26 October – 1 November 2013

Alison Grant talks to IRIN about the new GeneXpert diagnostic test for tuberculosis, after researchers from Cape Town University found it did not make any significant difference to treatment outcomes: Policymakers need to know how best to invest money to improve TB control. This may differ between countries… A major advantage of Xpert MTB/RIF is that it can identify people with drug-resistant TB very rapidly. In this study the proportion of people with drug-resistant TB was low, and there might be a much greater benefit from using Xpert in settings where drug-resistant TB is more common, providing that people identified as having drug-resistant TB start on the correct treatment promptly.” Also covered by sites including All Africa and Portail Humanitaire.

Huffington Post and Yahoo News cover a study by researchers at the School showing that children who get chicken pox may be at increased risk of stroke soon after the infection.

Claire Bertschinger is mentioned in a BBC News article about the women among the BBC’s ‘100 Women’ that come from the world of science technology and medicine.

Heidi Larson speaks to Der Tagesspiegel about polio vaccinations and the new outbreak of the disease in Syria: “It takes an incredible amount of effort and money to drive back the virus from previously polio-free areas.”

Adam Kucharski writes on The Conversation about Google Flu Trends, which may not be as effective as has been claimed: In a new analysis, published in the journal PLOS Computational Biology, US researchers report that there are ‘substantial errors in Google Flu Trends estimates of influenza timing and intensity’. This is based on comparison of Google Flu Trends predictions and the actual epidemic data at the national, regional and local level between 2003 and 2013.”  Also covered by SBS News

The Guardian Global Development Professionals Network covers a new initiative to map lymphatic filariasis and podoconiosis in Ethiopia, through a collaboration between several organisations including the Global Atlas of Helminth Infections at the School. The project will map 1,384 communities in 692 districts, covering more than 130,000 individuals.

Heidi Larson is quoted in Deutsche Welle talking about how social media has dangers as well as providing opportunities in public health. This was the subject of a panel discussion at the World Health Summit: “The kind of rumour networks that used to stay local are now global.”

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