26 March – 8 April 2018

Laura Cornelsen is interviewed by BBC Radio 5 Live’s Wake up to Money programme about the implementation of a Sugar Tax, and how effective this type of tax can be. Laura said:We need to think about whether people will switch to other types of beverages or food that contain sugar – these taxes can reinforce or undermine the impact of the tax. Substitution effects are tricky to estimate and measure because of the sheer variation in peoples preferences.”

Charlotte Warren-Gash is interviewed by BBC World Service’s Health Check programme on a recent LSHTM-led study which found people suffering from flu or pneumonia aged over 40 could be at increased risk of heart attack or stroke in the days after infection. Charlotte said: “There are several theories about mechanisms, one is that some of these particular bugs, like strep pneumonia, can have harmful effects on the heart muscle. Another theory is a more general, around infection. When you have an infection your body tends to be more inflamed which can lead to blood clotting and can actually pre-dispose people to the blood clots that cause heart attacks and strokes. So it could be a combination of mechanisms.”

Hilary Bower, who recently returned from Nigeria assisting with the current Lassa fever outbreak (as part of the UK Public Health Rapid Support Team), is quoted by the Telegraph on helping manage disease outbreaks. Hilary said: “Lassa fever is a complicated disease because of the interaction between humans and rats. Rats are part of the diet so asking people to stop eating them was not an option.”

Forbes writes a piece about Peter Piot’s career and what can be learnt from working to tackle AIDS and Ebola.

Heidi Larson writes for Nature (£) about how public mistrust of vaccines is increasing, fuelled by non-traditional communication channels, such as social media. The article explores both public and political reactions to vaccine risk perceptions.

Richard Stabler provides comment to the Daily Mail on a case of gonorrhoea, the first found to be resistant to both antibiotics currently recommended for treatment. Richard says: “This new case of gonorrhoea is worrying because there isn’t really an obvious next set of drugs we would move to.” Richard also spoke to Medscape about the case.

Mishal Khan appears on TRT World, discussing global pandemics and whether global health authorities are prepared for the next big pandemic. Mishal said: “Because we don’t know what the next pandemic will be and where it will come from, we need to strengthen systems and ensure they are broad enough to mitigate any risk.”

Rebecca Steinbeck is quoted by NewStatesman, revisiting a study she carried out nine years ago, which found there were very few cyclists in London from ethnic minority groups. Rebecca said: “Since this research little has changed in the cycling culture. Until cycling becomes more representative of London’s population, can we ever really call London’s cycling boom a success?

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