By Dr Laith Yakob and Dr Thomas Walker
Zika has caught the world by surprise. The declaration by the World Health Organization that the recent cluster of microcephaly cases and other neurological disorders constitutes a Public Health Emergency of International Concern, shows the seriousness of the situation.
The virus is transmitted by Aedes aegypti mosquitoes. Vector control should be, and is, the focus for stopping the spread of Zika. But will current control methods work? Read more
By Dr Richard White, Reader in Infectious Disease Modelling, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and Dr Peter Dodd, School of Health and Related Research, University of Sheffield
Tuberculosis (TB) has been known to mankind since ancient times, and is likely to have caused more deaths in human history than any other infectious disease. Unlike HIV and malaria, globally rates of disease are falling very slowly and last year it once more became the leading cause of death due to a single infectious disease, causing 1.5 million deaths every year. Despite its importance, there is great uncertainty about the transmission of M.tb (the infection causing TB disease) - where it happens and who infects whom. Read more
By Catherine Pitt, Lecturer in Health Economics at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.
Babies born in poor countries can be 50 times more likely to die in their first month of life than babies born in rich countries. In the safest country in the world for newborns, Japan, 1 of every 1000 newborn babies die in their first four weeks of life. In the United Kingdom, 3 of every 1000 newborn babies die. But in Sierra Leone, the most dangerous country for newborns, 50 of every 1000 newborn babies die in their first month – one death for every 20 babies born. Read more
By Vicky Simms and Andrea Rehman. Officially they are the Sustainable Development Goals. They’re better known as the Global Goals. One student, aged 14, has another name for them: the World’s Promises.
This student is in Year 10 at Maria Fidelis School in Camden where epidemiologist Dr Vicky Simms and statistician Dr Andrea Rehman from the Tropical Epidemiology Group ran a workshop to mark World Statistics Day on 20 October 2015. Challenged to answer the question “How can we make the world a better place?”, the girls came up with a wide range of ideas from clean energy to mental health care, which were then mapped onto the Global Goals. At the School, of course, we work towards Goal 3: Good Health and Wellbeing.
By Adam Kucharski and Clare Wenham. Conducting scientific research is a hugely rewarding experience, but one that is rarely accessible outside universities. In public health, the public are a vital part of research, but all too often they are subjects – rather than drivers – of scientific projects. During 2014–15, we carried out a public engagement project, funded by a Wellcome Trust People Award, which aimed to bridge this gap between research and the public. Rather than just informing school pupils about our work, we wanted to help them design and carry out their own research project into social mixing patterns.
By Lauren George, Steven Tito Academy.
Our Standard 4 and 5 students have been working on an exciting project with scientist Dr Lena Lorenz, from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.
Our students were asked to brainstorm answers to the following questions:
- What makes you happy and healthy?
- What makes you sick?
By Carolyn Nielsen, PhD student: essay shortlisted for Max Perutz Science Writing Award.
It sounds like a bad science fiction plot, but sometimes it would be easier if everyone was identical.
I’m interested in how vaccines activate our immune systems and how this then works in the real world to protect us from dangerous infections. The problem is that not everyone’s immune cells respond in exactly the same way, meaning vaccines often work better in some people than in others. This can be at a local level, such as between your colleagues at work, or on a grander scale with differences between whole geographical regions. For example we know that BCG, the vaccine for tuberculosis, is less effective in sub-Saharan Africa than here in the UK.
By Dr Cathy Zimmerman, Reader in Gender Violence and Health at the School.
The recent image of the body of a dead three-old boy on a Turkish beach seized the world’s attention and provoked the worst nightmare of parents everywhere. This photo, which warrants the international outrage it has received, sadly only hints at the full panorama of childhood horrors that occur around the world each day.
In recent months while one migration crisis has followed another, alongside and worlds away from the children fleeing bullets and bombs, are unseen millions of girls and boys who are also suffering aborted childhoods and forced to navigate a universe of adult perils in the form of forced and trafficked child labour. But, what happens to the children who survive these abuses? Read more
Inspirational film released to mark the day Queen Elizabeth II becomes the longest serving monarch. Read more
By Dr Mark Jit, Senior Lecturer in Vaccine Epidemiology.
Year 8 schoolgirls in the UK (12-13 years old) receive two doses each of a vaccine against human papillomavirus (HPV), a virus that causes cervical cancer as well as genital warts and a number of other unpleasant cancers. Until 2013, they received three doses of the vaccine each. Read more