Wednesday, August 20, 2008


This time from Andy Bolt, giving a bit of stick to another irresponsible journalist creating another 'wild warming scare':
CLIMATE change could threaten the safety of blood used for life-saving transfusions, Australian experts have warned.

A report by West Australian researchers has raised concern that rising temperatures will increase the prevalence of viruses, like dengue and Ross River, already circulating in the northern regions of the country.
Really, whichever News organisation ran that story should be looking long and hard at its recruitment policies; their journalists and editors are just woeful.

Update: you can read the abstract of the research report here. On dengue fever, it says:
[D]engue is currently of most concern to blood safety because; it can cause fatalities, there are regular seasonal outbreaks in Northern Australia and, in contrast to other viruses mentioned above an overseas case of transfusion transmission has already been documented. Notably, despite the lack of a suitable dengue screening test the ARCBS [Australian Red Cross Blood Service] already implements supplementary measures to protect the blood supply during outbreaks. (my emphasis)
Oddly enough, the fact that the ARCBS already has measures in place to protect the blood supply from dengue wasn't newsworthy enough to include in the News report.

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