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GPs won't be dealing with the vomiting virus, British Lion eggs safe in pregnancy, and gut bacteria swap could boost weight loss

A round-up of the morning’s health news headlines

Patients who suspect they have the winter vomiting bug are being advised not to go to their GP or hospital and to call NHS 111 instead, the Daily Mail reports.

Public Health England have said that incidence of the bug is no higher than in previous years, but with cases of the highly contagious Norovirus cases escalating from October, whole wards can be shut down if there’s an outbreak.

John Harris, a norovirus expert at Public Health England said: ‘No two norovirus seasons are the same and there is no way of predicting how busy a season will be. What we do know is that many people will be affected across the country and they will probably feel very unwell for a couple of days but will get better.’

The Telegraph reports pregnant women can safely eat cooked eggs carrying the ‘British Lion’ stamp – the only kind sold in major supermarkets – but should avoid imported eggs, or those sold in restaurants.

The Food Standards Agency has acknowledged the salmonella vaccination programme, started after the 1988 outbreak, has been highly successful, and mothers avoiding eggs in pregnancy deprives infants of nutrition and could be contributing to risks of intolerance.

An FSA spokesperson said: ‘We recognise that significant progress has been made and eggs are much safer today [for pregnant women] than they were.’ And added guidance could be reviewed next year.

And finally, a gut-bacteria supplement could potentially help patients lose weight after research founders found bacteria from skinny individuals can confer the same benefits when transplanted to a new subject, the BBC reports.

A Cornell University study on human twins found species of Christensenellaceae bacteria was associated with being leaner, and was also heritable, and when they transplanted the same species to mice they also gained less weight.

Research is continuing into genetic factors and study leader Dr Ruth Ley, said ‘Once we have found out how it works in mice, if it seems like we can apply that to humans we can look into developing this as a probiotic to regulate weight.’

 

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