14 – 20 September 2013

Val Curtis authors the Big Idea feature in New Scientist magazine, discussing the important role manners play in combating the spread of disease and enabling us to function as a cooperative species, as explored in her new book Don’t Look Don’t Touch: “Far from being an old-fashioned set of rules about which fork to use, manners are so important that they should be up there with fire and the invention of language as a prime candidate for what makes us human. The first, and most ancient, function of manners is to solve the problem of how to be social without getting sick.” The Daily Mail and other publications also report on the article and the book is reviewed in Discover Magazine.

Ron Behrens talks to the Daily Mail about diseases that can be brought home to the UK when holidaymakers return from abroad: Jabs give people a false sense of security when they travel because they don’t provide 100% protection. While TB is a little more common (there are 9,000 cases annually in the UK) – especially in parts of London, a UK doctor may see a case of typhoid once in their career, if at all. It’s very important that if you get ill after coming home from travelling, you say where you’ve been, especially as some illnesses may not display symptoms until weeks later.”

James Stuart speaks to Voice of America about the recent study assessing the mass meningitis vaccination campaign in Chad:What we found was that the number of cases dropped dramatically in the part of the country that was vaccinated and that the meningitis epidemic continued in the part of the country that had not been vaccinated. So this, although it was not a trial, suggested that the vaccine had a very positive effect on protecting people against meningitis.”

Myroslava Tataryn talks to IRIN for a feature exploring how to improve disaster risk reduction and relief programming for people with disabilities: “A lot of the risk people face in disasters comes from poverty and social marginalisation – where people live, what they live in, and their ability to move matters immensely when it comes to risk. Physical impairments can mean people rely on other people to help them move… Accessible information about basic safety and coping is crucial.”

The Hindu covers new research co-authored by Oliver Cumming suggesting that open defecation is a strong predictor of child stunting in India. Also covered by the Morung Express.

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