Information updates

New ASCIA fast facts on asthma, autoimmunity and eczema

9 November 2018

Fast Facts areasAsthma and allergy, autoimmune diseases and eczema (atopic dermatitis) are the latest topics to be added to ASCIA Fast Facts. A total of 12 ASCIA Fast Facts topics are now available on the ASCIA website www.allergy.org.au/patients/fast-facts   

ASCIA Fast Facts provide bite sized, easy to read and trustworthy information on allergy and other immune diseases for patients, carers and the community.

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New translations of ASCIA anaphylaxis information

5 November 2018

Translations of ASCIA anaphylaxis information into 21 languages have been funded by an educational grant from the Sydney Children's Hospitals Network (SCHN).  They are available open access on the ASCIA website www.allergy.org.au/hp/anaphylaxis#ta5

The following ASCIA anaphylaxis resources have recently been translated into Karen (Myanmar), Khmer (Cambodia), Lao (Laos and Thailand) and Thai languages:

New ASCIA fast facts information

2 November 2018

Fast facts NovASCIA Fast Facts have been developed to provide concise, easy to understand and reliable information on allergy and other immune diseases for patients, carers and the community.  The first 9 topics are now available on the ASCIA website www.allergy.org.au/patients/fast-facts

Each ASCIA Fast Facts information sheet:

  • has been adapted from existing evidence based and reviewed ASCIA information; 
  • includes weblinks to further information and relevant patient support organisations.

ASCIA Fast Facts have been developed as part of the ASCIA Education Project 2018-2020.  

Fast Facts on other topics will be developed over the next 6 months. 

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New MBS item numbers for allergy testing – effective 1 November 2018

31 October 2018

New Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) item numbers for allergy testing are effective as of 1 November 2018. The following are responses to questions that ASCIA has recently received about the new MBS item numbers:

  • MBS item numbers 12000 and 12003 can be co-claimed on the same day, but MBS item number 12000 is restricted to specialists or consultant physicians, which includes paediatricians. 
  • MBS item numbers 12001 and 12002 are each limited to one claim per 12 month period, but they are not restricted to specialists or consultant physicians. 
  • These MBS item number changes for allergy testing were not initiated by ASCIA. However, in response to a 2017 submission by ASCIA, the item numbers were significantly modified, to ensure patients with complex allergies are not disadvantaged. 
  • The changes were made as part of the MBS review into allergy skin testing item numbers and are explained on the MBS website: www.mbsonline.gov.au/internet/mbsonline/publishing.nsf/Content/Factsheet-DermatologyAllergy

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AusPollen PreSeason Questionnaire

2 October 2018

Local AusPollen Apps provide daily levels of pollen in the air, which can help if you have hay fever (allergic rhinitis) or if your asthma is made worse by allergens in the air.

To help the AusPollen team evaluate usefulness of the Apps and how they can improve this service, please complete a short questionnaire before and after the pollen season. https://survey.qut.edu.au/f/192287/435d/

You can access the service on the website www.pollenforecast.com.au or via itunes or Google Play Apps, Twitter or Facebook. 

This research will help the AusPollen Team to know where to site future pollen count stations and also determine if there are local triggers that make hay fever and asthma worse.

ASCIA 2018 Conference Report

17 September 2018
ASCIA 2018 Conference Co chairs Dr Elizabeth da Silva and Assoc Prof Katrina Randall

Congratulations and thank you to the ASCIA 2018 conference co-chairs A/Prof Katrina Randall and Dr Elizabeth da Silva, as well as their organising committee (listed below). The ASCIA 2018 Conference in Canberra was a great success, with more than 600 registrations, an outstanding program and a fabulous gala dinner at Old Parliament House. The positive feedback received from delegates has indicated that the ASCIA Annual Conference was once again a highlight of the year for ASCIA members and other health professionals who work in allergy and immunology. 

Thank you also to the following international speakers who presented at the conference:

  • Prof Carlos Camargo (USA)
  • A/Prof David Fleischer (USA)
  • Prof David Jayne (UK)
  • Prof Marc Riedl (USA)
  • Prof Jonathan Spergel (USA)
  • Dr Gulbu Uzel (USA)

Prof Antonella Muraro was unfortunately unable to travel due to an acute illness.  We thank A/Prof David Fleischer for agreeing to present in the Food Allergy Plenary and Prof Dianne Campbell for presenting in the CFAR Symposium.

ASCIA 2018 Basten Orator Dr Ray Mullins and Prof Anthony BastenWe would also like to take this opportunity to thank:

  • Basten Orator - Dr Raymond Mullins, who presented a fascinating history of ASCIA as part of a narrative review of food allergy/anaphylaxis in Australia; and to Prof Antony Basten for travelling to Canberra for the Oration
  • Invited speakers and chairs (more than 80) from Australia or New Zealand, including Dr Nitin Gupta, Prof Richard Kitching, Prof Daniel (Avi) Lemberg, Dr Geoffrey Peters, Dr Stuart Schembri and Dr Doug Taupin
  • Organising committee members - Dr Anthea Anantharajah, Dr Gary Chew, Prof Matthew Cook, Dr Carolyn Hawkins, Dr Raymond Mullins
  • Nurses Day convenors - Narelle Duncan, Elise Field, Lucy McCabe, Anastasia Wilson
  • Inaugural ASCIA Medical Associates Day convenors - Dr Nick Cooling, Dr Victoria Smith
  • Inaugural ASCIA DAA Dietitian course convenors - Ingrid Roche and Caroline Salisbury
  • GP Allergy Update convenor – Dr Raymond Mullins
  • CFAR symposium chair - Prof Katie Allen and the CFAR team
  • National Allergy Strategy breakfast team – A/Prof Richard Loh, Maria Said and Sandra Vale who presented some excellent news about long term funding to kick off the conference.
  • Sponsors and exhibitors, who continue to support the ASCIA annual conference and other educational initiatives
  • ASCIA and ICMSA staff, who all worked tirelessly to ensure that the conference was such a success

More than 100 abstracts were received for the ASCIA 2018 Conference, comprising:

  • 17 oral clinical grand rounds case presentations, including 6 PID cases presented at the Friday PID breakfast
  • 10 research oral presentations
  • 78 posters, including 19 selected for oral presentations

Congratulations to the clinical grand rounds case and poster award winners who are listed on the ASCIA website www.allergy.org.au/hp/awards-grants/ascia-award-grant-scholarship-recipients#s1 

All abstracts will be published online in the Internal Medicine Journal by the end of this month, with a link from the ASCIA website www.allergy.org.au/conferences/ascia-annual-conference/published-abstracts-ascia

The ASCIA Annual General Meeting for 2017-2018 was held during the ASCIA 2018 Conference on Thursday 14 September. In case you missed it, the Minutes are available at www.allergy.org.au/members/ascia-agm  

The AGM included ASCIA Council elections, so we thank all outgoing members and welcome new Directors and Council members, who are listed on the ASCIA website www.allergy.org.au/members/committees 

We look forward to your participation in the ASCIA 2019 Conference in Perth next September, to celebrate the 30th Anniversary of ASCIA. For preliminary information visit www.ascia2019.com

Nip Allergies in the Bub launch

27 August 2018

The National Allergy Strategy Food Allergy Prevention Project “Nip Allergies in the Bub” was launched today in Western Australia, where it will be piloted for a year, before it is launched throughout Australia. This project is the first in the world to promote feeding children the common allergy causing foods by one year of age, to help prevent food allergy from developing. 

The website www.preventallergies.org.au contains practical information for parents and carers about introducing foods and managing eczema for allergy prevention.  It also includes information and resources for health professionals.

It is important to note that the websites and other resources developed for National Allergy Strategy projects can also be used in New Zealand.

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National Allergy Strategy update

20 August 2018: 

The National Allergy Strategy event at Parliament House Canberra on Thursday 16 August 2018 was a great achievement in advocacy for all Australians living with allergic disease, with the government announcing 5 years of funding for National Allergy Strategy initiatives. 

The acknowledgment  of allergic disease and its impact on so many Australians was evident by the bipartisan support from Greg Hunt MP, Ken Wyatt MP, Senator Richard Di Natale and Catherine King MP, who all spoke at the event.  Thank you to A/Prof Richard Loh, Maria Said, Barry Hickey and Jaclyn Jauhiainen, who also spoke at the event, and to Dr William Smith (ASCIA President) and Dr Brynn Wainstein (ASCIA President Elect) who attended the event.

Thank you also to Sandra Vale for coordinating the National Allergy Strategy, Rikki Dunstall for providing support, and all the supporters who attended the event and/or have contributed to the outstanding success of the National Allergy Strategy.  For more information go to www.nationalallergystrategy.org.au 

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