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Daily Digest 9 October 2009

Today's roundup of the GP and other health stories making the headlines - including a 'lucky break' in the swine flu fight and research suggesting a possible cure for ME.

By Steve Nowottny

Today's roundup of the GP and other health stories making the headlines - including a 'lucky break' in the swine flu fight and research suggesting a possible cure for ME.

One phrase from the Chief Medical Officer's swine flu briefing dominates this morning's coverage of the outbreak – we have, apparently, had a ‘lucky break'. The Guardian, Independent, BBC and others all repeat the phrase in their headlines, as they report that while the number of swine flu cases has increased this week, the rise is much less steep than expected.

‘Has science found the cause of ME?' asks the Independent's front page this morning, reporting new research which suggests a strong link between chronic fatigue syndrome and ‘an obscure retrovirus related to a group of viruses found to infect mice'. The Telegraph also has the story.

The Guardian covers an article published online today by the BMJ in which Dr Michael Millar, a senior microbiologist at Barts and the London NHS Trust, argues that the Government's policy of screening patients for MRSA before they are admitted to hospital may breach ethical guidelines.

Having shingles may increase the risk of a stroke within the next year by up to a third, reports the Telegraph. A Taiwanese study looked at 7,760 patients with shingles and compared them to the rates of stroke in 23,280 people who had not had the disease.

A sharp rise in cocaine addiction among young adults receives widespread coverage today. ‘Now cut-price cocaine hooks young jobless' is the Express headline, while the Times suggests that the rise in cocaine users has coincided with a fall in the number of 18 to 24 year olds seeking treatement for heroin and crack problems – officials have apparently ‘heralded the end of the ‘Trainspotting' generation'.

An exclusive in the Daily Mirror reveals that Health Secretary Andy Burnham has shelved plans to introduce an ‘opt out' system for organ donation – the article says the decision will ‘enrage' the BMA who have been pushing for presumed consent.

And finally, the Daily Mail suggests that scientists may finally have found a ‘cure' for jet lag – a study published in the journal Science suggests that treatments could also follow for serious illnesses ‘influenced by the body clock', such as cancer and Alzheimers.

Spotted a story we've missed? Let us know and we'll update the digest throughout the day...

Daily Digest Daily Digest

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