/causal-pathways-of-flood-related-river-drowning-deaths-in-australia/">drowning</a>, between 2001 and 2017. It’s a major problem that is only going to get worse as the climate changes. So our research shows driver education needs to come up to speed, fast.</p> <h2>Why do people drive into floodwaters?</h2> <p>Our previous <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S2212420918301869">research</a> revealed motorists can feel compelled to drive into floodwaters for a range of reasons. These include time pressures such as being late for work or school, or needing to get home to family or pets. Sometimes they feel pressured by their passengers, or motorists behind them on the road, urging them to cross.</p> <p>People also report having been encouraged or instructed as learners to drive into floodwaters. Past experience as a passenger also influences a <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1369847823000475">learner driver’s</a> future willingness to drive into floodwaters.</p> <p>So the views of significant others, such as their supervising driver, strongly influence decisions around driving into floodwaters.</p> <figure><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/ZtlXpDBjU1Q?wmode=transparent&amp;start=0" width="440" height="260" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe><figcaption><span class="caption">Avoid driving into floodwaters, for life’s sake.</span></figcaption></figure> <h2>What we did and what we found</h2> <p>We assessed all publicly available, government-issued learner and driver handbooks (12 documents) across all six Australian states and two territories. We also looked for flood-related signage. We used a method for reviewing online material through a systematic search including in-document key words and imagery.</p> <p>Four jurisdictions provided no information on flooding in the handbook. In the ACT, South Australia, Tasmania and Victoria, drivers need to look elsewhere for information on floodwaters and driving safety.</p> <p>Only one jurisdiction provided information on flood signage such as depth markers and “road subject to flooding”. Hats off to the <a href="https://www.nsw.gov.au/sites/default/files/2022-11/Road-User-Handbook-English.pdf">NSW Road User Handbook</a>, which warns:</p> <blockquote> <p>Floodwater is extremely dangerous. Find another way or wait until the road is clear. It’s safer to turn around than to drive in floodwater.</p> </blockquote> <p>For the states and territories that did provide information on floodwaters in the handbook, the content varied.</p> <p>NSW, Queensland and the Northern Territory warned against entering floodwaters in a vehicle. They highlighted the dangers and financial penalties associated with driving on closed roads.</p> <p>In the NT and Western Australia, handbooks provided practical information on when and how to cross floodwaters safely, such as how to gauge safe water depth based on vehicle size, and to avoid fast-flowing water.</p> <p>Although well-intentioned, judgements around what constitutes fast-flowing water are subjective and hard for any driver to assess, let alone learner drivers. Even drivers of larger vehicles such as four-wheel drives are regularly involved in flood-related <a href="https://currents.plos.org/disasters/article/causal-pathways-of-flood-related-river-drowning-deaths-in-australia/">vehicle drowning fatalities</a>.</p> <p>Just <a href="https://www.ses.vic.gov.au/news-and-media/campaigns/15-to-float">45cm</a> of water can float a large 4WD, and considerably less for smaller vehicles.</p> <figure><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/t4ilUbMXZAQ?wmode=transparent&amp;start=0" width="440" height="260" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe><figcaption><span class="caption">A small car can float in just 15cm of water.</span></figcaption></figure> <p>Handbooks represent valuable sources of safety information, particularly for new drivers who must learn important road rules to progress from one licence to another. Such graduated driver licensing schemes reduce road traffic injury, particularly among <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0022437523000385">young people</a>.</p> <p>However, many of these handbooks fail to provide consistent, practical evidence-based information about flooding. There is an opportunity here to support safer driving behaviours.</p> <h2>Safety tips for all drivers</h2> <p>We encourage drivers to follow these safety tips:</p> <ul> <li>avoid driving into floodwaters</li> <li>identify alternative routes, so you have a <a href="https://theconversation.com/when-roads-become-rivers-forming-a-plan-b-can-stop-people-driving-into-floodwaters-183036">plan B</a></li> <li>familiarise yourself, and any learner drivers in the household or under your care, with the meaning and purpose of flood signage</li> <li>understand the legal consequences of crossing a road closed sign</li> <li>discuss the dangers of driving into floodwaters with learner drivers and help them formulate their own plan B</li> <li>model safe driving for all passengers, including children.</li> </ul> <h2>Time to lift our game</h2> <p>Driving into floodwaters remains the main cause of <a href="https://currents.plos.org/disasters/article/causal-pathways-of-flood-related-river-drowning-deaths-in-australia/">flood-related drowning</a> in Australia.</p> <p>For our emergency service personnel, driver behaviour, including people ignoring road closed signs, <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/hpja.181">significantly complicates</a> the already dangerous act of performing a flood rescue.</p> <p>Extreme weather and flooding are likely to become more frequent and intense in the future. That means the chance of being faced with a flooded road is growing. So information about driving during floods is vital for all, from the newly licensed to the experienced driver.</p> <p>We hope our research will encourage all states and territories to include provide practical, evidence-based advice on floods in driver handbooks as soon as possible.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/233116/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/amy-peden-1136424">Amy Peden</a>, NHMRC Research Fellow, School of Population Health &amp; co-founder UNSW Beach Safety Research Group, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/unsw-sydney-1414">UNSW Sydney</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/kyra-hamilton-331594">Kyra Hamilton</a>, Associate Professor in Applied Psychology, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/griffith-university-828">Griffith University</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock </em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/just-15-centimetres-of-water-can-float-a-car-but-we-are-failing-to-educate-drivers-about-the-dangers-of-floodwaters-233116">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

Travel Trouble

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“Grief eats you away”: Prince Harry's candid interview about losing his mother

<p>Prince Harry has spoken candidly about his ongoing struggles with grief following the death of his mother, the late Princess Diana, when he was just 12 years old. </p> <p>Upon his brief return to the UK, the Duke of Sussex opened up in a new interview as part of his role as global ambassador for Armed Forces charity Scotty’s Little Soldiers, who work to support children who have lost parents in the military, admitting that “grief eats you away”.</p> <p>Harry detailed how difficult it was losing his mother at such a young age, admitting he spent nearly two decades “not thinking” about her death and was forced to eventually get help after years of “total chaos”.</p> <p>He added that learning how to celebrate a late loved one is difficult for a child, as it made them “sad”.</p> <p>“But ­realising if I do talk about it, and I’m celebrating their life, then things become easier,” he said.</p> <p>Harry went on, “You convince yourself that the person you’ve lost wants you, or you need to be sad for as long as possible to prove to them that they are missed … Especially when every defence mechanism in your mind, nervous system and everything else is saying ‘do not go there.”</p> <p><iframe title="YouTube video player" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/YY-W6VEXlZM?si=SBQyGGCKAOhELxlv" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p> <p>"But then there’s this realisation of, no, they must want me to be happy”.</p> <p>The 39-year-old royal shared how, after decades of silent mourning, he learned suppressing grief was “in fact not” the best form of coping with loss.</p> <p>“It can be for a period of time,” he went on to say.</p> <p>“But…if you suppress this for too long, you can’t suppress it forever it’s not sustainable and it will east away at you inside."</p> <p>“Once realising that if I do talk about it and I’m celebrating their life then actually things become easier.”</p> <p><em>Image credits: YouTube</em></p>

Caring

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Why doesn’t water help with spicy food? What about milk or beer?

<div class="theconversation-article-body"><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/daniel-eldridge-1494633">Daniel Eldridge</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/swinburne-university-of-technology-767">Swinburne University of Technology</a></em></p> <p>Spicy foods taste spicy because they contain a family of compounds called capsaicinoids. Capsaicin is the major culprit. It’s found in chillies, jalapeños, cayenne pepper, and is even the active ingredient in <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31334983/">pepper spray</a>.</p> <p>Capsaicin doesn’t actually physically heat up your mouth. The burning sensation comes from receptors in the mouth reacting to capsaicin and sending a signal to the brain that something is very hot.</p> <p>That’s why the “hot” chilli sensation feels so real – we even respond by sweating. To alleviate the heat, you need to remove the capsaicin from your mouth.</p> <p>So why doesn’t drinking water help make that spicy feeling go away? And what would work better instead?</p> <h2>Water-loving and water-hating molecules</h2> <p>To help us choose what might wash the capsaicin away most effectively, it’s helpful to know that capsaicin is a hydrophobic molecule. That means it hates being in contact with water and will not easily mix with it.</p> <p>Look what happens when you try to mix hydrophobic sand with water.</p> <figure><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/H8cj9CpHW7w?wmode=transparent&amp;start=0" width="440" height="260" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></figure> <p>On the other hand, hydrophilic molecules love water and are very happy to mix with it.</p> <p>You’ve likely seen this before. You can easily dissolve hydrophilic sugar in water, but it’s hard to wash away hydrophobic oils from your pan using tap water alone.</p> <p>If you try to wash hydrophobic capsaicin away with water, it won’t be very effective, because hydrophilic and hydrophobic substances don’t mix.</p> <p>Going for iced water will be even less effective, as hydrophobic capsaicin is even less soluble in water at lower temperatures. You may get a temporary sense of relief while the cold liquid is in your mouth, but as soon as you swallow it, you’ll be back where you started.</p> <p>Instead, a good choice would be to consume something that is also hydrophobic. This is because of an old-but-true adage in chemistry that “like dissolves like”.</p> <p>The idea is that generally, hydrophobic substances will not dissolve in something hydrophilic – like water – but will dissolve in something that is also hydrophobic, as this video shows:</p> <figure><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/s5yfs-Pr_y8?wmode=transparent&amp;start=0" width="440" height="260" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></figure> <h2>My mouth is on fire. What should I drink instead of water?</h2> <p>A swig of oil would likely be effective, but is perhaps not so palatable.</p> <p>Milk makes for an ideal choice for two reasons.</p> <p>The first is that milk contains hydrophobic fats, which the capsaicin will more easily dissolve in, allowing it to be washed away.</p> <p>The second is that dairy products contain a protein called casein. Casein is an emulsifier, a substance that helps oils and water mix, as in this video:</p> <figure><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/S4XeQhZRLDE?wmode=transparent&amp;start=0" width="440" height="260" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></figure> <p>Casein plays a large role in keeping the fat mixed throughout your glass of milk, and it also has a strong affinity for capsaicin. It will readily wrap up and encapsulate capsaicin molecules and assist in carrying them away from the receptor. This relieves the <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/36510373/">burning sensation</a>.</p> <h2>OK but I hate drinking milk. What else can I try?</h2> <p>What about raita? This dish, commonly served with Indian curries, is made primarily from yoghurt. So aside from being its own culinary experience, raita is rich in fats, and therefore contains plenty of hydrophobic material. It also contains casein, which will again help lock up and remove the capsaicin.</p> <p>Ice cream would also work, as it contains both casein and large amounts of hydrophobic substances.</p> <p>Some studies have also shown that consuming <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9328490/">drinks with large amounts of sugar</a> can relieve spiciness.</p> <p>What about reaching for that ice cold beer?</p> <p>This is commonly suggested as a suitable approach to stop the burning. At first glance, this may seem a good idea because capsaicin is highly soluble in alcohol.</p> <p>However, most beers only contain between 4–6% alcohol. The bulk of the liquid in beer is water, which is hydrophilic and cannot wash away capsaicin. The small amount of alcohol in your beer would make it slightly more effective, but not to any great degree.</p> <p>Your curry and beer may taste great together, but that’s likely the only benefit.</p> <p>In truth, an alcoholic beverage is not going to help much unless you go for something with a much, much higher alcohol content, which comes with its own problems.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/226624/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/daniel-eldridge-1494633">Daniel Eldridge</a>, Senior Lecturer in Chemistry, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/swinburne-university-of-technology-767">Swinburne University of Technology</a></em></p> <p><em>Image </em><em>credits: Shutterstock</em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/why-doesnt-water-help-with-spicy-food-what-about-milk-or-beer-226624">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

Food & Wine

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"Heartbroken and blindsided": The Beast's ex-girlfriend opens up about split

<p>The ex-girlfriend of <em>The Chase</em> star Mark Labbett, also known as The Beast, has opened up about her high-profile break-up with the TV star, slamming his behaviour in the last weeks of their relationship. </p> <p>Hayley Palmer, an entertainment news presenter, announced her <a href="https://oversixty.com.au/lifestyle/relationships/mark-the-beast-labbett-s-girlfriend-drops-major-relationship-bombshell" target="_blank" rel="noopener">split</a> from Labbett just days after their one year anniversary, sharing the news on Instagram in May. </p> <p>Now, in an interview with <a href="https://www.thesun.co.uk/tv/28526452/mark-beast-labbett-hayley-palmer-split/" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><em>The Sun</em></a> newspaper, Palmer took aim at Labbett and his alleged handling of their split, saying she had been “blindsided” by their break-up, and shared how he had lived up to his name as The Beast.</p> <p>“It has come as a complete shock. I thought we were really happy,” she said.</p> <p>“I’m heartbroken and blindsided. His behaviour has been beastly.”</p> <p>Palmer went on to say that Labbett dumped her over a callous three-minute phone call, and said their breakup came because The Beast did not want to formally divorce his ex-wife Katie, who is also his second cousin. </p> <p>She went on to say that before their shock split, Mark — who has a seven-year-old son with his former wife — had even suggested they move in together.</p> <p>But in the days following, a phone call came from Labbett to end their relationship. </p> <p>Struggling to hold back tears, Hayley told the publication, “The call started off as a normal conversation.  He was spending time with his son and we’d had a conversation about me joining them at a water park."</p> <p>“Then he said, ‘I don’t know how to tell you this, but you were right. I don’t want to divorce my ex-wife’.</p> <div> <div id="articlempu"></div> </div> <p>“The shock of the way he said it was so brutally cold and not the Mark I know. I thought he was a gentle giant, so this was the complete opposite. He was as cold as ice."</p> <p>“The phone went from my hands, I just hung up on him. I ended up walking around for three hours not knowing where I was going."</p> <p>“I’ll never get over the shock of that, I’m still in shock now. It’s such a hurtful way to do it. The fact that he didn’t have the respect for me, and for him to do it over the phone — it was a really low move."</p> <p><em>Image credits: Instagram </em></p>

Relationships

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Millions of older people don’t get enough nutrients – how to spot it and what to do about it

<div class="theconversation-article-body"> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/miriam-clegg-997096">Miriam Clegg</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-college-cork-1321">University College Cork</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/rachel-smith-1505111">Rachel Smith</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-reading-902">University of Reading</a></em></p> <p>By 2050, approximately a quarter of the UK population is <a href="https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/populationandmigration/populationestimates/articles/overviewoftheukpopulation/january2021">expected to be over the age of 65</a>. With this in mind, the World Health Organization (WHO) has put “<a href="https://cdn.who.int/media/docs/default-source/decade-of-healthy-ageing/decade-proposal-final-apr2020-en.pdf?sfvrsn=b4b75ebc_28">healthy ageing</a>” on its agenda. This means finding ways to maintain health, wellbeing and functional ability in order to have a good quality of life and enjoy the later years.</p> <p>Everyone ages at a different rate – but there are some things that can influence how well we age, such as by making changes to the types of activity we do and the foods we eat.</p> <p>Older adults are <a href="https://www.ageuk.org.uk/globalassets/age-uk/documents/reports-and-publications/research-report-2019--one-step-at-a-time.pdf">generally less physically active</a> than they were when they were younger and because of this, their energy intake requirement may decrease. However, there is a difference between energy requirements and nutrient requirements, and nutrient requirements actually remain the same, if not increase, as we get older.</p> <p>This means we need to get more nutrients into less energy which can be tricky as <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4589891/#:%7E:text=The%20physiological%20changes%20that%20occur,can%20contribute%20to%20declining%20appetite.">older adults often have lower appetites</a>. This is why <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6971894/">scientists suggest</a> that it may be necessary to enrich the food of older people to maintain the nutrient intake.</p> <h2>How to spot when someone isn’t eating enough?</h2> <p><a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8399049/">Several studies have shown</a> that undernutrition affects one in ten older people living independently at home. However, it affects five in ten older people living in nursing homes, and seven in ten older people in hospital.</p> <p>Being overweight, even obese, <a href="https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s40520-023-02650-1">does not protect</a> against undernutrition. And when older adults lose weight, they lose muscle, meaning that they are more likely to lose their <a href="https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fnut.2022.892675/full?&amp;utm_source=Email_to_authors_&amp;utm_medium=Email&amp;utm_content=T1_11.5e1_author&amp;utm_campaign=Email_publication&amp;field=&amp;journalName=Frontiers_in_Nutrition&amp;id=892675">abilities to do daily tasks</a>.</p> <p>Weight loss in older adults is a key sign of malnutrition that needs to be addressed – but it can be easily missed, especially when many older adults associate the idea of thinness <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0195666319307603?casa_token=iU5UIdNwGDgAAAAA:I81EKDJ2T0oBsOsZunpPBk6uI-TcgiCr-5gPJE1tz4-Tq3w8pK4Yi_mv22AhVHHpRpiv1Bvz0RI">with good health</a>. But clothing that’s too loose or a watchstrap that floats on the wrist are all warning signs of undernourishment.</p> <p>Similarly, if someone you care for has started to say things like, “Oh, I don’t want much food today, I’m not hungry”, “I’m not hungry, it’s natural, I’m getting older”, or “I’d rather just have a biscuit to be honest,” then these could be warning signs. An effective way to keep on top of this is regular weighing at least once per month which enables a quick response to potential indicators of malnutrition.</p> <h2>Getting more nutrients into less food</h2> <p>If people are eating small amounts of food, it is important to think about how to add more nutrients into it. A very effective technique, “fortification” is commonly done with pre-made products such as breakfast cereals, plant-based milk and bread in the UK.</p> <p>Fortification (adding foods, ingredients or nutrients into to existing foods or meals) is easy to do at home as well and can provide a flexible approach for older adults as it allows them to continue eating the foods that they most enjoy.</p> <figure><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/kNu8auu3fuU?wmode=transparent&amp;start=0" width="440" height="260" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></figure> <p>For older adults in particular, protein is a very important nutrient, because of muscle loss (<a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4066461/#:%7E:text=Sarcopenia%20has%20been%20defined%20as,decade%20of%20life%20%5B1%5D.">sarcopenia)</a> which is a natural part of ageing. This could be slowed down or even reversed by <a href="https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/could-a-higher-protein-intake-lead-to-healthier-eating">eating enough protein</a> at regular intervals throughout the day. A few ways to increase protein include:</p> <p>• Adding dairy ingredients such as milk, high-protein yoghurt, Quark (soft cheese), milk powders, eggs and cheese into meals – even into simple foods like mashed potato.</p> <p>• Nuts are a great source of protein, try adding ground almonds to savoury or sweet meals (beware of nut allergies).</p> <p>• Soy protein can be a convenient and cost-effective option, either for vegetarians or to further fortify minced-meat meals.</p> <p>• Look in the sports section of supermarkets to find <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/agricultural-and-biological-sciences/whey-powder#:%7E:text=Whey%20powders%20are%20characterized%20as,of%20products%20obtained%20from%20milk.">whey protein</a> powders. These are marketed to gym enthusiasts, but actually whey is one of the <a href="https://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/15/15/3424">best proteins to stimulate muscle growth</a>. This versatile ingredient can be mixed into porridge before cooking or used it as a substitute for other powdered ingredients in baking.</p> <h2>Importance of physical activity and strength exercises</h2> <p>Physical activity and nutrition go hand-in-hand – both are equally important. As we age, being physically active becomes <a href="https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12603-021-1665-8?fbclid=IwAR3dJkeHjgcSrR9Xq5kBfN-HLrbpli8WcAnz7AeY5Nu9XcGCHEB07Sd2z1w">even more essential</a> as it helps to prevent disease, maintains independence, decreases risk of falls, improves cognitive function, mental health and sleep.</p> <p>Exercise can also <a href="https://academic.oup.com/ageing/article/48/4/476/5423796?login=false">combat isolation and loneliness</a> which has also been <a href="https://www.bda.uk.com/resource/loneliness-and-malnutrition.html">linked to decreased appetite</a> in older adults. Often strength training gets ignored when we think of being active but to keep independence and prevent falls, older adults should do varied physical activity that emphasises balance and strength training at moderate or greater intensity on three or more days a week.</p> <p>Ultimately, it’s essential to contact a doctor or dietician with any worries or concerns about malnutrition or unintentional weight loss. There are, however, <a href="https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/ageing-well-nutrition-and-exercise-for-older-adults">some excellent resources</a> to learn more about ageing healthily and maintaining a good quality of life in later years.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/221380/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/miriam-clegg-997096">Miriam Clegg</a>, Senior Lecturer in Human Nutrition, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-college-cork-1321">University College Cork</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/rachel-smith-1505111">Rachel Smith</a>, Sensory and Consumer Scientist, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-reading-902">University of Reading</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock</em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/millions-of-older-people-dont-get-enough-nutrients-how-to-spot-it-and-what-to-do-about-it-221380">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

Body

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Menopause can bring increased cholesterol levels and other heart risks. Here’s why and what to do about it

<div class="theconversation-article-body"> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/treasure-mcguire-135225">Treasure McGuire</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/the-university-of-queensland-805">The University of Queensland</a></em></p> <p>Menopause is a natural biological process that marks the end of a woman’s reproductive years, typically between 45 and 55. As women approach or experience menopause, common “change of life” <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9244939/">concerns</a> include hot flushes, sweats and mood swings, brain fog and fatigue.</p> <p>But many women may not be aware of the <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32705886/">long-term effects</a> of menopause on the heart and blood vessels that make up the cardiovascular system. Heart disease accounts for <a href="http://world-heart-federation.org/what-we-do/women-cvd/">35% of deaths</a> in women each year – more than all cancers combined.</p> <p>What should women – and their doctors – know about these risks?</p> <h2>Hormones protect hearts – until they don’t</h2> <p>As early as 1976, the <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/970770/">Framingham Heart Study</a> reported more than twice the rates of cardiovascular events in postmenopausal than pre-menopausal women of the same age. Early menopause (younger than age 40) also <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25331207/">increases heart risk</a>.</p> <p>Before menopause, women tend to be protected by their circulating hormones: oestrogen, to a lesser extent progesterone and low levels of testosterone.</p> <p>These sex hormones help to relax and dilate blood vessels, reduce inflammation and <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC10503403/">improve lipid (cholesterol) levels</a>. From the mid-40s, a decline in these hormone levels can <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/10362825/">contribute to unfavourable changes</a> in cholesterol levels, blood pressure and weight gain – all risk factors for heart disease.</p> <h2>4 ways hormone changes impact heart risk</h2> <p><strong>1. Dyslipidaemia</strong>– Menopause often involves <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/38002671/">atherogenic changes</a> – an unhealthy imbalance of lipids in the blood, with higher levels of total cholesterol, triglycerides, and low-density lipoprotein (LDL-C), dubbed the “bad” cholesterol. There are also reduced levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL-C) – the “good” cholesterol that helps remove LDL-C from blood. These changes are a <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC10503403/">major risk factor for heart attack or stroke</a>.</p> <p><strong>2. Hypertension</strong> – Declines in oestrogen and progesterone levels during menopause contribute to narrowing of the large blood vessels on the heart’s surface, arterial stiffness and <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/35722103/">raise blood pressure</a>.</p> <p><strong>3. Weight gain</strong> – Females are born with one to two million eggs, which develop in follicles. By the time they <a href="https://www.thewomens.org.au/health-information/fertility-information/getting-pregnant/ovulation-and-conception">stop ovulating</a> in midlife, fewer than 1,000 remain. This depletion progressively changes fat distribution and storage, from the hips to the waist and abdomen. Increased waist circumference (greater than 80–88 cm) has been <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18359190/">reported to contribute to heart risk</a> – though it is <a href="https://theconversation.com/good-news-midlife-health-is-about-more-than-a-waist-measurement-heres-why-226019">not the only factor to consider</a>.</p> <p><strong>4. Comorbidities</strong> – Changes in body composition, sex hormone decline, increased food consumption, weight gain and sedentary lifestyles impair the body’s ability to effectively use insulin. This <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11133069/">increases the risk</a> of developing metabolic syndromes such as type 2 diabetes.</p> <p>While risk factors apply to both genders, hypertension, smoking, obesity and type 2 diabetes confer a greater relative risk for heart disease in women.</p> <h2>So, what can women do?</h2> <p>Every woman has a different level of baseline cardiovascular and metabolic risk pre-menopause. This is based on their genetics and family history, diet, and lifestyle. But all women can <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8351755/">reduce their post-menopause heart risk with</a>:</p> <ul> <li>regular moderate intensity exercise such as brisk walking, pushing a lawn mower, riding a bike or water aerobics for 30 minutes, four or five times every week</li> <li>a healthy heart diet with smaller portion sizes (try using a smaller plate or bowl) and more low-calorie, nutrient-rich foods such as vegetables, fruit and whole grains</li> <li>plant sterols (unrefined vegetable oil spreads, nuts, seeds and grains) each day. A review of 14 clinical trials found plant sterols, at doses of at least 2 grams a day, produced an average reduction in serum LDL-C (bad cholesterol) of about 9–14%. This could reduce the risk of heart disease by <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/10731187/">25% in two years</a></li> <li>less unhealthy (saturated or trans) fats and more low-fat protein sources (lean meat, poultry, fish – especially oily fish high in omega-3 fatty acids), legumes and low-fat dairy</li> <li>less high-calorie, high-sodium foods such as processed or fast foods</li> <li>a reduction or cessation of smoking (nicotine or cannabis) and alcohol</li> <li>weight-gain management or prevention.</li> </ul> <h2>What about hormone therapy medications?</h2> <p>Hormone therapy remains the most effective means of <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15495039/">managing hot flushes and night sweats</a> and is beneficial for <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18418063/">slowing the loss of bone mineral density</a>.</p> <p>The decision to recommend oestrogen alone or a combination of oestrogen plus progesterone hormone therapy depends on whether a woman has had a hysterectomy or not. The choice also depends on whether the hormone therapy benefit outweighs the woman’s disease risks. Where symptoms are bothersome, hormone therapy has <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33841322/">favourable or neutral effects on coronary heart disease risk</a> and medication risks are low for healthy women younger than 60 or within ten years of menopause.</p> <p>Depending on the level of stroke or heart risk and the response to lifestyle strategies, some women may also require medication management to <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8351755/">control high blood pressure or elevated cholesterol levels</a>. Up until the early 2000s, women were underrepresented in most outcome trials with lipid-lowering medicines.</p> <p>The <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25579834/">Cholesterol Treatment Trialists’ Collaboration</a> analysed 27 clinical trials of statins (medications commonly prescribed to lower cholesterol) with a total of 174,000 participants, of whom 27% were women. Statins were about as effective in women and men who had similar risk of heart disease in preventing events such as stroke and heart attack.</p> <p>Every woman approaching menopause should ask their GP for a 20-minute <a href="https://www.health.gov.au/news/heart-health">Heart Health Check</a> to help better understand their risk of a heart attack or stroke and get tailored strategies to reduce it.<!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/treasure-mcguire-135225">Treasure McGuire</a>, Assistant Director of Pharmacy, Mater Health SEQ in conjoint appointment as Associate Professor of Pharmacology, Bond University and as Associate Professor (Clinical), <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/the-university-of-queensland-805">The University of Queensland</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock</em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/menopause-can-bring-increased-cholesterol-levels-and-other-heart-risks-heres-why-and-what-to-do-about-it-228010">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

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Everything you need to know about tipping in the US

<p>There are few social customs in the US more confusing to travellers than tipping.</p> <p>To most Americans, gratuities are normal, like adding sales tax at the register. To foreign visitors, though, the very idea can induce anxiety or panic.</p> <p>We're notoriously poor tippers. Partly this is accidental ignorance, but partly it is self-righteous rejection of an institution many of us see as unfair. I once had a meal in New York with a woman from Brisbane who refused to tip "on principle." I nodded in agreement ... and then tipped for both of us.</p> <p>The truth is, federal minimum wage for adults in the US is just US$7.25 an hour. In industries where tipping is routine, employers are legally allowed to pay wages as low as US$2.13 an hour.</p> <p>So while travellers may stage a quiet rebellion, refusing to tip, the bereaved party is never going to be the restaurant owners (who earns their profit through the itemised bill), but the poor waiters.</p> <p>Until the US government raises minimum wages to Australian levels (something that will probably never happen), tipping is here to stay. Which means travellers need to accept it, then learn the rules.</p> <p>First rule: After clearing immigration get your hands on a stack of "singles" (US$1 bills). You're going to need them.</p> <p><strong>Getting around</strong></p> <p>In theory, tips should only go to people who are helpful; the more helpful, the more bountiful their reward. In reality, tips are par for the course, and to "stiff" somebody is tantamount to slapping them in the face.</p> <p>If a airport porter helps you with your bags, give them US$1-2 per bag. If they meet you at the gate with a wheelchair, give them US$3-5. </p> <p>For most travellers, the first real test comes with transports away from the airport. If you're lucky enough to have a hotel worker collect you from Arrivals, give them US$10-15 for the effort.</p> <p>If you take a taxi, a little more thought will be required. Many taxis now have seat-back displays that offer "default tipping" amounts at the end of a journey: in New York, 20, 25, and 30 per cent. You should only really tip 30 per cent if the taxi turns out to be the Batmobile, getting you to your destination in record time. Even 20 per cent can sometimes feels a little high. Tipping is subjective: I often manually override the default, leaving 15-20 per cent, or a few extra dollars if I'm paying in cash.</p> <p>If you hire a car and take advantage of valet (all but mandatory in Los Angeles), be prepared to tip the worker US$3-5 upon pick-up, depending on how ritzy the establishment is. A quick rule of thumb: more ritz equals more tip. </p> <p><strong>Hotels</strong></p> <p>If you arrive at the hotel and somebody opens the door for you, that's on the house. If they carry your bags, that is not on the house. Give them US$2-3 a bag.</p> <p>If the hotel has a concierge, their friendliness isn't contingent on your generosity. But if they perform a service for you - book a trip, hire a car, charter a private jet to the Bahamas - acknowledge this effort with US$10-20 at the end of your stay, presented with a handshake.</p> <p>One case where tipping can have a direct impact on the quality of service you receive is housekeeping. Each morning, leave US$2-5 on your pillow with a thank you note. This ensures different cleaners get their due, and it also means cleaners will be extra diligent for the rest of your stay. If you think this is a little rich, keep in mind that these people are picking up your dirty towels, so spare change for a cup of coffee is the least you can do.  </p> <p>One point of confusion with hotel tipping is the in-room dining. Some hotels include a default tip on their dining bills; some include a "service charge," which goes to the hotel, and should not be treated as a tip. If there's no obvious tip included on the bill, slip the server 15-20 per cent when they knock on your door.</p> <p><strong>Dining and drinking</strong></p> <p>Nobody can force you to tip in a restaurant, though they can try to counteract your miserliness by stating on the menu that tips are automatically added to the final charge. This is increasingly common in areas catering to large numbers of foreign travellers; it's also pretty standard when your table has more than six people. </p> <p>If tips have been added by the time you come to hand over your card, no further gratuity is needed. If no tip has been included, you might need to leave some money on the table. How much exactly depends on what kind of table it is.</p> <p>If it is a fast food table, no tip. If it is a table at a restaurant ranging from modest diner to upmarket eatery, 15-20 per cent for the waiter is standard (err on the high side in major cities like New York and San Francisco). If you leave less than 15 per cent, staff will assume you weren't happy with their service.</p> <p>If you leave two pennies on top of the bill - a code - they will know you were very unhappy, and feel bad even as they silently loathe you for being a Scrooge. It is almost never okay to withhold a tip; if you're considering doing that, you should also be considering complaining to the manager.  </p> <p>If it is a very fancy restaurant, perhaps one with Michelin stars, prepare to hand over 25 per cent of the bill (before tax) to the waiter, who will divide it up among his or her support staff. You should also tip the sommelier if they suggest wine, and perhaps the maitre'd, if they gave you a fabulous table.     </p> <p>Always, without exception, tip a bartender a dollar for every drink; bigger tips can mean stronger second cocktails in my experience.</p> <p>As for coffee shops, despite the increasing prevalence of tip jars, and "suggested tips" when paying with a card, this is cheekiness and should only be taken seriously if the barista goes out of their way, like the man who once drew Darth Vader in my cappuccino crema.</p> <p><strong>Everything else</strong></p> <p>This guide covers the most common situations a traveller will have to contend when in the US, though the list is not exhaustive.</p> <p>For example, do you tip a massage therapist? Yes, 10-20 per cent. A hairdresser? Same. Tour guide or hiking leader? 15-20 per cent of the total charge, depending on their performance.</p> <p>That Elvis impersonator who officiated your wedding in a Las Vegas chapel? Same.</p> <p>Tip anyone, in fact, that provides you with a service: 15 per cent is a good default to keep in mind.</p> <p>Just remember, nobody is affronted by the offer of a gratuity, so you shouldn't feel bashful about giving one.</p> <p><em>Written by Lance Richardson. First appeared on <a href="http://Stuff.co.nz" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Stuff.co.nz</span></strong></a>.</em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock</em></p>

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Too many Australians aren’t getting a flu vaccine. Why, and what can we do about it?

<div class="theconversation-article-body"> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/holly-seale-94294">Holly Seale</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/unsw-sydney-1414">UNSW Sydney</a></em></p> <p>Australia’s childhood immunisation program gets very good uptake every year – <a href="https://www.health.gov.au/topics/immunisation/immunisation-data/childhood-immunisation-coverage">almost 94% of five-year-olds</a> have had all their routine vaccinations. But our influenza vaccine coverage doesn’t get such a good report card.</p> <p>Looking back over <a href="https://ncirs.org.au/influenza-vaccination-coverage-data/historical-national-influenza-vaccination-coverage-end-year-age">recent years</a>, for kids aged six months to five years, we saw a peak in flu vaccine coverage at the beginning of the COVID pandemic at 46%, which then declined to 30% by the 2023 season.</p> <p>While we’re still relatively early in the 2024 flu season, only <a href="https://ncirs.org.au/influenza-vaccination-coverage-data">7% of children</a> under five have received their flu shot this year so far.</p> <p>Although young children are a particular concern, flu vaccination rates appear to be lagging for the population as a whole. Reports indicate that <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2024-05-07/calls-to-vaccinate-young-children-against-flu-as-season-begins/103783508">from March 1 to April 28</a>, 16% fewer people were vaccinated against the flu compared with the same period last year.</p> <p>So what’s going on, and what can we do to boost uptake?</p> <h2>Why do we vaccinate kids against the flu?</h2> <p>Last year, <a href="https://www.health.gov.au/sites/default/files/2023-12/aisr-2023-national-influenza-season-summary.pdf">reported cases of flu</a> were highest in children aged five to nine, followed by those aged zero to four. This is not a new trend – we record a high number of flu cases and hospital admissions in kids every year. So far <a href="https://nindss.health.gov.au/pbi-dashboard/">this year</a> children aged zero to four have had the highest number of infections, marginally ahead of five- to nine-year-olds.</p> <p>While kids are more likely to catch and spread the flu, they’re also <a href="https://theconversation.com/kids-are-more-vulnerable-to-the-flu-heres-what-to-look-out-for-this-winter-117748">at greater risk</a> of getting very sick from it. This particularly applies to children under five, and the flu vaccine is available for free for this age group.</p> <p>The flu vaccine isn’t perfect – it may not prevent infections entirely – but it’s definitely our best chance of protection. Research has shown influenza-related visits to the GP were <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27577556/">more than halved</a> in vaccinated children compared with unvaccinated children.</p> <h2>So why are kids not receiving the vaccine?</h2> <p>Often, it comes down to misunderstandings about who is eligible for the vaccine or whom it’s recommended for. But we can address this issue by nudging people via <a href="https://www.annfammed.org/content/15/6/507?sf174332549=1">a text message reminder</a>.</p> <p>Some parents <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0264410X17318285">report concerns</a> about the vaccine, including the old dogma that it can cause the flu. The flu vaccine <a href="https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/flu-influenza-immunisation">can’t give you the flu</a> because it doesn’t contain live virus. Unfortunately, that myth is really sticky.</p> <p>For <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/jpc.15235">some parents</a>, the challenge can be forgetting to book or accessing an appointment.</p> <h2>It’s not just kids at higher risk</h2> <p>Adults aged 65 and over are also <a href="https://theconversation.com/im-over-65-and-worried-about-the-flu-which-vaccine-should-i-have-204810">more vulnerable</a> to the flu, and can receive a <a href="https://www.health.gov.au/topics/immunisation/vaccines/influenza-flu-vaccine">free vaccine</a>. For this group, we usually get around <a href="https://ncirs.org.au/influenza-vaccination-coverage-data/historical-national-influenza-vaccination-coverage-end-year-age">65% vaccinated</a>. So far this year, <a href="https://ncirs.org.au/influenza-vaccination-coverage-data/national-influenza-vaccination-coverage-all-people-age-group">around 35%</a> of over-65s have received their flu vaccine.</p> <p>Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are likewise eligible for a free flu vaccine. While previously coverage rates were higher among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples compared to the overall population, this gap has narrowed. There’s even some movement backwards, especially <a href="https://ncirs.org.au/influenza-vaccination-coverage-data/historical-national-influenza-vaccination-coverage-end-year-age">in younger age groups</a>.</p> <p>The flu vaccine is also free for pregnant women and anyone who has <a href="https://www.health.gov.au/topics/immunisation/when-to-get-vaccinated/immunisation-for-people-with-medical-risk-conditions">a medical condition</a> such as heart disease, chronic lung disease, diabetes or kidney disease.</p> <p>Past studies have found flu vaccine coverage <a href="https://www.phrp.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/PHRP31232111.pdf">for pregnant women</a> varies around the country from 39% to 76% (meaning in some jurisdictions up to 60% of pregnant women are not getting vaccinated). When it comes to adults with chronic health conditions, we don’t have a good sense of how many people receive the vaccine.</p> <p>The reasons adults don’t always get the flu vaccine overlap with the reasons for children. Often <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/08870446.2021.1957104">concerns about side effects</a> are cited as the reason for not getting vaccinated, followed by time constraints.</p> <p>We also know <a href="https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/primary-health-care/coordination-of-health-care-experiences-barriers/summary">accessing medical services</a> can be difficult for some people, such as those living in rural areas or experiencing financial hardship.</p> <h2>Filling the gaps</h2> <p>In Australia, GPs offer flu vaccines for all ages, while flu vaccination is also available at pharmacies, generally from age five and up.</p> <p>While some people make a conscious decision not to get themselves or their children vaccinated, for many people, the barriers are related to access.</p> <p>Programs offering vaccination outside the doctor’s office are increasing globally, and may assist in <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/14760584.2019.1698955">filling gaps</a>, especially among those who don’t have regular access to a GP.</p> <p>For some people, their only point of contact with the <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34272104/">medical system</a> may be during emergency department visits. Others may have more regular contact with a <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7046372/">specialist</a> who coordinates their medical care, rather than a GP.</p> <p>Offering vaccine education and programs <a href="https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/0009922810374353">in these settings</a> has been shown to improve immunisation rates and may play a pivotal role in filling access gaps.</p> <p>Outside medical and pharmacy settings, the workplace is the most common place for Australian adults to receive their flu vaccine. A <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1326020023004272">survey</a> showed Australian adults find workplace vaccination convenient and cost-effective, especially where free or subsidised vaccines are offered.</p> <p>Expanding vaccination settings, such as with <a href="https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/19375867221087360?url_ver=Z39.88-2003&amp;rfr_id=ori:rid:crossref.org&amp;rfr_dat=cr_pub%20%200pubmed">drive-through</a> and mobile clinics, can benefit groups who have unique access barriers or are under-served. Meanwhile, offering vaccination through faith-based organisations has been shown to improve uptake among <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/37013523/">racial and ethnic minority groups</a>.</p> <p><em>Eleftheria Lentakis, a masters student at the School of Population Health at UNSW Sydney, contributed to this article.</em><!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/229477/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/holly-seale-94294"><em>Holly Seale</em></a><em>, Associate Professor, School of Population Health, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/unsw-sydney-1414">UNSW Sydney</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock</em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/too-many-australians-arent-getting-a-flu-vaccine-why-and-what-can-we-do-about-it-229477">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

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Yes, adults can develop food allergies. Here are 4 types you need to know about

<div class="theconversation-article-body"><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/clare-collins-7316">Clare Collins</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-newcastle-1060">University of Newcastle</a></em></p> <p>If you didn’t have food allergies as a child, is it possible to develop them as an adult? The short answer is yes. But the reasons why are much more complicated.</p> <p>Preschoolers are about <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25316115/">four times more likely to have a food allergy</a> than adults and are more likely to grow out of it as they get older.</p> <p>It’s hard to get accurate figures on adult food allergy prevalence. The Australian National Allergy Council reports <a href="https://nationalallergycouncil.org.au/about-us/our-strategy">one in 50 adults</a> have food allergies. But a US survey suggested as many as <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30646188/">one in ten adults</a> were allergic to at least one food, with some developing allergies in adulthood.</p> <h2>What is a food allergy</h2> <p><a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/36509408/">Food allergies</a> are immune reactions involving <a href="https://www.aaaai.org/tools-for-the-public/allergy,-asthma-immunology-glossary/immunoglobulin-e-(ige)-defined">immunoglobulin E (IgE)</a> – an antibody that’s central to triggering allergic responses. These are known as “IgE-mediated food allergies”.</p> <p>Food allergy symptoms that are <em>not</em> mediated by IgE are usually delayed reactions and called <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25316115/">food intolerances or hypersensitivity</a>.</p> <p>Food allergy symptoms can include hives, swelling, difficulty swallowing, vomiting, throat or chest tightening, trouble breathing, chest pain, rapid heart rate, dizziness, low blood pressure or <a href="https://www.allergy.org.au/hp/papers/acute-management-of-anaphylaxis-guidelines?highlight=WyJhbmFwaHlsYXhpcyJd">anaphylaxis</a>.</p> <p>IgE-mediated food allergies can be life threatening, so all adults need an <a href="https://allergyfacts.org.au/allergy-management/newly-diagnosed/action-plan-essentials">action management plan</a> developed in consultation with their medical team.</p> <p>Here are four IgE-mediated food allergies that can occur in adults – from relatively common ones to rare allergies you’ve probably never heard of.</p> <h2>1. Single food allergies</h2> <p>The most <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30646188/">common IgE-mediated food allergies</a> in adults in a US survey were to:</p> <ul> <li>shellfish (2.9%)</li> <li>cow’s milk (1.9%)</li> <li>peanut (1.8%)</li> <li>tree nuts (1.2%)</li> <li>fin fish (0.9%) like barramundi, snapper, salmon, cod and perch.</li> </ul> <p>In these adults, about 45% reported reacting to multiple foods.</p> <p>This compares to <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25316115/">most common childhood food allergies</a>: cow’s milk, egg, peanut and soy.</p> <p>Overall, adult food allergy prevalence appears to be increasing. Compared to <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/14657884/">older surveys published in 2003</a> and <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15241360/">2004</a>, peanut allergy prevalence has increased about three-fold (from 0.6%), while tree nuts and fin fish roughly doubled (from 0.5% each), with shellfish similar (2.5%).</p> <p>While new <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/38214821/">adult-onset food allergies are increasing</a>, childhood-onset food allergies are also more likely to be retained into adulthood. Possible reasons for both <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/38214821/">include</a> low vitamin D status, lack of immune system challenges due to being overly “clean”, heightened sensitisation due to allergen avoidance, and more frequent antibiotic use.</p> <h2>2. Tick-meat allergy</h2> <p>Tick-meat allergy, also called α-Gal syndrome or mammalian meat allergy, is an allergic reaction to galactose-alpha-1,3-galactose, or α-Gal for short.</p> <p><a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33529984/">Australian immunologists first reported</a> links between α-Gal syndrome and tick bites in 2009, with cases also reported in the United States, Japan, Europe and South Africa. The <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/38318181/">US Centers for Disease Control estimates</a> about 450,000 Americans <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/72/wr/mm7230a2.htm">could be affected</a>.</p> <p>The α-Gal contains a carbohydrate molecule that is bound to a <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/38318181/">protein</a> molecule in <a href="https://alphagalinformation.org/what-is-a-mammal/">mammals</a>.</p> <p>The IgE-mediated allergy is triggered after repeated bites from ticks or <a href="https://www.insectshield.com/pages/chiggers">chigger mites</a> that have bitten those mammals. When tick saliva crosses into your body through the bite, antibodies to α-Gal are produced.</p> <p>When you subsequently eat foods that contain α-Gal, the allergy is triggered. These triggering foods include meat (lamb, beef, pork, rabbit, kangaroo), dairy products (yoghurt, cheese, ice-cream, cream), <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gelatin">animal-origin gelatin</a> added to gummy foods (jelly, lollies, marshmallow), prescription medications and over-the counter supplements containing gelatin (<a href="https://www.drugs.com/inactive/gelatin-57.html">some antibiotics, vitamins and other supplements</a>).</p> <p>Tick-meat allergy reactions can be hard to recognise because they’re usually delayed, and they can be severe and include anaphylaxis. Allergy <a href="https://www.allergy.org.au/patients/food-allergy/mammalian-meat-tick-faq">organisations produce management guidelines</a>, so always discuss management with your doctor.</p> <h2>3. Fruit-pollen allergy</h2> <p>Fruit-pollen allergy, called pollen food allergy syndrome, is an <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/38002141/">IgE-mediated allergic reaction</a>.</p> <p>In susceptible adults, pollen in the air provokes the production of IgE antibodies to antigens in the pollen, but these antigens are similar to ones found in some fruits, vegetables and herbs. The problem is that <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/38002141/">eating those plants</a> triggers an allergic reaction.</p> <p>The <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/38002141/">most allergenic tree pollens</a> are from birch, cypress, Japanese cedar, <a href="https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/latex-allergy">latex</a>, grass, and ragweed. Their pollen can cross-react with <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/38002141/">fruit and vegetables</a>, including kiwi, banana, mango, avocado, grapes, celery, carrot and potato, and some herbs such as caraway, coriander, fennel, pepper and paprika.</p> <p>Fruit-pollen allergy is not common. Prevalence <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/38002141/">estimates are between 0.03% and 8%</a> depending on the country, but it can be life-threatening. Reactions range from itching or tingling of lips, mouth, tongue and throat, called <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20306812/">oral allergy syndrome</a>, to mild <a href="https://www.allergy.org.au/patients/skin-allergy/urticaria-hives">hives</a>, to anaphylaxis.</p> <h2>4. Food-dependent, exercise-induced food allergy</h2> <p>During heavy exercise, the stomach produces less acid than usual and gut permeability increases, meaning that small molecules in your gut are more likely to escape across the membrane into your blood. These include food molecules that trigger an IgE reaction.</p> <p>If the person already has IgE antibodies to the foods eaten before exercise, then the risk of triggering food allergy reactions is increased. This allergy is called <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/37893663/">food-dependent exercise-induced allergy</a>, with symptoms ranging from hives and swelling, to difficulty breathing and anaphylaxis.</p> <p><a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30601082/">Common trigger foods include</a> wheat, seafood, meat, poultry, egg, milk, nuts, grapes, celery and other foods, which could have been eaten many hours before exercising.</p> <p>To complicate things even further, allergic <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33181008/">reactions can</a> occur at lower levels of trigger-food exposure, and be more severe if the person is simultaneously taking non-steroidal inflammatory medications like aspirin, drinking alcohol or is sleep-deprived.</p> <p>Food-dependent exercise-induced allergy is extremely rare. Surveys have estimated prevalence as between <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1555415517300259">one to 17 cases per 1,000 people worldwide</a> with the highest prevalence between the teenage years to age 35. Those affected often have other allergic conditions such as hay fever, asthma, allergic conjunctivitis and dermatitis.</p> <h2>Allergies are a growing burden</h2> <p>The <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/36509408/">burden on physical health, psychological health</a> and health costs due to food allergy is increasing. In the US, this <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/38393624/">financial burden was estimated as $24 billion per year</a>.</p> <p>Adult food allergy needs to be taken seriously and those with severe symptoms should wear a medical information bracelet or chain and carry an <a href="https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/how-to-use-an-adrenaline-autoinjector-epipen-anapen">adrenaline auto-injector pen</a>. Concerningly, surveys suggest only <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30646188/">about one in four adults</a> with food allergy have an adrenaline pen.</p> <p>If you have an IgE-mediated food allergy, discuss your management plan with your doctor. You can also find more information at <a href="https://allergyfacts.org.au/">Allergy and Anaphylaxis Australia</a>.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/223342/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/clare-collins-7316"><em>Clare Collins</em></a><em>, Laureate Professor in Nutrition and Dietetics, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-newcastle-1060">University of Newcastle</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images </em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/yes-adults-can-develop-food-allergies-here-are-4-types-you-need-to-know-about-223342">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

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The truth about hotel bathrobes

<p>When the time comes to check out of a hotel, it is hard to resist the urge to search the room for any freebie items that can we can slip into our suitcase.</p> <p>Robes and slippers are the hotel items that cause the most confusion among guests about whether they can take them home without any consequence.</p> <p><a href="https://www.escape.com.au/travel-advice/to-steal-or-not-to-steal-what-you-can-and-cant-take-from-hotel-rooms/news-story/7fa7f374957edf51512c0c5dc62f4ed2" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><em><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Escape</span></strong></em></a> has revealed that robes are off limits for most hotels and that guests will also be hit with an extra charge if one goes missing.</p> <p>Hotel bathrobes are laundered and then reused for the next guest.</p> <p>However, most hotels do not mind if slippers are taken by guests because they will not be used again.</p> <p>“Slippers won’t be used again,” explained Hotels.com marketing manager David Spasovic. </p> <p>“So you may as well stash them away for you to use on your next flight – they’re ideal for wearing on a long haul. Hold back on the robe though.”</p> <p>There are plenty other items that are up for the taking at hotel rooms, but it is important to make sure you don’t get too carried away.</p> <p>“The general rule of thumb is that if it can't be reused then it can be taken,” said David. </p> <p>“Miniature toiletries, shower caps, combs, disposable razors and toothbrushes. These are all goodies that can be swiped.”</p> <p>Pier One Sydney Harbour Hotel’s general manager, Kim Mahaffy said, “We expect guests to either use or to take consumable items, including soap. But preferably not two dozen from the housekeeping cart!”</p> <p>As a general guide, pillows, towels, robes, bed sheets and electrical items cannot be taken from hotels.</p> <p>But slippers, soap, shampoo and conditioner, tea and coffee and pens, are up for grabs.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p>

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