6 – 12 September 2018

Brendan Wren speaks to BBC News at Ten  (13m 57s in) on post-mortem results showing that a British couple died in Egypt from complications associated with e.coli infection. “It’s very unfortunate but it’s possible if both of them had a contaminated food source and it had high numbers of the bacteria on the food source then unfortunately they could both have very severe symptoms that could lead onto death.”

Brendan is also quoted by BBC Online. “They were very unlucky because these strains are very rare.”

Jimmy Whitworth speaks to BBC Radio 5 live Drive about two cases of monkeypox being identified in the UK, both in travellers returning from Nigeria “We’ve not had cases in the UK before and so to get two in less than a week is quite surprising. We have had reports that there has been an upsurge in cases of monkeypox in Nigeria – in 2017 over 100 cases were reported and I’m sure that’s a great underestimate of the real number so what I think we are seeing is a reflection of that and some of those cases coming to the UK.”

The Independent also quotes Jimmy on monkeypox. “While monkeypox is usually mild it is a sensible precaution that people who may have come into contact with these two recent cases in the UK are being traced and followed up.”

Heidi Larson speaks to BuzzFeed about the anti-vaccine movement and how distrust in vaccines is now much higher in Europe that the US. “The attitudes in Europe tap into a wider, deeper cultural scepticism of medical authority that stretches in patchwork fashion across the continent, particularly among poor and marginalized people who might take out their distrust of authority on vaccines.”

Martin McKee talks to Daily Mail about the new WHO European Health Report, which shows that Britain has the third highest rates of obesity in Europe. We have long known that among high-income countries, obesity rates are higher in English-speaking ones, including the USA and UK. Within Europe, other countries with high rates include Ireland and Malta.”

CNN also cover the WHO report, focusing on low rates of vaccination among Europeans which poses health risks. “The vaccine-safety related sentiment is particularly negative in the European region and countries with high levels of schooling and good access to health services are associated with lower rates of positive sentiment, pointing to an emerging inverse relationship between vaccine sentiments and socio-economic status.”

Rachel Lowe and Chris Drakeley are interviewed as part of a TRT World Roundtable on how climate change is contributing to increases in tropical disease outbreaks. Rachel says: “In general climate defines the geographical and seasonal limits of infectious diseases, so if we start to see changes in the climate such as warmer conditions and more extreme events, then we can expect to find more habitats suitable for mosquitoes that transmit diseases, along with a change in human behaviour.”

Jimmy Whitworth is quoted in Quartzy on why a plane recently quarantined at New York’s JFK airport was unusual but necessary for investigation of illness. “If it was a highly pathogenic influenza or something like SARS, then absolutely you would want to know and you wouldn’t want hundreds of passengers spreading all over the country. As a precaution, that’s the right thing to do—in this case it was a false alarm.”

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LSHTM has been shortlisted for three Times Higher Education 2018 Awards. You can read more about the categories and LSHTM work that was shortlisted online.

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