Melissa Davey

Melissa Davey is a Health Reporter for The Sydney Morning Herald.

Mystery symptoms

When no one knows what's wrong


Melissa Davey Doctors and tests cannot always find the answers to legitimate ailments.

Blame the brain

Brain illustration

Melissa Davey After an argument with his elderly mother about his smoking, Terrence Kain strangled her to death. Then, he phoned his sister. "Mum's dead," he told her. "I strangled her. She's dead."

Anxious young drivers at risk


Car with a P plate on the rear

Melissa Davey, Philip Ly The young drivers most at risk of crashing have higher rates of depression and anxiety.

Call to ban superbug treatment of livestock


Melissa Davey Australia's food supply risks carrying aggressive and drug-resistant strains of disease unless a class of antibiotics used in pigs and cattle is banned, a leading microbiologist says.

Doctors warn women not to rely on IVF as more give birth in their 50s


Melissa Davey, Philip Ly The number of Australian women giving birth in their 50s has more than doubled over five years, with 53 women aged 50 or over recorded as having children in 2011.

Workers shouldn't stand for long sitting sessions

Melissa Davey The health problems associated with sitting down for hours on end are so deadly that inactivity is as risky as smoking, says a researcher who has spent the past decade studying office environments.

Law limiting daycare places to vaccinated children passes state cabinet

A child is vaccined against the measles

Melissa Davey Parents will be forced to vaccinate their children or register for an exemption to enrol them in childcare under changes to the Public Health Act which passed through cabinet on Monday night.

Cannabis disorders less likely to be diagnosed

BERKELEY, CA - MARCH 25: Marijuana plants are displayed at the Berkeley Patients Group March 25, 2010 in Berkeley, California. California Secretary of State Debra Bowen certified a ballot initiative late yesterday to legalize the possession and sale of marijuana in the State of California after proponents of the measure submitted over 690,000 signatures. The measure will appear on the November 2 general election ballot.   Justin Sullivan/Getty Images/AFP

Melissa Davey More than 185,000 Australians will no longer be diagnosed with cannabis use disorders under changes to the controversial diagnostic manual used by psychiatrists, released this month.

Drugs regulator could tighten Xanax rules

Xanax pill.

Melissa Davey Experts urge action to counter the abuse of anxiety and insomnia drugs.

Day care ban for unvaccinated children 'heavy handed', says expert


Melissa Davey Legislation allowing childcare centres and preschools to ban unimmunised children would be ''draconian'' and unnecessary, a child immunisation expert from the University of Sydney said.

Better healthcare needed for immigrant mothers-to-be

Seema Singh and sons Uday and Kanwar.
Seema is 37 weeks pregnant and has been told her baby is on the smallish side which according to a recent study can be a product of ethnic heritage.

Melissa Davey and Deborah Gough Seema Singh's doctor has told her to rest more before her baby is born.

Twins home in time for special day

Arlene and Peter Gorey with their newly born premature twins Audrey and Lauren.

Melissa Davey It was surprise enough for Arlene Gorey when, just seven weeks pregnant, she found out she was having twins. But it was an even bigger shock when they entered the world at just 27 weeks gestation.

Fears disease sufferers will fall through cracks

Portrait of Cody Sheehan at his come in Newport. Cody has Cystic Fibrosis and is concerned that many people with CF will not be covered under the national disabilities scheme because their conditionwont be considered 'severe' enough. Photographed by James Brickwood. Thursday 9th May 2013. Photograph by James Brickwood. SMH NEWS 130509

Melissa Davey It is a genetic condition that is incurable, life-shortening and causes a suffocating build-up of mucus on the lungs.

Number of homeless people on the rise


Melissa Davey More than 100,000 people are homeless in Australia, with nearly 7000 sleeping rough on streets and in parks and public spaces, new research shows.

Sports reject healthy living ad series


Melissa Davey A father has been blocked by the AFL and Cricket Australia from taking out advertisements promoting a healthy lifestyle, with the sporting authorities saying it would conflict with their sponsorships...

Life expectancy rises, health problems follow suit


Melissa Davey Australians are living longer but with increasing levels of chronic and disabling conditions such as back pain, depression, obesity and anxiety.

Patients' healthcare bills among world's highest


Melissa Davey and Dan Harrison Australians have the fifth-highest out-of-pocket healthcare costs in the world, with patients here paying twice as much as those in Britain or France.

Doctors tired of alcohol damage

Professor Michael Grigg

Melissa Davey Surgeons across Australia are urging a change to the nation's drinking culture, saying they are tired of patching up people hurt as a result of drunken violence.

Surgeons sick of dealing with the drink and the damage done

St Vincents

Melissa Davey Some of Australia's top surgeons are sick of dealing with the aftermath of the average night out on the town.

Decision could cut 'abortion pill' from $350 to $12

Abortion pill

Melissa Davey The federal government's Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee will release its recommendations on the ''abortion drug'' RU486 on Friday, including whether it should be subsidised by taxpayers.