Newswire – HPA: Reports of dengue fever, a mosquito-borne infection, have more than doubled in UK travellers from 166 reported cases in 2009 to 406 in 2010, according to new figures from the Health Protection Agency (HPA). Dengue fever does not occur in the UK and the highest proportion of cases were associated with travel to India - 84 cases (21%) & Thailand - 61 cases (15%).
This increase in dengue reports is coupled with a 34% rise in the number of reported cases of chikungunya, another mosquito borne infection, which rose from 59 cases in 2009 to 79 in 2010. Nearly 50% of these cases were associated with travel to India. There is no vaccine or drug to prevent or treat either disease and supportive care is based on management of symptoms.
Directgov: An interactive map showing how clean bathing waters are at 500 sites across England & Wales has been published. Profiles have also been created for each site, helping bathers make more informed choices about the best locations to visit & enjoy. Individual profiles have also been created for each site, complete with maps, photos & descriptions of the beach & surrounding area, rivers & streams feeding into the site.
CBI: The UK economy lost 190m working days to absence last year, with each employee taking an average of 6.5 days off sick, according to the latest CBI/Pfizer Absence and Workplace Health Survey. Despite the introduction of the new ‘fit note’ in 2010, the rate of absence last year was marginally higher than in 2009, when employees averaged 6.4 sick days, the lowest rate since the survey began in 1987.
The 190m days cost employers £17bn, including over £2.7bn from 30.4m days of non-genuine sickness absence – so-called ‘sickies’. This does not include the other indirect costs of absence, like lower customer service and lost productivity.
HFEA: New figures released show that multiple births from IVF continue to fall. This follows the HFEA’s initiative to reduce multiple births (the single biggest risk of fertility treatment) and is supported by leading professional bodies in the sector.
The policy is part of a wider national strategy to reduce the number of multiple births resulting from fertility treatment, involving representatives from professional bodies, patient groups and NHS-funding bodies. The ‘One at a Time’ website provides clinics with the tools to change their clinical practice, information to patients and aims to share best practice across the sector.
DCMS: The Government has published updated business plans for each government department with full details of changes made to the plans since they were first published in November 2010. The plans reflect an updated assessment of when the Government will implement its commitments set out in the Programme for Government.