Health: Vital Signs

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Salmonella risks Cooks should be rigorous about kitchen hygiene when making egg-based dishes, researchers warn. Their study, published in Epidemiology and Infection, found that after eggs were broken salmonella bacteria were found on fingers, kitchen tools and surfaces, even after washing with soap and and hot water. Refrigerating eggs, or using fresh ones, reduces the risk, the authors advise.

Stick-on prosthesis A stick-on prosthesis, which can be worn without a bra, gives women who have lost a breast more confidence than the traditional type, say researchers in the Journal of Cancer Care. While most prostheses need a full-cup bra and cannot be worn under flimsy beachwear or underwear, a self-supporting model, called Discrene and developed by the Danish company Coloplast, can be attached to the chest wall with adhesive pads. Discrene is available on NHS prescription.

Measles response The rate of serious adverse reactions to the measles vaccine was only 1.2 per 100,000 immunisations during the recent campaign, according to Government statistics. The figures show that there were 80 reports of serious reactions, including acute allergy and convulsions, while a rate of 7.2 per 100,000 was reported for minor reactions such as rash and fever. Nearly 7 million children were vaccinated, with a 90 per cent uptake rate.

Impotence link Another good reason for men to give up smoking: scientists now think the habit may cause impotence. Researchers from Atlanta studied 4,000 Vietnam veterans and found that smokers were 1.5 times more likely to suffer erectile dysfunction than non-smokers, even when other factors such as alcohol consumption were taken into account, says a report in New Scientist. A further study, published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, found that men with high cholesterol levels run a higher riskof impotence.

Angina treatment Angina can be treated by destroying certain nerve pathways, say doctors from Sahlegrenska University Hospital, Gothenburg, Sweden.

They describe in the Lancet a new technique, called endoscopic transthoracic sympathicotomy, which involves passing an endoscope (a special telescope) through the chest and electrocoagulating the nerves involved in the sensation of angina. The 24 patients who had surgery found their attacks were significantly reduced.

When a child awakes Parents should be allowed to be with their children coming round from anaesthesia, suggest researchers writing in the British Medical Journal. Parents are with their children when anaesthetic is given in most British hospitals, but they are rarely present when the children recover. A study of 150 parents invited to be with their child in the recovery room found that most welcomed the idea and that staff thought their presence worthwhile.

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