23 – 29 October 2017

Sequencing of MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) whenever someone is detected with the strain, and combining this with information on when and where transmission may have occurred, could link cases and detect outbreaks much sooner, reports Sharon Peacock and colleagues in a new study. The study was covered widely including: Financial Times, Mirror, The Sun, BBC Radio Wales (2h14 into programme), La Vangardia (Spain).

Quoted by The Sun, Sharon said: “If implemented in clinical practice this would provide numerous opportunities to catch outbreaks early and target these to bring them to a close, for example by decolonising carriers and implementing barrier nursing. We have the technology in place to do this and it could have a really positive impact on public health and patient outcomes.”

Jimmy Whitworth also spoke to The Sun about the Madagascan plague outbreak. Jimmy said: “It has been a long time since we have seen the plague in an urban environment. The risk of it spreading internationally is low. But the risk of this continuing to spread within Madagascar is still quite high.”

As part of World Polio Day, Heidi Larson spoke on the BBC Radio 4 Today Programme (2h55 into programme). She said: “There has been progress – it’s been a bumpy road but there’s been major successes on the way, like eradicating polio from India. If it were up to me, I’d pull all the stops out to eradicate polio and then look at pandemic preparedness.” Heidi also discussed the topic on BBC World TV.

Reuters Health cover a study led by Ajay Aggarwal on how technological advancement was driving patient choice in prostate cancer surgery. He said: “We do not know whether centers [sic] adopting new technology offer better quality care. A potential concern with this pattern of closures is that some patients will now have to travel further for cancer surgery as a result of closures, which may have an impact on equality in access to cancer surgery given that lower socioeconomic groups and the elderly are less likely to travel for care.”

Less wealth is tied to higher odds of premature death, said researchers from the University of Washington in Seattle. Martin McKee authors an editorial accompanying the research and is quoted in a number of outlets, including African Planet, Eygpt Today, Reuters and many US regionals. He said: “We do know that greater wealth and income gives you the resources to make healthy choices in diet, leisure, etc. Moreover, having greater wealth is like having an insurance policy against things going badly wrong, giving you a more positive outlook on the future.”


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