MinervaBMJ 1996; 313 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.313.7064.1092 (Published 26 October 1996) Cite this as: BMJ 1996;313:1092
Hepatitis G virus is an RNA virus that accounts for some cases of jaundice after transfusion. A study in Queensland (Medical Journal of Australia 1996;165:369-71) found that five of 120 blood donors were positive for the virus when tested by the reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction. This rate is higher than the rate of 1.5% found among volunteer blood donors in Europe. More research is needed—but this time let us hope that the decision makers learn from their experience with hepatitis C.
Wandering elk come second only to alcohol as a cause of road accidents in Finland, says a brief item in “Injury Prevention” (1996;2:191). They cause hundreds of collisions and about 12 deaths a year. According to the transport ministry, “there are a lot of elk; they are very big; they're not very clever; and they don't take any notice of road signs.”
All the recent enthusiasm and optimism about new multiple drug regimens for HIV infection should be viewed in the global context: 90% of deaths from AIDS are in populations with no access to antiretroviral treatments (New England Journal of Medicine 1996;335:1142-3). For most people prevention remains the only practical strategy for controlling the epidemic.
Human bodies have always been in short supply, …