Evening top 5: Patient contracts Hep B through blood transfusion; Storm Harvey lands in Louisiana; Watchdog questions Public Services Card

The top stories of the day on Newstalk.com


Irish patient contracts Hepatitis B through blood transfusion

The Irish Blood Transfusion Service has moved to reassure the public that it has the best standard of blood testing available.

It comes after a patient was infected with Hepatitis B through a blood transfusion.

This afternoon, the Irish Blood Transfusion Service (IBTS) confirmed to Newstalk that the patient has since made a full recovery and is now clear of the infection.

The service said that as the donor was only recently infected, the virus was not picked up by two tests.

Louisiana "under the gun" of Storm Harvey

Forecasters say Louisiana is "under the gun" of Storm Harvey after it made landfall for a second time.

At least 21 people have died after the storm caused catastrophic flooding in Houston and other parts of Texas, causing billions of dollars of damage.

The worst of the storm has passed to southern Louisiana, where flash flood warnings have been issued amid record rainfall and 45mph winds.

In Houston, there are fears that a weakened levee could fail and cause floodwaters in the Inverness Forest area to rise "very quickly and very fast."

State watchdog seeks answers on legality of Public Services Card

The State’s data protection watchdog has warned the government that there is a need for up-to-date, clear and detailed information about the controversial Public Services Card.

In a statement, the Data Protection Commissioner said the government needs to provide clarity regarding the legal basis for the card’s rollout – and claims that it is a mandatory requirement in order to access basic public services.

Commissioner Helen Dixon also warned that the public needs to know what personal information is being collected, who it is being shared with and for what purpose.

The intervention comes after the Minister for Social Protection Regina Doherty claimed the card is not a “compulsory” requirement for Irish citizens but is “mandatory” to access State services.

Health Minister urges amateurs to “please butt out” on HPV vaccine

The HSE has launched a new HPV vaccine awareness campaign, saying "unsubstantiated, scientifically incorrect and dangerous" claims about the vaccine have been shared in recent years.

The new campaign urges parents to get informed and get their daughters vaccinated to help protect them against cervical cancer.

Over 90 women die from cervical cancer each year - a third of them under the age of 50 - and doctors insist that many of these deaths are preventable when girls are vaccinated with Gardasil.

However, hundreds of parents - including those who have formed the REGRET campaign group - have claimed the HPV vaccination is the cause of 'serious health problems' that their teenage daughters have developed.

The HSE says: "These claims are untrue and are not backed by any credible scientific body."

Trump insists talking with North Korea "not the answer"

US President Donald Trump has said talking to North Korea is "not the answer," after Pyongyang flew a ballistic missile over Japan.

"The US has been talking to North Korea, and paying them extortion money, for 25 years. Talking is not the answer!" Mr Trump posted to Twitter.

His comments follow a declaration that "all options are on the table" after the North Korean missile flew over the Japanese island of Hokkaido.

The test was considered to be one of the most provocative ever from the reclusive state, and came as US and South Korean forces conduct annual military exercises on the peninsula.