13 February 2019:
If you missed watching the Catalyst allergy program on ABC TV last night (12 February 2019), you can watch it on ABC iview https://iview.abc.net.au/show/catalyst
Several ASCIA members were involved in the program, including Prof Connie Katelaris, Prof Dianne Campbell, Dr Preeti Joshi, Carolina Valerio, Rebecca Sertori and Prof Janet Davies.
The Catalyst allergy program highlights the high prevalence, wide range and seriousness of allergic conditions. These include food allergy, anaphylaxis, allergic rhinitis, asthma, eczema and cold urticaria (hives).
Skin testing, food allergen challenge testing, the need to seek professional help from a specialist and examples of current research were featured in the program. It was also explained why more research is required.
How can you help support research?
By making a tax deductable donation to AIFA, this will enable AIFA to fund more allergy/immunology research. www.allergyimmunology.org.au/donate
Expressions of interest (EOI) for AIFA 2019 grants for allergy/immunology research ($120,000 in total) are due by the closing date of 15 April 2019. www.allergyimmunology.org.au/grants
12 February 2019:
Do you have hay fever? Is your asthma made worse by allergens in the air?
Local AusPollen Apps provide daily levels of pollen in the air during the grass pollen season.
To help the AusPollen partnership project team evaluate the Apps and how they can improve this service, please complete a short questionnaire. https://survey.qut.edu.au/f/192811/382e/?LQID=1&
Pollen counting will resume next spring. You can access the service on the website www.pollenforecast.com.au/ or via itunes or Google Play Apps, twitter or facebook.
7 January 2019:
As we commence 2019, we take this opportunity to wish you a happy new year and thank you for your support, which has helped ASCIA achieve so much in 2018.
For a summary of ASCIA highlights from 2018 go to www.allergy.org.au/about-ascia/highlights
In 2019 we are looking forward to celebrating ASCIA’s 30th anniversary, at the ASCIA Annual Conference in Perth Western Australia, from 4-6 September 2019.
For preliminary information go to www.ascia2019.com
The ASCIA Annual Conference is one of the following six priorities for ASCIA in 2019:
1. ASCIA Annual Conference
2. ASCIA Education Project
3. National Immunodeficiency Strategy
4. AIFA Research Grant Program
5. National Allergy Strategy
6. ASCIA Communications, Advocacy and Collaborations
To read more about ASCIA priorities, projects and collaborations planned for 2019 go to
3 December 2018:
Penicillin allergy is the most common drug allergy and is self-reported in up to 18 percent of hospitalised patients.
However, most (up to 90%) of patients with a penicillin allergy label are found not to be allergic on further assessment.
Importantly, in the true allergic patients, penicillin allergy can be life-threatening.
This course covers the following key questions about patients who have a history of penicillin allergy:
- Is it ever appropriate to prescribe a penicillin?
- Can a cephalosporin be prescribed?
- What further information is required?
- What are the danger signs of severe allergy?
- Is it possible the patient might not be penicillin allergic?
- How can we find out if they are still allergic?
ASCIA penicillin e-training for health professionals is the latest addition to the range of 20 free of charge ASCIA e-training courses. To register for this course go to https://etraininghp.ascia.org.au
30 November 2018:
It is a pleasure to announce that Nadene Dorling has been appointed as a new ASCIA Project Officer. Nadene has extensive experience in health education communications and organising conferences, medical education and patient education programs. Her skills and energy will assist ASCIA to progress implementing the ASCIA Education Project 2018-2020.
Implementation of the ASCIA Education Project has commenced in 2018 with a significant redesign of the ASCIA website www.allergy.org.au to improve access and promote increased use of ASCIA resources. These resources include world leading ASCIA Action Plans and ASCIA e-training courses as well as new quicklink webpages and ASCIA Fast Facts:
The ASCIA Education Project requires sponsorship via educational grants, to enable ASCIA to:
- Promote new ASCIA Fast Facts and new quick-link ASCIA webpages
- Improve access to more than 20 ASCIA plans and checklists
- Retain free access to more than 20 ASCIA e-training courses
- Monitor feedback and use of all ASCIA resources
- Review and update existing ASCIA resources and develop new resources as required
19 November 2018:
Cow’s milk (dairy) allergy affects around 2% (1 in 50) babies In Australia and New Zealand. In recent years deaths from severe allergic reactions (anaphylaxis) to cow’s milk have occurred in allergic babies and children. ASCIA patient information has therefore been updated to include more information about anaphylaxis to cow’s milk.
Rapid onset allergic reactions usually occur within 15 minutes, and sometimes up to 2 hours after consuming cow's milk or other dairy foods. Symptoms include one of more of the following:
- Mild or moderate allergic reactions - hives (urticaria), swelling of the lips, face or eyes, stomach (abdominal) pain, vomiting and diarrhoea.
- Severe allergic reactions (anaphylaxis) - noisy breathing or wheeze, tongue swelling, throat swelling or tightness, hoarse voice, loss of consciousness and floppiness in babies or young children.
Anaphylaxis should always be treated as a medical emergency, requiring immediate treatment with adrenaline (epinephrine) and calling for an ambulance.
9 November 2018:
Asthma and allergy, autoimmune diseases and eczema (atopic dermatitis) are the latest topics to be added to ASCIA Fast Facts. A total of 12 ASCIA Fast Facts topics are now available on the ASCIA website www.allergy.org.au/patients/fast-facts
ASCIA Fast Facts provide bite sized, easy to read and trustworthy information on allergy and other immune diseases for patients, carers and the community.
5 November 2018:
Translations of ASCIA anaphylaxis information into 21 languages have been funded by an educational grant from the Sydney Children's Hospitals Network (SCHN). They are available open access on the ASCIA website www.allergy.org.au/hp/anaphylaxis#ta5
The following ASCIA anaphylaxis resources have recently been translated into Karen (Myanmar), Khmer (Cambodia), Lao (Laos and Thailand) and Thai languages: