31 August – 6 September 2013

Simon Brooker talks to BBC News online about research showing that Richard III was infected with roundworm: “Where you’ve got a large number of worms combined with poor nutritional intake, the consequences can be quite severe. I expect Richard III’s exposure would have been low compared to the people he ruled over. It would have been somewhat of a nuisance rather than having had any severe consequences.” Simon is also interviewed by Associated Press, and his comments are used in over 460 publications including Washington Post, Fox News, NPR, NY Daily News, Globe and Mail and Korea Herald.

Ruth McNernery comments on BBC News online about the implications of new research tracing the origins of human tuberculosis back to hunter-gather groups in Africa 70,000 years ago: “There are now thousands of TB genomes being sequenced in big databases so that in the next five years we’ll know more about TB than we ever have, which is exciting. This is the first step in that area of research.” Ruth is also interviewed about the story on Channel Africa Radio.

Colin Sutherland comments on BBC News online and BBC World Service Newsday (from 52 mins 46 secs)  about reports from Médecins Sans Frontières that there has been a ten-fold increase in the number of new malaria cases in Chad: “Perhaps there is even something going on in the mosquito population that means there is more around than normal and that means there are additional transmissions going on. That would be concerning. It would suggest control measures aren’t keeping things in check in that area.”

Nick Black speaks to BBC Radio 4’s More Or Less about what role, if any, hospital standardised mortality rates should play in the future: “I’d like to see them scrapped… If I was secretary of state for health I would love the idea that there was a single number that would tell me how my 160 trusts were doing. It’s not that simple. Hospitals are incredibly complex organisations.”

David Heymann is interviewed in Wired magazine for a feature on how to shut down an epidemic:“You need early knowledge about the characteristics of the disease and the best way to treat it and manage patients… What is important about a newly identified disease is not what is known, but what is not known, such as its potential to continue to spread and take up permanent residence in the human population.”

Andrew Bastawrous is interviewed by eNews Channel Africa  about the Peek smartphone tool:“Kenya was a natural test location. For a country with a population of more than 40 million, there are only 86 qualified eye doctors, 43 of whom are operating in the capital Nairobi. Blindness is intrinsically linked to poverty, so in places that are low income, the incidence of blindness is much higher.” Andrew also speaks to AFP which leads to coverage around the world in publications including Times of India, Japan Times, Africa Review, Discovery News, South China Morning Post and France 24

Simon Brooker is interviewed in Africa Geographic Magazine for an article about non communicable diseases: “Reliable data on NTDs are not available in many African coun­tries.To help identify priority areas, countries throughout sub-Saharan Africa are employing the latest mapping technologies – including geographic positioning systems (GPS), geographic information systems (GIS) and even smartphones – to collect data and create the relevant maps.”

Peter Piot talks to Neues Deutschland about the problem of antibiotic resistance in Asia:  Here in Asia simply too many antibiotics are prescribed. In some countries like India or Thailand, you can buy them without a prescription at the pharmacy”.

A Journal of the American Medical Association editorial by Andrew Prentice commenting on research on the effect of iron supplementation among children living in malaria-endemic area on incidence of malaria, is covered by outlets including France 24, Reuters, Yahoo News, Global Post, Cambodia Herald.

Londonist includes the John Snow Society 2013 Pumphandle Lecture in their pick of ‘Things to Do in London Today’.

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