Information updates

ASCIA patient education resources reborn

22 May 2019

ASCIA Education ResourcesThe team at ASCIA is pleased to announce that stage three of the ASCIA Education Project is now complete. More than sixty ASCIA website articles for patients, consumers and carers underwent a comprehensive review over the past few months.  The review focused on making the information easier to read and understand across more than 12 topic areas. All of the documents are now available in mobile device friendly html versions and printable PDFs on ASCIA’s trusted and extremely popular website www.allergy.org.au/patients/information 

With many Australians and New Zealanders having English as a second language, it was important to reduce the reading age of the existing documents by following a proven formula. The comprehensive review involved making sentences twenty words or less, avoiding words with more than two syllables (where possible), and clearly explaining medical terms.

With stages one, two and three of the ASCIA Education Project now complete, we are ready to move on to stage four.

Stage 1: In August 2018 a significant redesign of the ASCIA website was completed and launched. The ASCIA website is a trusted and extremely popular source of information about allergy and other immune diseases. Access to more than 130 ASCIA educational resources was improved by redesigning the website to be more user and mobile device friendly.  

Stage 2: In February 2019 new ASCIA Fast Facts on 12 topics were completed and added to the ASCIA website. ASCIA Fast Facts provide bite sized, easy to read and trustworthy information on allergy and other immune diseases for patients, carers and the community. ASCIA Fast Facts have been adapted from existing evidence based ASCIA information and have been developed as part of the ASCIA Education Project.

Stage 3: In May 2019 the updating of more than 64 ASCIA patient articles was completed. A comprehensive review of the documents was undertaken in order to make the documents easier to read and understand. 

Stage 4: In May 2019 work has commenced on updating more than 50 ASCIA health professional resources, including 10 e-training courses.  

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Recent tick allergy publication supports ASCIA recommendations

7 May 2019

tick publicationThe ASCIA article on tick allergy has been updated to include reference to a recently published study, and is available at www.allergy.org.au/patients/insect-allergy-bites-and-stings/tick-allergy

The study is titled “Tick killing in situ before removal to prevent allergic and anaphylactic reactions in humans: a cross-sectional study”.  It is available open access from the Asia Pacific Allergy journal https://apallergy.org/DOIx.php?id=10.5415/apallergy.2019.9.e15   

Results from this published study support the use of ether containing sprays to kill ticks.  These sprays are approved by the TGA for use on human skin in Australia.  The study results support the following ASCIA recommendations.

To prevent allergic reactions to ticks do NOT forcibly remove the tick. Disturbing the tick may cause the tick to inject more allergen-containing saliva. The options are to:

  • Leave tick in place and seek medical assistance; OR
  • Freeze tick (using a product that rapidly freezes and kills the tick) and allow to drop off.

Another recent publication reports on a second tick species that has been associated with mammalian meat allergy in Australia. https://synapse.koreamed.org/DOIx.php?id=10.5415/apallergy.2018.8.e31   

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UK inquest into fatal anaphylaxis

6 May 2019

It is with great sadness that we read about the recent UK inquest into a case of fatal anaphylaxis of a 13 year old school student, Karanbir Cheema, who had multiple food allergies. https://apple.news/AH7nE6Jr3RHGTrMlPZVp7qQ  

The Coroner's Court heard that whilst there were other cases of children having severe allergic reactions through skin contact, none of these incidents had been fatal. The inquest was told that Karanbir had eczema and he scratched at his neck after contact with cheese, with blood visible following the incident. Further scratching and degrading of the skin barrier could have led to increased contact with the cow’s milk protein.  His adrenaline (epinephrine) autoinjector was 11 months out of date and this was the only adrenaline administered before he went into cardiac arrest.

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Novalac Allergy infant formula supply update

30 April 2019

Bayer Australia Ltd (Bayer) has advised ASCIA that Novalac Allergy formula is currently out of stock and ongoing stock shortages will continue over the coming months.  Please note that other Novalac products are unsuitable for infants diagnosed with cow’s milk protein allergy (CMPA).  Information on alternative formulas for infants with CMPA is on the ASCIA website: www.allergy.org.au/patients/food-allergy/cows-milk-dairy-allergy 

GPs, allergy and paediatric specialists can contact the Bayer Medical Information Team on behalf of patients to discuss compassionate/critical medical cases on 1800 008 757 or by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Bayer continues to work as a priority with the global manufacturing partner to increase supply of Novalac Allergy and an update on stock availability will be provided in June.

pdfNovalac Allergy Infant Formula Supply Update April 2019

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National Allergy Strategy funding and World Allergy Week 2019

5 April 2019

ASCIA greatly appreciates the funding that has been provided by the Australian Government to implement National Allergy Strategy projects. This includes funding that was announced by the Health Minister today, Friday 5 April 2019, which will allow the continuation of these important projects.

World Allergy Week 2019

Further long-term support is required to implement larger scale projects. As part of World Allergy Week (7-13 April 2019), we encourage anyone who is affected by allergy to support the National Allergy Strategy's $20 million election plea. This plea has been made to all major political parties and you can show your support by signing a petition and sharing it with family and friends.

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International Women's Day

8 March 2019

International Womens Day ASCIA PresidentsToday, ASCIA is proud to have our three past Presidents and the current President Elect, working together at the inaugural National Immunodeficiency Strategy meeting.

Prof Connie Katelaris, Prof Jo Douglass, Dr Melanie Wong and Prof Michaela Lucas have all made substantial contributions to allergy, clinical immunology and ASCIA. 

An example of their ongoing and outstanding commitment, is their involvement in the National Immunodeficiency Strategy meeting, a ground breaking initiative hosted by ASCIA.

Catalyst allergy program

13 February 2019

If you missed watching the Catalyst allergy program on ABC TV last night (12 February 2019),  you can watch it on ABC iview https://iview.abc.net.au/show/catalyst  

Several ASCIA members were involved in the program, including Prof Connie Katelaris, Prof Dianne Campbell, Dr Preeti Joshi, Carolina Valerio, Rebecca Sertori and Prof Janet Davies.

The Catalyst allergy program highlights the high prevalence, wide range and seriousness of allergic conditions.  These include food allergy, anaphylaxis, allergic rhinitis, asthma, eczema and cold urticaria (hives). 

Skin testing, food allergen challenge testing, the need to seek professional help from a specialist and examples of current research were featured in the program.  It was also explained why more research is required.

How can you help support research?

By making a tax deductable donation to AIFA, this will enable AIFA to fund more allergy/immunology research. www.allergyimmunology.org.au/donate

Expressions of interest (EOI) for AIFA 2019 grants for allergy/immunology research ($120,000 in total) are due by the closing date of 15 April 2019. www.allergyimmunology.org.au/grants 

 

AusPollen post-season questionnaire 2018/2019

12 February 2019

Do you have hay fever Is your asthma made worse by allergens in the air?

Local AusPollen Apps provide daily levels of pollen in the air during the grass pollen season. 

To help the AusPollen partnership project team evaluate the Apps and how they can improve this service, please complete a short questionnaire.  https://survey.qut.edu.au/f/192811/382e/?LQID=1&

Pollen counting will resume next spring.  You can access the service on the website www.pollenforecast.com.au/ or via itunes or Google Play Apps, twitter or facebook. 

If you would like to know more about the AusPollen project please contact Prof Janet Davies, Queensland University of Technology, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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