10 – 16 October 2015

Ebola:

John Edmunds speaks to BBC World Service Health Check (at 9m30s) about School research showing that UK action to provide treatment beds for Ebola patients in Sierra Leone saved 40,000 lives, but could have prevented more cases if they had been introduced a month earlier: “We calculated that if the beds had been in place about a month earlier, we could have saved about another 12,000 cases over the course of the epidemic. ”

Adam Kucharski speaks to The Guardian about the study: “Our findings show the unprecedented local and international response led to a substantial decline in Ebola transmission. Given the rapid growth of the outbreak in Sierra Leone, if those beds hadn’t been in place to isolate the ill and avert further infections, the epidemic could have been much worse.” The story receives coverage in more than 80 global outlets, including BBC News, Washington Post, NDTV (India), Quartz, Shanghai DailyThomson Reuters Foundation, and Daily Mail.

John Edmunds is quoted by Sky News following the news that Pauline Cafferkey, who was diagnosed with Ebola in December 2014, has been readmitted to hospital with complications from the virus: “The risk of transmission from these individuals appears to be very low. However, with so many survivors in West Africa now, there is a risk that further outbreaks can be triggered, which is why authorities have to remain very vigilant.” His comments are used by global outlets including ReutersDaily Mail, Scotsman, RTBF (Belgium), L’Express (France),  Australia, Romania TVIrish Examiner and Nien Daily (Vietnam). John also speaks to Channel 4 News and the New Scientist.

David Heymann talks to BBC News about new findings showing that the Ebola virus can persist in survivors’ semen for longer than previously thought: “Condoms should be used as a precautionary measure until better understanding is gained through long-term study. This must be done in a way that prevents discrimination, and sociologists must work with health promotion teams and community leaders, as well as survivor groups, so that language is understandable and not offensive.”

The launch of the EBOVAC Ebola vaccine trial in Sierra Leone receives regional press in outlets including Awoko Newspaper, Standard Times, Premier News and For Di People. An image of the vaccination campaign is displayed on a billboard in Times Square.

Other media coverage:

The New York Times speak to Vikram Patel and Alex Cohen about the efforts of international aid agencies to improve mental health care in West Africa: “There’s incredibly little research on interventions for the severe illnesses and this belief that the development of community services will take care of everything.”

Sarah Kelly shows VICE Motherboard around the insectaries for a ‘Lab Spaces’ video and explains arctec’s work testing mosquito repellents: “It’s important to test repellents against mosquitoes because they can transmit diseases like Dengue, Malaria, West Nile Virus; and we want to prevent that happening.”

James Logan speaks to The Telegraph about Lyme disease, and the difficulties involved in diagnosis and treatment: “All the scientific evidence shows that it is not transmitted from human to human and that it’s by a tick bite… The majority of Lyme disease sufferers will say the system didn’t work for them – the diagnosis was too late, they didn’t the get the tests early enough – and for some that means it’s too late and they have been left with a life threatening condition. We need a review of the system.” James also speaks to several other outlets including Huffington Post, The Times, Daily Mail and ITV News.

James Logan’s recent research showing the presence of ticks in South London parks receives continued coverage in Daily Mail, Richmond and Twickenham Times and Wandsworth Guardian.

James Logan also speaks to The Scottish Daily Mail about The Secret Life of Midges, an upcoming BBC Scotland documentary.

Anne Mills, Richard Smith and Kara Hanson write a letter to Times Higher Education about gender equality in Health Economics.

Erica Borgstrom writes for The Conversation about palliative care in the UK: “There is clearly a disconnect between the services provided in palliative care and the needs of many people dying in the UK. This confusion can be seen in the way we think and talk about end of life care.”

Matt Silver is featured in News Medical’s Thought Leaders and talks about his research in the Gambia showing that a mother’s peri-conception diet may impact genes that affect her child’s long-term health: “Our Gambian study setting provides a natural experiment to test the influence of periconceptional environment since this region has a regular pattern of rainy and dry seasons with for example marked seasonal differences in food consumption… This is an active area of research so the picture is changing all the time.  My feeling is that distinct sets of genes are likely to be sensitive to different dietary factors at different critical windows throughout the life course.”

Martin McKee is interviewed on the BioMed Central blog about the goals, intentions and future directions of the 8th European Public Health (EPH) Conference, which is taking place in Milan from 14-17 October.

Katie Greenland speaks to Tesco Baby Club about the importance of developing key handwashing habits at an early age.

Quanta Magazine features Antoine Claessens in an article about the genetic mechanisms used by the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum to evade the human immune system.

The Guardian writes about previous School research showing the demographic of cyclists in London.

Val Curtis is quoted in the Daily Mail in an article about hand hygiene: ‘As long as you use soap, it’s quite hard to wash your hands badly. It’s sticky, so you have to wash it off – taking the bacteria with it.”

Le Monde (France) mentions the School’s involvement in ongoing clinical trials of a vaccine for Ebola, in an article about the current state of the epidemic.

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