18 – 24 October 2014

Anna Goodman appears on BBC Breakfast, BBC World Service and BBC Radio Scotland (at 15:10) discussing her research into the link between Daylight Saving Time and children’s activity levels: “Introducing additional daylight savings measures would affect each and every child in the country, every day of the year, giving it a far greater reach than most other potential policy initiatives to improve public health.” The study is featured on the front page of the Times and is widely reported in publications including the BBC, The Telegraph, Daily Mail and Western Morning News.

Chris Drakeley and Kimberly Fornace talk to NPR and Live Science about their research using aerial drones to help monitor malaria carrying macaque monkeys: “What we’re doing is creating a detailed map, which we can then superimpose or overlay with the human and the macaque movement.” Also covered in publications including Takepart, , Medical Daily, Design & Trend, and Medical Xpress.

Dame Claire Bertschinger is interviewed on BBC Radio 5 Live 30 years on from her work during the famine in Ethiopia: “I can remember, one day I had sixty places for new children to come in, but outside the feeding centre there were 6 rows of children, each row had 100 children, and all of them were malnourished.”

Research by Katherine Fielding and Corinne Merle into the effectiveness of a shorter TB treatment regime is reported in publications including Zee News, and Medical Xpress: “Additional analyses of our data and combining data from other trials will be essential to continue the search for new and improved TB treatments.”

Vikram Patel features in a Phys.org article after receiving the Institute of Medicine’s 2014 Sarnat Prize.

David Heymann is quoted in The Pharmaceutical Journal, in an article investigating treatment strategies for the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus: “There has not been a recorded MERS case among Hajj pilgrims in the past two years. The outbreak was based in hospitals, where [the virus] was transferred by poor hospital practices.”

The School features in Pest Magazine, after editor Frances McKim was taken on a special tour of the building.

Ebola media coverage:

Brian Greenwood is on the BBC 10 O’clock news (at 6:55) and RTE radio in Ireland discussing potential Ebola vaccines. He is also quoted by Reuters here and here, and other publications including the Wall Street Journal: “We have to be better prepared, the way we are for big flu epidemics or big meningitis outbreaks. We have to have a stockpile. That’s what we do with yellow fever and that’s what happens with meningitis, so there is a precedent there.”

John Edmunds talks to the BBC World Service’s News About Ebola bulletin about statistical modelling of the Ebola outbreak and some of the large case number predictions from CDC (here at 2:35 and here at 7:03): “I don’t expect the disease to continue to double at that rate. If you look at the data from Liberia recently it seems to have slowed down over the few weeks, which is very good news of course… Do I expect these very large numbers of cases? No.”

Ron Behrens is featured in a Buzzfeed UK article tackling common myths about Ebola: “There’s been no strong evidence that there’s been significant mutation in the virus over the last 30 or 40 years. It’s very unlikely to be a problem in such a short time scale.” Also quoted in another Buzzfeed piece.

Richard Smith is mentioned in a Wall Street Journal article, which focuses on the economic implications of the Ebola virus for the US.

Peter Piot speaks to Radio Four’s File on 4 programme about the World Health Organization (WHO) response to Ebola: “I think there’s a mix of reasons why the WHO responded slowly. First of all it’s a very decentralised organisation. Its office in Africa is really not up to the task… I hope that this epidemic will lead to some serious reform. In WHO headquarters, the budget for haemorrhagic fevers division, and also for the outbreak department was cut.”

Martin McKee speaks to Bloomberg TV about funding issues surrounding a potential Ebola vaccine: “I’m really concerned about this idea that it should be market driven, because that simply has not worked. We have had all sorts of ideas like advanced purchase agreements, and so on, which have not driven innovation.”

David Mabey is quoted by New Statement in an article about the political implications of the Ebola virus.

Heidi Larson speaks to the New Statesman about whether fears of the Ebola epidemic have been exaggerated: “Look at the levels of panic and anxiety after one case in a western country – imagine how the people of West Africa feel… Who would want to go to a hospital if you didn’t have to right now?”

Peter Piot is interviewed on CNN News Fareed Zakaria GPS discussing the spread of Ebola: “The big question will be ‘Will this spread to surrounding countries?’ The good news is that both Nigeria and Senegal have been able to contain a number of imported cases – That shows if you act decisively and early enough that this can be controlled. This was an avoidable catastrophe.” He is also interviewed on ITV national news.

He also speaks to The Telegraph about his fear that the Ebola virus will not be stopped without a vaccine: “Can it be stopped? It will be a bumpy ride. I am worried for West Africa. We will see a decline in cases eventually, but without a vaccine I am not sure we can stop it.”

And to The Guardian about cultural issues that could hinder containment of the Ebola epidemic: “Will it be possible without the vaccine? We really don’t know, because it supposes a massive behavioural change in the community; behavioural change about funeral rites, so people don’t touch dead bodies any longer.”

Times Higher Education interview Peter Piot about how he and the School are responding to the Ebola outbreak and the school staff volunteering to help in West Africa: “Understanding the social, behavioural and cultural aspects of transmission is also very important… That really requires an effort from many different disciplines and we thrive on that in our school.”

He also features on the front page of Dutch newspaper NRC and his comments on the Ebola outbreak feature in numerous publications this week including New York Times, Spectator,  Wall Street Journal, Washington Post

Peter Piot ‘s interview with Associated Press about the WHO response to the Ebola outbreak is featured widely in stories about the leaked document in which WHO admitted that their response had not been good enough:  “It’s the regional office in Africa that’s the front line, and they didn’t do anything. That office is really not competent… I called for a state of emergency to be declared in July and for military operations to be deployed.”

The Week runs the Wall Street Journal video with Peter Piot describing the discovery of the Ebola virus alongside archive footage from 1976.

David Mabey is quoted in a Sun article, which highlights the increased infectivity of Ebola compared to previous outbreaks: “Patients with more virus in bodily fluids will be more likely to infect people they come into contact with.”

David Heymann comments in New Scientist about the World Health Organization’s decision to declare the Ebola outbreak an ‘international public health emergency’: “I don’t know what the advantage is of declaring an international emergency. This could bring in more foreign aid but we don’t know that yet.”

BBC News reports on study getting under way looking at the effectiveness of using the blood of Ebola survivors as a treatment. The School is part of the consortium working on the study, which is funded in part by the EU. EU News  and Africa Eye News  report Peter Piot’s comments welcoming the EU funding, which also covers other Ebola projects: “I very much welcome the Commission’s decisive action to support a series of clinical trials and studies on the Ebola virus as part of Europe’s contribution to end the Ebola crisis, which has already cost the lives of so many people.”

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