The Meningitis Centre of Australia is part of the Telethon Kids Institute and is striving to eliminate meningitis in Australia by lobbying for vaccines and educating the community to be aware of the signs and symptoms. The Centre also provides support for families affected by the disease.
Meningitis is an inflammation of the fluid and membranes that cover the brain and spinal cord.
There are three main types of meningitis infection
KNOW THE SYMPTOMS!!!!
In August 2013 Australia became the first country in the world to approve the meningococcal B vaccine for widespread use. However while it is available via prescription through a doctor is is still too expensive for most people. The Meningitis Centre Australia is continuing to lobby the federal government to put it on the National Immunisation Program so that it is FREE for everybody.
Please sign our petition for the Federal Government to allocate funding for this life saving vaccine!
25 Nov 2015
Meningococcal death sparks new warning
read more >
25 Nov 2015
Revealed... the 10 diseases that could kill you in just ONE day Read more: http://www.dailymail.co
read more >
23 Nov 2015
Amoebic meningitis and pool safety
read more >
18 Nov 2015
Canberra Close Up: Professor Stephen Parker
read more >
Hunter New England Health has issued a community alert after the death of an elderly man from meningococcal disease.
This is the eighth case of meningococcal disease from the Hunter New England region this year.
Close contacts of the man have been prescribed clearance antibiotics but authorities say there are no links between this case and any previous cases.
Public health physician, Dr David Durrheim, said meningococcal disease could be very severe and the community needed to be on the alert for its symptoms.
“If anyone suspects meningococcal disease, they should seek medical attention immediately,” he said.
“Up to 10 per cent of patients with invasive meningococcal disease in Australia die as a result of the infection.
“Meningococcal infection does not spread easily – it is spread by secretions from the nose and throat of a person who is carrying it and close and prolonged contact is needed to pass it on.
“It does not appear to be spread through saliva or by sharing drinks, food or cigarettes.”
The first symptoms of meningococcal disease may include: pain in the legs, cold hands and feet, and abnormal skin colour.
Later symptoms may include: high fever, headache and neck stiffness, dislike of bright lights, nausea and vomiting, a rash of reddish-purple spots or bruises, and drowsiness.
Babies with the infection can be irritable, not feed properly and have an abnormal cry.
Dr Durrheim stressed that while meningococcal disease could be serious, in most cases, early detection and treatment resulted in a complete recovery.
“Most cases of meningococcal disease are seen in infants, young children, teenagers and young adults, although people of any age can be infected,” he said.
“Several strains of meningococcal bacteria cause disease in Australia – previously the meningococcal C strain was common, but this is now rare following introduction of meningococcal C vaccine on the National Immunisation Program in 2003.
“Other strains are currently the most common. This means that young people who have had the meningococcal C vaccine should still be on the look out for symptoms.”
Dr Durrheim said the number of cases had been falling over the past 10 years due in part to the success of the meningococcal C vaccination program.
“The meningococcal C vaccine is recommended for all babies at 12 months of age and currently in NSW, free vaccine is provided for unvaccinated people up to 25 years of age.
“Where suspected or confirmed meningococcal disease has been diagnosed, public health officials will arrange for information and clearance antibiotics to be provided to close contacts, such as other members of the person’s household.”
SOURCE: Namoi Valley Independant
Published: 01:52 EST, 21 November 2015 | Updated: 04:33 EST, 21 November 2015
Cancer, heart disease and HIV - all strike fear into the heart of patients handed the devastating diagnoses.
They are chronic diseases, that progress over time and ultimately each can prove fatal.
While they can kill, they do so over a prolonged period of time.
But, perhaps more terrifying, is existence of a number of diseases infinitely more potent and capable of killing within 24 hours.
Last year headlines around the world revealed the unfolding Ebola epidemic sweeping through the Western African nations of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.
To date, 11,314 people have lost their lives to the vicious virus, according to the WHO, and the disease reached the shores of the US, UK, Spain and other nations during the crisis.
With no known cure, and a lack of vaccine, the disease can wipe out whole communities rapidly, with many victims succumbing to their symptoms within hours.
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From Ebola, pictured under the microscope, which has killed 11,314 people since an epidemic swept West Africa last year, to meningitis and MRSA, here we reveal 10 of the most potent diseases in the world
For the majority of the world's population, diseases like Ebola, dengue fever and cholera are unlikely to be a threat.
But other diseases, joining the list with Ebola as potentially deadly in a matter of hours, include meningitis, stroke and MRSA - all prevalent across the world.
Here, we reveal 10 of the world's most deadly diseases...
1. NECROTISING FASCIITIS
Commonly referred to as a 'flesh eating' bug, necrotising fasciitis, can quickly spread through the body, killing the body's soft tissue.
It is a very serious bacterial skin infection that can kill sufferers within a short period of time.
Though deadly, this disease is rare.
It can be caused by more than one type of bacteria, with A Streptococcus (group A strep) the most common trigger of the disease.
Usually, infections from group A strep bacteria are generally mild and are easily treated.
But, in cases of necrotising fasciitis, bacteria spread rapidly once they enter the body.
They infect flat layers of a membrane known as the fascia, connective bands of tissue that surround muscles, nerves, fat, and blood vessels.
The infection also damages the tissues next to the fascia.
Sometimes toxins made by these bacteria destroy the tissue they infect, causing it to die.
When this happens, the infection is very serious and can result in loss of limbs or death.
Each year in the United States, there are about 650 to 850 cases of necrotising fasciitis caused by group A strep.
Commonly referred to as a 'flesh eating' bug, necrotising fasciitis, can quickly spread through the body, killing the body's soft tissue. It is a very serious bacterial skin infection, commonly triggered by A streptococcus, pictured, that can kill sufferers within a short period of time
2. MENINGOCOCCAL DISEASE
Meningococcal disease, also referred to as cerebrospinal meningitis is a contagious bacterial disease caused by the meningococcus (Neisseria meningitidis).
It is spread by person-to-person contact through respiratory droplets of infected people.
There are three main clinical forms of the disease: the meningeal syndrome, the septic form and pneumonia.
The onset of symptoms is sudden and death can follow within hours.
In as many as 10-15 per cent of survivors, there are persistent neurological defects, including hearing loss, speech disorders, loss of limbs, mental retardation and paralysis.
Meningococcal disease can cause meningitis as well as meningococcal septicemia, both of which can prove fatal
N. meningitidis inhabits the mucosal membrane of the nose and throat, where it usually causes no harm.
Around five to 10 per cent of a population may be asymptomatic carriers. These carriers are crucial to the spread of the disease as most cases are acquired through exposure to asymptomatic carriers.
The disease is more common among infants, adolescents and young adults.
There are five serogroups (“strains”) of Neisseria meningitidis: A, B, C, W, and Y that cause most disease worldwide. Three of these serogroups (B, C, and Y) cause most of the illness seen in the United States.
A common outcome of the disease is meningitis.
The protective membranes covering a sufferers brain and spinal cord, known as the meninges, become infected and swell.
Symptoms include sudden onset of fever, headache, a stiff neck and aversion to light.
Nausea, vomiting and confusion are also common.
The symptoms can appear quickly and typically develop within three to seven days of exposure to the disease.
Infants suffering meningitis are often slow or inactive, irritable, vomiting or feed poorly.
If a parent suspects their child has meningitis they should contact a doctor straight away.
Meningococcal meningitis is extremely serious and can be fatal.
In severe cases it can cause death in a matter of hours.
Another common outcome of meningococcal infection is bloodstream infection, septicemia.
When someone has meningococcal septicemia, the bacteria enter the bloodstream and multiply, damaging the walls of the blood vessels and causing bleeding into the skin and organs.
Symptoms include fatigue, vomiting, cold hands and feet, chills, severe aches, rapid breathing, diarrhea and in the later stages, a tell-tale purple rash.
Meningococcal septicemia is very serious and can be fatal. In fatal cases, deaths can occur in as little as a few hours. In non-fatal cases, permanent disabilities can include amputation of toes, fingers, or limbs or severe scarring as a result of skin grafts.
3. CHAGAS DISEASE
Chagas disease is a potentially life-threatening illness triggered by the protozoan parasite, Trypanosoma cruzi (T. cruzi).
The parasite is typically found in Latin America, where it is transmitted to humans via the faeces of triatomine bugs, known as 'kissing bugs'.
Around six to seven million people across the world are thought to be infected, the WHO estimates.
Though potent and potentially deadly, the disease is curable if treatment is initiated soon after infection.
Chagas disease is a potentially life-threatening illness triggered by the parasite, Trypanosoma cruzi, typically found in Latin America, where it is transmitted to humans via the faeces of 'kissing bugs', pictured
The disease presents itself in two stages.
The first, acute phase, lasts for around two months after infection.
During this initial phase a high number of parasites circulate the blood, but in most cases symptoms are absent or mild.
In less than half of those bitten by a 'kissing bug', the first visible sign is a skin lesion or purple swelling of the eye lids, accompanied by a fever, headache, enlarged lymph glands, muscle pain, difficulty breathing, swelling and abdominal or chest pain.
During the chronic stage, the parasites are typically hidden away in the heart and digestive muscles.
Around one in three patients suffer cardiac disorders, while 10 per cent suffer enlarged colon or oesophagus and other disgestive problems.
In later years those infected can suddenly die or suffer heart failure caused by the progressive destruction of the heart muscle and the nervous system.
There are a handful of medications that are 100 per cent effective in curing the disease, if they are given soon after infection, at the beginning of the acute phase.
4. CEREBROVASCULAR DISEASE
A cerebrovascular accident is also known, more widely as a stroke.
A stroke is caused by the interruption of the blood supply to the brain, usually because a blood vessel bursts or is blocked by a clot.
The interruption cuts off the supply of oxygen and nutrients, causing damage to the brain tissue.
WHO estimates that more than 17.5 million people died of cardiovascular diseases such as heart attack or stroke in 2012.
The good news, however, is that 80 per cent of premature heart attacks and strokes are preventable.
Healthy diet, regular physical activity, and not using tobacco products are the keys to prevention.
A stroke is caused by the interruption of the blood supply to the brain, usually because a blood vessel bursts or is blocked by a clot. The interruption cuts off the supply of oxygen and nutrients, causing damage to the brain tissue
Checking and controlling risk factors for heart disease and stroke such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and high blood sugar or diabetes is also very important.
The most common symptom of a stroke is a sudden weakness or numbness of the face, arm or leg, most often affecting one side of the body.
Other signs include confusion, difficulty speaking or understanding speech, difficulty seeing with one or both eyes, difficulty walking, dizziness, loss of balance of co-ordination, severe headache with no known cause, fainting or unconsciousness.
The effects of a stroke depend on which part of the brain is injured and how severely it's affected.
A very severe stroke can cause sudden death.
MRSA, which stands for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, is a bacteria that is resistant to many antibiotics.
In the community, many people carry the bacteria, and most MRSA infections affect the skin.
However, in hospitals and medical facilities, MRSA causes life-threatening blood infections, pneumonia and infections at the site of surgical procedures.
Symptoms of MRSA infections in the community are a bump that appears on the skin, which is red, swollen, painful and warm to touch
Anyone can catch MRSA through direct contact with an infected wound.
Studies reveal about one in three people carry staph in their nose, usually without any symptoms or illness.
Two in 100 people carry MRSA.
Symptoms of MRSA infections in the community are a bump that appears on the skin, which is red, swollen, painful, warm to touch, full of pus and often accompanied by a fever, according to the CDC.
Treatment often involves a doctor draining the wound before prescribing a treatment of antibiotics.
In hospitals and healthcare facilities, MRSA is typically spread from an infected wound and the contaminated hands of a healthcare worker.
The only way to know if a person has an MRSA infection, is to test the infection in the laboratory.
If an MRSA infection invades the body further than a skin infection, it can prove more serious.
Signs of an invasive infection include a high temperature of 100.4F or 38C or above, chills, generally feeling unwell, dizziness, confusion, muscle aches and pains, pain, swelling and tenderness at the site of infection.
Invasive MRSA infections include blood poisoning, also known as sepsis, which can lead to septic shock if a person's blood pressure plummets to a dangerously low level.
Urinary tract infections, endocarditis, which is an infection of the heart valves, pneumonia, septic arthritis and osteomyelitis, a bone infection, are also serious forms of MRSA.
Cholera is an acute intestinal infection, caused by ingestion of food or water contaminated with the bacteria, vibrio cholerae.
It is extremely virulent, affecting both adults and children, and can kill within hours.
The incubation period is short, spanning from less than one day to five.
Those struck by the infection suffer copious, painless, watery diarrhoea that can quickly result in severe dehydration and death if treatment is not received quickly.
Around eight in 10 sufferers will develop no symptoms, but the bacteria can live in their faeces for up to 10 days, and are shed back into the environment, potentially infecting other people.
Among those who do suffer the symptoms, 80 per cent have mild or moderate experiences, while 20 per cent are at risk of the potentially fatal severe dehydration.
Cholera is an acute intestinal infection, caused by ingestion of food or water contaminated with the bacteria, vibrio cholerae. It is extremely virulent, affecting both adults and children, and can kill within hours
Researchers have estimated there are 1.4 to 4.3 million cases, and 28,000 to 142,000 deaths worldwide each year from cholera, according to the WHO.
Around 80 per cent of cases can be treated successfully with oral rehydration salts.
7. ENTEROVIRUS D68
Every year, millions of children catch enteroviruses that can cause coughing, sneezing and a fever.
In 2014, the enterovirus most commonly infecting children was EV-D68, according to the CDC.
From August 2014 to January this year, CDC experts confirmed a total of 1,153 people in 49 US states suffered respiratory illness caused by EV-D68.
The virus was detected in specimens from 14 patients who died.
From August 2014 to January 2015, CDC experts confirmed a total of 1,153 people in 49 US states suffered respiratory illness caused by EV-D68
Infants, children and teenagers are at greater risk of enterovirsuses because their immune systems are less likely to have been exposed to the infections.
As a result their young body's have not had a chance to build up the immunity required to fight the viruses.
Those with asthma are at even greater risk of catching EV-D68.
The virus is spread via sufferers' saliva, and other respiratory secretions, when a person coughs or sneezes.
It can also be picked up from household surfaces.
Symptoms can vary, from the mild, including a fever, runny nose, sneezing, cough and muscle aches to the more severe.
In more serious cases, it can cause wheezing and severe breathing difficulites, which can ultimately cause death.
There is no specific treatment for EV-D68, but doctors can advise on the best way to control the condition.
8. BUBONIC PLAGUE
Known by the ominous name, the 'Black Death', during the fourteenth century, the Bubonic Plague caused an estimated 50 million deaths.
It is the most common form of the plague, and is caused by the bite of an infected flea from a small animal, like a rat.
Plague bacillus, Y.pestis, enters at the bite site and travels through the lymphatic system to the nearest lymph node, where it replicates itself.
The lymph node then becomes inflamed, tense and painful and is called a 'bubo'.
In the advanced stages of infection, the inflamed lymph nodes can turn into suppurating open sores.
These days the plague is endemic in many African countries, Russia, the Americas and Asia.
Plague can be a very severe disease in humans, with a case-fatality ratio of 30 to 60 per cent, if it's left untreated.
In 2013, there were 783 cases reported across the world, according to the WHO, with 126 people losing their lives.
A male oriental rat flea, a carrier of the Bubonic Plague or Black Plague. Plague bacillus, Y.pestis, enters at the bite site and travels through the lymphatic system, where it causes the lymph node to become inflamed
People infected with the plague often complain of 'flu-like' symptoms in the early stages of the disease.
Typically, a sudden onset of fever followed by chills, head and body-aches and weakness, vomiting and nausea.
Left untreated plague can be fatal, so early diagnosis and treatment is essential.
Antibiotics and supportive therapies can help treat sufferers.
Across the world 11,314 people have lost their lives to Ebola, with an additional 26,635 cases.
The majority of those occured in the West African nations of Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia, following an outbreak in December 2013.
On November 7, the WHO declared Ebola transmission had been stopped in Sierra Leone .
The country has now entered a 90-day period of enhanced surveillance, which is set to come to an end on February 5 next year.
In Guinea, no confirmed cases were reported in the week to November 8, and a total of four cases have been recorded in the last 21 days - all of whom are members of the same family.
Sixty-nine contacts are being monitored, with 60 thought to be at high-risk of testing positive for the virus.
Liberia has recorded no cases in the past 21 days.
Ebola is a severe, often fatal illness, with a death rate of up to 90 per cent. The illness affects humans as well as primates, including monkeys, gorillas and chimpanzees.
Ebola is transmitted through close contact with the blood, secretions, organs or other bodily fluids of infected animals.
Across the world 11,314 people have lost their lives to Ebola, with an additional 26,635 cases. The majority of those occured in the West African nations of Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia, following an outbreak in December 2013
In Africa infection in humans has happened as a result of contact with chimpanzees, gorillas, fruit bats, monkeys, forest antelope and porcupines found ill or dead in the rainforest.
Once a person becomes infected, the virus can spread through contact with a sufferer's blood, urine, saliva, stools and semen. A person can also become infected if broken skin comes into contact with a victim's soiled clothing, bed linen or used needles.
Men who have recovered from the disease, can still spread the virus to their partner through their semen for seven weeks after recovery.
Those at risk during an outbreak include:
Symptoms include sudden onset of fever, intense weakness, muscle pain, headache and sore throat.
That is followed by vomiting, diarrhoea, rash, impaired kidney and liver function and internal and external bleeding.
The incubation period is between two and 21 days. A person will become contagious once they start to show symptoms.
Severely ill patients require intensive supportive care. They need intravenous fluids to rehydrate them.
But there is currently no specific treatment for the disease. Some patients will recover with the appropriate care.
10. DENGUE FEVER
Dengue fever is a disease transmitted to humans by the bite of an infected mosquito.
It is estimated that there are more than 100 million cases of dengue across the world, each year.
The more severe form of dengue, is dengue haemorrhagic fever.
If left undiagnosed, DHF can prove fatal.
It is caused by the same viruses that cause the lesser strain, dengue fever.
Symptoms of the condition are high fever, severe headache, severe pain behind the eyes, joint pain, muscle and bone pain, a rash and mild bleeding from the nose or gums.
Dengue fever is a disease transmitted to humans by the bite of an infected mosquito. It is estimated that there are more than 100 million cases of dengue across the world, each year
Younger children and those suffering their first infection, experience milder symptoms in general, than older children and adults afflicted with the condition.
Dengue haemorrhagic fever is characterised by a fever, which lasts from two to seven days.
This is on top of the general symptoms of dengue fever.
As the fever wears off, a sufferer will experience persistent vomiting, severe abdominal pain and could develop a difficulty breathing.
This stage marks the beginning of a 24 to 48-hour period when the smallest blood vessels, the capillaries, become 'leaky' and allow the fluid component to escape the blood vessels into the lining of the abdominal cavity.
This, in turn, can trigger failure of the circulatory system, shock and ultimately death, if doctors are unable to reverse the breakdown of the circulatory system.
There is no specific drugs to treat dengue fever, or its more severe cousin, DHF.
However, if an early diagnosis is made in a case of DHF, fluid replacement therapy can prove effective.
Outbreaks of dengue fever occur where the mosquito carriers live, typically tropical parts of the world.
Unlike other tropical diseases, there is no vaccine to protect against dengue fever.
Using air conditioning or window and door screens, minimise the risk of mosquitoes coming inside.
Repellents containing 20 to 30 per cent DEET can also reduce the risk of being bitten by an infected mosquito.
SOURCE: The aily Mail UK
Swimming pools and spas are perfect for enjoying the outdoors with family and friends but it’s important to maintain good pool and spa hygiene, especially during hot weather or when the water temperature is warmer than 25 °C.
Water-borne amoebae and bacteria can pose a serious health risk, so it is vital that you keep the water in your pool or spa clean and safe by following good water treatment procedures.
Filtration and disinfection are the keys to knowing your family and friends can swim safely.
Good filtration will rid your pool of dirt, debris and other suspended material.
Common types of filters include:
Always ensure the filtration system is operating when there are swimmers in the pool or spa.
The filter system should completely filter all pool water within 6 to 8 hours and remain running for at least one hour after the last person gets out.
Spa filter systems usually take 15 minutes to completely filter all spa water. They should also run for an additional 1 hour before and 1 hour after spa use.
Spas should be emptied every 4 weeks, then cleaned and sanitised and then refilled with scheme drinking water and run for an hour before re-using.
Wading pools should be emptied after each use and the shell sanitised, as leaving the water in the pool provides the perfect environment for harmful amoeba to grow.
As the filter operates, dirt will build up inside and clog the filters. Filters need regular cleaning to operate at maximum efficiency.
Many filter systems have a built-in pressure gauge that will display the pressure level inside the filter. Increasing pressure levels indicate the filter is becoming dirty and will need cleaning.
Systems without pressure gauges need to be cleaned whenever the flow of water from the filter back into the pool or spa decreases noticeably.
Sand and glass filters are generally cleaned by backwashing (sending the water in the reverse direction through the filter). Cartridge filters require the cartridge to be taken out of the filter and cleaned manually.
All filters should be cleaned in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.
To prevent the spread of infection, you will need to add a chemical to the water that will rapidly destroy any harmful microorganisms or chemical pollutants in the water but not harm people.
Chemical disinfection processes in pools usually involve chlorine. Chlorine is the most effective chemical that can be used safely in a swimming pool or spa to remove organic and human wastes.
The available chlorine that is not bound to wastes is called free or available chlorine and the chlorine chemically combined with wastes is known as combined chlorine.
Total chlorine is the sum of free chlorine and combined chlorine.
Chlorine is available as:
Both of these forms provide only chlorine to disinfect the water.
Chlorine is also available as a mixture of chlorine and cyanuric acid as:
These two chemicals add a mixture of both chlorine and isocyanuric acid (called stabiliser) to the water. The function of a stabiliser is discussed below.
Salt water chlorination is the most common method used to disinfect home swimming pools in Western Australia.
Salt water chlorination systems produce chlorine by passing an electric current through water containing salt, via special electrodes.
Some domestic salt water chlorinators may not produce sufficient chlorine to maintain the level required in the water during periods of heavy usage. A pool will turn a milky colour if overused and cannot be used safely until the water is clear.
During hot weather, pools and spas using salt water chlorination will need to be checked more frequently and extra chlorine added if necessary.
Salt water chlorinators are susceptible to producing a build-up of white-coloured scale on the electrodes, particularly if the water contains high levels of calcium.
Scale can reduce the efficiency of the system to produce chlorine, so salt water chlorinators need to be cleaned manually on a regular basis (as recommended by the manufacturer).
Many modern salt water chlorinators include self-cleaning functions that reduce the need for manual cleaning.
Ultraviolet rays in sunlight rapidly break down chlorine in the water. This may mean you will need to use more chlorine to disinfect your pool or spa.
Adding stabiliser (as isocyanuric acid, or as dichlor or trichlor) to the water in outdoor pools will shield chlorine from the ultraviolet light, significantly reducing the amount of chlorine you will need. Stabiliser is not recommended for use in spas or any indoor pool.
Stabilisers should be used carefully as it can build up in pool water which may require pool water to be dumped or backwashed to reduce the stabiliser concentration.
A sufficient level of active disinfecting chemicals must be continually present in the water to destroy all harmful microorganisms.
Free chlorine can be measured on a test kit using DPD No. 1 tablet.
Combined chlorine can be measured by a test kit using a DPD No. 3 tablet.
Ask your pool technician how to sample for free and combined chlorine. There should always be less combined chlorine than free chlorine in a well-managed pool.
It is important to maintain a free chlorine level of at least:
Stabilisers should not be used in a spa or indoor pool.
It is important to maintain, at all times, a free chlorine level of at least:
Isocyanuric acid should be maintained at a level between 30 and 50 milligrams per litre.
Stabiliser is recommended in outdoor pools that use chlorine.
The pH reading is a measure of how acidic (low pH, below 7) or alkaline (high pH, over 7) the water is, with a pH reading of 7.0 being neutral.
The effectiveness of the disinfecting chemicals depends on the pH of the water. Chlorine works best when the pH reading is between 7.2 and 7.8, with a reading of 7.5 ideal for bathers.
Factors that can affect your pool's pH level include:
Remember to regularly check the pH level daily.
Check the chemical levels in your pool or spa water at least once a day.
The most important chemical levels are the:
Free chlorine and free bromine levels are generally measured using DPD 1 reagents.
pH levels are measured using Phenol Red reagents. Both DPD1 and Phenol Red are available in a tablet form from pool equipment stockists or shops.
If you use stabiliser (isocyanuric acid) in your pool or spa you should also check the level of this chemical at least once a day.
On hot days, test the water in swimming pools before your first swim and at least once again during the day.
Heated spa pools should be tested at least twice a day whenever in use.
If the results show chemical levels are too high or too low, you will need to take corrective action.
Never add chemicals while people are in the water. Allow at least 30 minutes for chemicals to dissolve into the water before anyone enters the water.
For advice on the types of test kits available contact your trained local pool and spa technician.
Chemicals can be added to water manually or via an automatic dosing system.
Automatic systems are simpler for maintaining water quality because they test the water chemistry and add the required amount of chemicals.
For busy people the use of an automatic chlorine dosing system or salt pool generated by electrolysis is a good idea. For home owners with more time, a hand dosed system can be used. Automatic systems can be programmed to operate when you are absent from the home.
Water balance is a measure of the concentration of calcium salts in relation to other chemicals in the water.
It involves measuring:
Keeping the water in your pool or spa balanced will help you to get the most from it.
Balancing your water will prevent premature erosion or scaling of pool and spa surfaces, pipes, filters and other equipment.
Your trained local pool and spa technician can help you to balance your water.
It is preferable to fill your pool or spa with scheme drinking water because it is treated and safe, good quality water.
If you use bore water you will need to increase the quantity of chemicals you use (especially if the water contains a lot of iron) and this will add to your costs.
Algae are single-celled organisms that grow quickly in sunny and warm conditions and can turn the water in your swimming pool green within a few hours. Chlorine will help prevent growth of algae.
You can use a brush to remove algae from pool surfaces. The next day, vacuum the settled algae from the floor of your pool – do not try to remove it by running the filter.
Be sure to check the total alkalinity, pH and calcium hardness before you allow anyone to swim.
Have your trained pool technician check the level of phosphorus in your scheme water supply to make sure that the pool water is not affected. Chemicals can be added to fix this.
Young children can occasionally have a faecal accident while swimming.
If this occurs, it is best to get everyone to vacate the pool and remove as much of the solid faeces as possible using a fine mesh scoop. If the child (or adult) has had diarrhoea, contact your trained technician to arrange to super chlorinate the pool.
As much as possible, do not permit persons who have contracted cryptosporidiosis in the last fortnight to swim in your pool or spa, as they may still be infectious and can spread the micro-organism into your pool.
If the pool is small, draining and scrubbing it is an option. Use a household bleach to sanitise the plastic pool and leave to dry in the sun.
Be sure to check the chlorine levels have returned to regular levels before anyone re-enters the swimming pool.
A strong chlorine-like smell can irritate the eyes, nose and skin.
Contrary to popular belief, the smell is caused by too little chlorine rather than too much. If your pool smells strongly, check the chlorine level each day before you enter the pool or spa.
Pool covers are an excellent method of saving water.
Pools with solar heaters will raise the surface temperature and encourage evaporation. In an average 8 metre by 4 metre swimming pool without a cover, daily evaporation of 15 millimetres can be expected, leaving the pool owner to think that the pool has sprung a leak.
A pool in summer with a pool cover may artificially raise the temperature of water near the surface encouraging an algal bloom. Advice from your trained pool technician may be very valuable to manage these conditions.
If a pool or spa is not in use over winter, fit a secure pool blanket and arrange the pool or pool motors to operate one hour week injecting a small quantity of chlorine to prevent bacterial growth.
Prior to the next season of use, the pool or spa should be vacuumed.
Advice on water treatment is available from:
With less than a year left as Vice Chancellor of the University of Canberra, Professor Stephen Parker joined Alex Sloan on Canberra Close Up.
Professor Stephen Parker is the Vice Chancellor of the University of Canberra - a role he has held for the better part of a decade.
In September, he announced his intention to step down as Vice Chancellor in July, 2016.
Professor Parker joined Alex Sloan on Canberra Close Up to reflect on his time in Canberra, and share his early influences, upbringing in the United Kingdom and passion for music.
"I grew up in the UK," he told Alex.
"I was sent to boarding school when I turned eight."
"The school was started in 627AD and it still had some of the original staff members when I was there, or it felt like it," he joked.
Professor Parker has two sisters and his father was a general practitioner, who delivered Sting (the musician).
"[It's my] only remote claim to fame," he said.
At 17, his mother's death had a profound impact on his family.
"We all basically scattered, because of it all," he said.
"My father went back to the West Indies. It pushed us all apart."
After living in Wales for ten years, Professor Parker moved to Australia to take up a position at the ANU College of Law.
"The attractions of Australia were really strong," he said, "contrasting with Thatcher's Britain."
"It was a form of utopia; it was so different."
However, Professor Parker's first encounters with Australia were from a sickbed, because he contracted meningitis.
"I spent the first couple of weeks feeling rotten and in bed."
These days, Professor Parker passes his spare time by playing with in band, 'The Hip Replacements'.
He says he also enjoys his newfound role as grandfather to Atticus, the son of his eldest daughter, Ruth (a criminal defence lawyer).
"I don't have anything lined up whatsoever," he said.
"Something might come along, but at this stage, nothing.
"I'll probably rebase myself in Melbourne. I'd like to spend more time with my grandson.
"The best education is to follow your passion."
SOURCE: ABC Online
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