14 – 20 December 2013

Alma Adler speaks to the Daily Express about the preliminary findings from this year’s Flusurvey, which show the UK is reporting half the number of cases as this time last year: Flu levels are still very low but where there are flu cases, we’re seeing most of them among under-18s. This is in line with what we already know from previous years about children being the ‘key spreaders’ of flu. Flu cases usually dip during the school holidays, so we may see even lower levels of people reporting ­influenza-like illness over the festive season.” Alma is also interviewed on BBC Three Counties Radio (1hr 50mins 30secs) and the findings are covered by the Guardian and specialist publications. The Romford Recorder covers calls from School researchers and the British Science Association for more people to sign-up to Flusurvey in Havering.

The Economist covers the Lancet article co-authored by Helena Legido-Quigley and Martin McKee warning of a public health crisis in Spain. Also covered by over 50 Spanish publications including el Pais, El Huffington Post, ABC, La Sexta TV and la Cuatro TV.

Alec Miners speaks to BBC Radio 5 Live (45mins 20secs) about the health economics around the possible introduction of the Meningitis B vaccine: “The acronym QALY stands for a Quality Adjusted Life Year, so one QALY is the same as one year of perfect health. The purpose of the measure is to help work out how well treatments work, so you can see it as an outcome measure… So you can look at which healthcare interventions produce the most QALYs given the amount of money that you need to generate them. If you come out with a very high coat per QALY, implicit from that analysis is if you do the intervention…  you’re going to lose more health by taking resources from somewhere else and putting them into a vaccine… In this case what it’s saying is it’s not a sensible use of resources.”

BBC News covers a study co-authored by the School showing that two thirds of 13 year old girls are afraid of gaining weight. Also covered by over 40 other publications including Daily Mail, Huffington Post, Daily Mirror, Yahoo News, Asian Image, Boots WebMD.

Martin McKee speaks to the Economist about Scotland’s plans to introduce minimum unit pricing on alcohol: “Scotland shows Europe what is possible.”

Telegraph, Independent and Camden Review publish reviews of Virginia Berridge’s book, Demons: Our Changing Attitudes to Alcohol, Tobacco, and Drugs,  which considers varying attitudes from the 19th century to the present day, looking at how and why various substances have been regulated differently, while considering recent debates in public health in the light of historical changing attitudes.

Lucy Platt writes for The Conversation UK about the complex health needs of sex workers: While taking care of sexual health is paramount for people who sell sex, the treatment of STIs is only one aspect of health that needs to be addressed. Violence, problems with drugs and alcohol, unstable housing and mental health are often far more significant. These problems may be worsened by inadequate social policies, and an enforcement-based approach to sex work that further marginalises sex workers.

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