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#GPnews: Aids in US blamed on 'Patient Zero' because of a typo

16:10 Toddlers should be screened for heart disease say experts.

Researches from Queen Mary University screened 10,000 toddlers for familial hypercholesterolaemia (FH) - an inherited form of heart disease.

The study found that early screening could prevent around 600 heart attacks among people under 40 in England and Wales a year.

Prof David Wald, who led the research told the BBC that this was ‘the only method that stands a reasonable chance of covering the whole population and identifying those at highest risk of an early heart attack.’

15.10 A report into the financial health of NHS Scotland has said that health boards in Scotland will have to make ‘unprecedented’ savings this year, according to the BBC.

The Audit Scotland report said that NHS Scotland did not meet most of its key waiting time targets, only meeting one of eight.

The report is an annual review of the health service in Scotland’s financial performance and said that funding for health service was not keeping pace with rising demands, with pressure being piled on from ‘rising costs, staffing difficulties and ambitious savings targets’ according to the BBC.

SNP leader and First minister Nicola Sturgeon defended her Government’s NHS record, while her opponents criticised her. Conservative leader Ruth Davidson called it an and said the report shows ‘the failure of this government to get to grips with our NHS’. Kezia Dugdale, Scottish Labour leader, said: ‘These problems didn't appear overnight, it is the legacy of a decade of the SNP controlling our NHS.’

Ms Sturgeon however contended that the NHS in Scotland ‘stands up well’ to the NHS in the rest of the UK, as health boards have met all their financial targets, unlike NHS Trusts.

She said: 'It is in light of these challenges, it is in light of that rising demand, that we are ensuring record levels of funding and will increase funding by more than inflation over this parliament.’

She added: ‘There is nothing unique about the challenges facing the health service in Scotland, but this government is focused on meeting these challenges and we will continue to be so.’

11.15 Aids in the US has been blamed on one man, ‘patient zero’, for years because of a ‘horrifying typo’ reports the Independent.

Gaetan Dugas has long been vilified as the originator of the disease in the US but it turns out he was just another victim. 

The US Centers for disease control listed him as patient zero in their investigation into the disease. However, researchers have now realised it was the letter O not zero. The original people investigating the rare lung disease that turned out to be Aids in the 1980s spoke to people affected, assigning them all a number. Gaetan Dugas was assigned the number 057, and the letter O to show he was from ‘outside-of-California’. 

This was later interpreted as a zero. This interpretation was bolstered by the fact that Mr Dugas could remember 72 of the 750 men he had been with so formed a ‘noticeable part of a diagram that looked at how the east and west coast outbreaks of what would become known as Aids joined up’ according to the Independent. 

Mr Dugas passed away from complications from Aids in 1984. ‘Dugas is one of the most demonised patients in history’ said Richard McKay, a public health historian and one of the new study’s two lead authors.

9:35 Pulse’s privatisation special this morning has revealed that private companies are profiting from the increasing waiting times in the NHS.

The multi-pronged analysis also reveals that CCGs are spending millions more on private sector treatment, while trusts are earning millions more through doing private work - while they are facing remedial action for long waiting lists.

The investigation was picked up by the Mail and the Times.

Got a story? Let us know by tweeting the hashtag #GPnews or emailing newsdesk@pulsetoday.co.uk

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