Tuesday, 14 August 2007

Australian flu season spikes diabetes diagnoses

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A particularly bad flu season in Australia has triggered a sharp rise in the diagnosis of type 1 diabetes, according to a recent report in the Sydney Morning Herald.

One doctor at Children's Hospital at Westmead in Sydney reported the hospital has diagnosed more than twice as many children than usual with type 1 diabetes. "Every year in the winter there's more children getting diabetes than at any other time of the year," said Dr. Neville Howard. "However, this year there's a mini epidemic occurring."

According to the story, the hospital made more than double the usual number of type 1 diabetes diagnoses this month. Six of the 17 cases required intensive care for diabetic ketoacidosis. Experts suggest symptoms of diabetes could have been masked by the flu and that the prolific season for sickness was probably the final straw for children poised to develop the disease, which is often preceded by a virus such as the flu.

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