17 -23 August 2013

Anna Goodman appears on BBC London discussing her new research that shows car use is declining as cycling and use of public transport increase among commuters in several areas, especially Greater London, with the greatest increase in cycling in Hackney:  “There’s a high and growing proportion of people who are more likely to cycle here, so young professionals, people with no kids… I think also Hackney has a good environment for cycling, partly down to luck and partly planning.” Anna is also interviewed on BBC Radio London (from 32 mins) and LBC Radio and the story is covered in 215 other publications including ITV News, Express, Evening Standard, Yorkshire Evening Post and The Australian.

Debbie Nolder writes for The Conversation UK about six human parasites you definitely don’t want to host, including human botfly: If not removed, the larvae mature and erupt, dropping to the ground where they pupate for about a month. Signs of infection include boil-like swellings where someone’s been bitten. Larvae might also move inside the lesion which can be felt. Treatment involves surgical removal of the maggot or using petroleum jelly to block the airhole, which causes the maggot to pop out.”

Andrew Bastawrous speaks to BBC Radio Berskshire (from 2 hours 15 mins) about Peek – the new smartphone to diagnose eye diseases and tackle blindness“The app is based on the idea that a smartphone is small, portable, and a very high powered computer effectively, and is able to do a whole series of tests. We can compare how the healthcare workers with minimal training do using the phone with a hospital team of 15 people using state-of-the-art equipment.”

 Sally Bloomfield talks to the Evening Standard about how viruses spread in the office: “We carry germs with us, whatever we do, we are spreading them. The one that spreads most easily is the winter vomiting virus. It survives on surfaces well and takes very few virus particles to make us sick. If someone has got it, it can go around an office in hours. Make sure these surfaces are regularly cleaned, it’s not always under your control, but certainly your own mobile phone and keyboard are.”

Val Curtis speaks to BBC Radio Berkshire (from 1 hour 24 mins 40 secs) about calls from Reading residents to ban spitting: “It’s unlikely that someone spitting on the ground in the UK will have TB, and it is highly unlikely that any of the TB bugs that get on the ground will live long enough… to infect another person.”

James Logan talks to Associated Press for an article about the rise in mosquito numbers in the US this summer. He comments that in malaria-endemic countries mosquitoes may be developing a resistance to insecticides and repellents: “It’s an arms race; I always think they are one step ahead of us.” Story covered by 340 publications including NBC Washington, Huffington Post, Washington Post, NPR

Vikram Patel speaks to the Deccan Herald about a new bill to decriminalise suicide which is being proposed in India: All suicides are preventable. By decriminalising, the proposed legislation would help bring out a serious mental health issue in the open rather than hiding it under the carpet.”

Martin McKee is interviewed in derStandard about austerity in Europe and the impact it is having on the health of populations: “The biggest drawback of the crisis we see in the field of mental health. We and others have documented the increase in patients with depression and anxiety disorders, as well as increased suicides in many countries.”

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