News in 5: Pregnant mum’s listeria scare; Trump’s gun law push; Wonder Woman casting news.

1. “If it crossed the placenta, he would have died.” Mum’s warning after contracting listeria while pregnant, amid rockmelon contamination.

“It slowly creeps up on you. I started shaking, my temperature was high, it felt like I was having a spasm. I started vomiting on the day I was rushed to hospital.”

Sydney mum Amelia Liddy-Sudbury has a warning for pregnant mothers amid the current listeria outbreak: don’t take any chances.

She was 33 weeks pregnant with her son, Theodore, last year when she ate pre-cut melon, which she now believes was contaminated with listeria – the same source as the current outbreak.

Two people have died from a listeria outbreak linked to rockmelon:

Video via Channel 7

For two weeks, doctors treated Liddy-Sudbury hoping the infection would not move past the placenta and into the womb, as listeria would prove fatal for little Theodore.

They were scared to deliver Theodore while his mother’s health was so compromised. But, at 35 weeks they could wait no longer and Theodore was delivered via emergency cesarean.

“We were within one hour of the bacteria passing through the placenta into the baby,” Liddy-Sudbury told Daily Mail. “If it crossed, he would have died.”

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The 36-year-old mother said the onset of her symptoms was gradual.

“I was feeling sore, my muscles were aching. It wasn’t like having food poisoning at all, it was like having the flu,” Liddy-Sudbury said.

But it took only days before the infection was “ravaging” her body, but her placenta was able to hold it back.

Liddy-Sudbury was treated with antibiotics for two weeks, all the while terrified of the possibility of the infection travelling through the placenta and killing her unborn child.

“For two weeks, we prepared for all the potential outcome of what could have happened. But for some stroke of miracle, he was perfect,” she said.

“If you’re pregnant or at an old age, just don’t eat it, it’s not worth it.”

Liddy-Sudbury’s warning comes as Australians are being urged to throw out any melons purchased before Wednesday, after two people have died from the infection, and eight others have been diagnosed.

The outbreak was linked to a rockmelon grower in Nericon, near Griffith, who has voluntarily ceased production after being notified of the contamination.

Eating foods that contain the listeria bacteria does not cause illness in most people. But for people with a compromised immune system it can result in severe illness and even death, the Food Safety Information Council has warned.

Listeria starts with flu-like symptoms such as fever, chills, muscle aches, nausea and sometimes diarrhoea. The symptoms can take a few days or weeks to appear after eating contaminated produce.

The infection is particularly dangerous to the elderly, pregnant women and people who have underlying health conditions such as cancer, diabetes, heart and kidney disease.

People at risk should consult their doctor as soon as possible if symptoms appear.

2. In surprising and happy news, Trump is (finally) pushing for stricter gun laws.

Donald Trump 2018
Image via Getty.

US President Donald Trump has moved further toward endorsing restrictions on gun sales, bucking Republican Party orthodoxy as he challenged lawmakers to go big on legislation he said would help prevent more school shootings.

According to AAP, Trump said he wanted to go beyond a narrowly-focused bill to improve background checks for gun buyers that was backed by many of his fellow Republicans.

Instead, he wanted to develop a comprehensive plan - even if it included measures opposed by the powerful National Rifle Association gun lobby, which backed his 2016 candidacy.

"I will sign it," Trump said in a freewheeling hour-long discussion at the White House.

Trump had been cautiously weighing changes to gun laws since a gunman killed 17 people at a high school in Parkland, Florida, on February 14, igniting a wave of national student activism in support of firearms restrictions.

During Wednesday's televised session, Trump, who has championed gun rights, embraced broader changes to the background check system.

"You have to be very, very powerful on background checks. Don't be shy," Trump said.

"It would be nice if we could add everything on to it," he said.

It was unclear whether his fellow Republicans would go along with his newfound enthusiasm, wary of angering voters who fiercely oppose curbs on gun ownership, particularly ahead of the November elections in which the party's control of Congress will be at stake.

3. "He wasn't a whinger." Mum tells young men to stop ignoring symptoms after her 22-year-old son died from testicular cancer.

Dylan Butler
Dylan Butler with his girlfriend, Yasmin Jones. Image via Facebook.

A Sydney mother who lost her 22-year-old son to testicular cancer is warning other young men not to ignore their symptoms.

Dylan Butler died last week, a little over a year after he was diagnosed with cancer, reports The Manly Daily.

Dylan, a tradesman, only sought doctor's advice after a backache he'd put down to his hands-on job wouldn't go away. By that time, the cancer had already spread to his lungs, liver, lymph nodes and brain.

"I'd say to young men not to be afraid to speak out if they feel there is something wrong and to be persistent as early as possible," his mother, 52-year-old Jackie, told The Manly Daily in the days after his death.

"Dylan went from testicular cancer to stage four so quickly, he really didn't have a chance.

"Part of his personality was not to be a whinger. He just got on with life and work. I think that was a bit detrimental to him."

She urged other young men to "take the time to go to the doctor".

After undergoing different chemotherapies, radiotherapy, surgery and stem cell treatments, Dylan spent his final few weeks at home with his girlfriend Yasmin, also 22, and his beloved dog Bella.

According to the Cancer Council, testicular cancer is the second most common cancer in young aged between 18 and 39.

The rate of Australian men diagnosed with testicular cancer has increased by more than 50 per cent in the past 30 years.

The most common symptom is a painless swelling or a lump in a testicle. Other symptoms may include a feeling of heaviness in the scrotum, change in the size or shape of testicles or an aching in the lower abdomen, testicle, scrotum or back.

4. Kristen Wiig might be cast as the villain in the Wonder Woman sequel and we really, really hope it's true.

Kristen Wiig
image via Getty.

Warner Bros. looks to have found Diana Prince's next big-screen adversary.

Sources told Variety that Kristen Wiig is the top choice to play the villain role of Cheetah in the Wonder Woman sequel opposite Gal Gadot.

So far, Warner Bros. has made no comment on the potential casting.

Variety first reported that Patty Jenkins would be returning to write, direct, and produce the movie after landing a new contract in the high eight-figure range.

Following the news that the studio has slated the movie for November 1, 2019, finding this key role became a top priority.

Insiders indicate that Wiig was always high on Jenkins' list for the part and had let Wiig know about her interest before Jenkins left to location scout for the project.

While it is currently unknown if Wiig is completely on board for the role, a recent meeting between Wiig and top executives began to move things in the right direction.

Better known for her roles in comedies like Bridesmaids and the all-female reboot of Ghostbusters, Wiig also starred in movies like The Martian and the upcoming Annapurna film Where'd You Go, Bernadette?

Wonder Woman 2 would mark her first role in the comic book realm.

5. Behold, the world's first plastic-free supermarket aisle has arrived.

It's hard to imagine life without plastic, a sad reality never more the case than in a supermarket. Plastic wrappers and chip packets and hummus dip tubs, all made of the indestructible, environmentally hazardous material.

But now, serving as a "symbol of the future of retail", a supermarket in the Netherlands has opened the world's first "plastic-free" aisle.

Dutch supermarket chain Ekoplaza has almost 700 plastic-free goods to choose from, all packaged in compostable bio-materials, glass, metal or cardboard.

Sian Sutherland, co-founder of the environmental campaign group 'A Plastic Planet', told CNN the move is "a symbol of what the future of food retailing will be" and, even though it's inconvenient, is should ignite a fire under other retailers.

"We totally understand what we're asking for is difficult," she said.

"However, it's indefensible for us to continue to wrap up our perishable food and drink in this indestructible material of plastic. So everybody knows now that progress has to be made."

It's a positive move, considering as much as eight million tonnes of plastic enters our oceans each year, as reported by CNN. And this waste is responsible for the death of sea life, including more than one million seabirds annually.

6. A diet used to treat high blood pressure might actually be able to reduce the risk of depression.

healthy eating food diet fruit vegetables
Image via Getty.

A diet commonly used to treat high blood pressure has been shown to reduce the risk of depression in older people, AAP reports.

Known as the DASH diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension), it involves a high intake of fresh vegetables, fruits and whole grains and moderate level of nuts and beans, lean meats, fish and poultry.

A six year US study of more than 900 older men and women with an average age of 81 found those who closely adhered to the DASH diet had an 11 per cent lower risk of depression than those who weren't able to commit to the diet.

Those that did stick to the diet were less likely to develop feelings of hopelessness and weren't as easily frustrated by things that had easily bothered them in the past.

Lead researcher Dr Laurel Cherian at the Rush University Medical Centre in Chicago says the findings add to a growing body of evidence that the 'Western diet' - high in saturated fats and refined sugars - is hazardous for the mind as well as the body.

She said their study also found that the more closely people followed a Western diet, the more likely they were to develop depression.

"Depression is common in older adults and more frequent in people with memory problems, vascular risk factors such as high blood pressure or high cholesterol, or people who have had a stroke," said Dr Cherian.

"There is evidence linking healthy lifestyle changes to lower rates of depression and this study sought to examine the role that diet plays in preventing depression," she said.

However Dr Cherian cautioned that the study only shows an association and does not prove that the DASH diet will prevent depression.

"Future studies are now needed to confirm these results and to determine the best nutritional components of the DASH diet to prevent depression later in life and to best help people keep their brains healthy," she said.

The preliminary findings will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology's 70th Annual Meeting in Los Angeles next month.

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