This site is intended for health professionals only

UK ebola alert, why growing pains should not be ignored and it’s back to five-a-day to keep the doc away

First up this morning is the news that public health chiefs are putting out a national alert warning the deadly ebola virus could spread to the UK, the BBC reports.

Foreign secretary Philip Hammond said the Government was viewing the outbreak in West Africa ‘very seriously’ and he would be chairing a Cobra meeting to discuss the issue today.

According to the Telegraph, one man in Birmingham has already been tested while another man has ‘visited a UK hospital over fears he was showing symptoms of the deadly Ebola virus’.

However, a Department of Health spokesperson told the paper: ‘We’re well prepared to identify and deal with any potential cases, though there has never been a case in this country.’

Elsewhere, the Daily Mail reports on Danish research showing half of teens who present with ‘growing pains’ may not grow out of them – and could go on to develop osteoarthritis.

The study found one quarter of people with osteoarthritis of the knee cap reported having knee pain as teenagers.

Lead researcher Michael Skovdal Rathleff of Aarhus University said: ‘If knee pain is not treated there is a high risk of the pain becoming chronic. And this clearly has a big consequence for the individual’s everyday life and opportunities.’

Lastly, if you feared you’d never be able to stop eating fruit and veg… worry no more – apparently five-a-day really is the ‘magic number’ of portions to eat, the Daily Express says.

Apparently research has confirmed that eating five portions of fruit and vegetables a day is enough to ensure a ‘long and healthy life’ and there’s no benefit from eating any more, providing a ‘ringing endorsement’ of current guidelines.

However, that probably still means most of us need to up our intake.

Victoria Taylor, senior dietitian at the British Heart Foundation, said: ‘This study is another reminder that fruit and vegetables shouldn’t be an after-thought but an essential part of our meals and snacks. Although our five-a-day message is well established, worryingly 70% of adults are still not meeting this target.’



Visit Pulse Reference for details on 140 symptoms, including easily searchable symptoms and categories, offering you a free platform to check symptoms and receive potential diagnoses during consultations.