Lyon to Canberra

The building next to the Appart'City Lyon part-Dieu Gary Lum

Lyon to Canberra

Lyon has been an interesting place to visit. I really only saw the inside of a hotel room, a meeting room and the train station at Part-Dieu. These are the places where I spent most of my time. I went for walks early in the morning and after about 6 pm in search of food and coffee. Because it is winter, it was dark while I was out and it was cold. In the early mornings, it was about –3 °C. There was also a lot of traffic so the walks were not exactly in the fresh air. There was a constant smell of exhaust fumes.

The building next to the Appart'City Lyon part-Dieu Gary Lum

That said, it was a blessed relief to be out of the hotel and its oven-like heating system. I turned the air conditioning off and had the windows open but the building heating was just full on. I would lay on the bed in just a pair of shorts and my skin would dry out like a potato crisp. I always had a mug of water by the bed so that whenever I woke up I could take in some water. There was also a lot of moisturising cream applied. It’s a pity the air couldn’t be humidified. I should have brought a small plastic pipette with me for my nasal mucosa. It got really dry and crusty. After a couple of nights, there was blood from cracks which had developed in my nasal mucosa. Hopefully, the blood washes out of my handkerchiefs.

Fire hydrant Gary Lum Lyon

One really good thing about Appart’City Lyon Part-Dieu

If you ever stay in this hotel, ask for room 423, the Wi-Fi is really good. I managed to download and install updates to Adobe Lightroom Classic CC, Adobe Bridge, Adobe Camera RAW, Final Cut Pro X and Compressor. These were all large downloads (some >3 GB) and there was no problem. Please note, I didn’t wait to do these downloads for when I’d be away, they just happened to become available while I was away. It was a nice coincidence that I was somewhere with better Wi-Fi than the ADSL I use at home in Australia.

Jet lag and sleep

My sleeping pattern wasn’t too bad. I tended to fall asleep a bit after 8 pm and then wake just after midnight. I’d then fall back to sleep after an hour or so and wake again at 3.30 am. At that point, there was no value in just laying in the bed. I’d get up, shave, shower and make a cup of coffee. I’d then go through work e-mail and personal e-mail and listen to podcasts until it was time to walk to the meeting building which was the building for the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) on 150 Cours Albert Thomas, 69008 Lyon, France. This was a pleasant 25-minute walk.

See the Google map

I’ve already referred to my experience getting to Lyon and the reason for being here. Check out the most recent blog post.

As I began typing this missive, I was rejoicing in the warmth of the TGV5192 train from XYD (The Lyon Part-Dieu train station) to CDG (Charles de Gaulle International Airport). I had been waiting five hours for this train and the station was very very cold. It felt like 7 °C inside the station, and outside on the platform, it felt like it was close to 0 °C. My fingers wouldn’t move and my ears were freezing. I’d already packed my beanie and gloves deep in my main bag and didn’t want to risk opening that bag on the platform because it was packed very tightly. Can you imagine it springing open and stuff spilling out for all to see.?For those who would recommend it, no, I didn’t bring a scarf.

You may be asking why I spent five hours in a train station. Well, the check out time for the hotel was at 11 am and my train was scheduled to depart at 4 pm. I checked out at 10.30 and walked to the train station. After finding the ticketing agent I was told I could not catch an earlier train to the Charles de Gaulle International Airport unless I was willing to pay close to €100 for a new fair. There was no way I was going to fork out that kind of money just to spend more time at an airport. I spent the time in a waiting area either sitting on a hard chair or standing or pacing. The cold air rushed around the station slowly over five hours chilling me to the bone. Fortunately, with my Vodafone plan, I still had a few GB of data left so along with a portable battery I was able to keep in touch with family in Australia and friends all over the world via social media and a Slack chat space with some podcasting buddies from the USA. You can see what I shared on Facebook.

Bicycles at Lyon Part-Dieu train station Gary Lum

The discomfort of the cold was compounded by an abdominal distress consisting of griping colic and a significant feeling of gastrointestinal uneasiness. This is best described as a lack of confidence in farting. I hate messy surprises. I had a feeling the baguette I ate on Friday night for dinner may not have been that fresh. I hope it wasn’t the chocolate custard in the chocolate eclair because that was a fabulous tasting pastry.

I spent the day sitting or pacing around the train station listening to an audiobook by the QI elves who do the podcast, No Such Thing as a Fish. The book is titled, “Book of the Year”. So far, the highlight has been listening to Anna describe vaginal glitter and magicum. If you’re not familiar with the elves, including Anna, and the podcast “No Such Thing as a Fish”, I highly recommend it. I’d happily recommend their new book too. It’s full of fun facts.

Revelations on visiting Lyon

I’ve learnt some new things while travelling to Lyon. I’m not sure how applicable these observations are beyond Lyon or into France in general.

It costs money to go to the dunny

I remember as a young boy around the age of five having to give a coin to a person to be able to use a toilet in a department store. I also remember a few years ago when I took a holiday in Vietnam that I had to pay for the privilege of emptying my bladder in a ‘public’ toilet. Living in Australia, I’ve taken for granted that when the urge occurs, there are free public toilets which are well maintained all over Australia.

In Lyon, in this train station in Part-Dieu, I had to pay €0.80 each time I needed to attend the lavatory. Given my abdominal discomfort, this could have become expensive.

I wouldn’t have minded so much but the toilets were dirty and the smell was offensive. I truly do not understand what anatomical position people put themselves in to be able to spray the seat and back of a wall with faeces.

The toilets accept credit card payments which make the lack of coins in my pocket less of a problem.

Note for non-Australian readers. The dunny is the toilet, from when we had outhouses and people would micturate and defecate into a metal can, known as the dunny can. The dunny cans would be collected each morning. I will always be grateful to longtime Lord Mayor of Brisbane, Clem Jones for bringing sewage to Brisbane before I was toilet trained.

Active begging

While there is passive begging in Australia with people sitting on a sidewalk with a sign asking for money because times are tough, Lyon has people in shopping precincts coming around and asking for money. At first, I didn’t understand what was being said and when I said ‘English’ the response changed to ‘Money!’ With a handout and fingers rubbing against each other. In a five hour span, I was asked more than half a dozen times and the same woman asked me thrice. One woman was pushing her baby in a perambulator and asking for money. I only had a credit card so I couldn’t help them. Not that I would be tempted if the person pulled out a smartphone and card reader. I wonder if that will be a thing in the future, begging for credit card payments? Maybe that’s a business model that could be exploited. Maybe it’s already being done somewhere.

The French countryside is beautiful

The train ride revealed some picturesque scenery. Between 4 and 5 pm, the sky is dark, cloudy, and misty, but the fields are green. The farm houses look well kept and the sheep even look orderly. It is very pretty. Some of the farm buildings in some of the fields look like they are hundreds of years old just by the design. I didn’t see a shoddy shed amongst them. Between 5 and 6 pm it was too dark to see anything beyond the window of the train. The scheduling was spot on, board at 4 pm and alight the train at 6.02 pm.

Cigarette smoke is everywhere

It’s remarkable just how common smoking is. I’ve seen school children smoking and outside nearly every building there are people standing outside their offices all sucking in the carcinogenic tobacco smoke. Some are chatting with one another while breathing in each others’ exhaled smoke while some stand solo, durry between fingers while reading or looking at something on their smartphone. Being France, everyone was looking very fashionable, mainly in very dark colours and form-fitting clothes.

I wonder what the prevalence of carcinoma of the lung is in France. I see in the shops, unlike in Australia, the cigarette packets are on display and the packaging features the graphic pathological depictions of malignant disease or emphysema. For non-Australian readers, cigarette packages are no longer permitted to be displayed, cigarette packets must be beyond an opaque locked door. The plain packing in Australia uses a drab green colour (not to be confused with the colour olive). There is a market again for cigarette cases. What is nice in Australia is the significant drop in the number of people smoking.

Living a low carb life would be difficult

Every few hundred metres there seems to be a bakery or patisserie. Croissants and sweet pastry treats are everywhere in abundance. In the same places, there are baguettes, each about 30 cm in length and each looks like they have chicken and brie plus some lettuce and a sauce in them. Some baguettes have cured meats, others seem to have lots of olives in them, and occasionally I see tinned tuna filling a baguette.

In some places, the baguettes look like they require two hands to eat them. I’ve watched people eat them in public. Men tend to get crumbs all over their clothes while women seem to be able to eat a foot long roll of bread with sauce laden filling and not drop a crumb. I really wish I could go on a diet of eating baguettes every day.

At breakfast time I struggled to find a place that would do eggs. I didn’t find anywhere where I could get a couple of poached eggs and some bacon. As far as I know, bacon doesn’t seem to exist in Lyon, I didn’t see any the entire time I was here. I did see ham, but no bacon. I cannot imagine a life without bacon at least once a week.

I ended suspending my low carb life and ate croissants for breakfast, morning tea, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner. I had a nice ham and cheese croissant one night for dinner.

I saw little evidence of obesity

Okay, in the train station on my last day, I saw one or two obese people, but other than them I struggled to see anyone who was overweight and I actively looked out for them. Apart from some of the meeting participants (who were from other countries), I didn’t really come across anyone as I walked the streets who I’d say was overweight. This is different to when I’ve attended work meetings in the UK, Canada and the USA. The other obvious difference between Lyon and North America, in terms of sophistication, was the lack of large V8 pickup trucks. One of the thrills of North American trips has been the ability to take in all the big V8 pick up trucks made by all the manufacturers, even Toyota. While it’s unlikely I’d ever choose a V8 Toyota pickup truck over a Ford F-250 twin cab or a Dodge Ram, knowing the option exists would be nice. Australia is so backward when it comes to decent motor vehicles. Soon we will be inundated with hybrids and all-electric engine monstrosities of ugliness. The future of motor cars sucks, long live the internal combustion engine with 8 cylinders in a V configuration and hemispherical heads. Yes, I am one of those people.

When I was in Helsinki last year for work I was also struck but the appearance of vigour and fitness in the Finns. The French also have a healthy look to them. I know they walk a lot, although I did notice a lot of people use scooters on the sidewalks and there were not a lot of cyclists.

Clearly, French fashion helps to show off the general lack of excess body fat.


Last evening meal in Lyon

I enjoyed the baguette which may not have been entirely fresh. It simply had some brie and lettuce along with some olives.

Brie cheese baguette Lyon Gary Lum

The chocolate eclair was filled with a chocolate custard and it was delicious.

Chocolate eclair Lyon Gary Lum

The final breakfast

I had some funny little pork sausages, scrambled eggs, croissants and a caramel pastry.

Pastry and croissant with sausages and scrambled eggs Lyon Gary Lum

The flights back to Canberra

So I’ve mentioned the trip between Lyon and Paris was by rail. It was a fantastic ride and at one point the train was travelling at 300 kilometres per hour.

Can you imagine if we had a fast train between Canberra and Sydney. I would spend more time out of Canberra that’s for sure. I don’t understand why the ACT Government is spending vast sums of money on a tram line from a northern town centre to the CBD, when, in my opinion (which counts for nothing), it should have worked with the NSW Government on a very fast train line between Canberra and Sydney. It could have touted the tourism benefits and draw fresh money into Canberra. Very few people (again in my opinion) living in Canberra will really benefit from the tram. I will never use it given I live in Belconnen and work in Woden. If there was a very fast train to Sydney though, I’d use it frequently to get out of Canberra and spend time in Sydney. Given the price differential in airfares out of Canberra compared with Sydney, it’s entirely possible I could avoid the airline price gouging and get cheaper travel to Brisbane albeit it would some extra time to the journey.

Charles de Gaulle International Airport (CDG) to Abu Dhabi (AUH)

I didn’t get much time to explore the Charles de Gaulle International Airport. The train arrived on time but the border control process was lengthier than I expected. Boarding for the Paris to Abu Dhabi flight also began early.

I’m one of those people who likes to board as quickly as possible to make sure I can get space for my bags and so I can settle into my seat before the cabin fills up with passengers. I know this behaviour annoys other people and travelling companions, but that’s me and I’m not about to change.

Are you one of ‘those’ people too?

This Boeing 777 flight is 7 hours in duration and I used the time to get a little sleep and to just relax. In fact, I managed a solid four hours which was pretty good.

On arriving in Abu Dhabi, the weather was pleasantly warm but there wasn’t time to do much.

Passengers deplaned (the word deplane always sounds strange) onto the tarmac and buses were waiting to move passengers to the terminal. The bus I boarded got full quickly and the driver began remonstrating with passengers who were standing to get off and onto another bus. No one budged. I had got on early and was seated down the back so it would have been awkward to get off, and besides, trying to set an example probably wasn’t the thing to do. The driver gave up, got into the cab and began driving but he let everyone know in no uncertain terms he wasn’t happy. He was speaking in what I assume was Arabic given the expression of many passengers who looked like they had arrived home. Some passengers got upset and began banging on the perspex partition between the driver’s cab and the passenger cabin. He eventually stopped. I was very tempted to ask someone what he said, but thought better I don’t know. It wouldn’t have any bearing on my life.

More bad news

On getting into the terminal I quickly connected to Wi-Fi and sent a message to a brother who is caring for my sick relative; who, unfortunately, isn’t doing as well as expected and is now in the intensive care unit. The post-surgical recovery has become complicated. I will be there in Brisbane soon.

Abu Dhabi (AUH) to Sydney (SYD)

Boarding the flight to Sydney was slow going. There are now enhanced security measures at the airport for flights into Australia. Bags are searched and some passengers find this unnecessary and vent their frustration. I’m not sure there is anything to be gained by upsetting the security personnel. They are just doing their job. A couple held up the process for some time because they had bound their carry on bags with plastic freight/cargo tape. They didn’t want their bags opened just scanned via the imagine machines. That resulted in a pair of scissors appearing and the tape being cut. I’m grateful that when my bags were inspected the dirty underwear and socks were well secured in a compartment and no one had to finger my grundies (note for non-Australian readers, grundies are underpants).

The Airbus A380 gets between Abu Dhabi and Sydney in about 14 hours. After a 2 hour stop in Abu Dhabi, all I wanted to do was get some sleep if I could. After drafting my meeting report for my bosses, there’s not much else to do on the flight apart to listen to podcasts, listen to a book on the Audible app, and read a book on the Kindle app. I refuse to connect to Wi-Fi on board a long haul flight. Work e-mail will still be there when I land. As far as I know, work will not pay for onboard Wi-Fi. I hope that situation doesn’t change.

I downloaded quite a few of my favourite podcasts to listen to and I also downloaded “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” narrated by Stephen Fry.

Sydney (SYD) to Canberra (CBR)

Getting from the Sydney International Airport and the Virgin Australia terminal in the Sydney Domestic Airport is always potentially dicey depending on how long it takes to get through border control and customs. I had nothing to declare and only carry on bags so the wait wasn’t too long. The transfer between the international and domestic airports is one of the reasons why I prefer Melbourne Airport. The international and domestic terminals are colocated. There, I said something nice about Melbourne, I know that doesn’t happen too often!

Final words

I arrived back in Canberra on Monday and as soon as I got back to the flat I put all the dirty clothes into the washing machine, bought some groceries and got ready for my flight to Brisbane to begin some carer duties.

Being a Monday, the Medical Fun Facts Podcast drops at 7 pm Canberra time. This week’s show is on the Vagus nerve. I’d love it if you listened, subscribed and shared a comment with me via the show notes or via the Facebook page or the YouTube channel.

Catch you next week.

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Travelling for work

travelling for work Gary Lum de-icing wing

Travelling for work

I’m currently travelling for work. I’m in Lyon and I’m attending a World Health Organization meeting at the International Agency for Research on Cancer. The meeting though isn’t about malignant diseases, it’s about containment of human and animal pathogens and bringing together experts and officials from human health and animal health. The meeting is in Lyon because Lyon is where WHO has its laboratory experts.

How is the bad news?

Last week I mentioned I’d received some bad news. My relative has had surgery and is recovering. The outcome is looking more positive than negative. Thanks for the comments and support here and on the Facebook page.

The flights from Canberra to Lyon

It’s a long trip. I flew Etihad [cheapest fare of the day policy]. The Canberra to Sydney flight was uneventful and Virgin Australia (Etihad and Virgin Australia are codeshare partners) is always a comfortable ride. Checking in at the Canberra Airport though was a little sphincter clenching when I was told I’d have to get my final boarding pass with the relevant airline (not part of the Etihad and Virgin Group codeshare arrangement) when I got to my second last destination. That’s never happened before.

Border control in Sydney was a breeze, the electronic checking of passports is so much easier. The Australian Border Force officer checked that my face was the same as the photograph in my passport and I was good to go.

The flight from Sydney to Abu Dhabi was in an Airbus A380. It’s a huge beast but more comfortable than an old Boeing 747 Jumbo Jet. The bathrooms are certainly larger. I felt like I could swing a cat and not hit anything. I managed to sleep on and off for about five hours on the flight. The total flight duration was 14 hours and 45 minutes.

In Abu Dhabi, I knew I couldn’t turn on my mobile telephone. I’m with Vodafone and the $5/day global roaming package doesn’t apply to the United Arab Emirates. I managed to get free wi-fi though and using my iPad I could get a progress update on my sick relative. While I was in Abu Dhabi I found a public free to use iMac and opened all my blogs. I hope someone saw them before the monitor went to sleep. Instagram post.

The next leg was from Abu Dhabi to Brussels. This has a flight duration of 7 hours and 45 minutes. I had no more work or reading to do so I watched Wonder Woman and Spiderman Homecoming. They were okay movies, but a bit slow in parts. It was good to see Jar Jar Kirk and Professor Remus John Lupin in Wonder Woman.

I saw nothing of Abu Dhabi because the Sydney flight arrived just before midnight and the Brussels flight departed at about 2 am. It was dark outside.

The Captain on the Abu Dhabi to Brussels flight mentioned strong turbulence over Iraq and Iran and poor weather in Brussels as we taxied for take off. There was some turbulence but it wasn’t like bad thermal turbulence in the Top End. The Brussels weather though was bad.

It was snowing and it was icy. The day before lots of flights had been cancelled. When I got through Belgian border control I had to find a Brussels Airlines service desk. It wasn’t difficult to find. It was the desk with a line of people stretching for about 200 metres. It was a line that didn’t move very quickly. I stood in it for 1 hour and 45 minutes and didn’t get to the desk. The flight I was on had its gate called so I went over to the gate and waited until an airline official arrived. She was very friendly and kind and forgiving of my attempts to greet her in French. She printed a boarding pass for me and my clenching sphincters all relaxed at once.

I assume it’s Belgian chocolate

The flight from Brussels to Lyon takes just over an hour but we spent more than an hour on the Brussels tarmac watching the snow and waiting for the de-icing machine to arrive and de-ice the wings.

travelling for work Gary Lum de-icing wing

The flight was uneventful apart from a bloke whose body odour made my eyes water. He also put his finger in his ear hole and then sniffed it. On landing, Lyon was overcast, dreary and dank. I caught a taxicab from the airport to the hotel and that’s when the next little part of the adventure unfolded.

Appart’City Lyon Part-Dieu

The Appart’City Lyon Part-Dieu describes itself as prestige suites. I think that’s ambitious. The reception staff though are very friendly and helpful.

I arrived shortly after noon and check in was quick but I couldn’t get a room until 3 pm. I was too tired to walk around so I sat on a chair and checked work e-mails and stuff. Soon other meeting participants arrived and we got to chatting. Some people had arrived earlier and had been waiting around, waiting for 3 pm to get a room so they could unpack.

At 3 pm the fun began. Most people got a room key but I didn’t. I had to hand over a second form of identification and at 4 pm I finally received a room key.

The room had a bed, a shower, no toilet roll holders that worked, and a table. That’s basically all I needed. It also had free wi-fi. No iron though. So long as I have a shower, toilet, desk and bed with free wi-fi I’m happy.

After unpacking I ventured out to look for something to eat. When I got back the room was dark and there was no power. I checked the circuit board and everything looked fine. I went to the desk and the reception person checked the main circuit board and everything was fine. I was told I’d be put in another room, I asked for a torch so I could repack. No torch. Fortunately, the iPhone has a torch.

The new room was smaller and not all the lights worked but it did have power.

I did check the bed for bedbugs. I couldn’t see any. No washcloths though and minimal soap. It’s a good thing I don’t need shampoo 🤪

The meeting

The meeting has been good. It’s informative and it is a good opportunity to meet like-minded people from around the world. I’m grateful that the official language of the meeting is English. I’m in awe that all these people from Europe and Africa and Asia all speak English sufficiently to be able to communicate in a science-focused meeting.

I should have spent more time preparing some language skills and getting some basic phrases under my belt before arriving. French is such a mellifluous language and I am sadly butchering it at every utterance.

The food

It’s not possible to live a low carb life when visiting France. I gave up after the first day. I’m eating croissants for breakfast, morning tea, afternoon tea and dinner.

Check out the comments on Instagram.

I can’t read French and I can’t speak French. I walked into a restaurant and couldn’t communicate successfully so I left. I ended up in a patisserie and bought a ham and cheese croissant for dinner because I could point to it in the display case.

The Scenery

It’s winter, I’ve been walking to the meeting venue as the sun rises and walking back as the sun sets. I really have no feeling for the environment. It’s very noisy though. Lots of trains and police sirens.

I’m not sure if I’ll write a second post about this trip. I leave Lyon on Saturday and will be back in Canberra on Monday.

The Medical Fun Facts Podcast

I’m glad I prerecorded three episodes of the podcast before I left Australia. I would not have been able to record a show from Lyon. The next show should drop on Monday 18 December at 7 pm Canberra time and it will be about the Vagus nerve.

Do you do any travelling for work?

Catch you later.

Birthday treats from work mates

Gumnut patisserie Birthday Vanilla Slice from Kaitlyn for my 52nd birthday Gary Lum

Birthday treats especially at work don’t have Calories! I wish this were true, but who cares. It happens once a year and when you have friends like the ones I have it’s amazing.

It started early when a dear friend brought me my favourite vanilla slice from the Gumnut Patisserie from Bowral. There’s just something amazing in the pastry the way they have a caramel flavour to the flaky pastry.

Gumnut patisserie Birthday Vanilla Slice from Kaitlyn for my 52nd birthday Gary Lum
Birthday Vanilla Slice

Just before lunch (I didn’t eat lunch) another dear friend visited me and gave me a Queensland nut caramel tart from Urban Bean Espresso Bar. I love Queensland nuts (Genus Macadamia), especially on a delicious caramel tart. The best thing is the boys from Urban Bean are all NSW loving cockroach supporters and the friend who gave this to me is a Queenslander!

Urban Bean Espresso Bar Queensland nut birthday cake from Jacinta to me Gary Lum
Queensland nut birthday cake

I attended an executive meeting in the afternoon and a couple of my work mates bought me a cake to share with other members of the meeting. It was a delicious cake with yummy cream. It had a couple of layers separated by cream and jam.

Michele's Patisserie Birthday cake from work friends. I have such great work friends from Sarah and Rosemary for me Gary Lum
Birthday cake from work friends. I have such great work friends.

So I was on a sugar high all day. I wonder what my blood sugar level is.

For dinner, I needed something savoury so I put a piece of baked salmon in a puff pastry parcel along with some Coon cheese. I served it with a Hass avocado (thankfully Hass has replaced Shepard in the supermarkets) mixed with sour cream and chilli flakes.

Birthday baked cheesy salmon parcel with creamy avocado made by me, Gary Lum
Birthday baked cheesy salmon parcel with creamy avocado

In the last few weeks, I’ve alluded to the amazing generosity of my work mates here, here and here.

I love my jobs and I love the people I work with.

I hope your birthdays are as good as mine!

Gary Lum QR Code

Medical Fun Facts

Canberra is crushing salmonellosis in early 2017

Salmonellosis rates in Australia PER 100,000 for each state and territory Gary Lum crushing salmonellosis

Canberra is crushing salmonellosis in early 2017

00:00 / 00:03:37

Crushing salmonellosis is probably not a great headline for the National Capital

Crushing salmonellosis is nothing for Canberra to be proud of but I was surprised when I looked at the figures today for salmonellosis notifications per 100,000 population by state and territory in Australia.

Salmonellosis rates in Australia PER 100,000 for each state and territory Gary Lum crushing salmonellosis
Salmonellosis rates in Australia PER 100,000 for each state and territory (Friday 2017-03-10)

National notifiable diseases surveillance system

You can find the information on the website for the national notifiable diseases surveillance system. Anyone can access the information, you can search by disease by year or jurisdiction and by numbers or rate per 100,000 population.

Is infection by Salmonella a big deal?

Most people who get infected have some sort of gastroenteritis, mainly diarrhoea with lower abdominal pain and sometimes fever. You certainly don’t feel well but most people will recover without treatment. That’s an important point, most people should NOT be treated, I repeat, should NOT be treated. In reasonably healthy adults, treatment with antimicrobials can prolong the carriage of Salmonella in your gut. It’s not the thing you want to have in your guts for a prolonged time.

There are also some risk groups, namely, people who are immunosuppressed, and people at the extremes of ages, especially infants. In these groups, treatment with antimicrobials is advised. In these susceptible groups, invasive disease including meningitis, bacteræmia and septicæmia can occur with death a distinct possibility.

Therefore, Salmonella infection is a big deal for public health officials. It’s why, such a big deal is made of food safety and hygiene in restaurants and places where food is eaten, especially outdoor events when controlled environmental conditions cannot be guaranteed. Anyone with a permit to sell food must take scrupulous care when preparing food and cook it properly.

Final words

Canberra has recently had some well-reported outbreaks of salmonellosis. The reporting is mandatory and it indicates for Canberra this has been a big deal.

A tweep started an exchange with me about this and I don’t think he appreciated the magnitude of the numbers.


The take home message is being careful with food preparation.

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What do you call this?

Rice, egg, aspargus, mushroom, and cheese slice Gary Lum

The Canberra Hospital staff tuck shop was offering this today for lunch. Normally I go for the seafood plate which is a piece of battered fish, a few crumbed prawns, a seafood stick and some other things that I’ve never really worked out but it’s all deep-fried and it tastes good.

For something different, I asked what was in the main tray and I couldn’t really understand what the server was saying. It was very noisy and my deafness doesn’t help.

It has asparagus, mushroom, rice, cheese and I think it was bound with eggs. It was stiff and kept its shape. It tasted okay. I don’t know what to call it, though.

Rice, egg, aspargus, mushroom, and cheese slice Gary Lum

Do you know what to call it?

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