26 February – 4 March 2018

Heidi Larson writes for the Financial Times about how governments must regain social trust to eradicate measles and restore confidence in vaccines. The piece marks twenty years since the publication of Andrew Wakefield’s faulty research into the MMR vaccine. Heidi says:The long cherished dream of eliminating measles is not an impossible task. Every country that achieved the goal would also demonstrate the strength of its citizens’ trust — a measure of its ability to manage future threats.”

Heidi also wrote an article for Time about vaccine confidence and the myth around autism and MMR vaccination.

The UK Public Health Rapid Support Team (UK-PHRST) has deployed to Nigeria to help control the current outbreak of Lassa fever. The team will offer the Nigerian government specialist support that will benefit the country now and in the future. Jimmy Whitworth, who is Deputy Director of the UK-PHRST says: “This deployment gives us the opportunity to ensure that operational research is integral to the response to combat the Lassa fever outbreak. By collecting information in a systematic and structured manner we will be able to learn and adapt our response as the situation evolves.” The deployment is covered in The Telegraph and the Daily Mail.

A new LSHTM study finds that STI testing in rural South Africa detects a higher burden of infections among young women than men. The study shows that STI prevalence data can be efficiently obtained in areas where burden of STIs is less known. Suzanna Francis says:Adolescents and young adults are particularly vulnerable to STIs, yet STI prevalence is largely unknown in many high HIV prevalence settings, as these types of studies can be expensive to carry out.” Suzanna is interviewed by Channel Africa about the study and findings.

David Heymann is quoted in Healio Infectious Disease News about Lassa fever and how it is spread. David says:Lassa doesn’t usually transmit in the community from person to person but could possibly be spread through improper handling of the bodies of those who die from the disease.”

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