This Week in Public Health News | Week of April 3, 2017

1) Vaccine credited with HPV virus reduction in Scotland

“Researchers have found a 90% fall in levels of the human papilloma virus (HPV) in Scottish women since the vaccine was made available in 2008. HPV virus types are thought to account for about 90% of cervical cancers. Scientists hope the drop in HPV cases will lead to a significant drop in future cervical cancer cases.”


2) Majority of middle-aged Canadians not using condoms: survey
“Research from the University of Guelph indicates Canadians aged between 40 and 59 are less likely to use condoms than their younger counterparts. The study found 65 per cent of men in that age bracket surveyed online reported not using a condom the last time they had sex, while the number jumped to 72 per cent for women.”


3) Measles…over here and over there 

It was a big week for measles, including an outbreak in Toronto involving a WestJet employee, an outbreak in Nova Scotia that has now hit 13 cases, increased activity in Italy associated with an anti-vaccination populist movement, and most tragically, an alarming outbreak in Romania of over 2,000 cases since February 2016 with 17 children deaths.

The recent outbreaks of mumps and measles have garnered substantial media attention. Canada’s CMOH released a statement urging travelling Canadians to ensure that their vaccinations are up to date.


4) New law in Scotland bans e-cigarettes sales to under-18s

Restrictions on e-cigarettes, including a ban on their sale to under-18s, have come into effect in Scotland.
5) Stronger Indigenous culture would cut suicide rates, health congress told
“The solution to reducing the staggering rates of suicide among indigenous communities worldwide lies in strengthening culture rather than just focusing on issues such as drug and alcohol abuse, experts at a global conference have said.” Rates of suicide for indigenous people in Canada are almost twice as high as rates for non-indigenous Canadians, according to Statistics Canada, and 10 times as high among Inuit communities.


6) Leaked report offers window into the medical one percenters and ‘growing concern’ over MD pay inequity

“Inequity in physician income is a growing concern that could fuel a “breakdown in collegiality,” over-delivery of certain services and unwanted intervention by governments, warns an internal Alberta Medical Association document. More than 400 of the province’s physicians bill over $1 million a year including overhead — while 4,000 doctors are billing $250,000 or less.”