15-21 August 2019

Heidi Larson speaks to the Guardian about the importance of restoring vaccine confidence, as Public Health England warns that 1 in 7 five-year-olds may not be up to date with their MMR immunisation and the Prime Minister pledges to combat misinformation spread online. Heidi said: “With more than 5% of five-year-olds in England not having had their MMR vaccination when they start school, and the UK losing its ‘measles-free’ status three years after being certified for measles elimination by the World Health Organization, it is time for more urgent action. I applaud the prime minister’s initiative and his recognition that this is not only a matter of service delivery, but also restoring vaccine confidence.”

Heidi was also interviewed on the BBC News channel, which also led to soundbites on BBC Radio 2 and local stations across the country.

Pauline Paterson is interviewed by BBC News Beyond 100 Days (at 40.50) on the same story. Pauline said: We have done some research as part of immunisation in England and the main reasons why people are not vaccinating their children with MMR  are issues around access and complacency, so people don’t think of it as a serious disease.”

Helen Strongman and Krishnan Bhaskaran led on new research suggesting that cancer survivors could face increased risk of CVD, calling for greater GP awareness to help detect problems earlier. Krishnan said: “With treatment for cancer becoming more effective, we must start thinking about living beyond cancer and improving the health of survivors.” The story was covered in News-Medical.Net and eCancerNews.

Meenakshi Gautham provides expert comment in an Independent report (originally published in the Bureau of Investigative Journalism) on the over-promotion of antibiotics to informal healthcare providers in India, contributing to AMR. Meenakshi said: “There is a strong push coming from the pharmaceutical industry in the form of very aggressive promotion of antibiotics, especially in rural markets. Unless we work with the pharmaceutical industry to reduce the aggressive strategies, it’s going to be difficult to work only with the providers and get them to reduce their use.”

Joy Lawn discusses the science behind The Handmaid’s Tale and whether mutant syphilis could cause mass infertility on an episode of the BBC World Service’s Crowd Science. Joy said: “Obviously we have a huge problem around the world with antimicrobial resistance for lots of different organisms – but actually for syphilis the biggest problem is benign neglect.”

LSHTM has also been featured by The Londonist as one of the highlights to explore during Open House in September.

On social media

This week’s social media highlight comes from the LSHTM Twitter page, where #WorldMosquitoDay on 20 August coincided with the first day of the Royal Entomological Society’s Ento ’19 conference at LSHTM.

World Mosquito Day, commemorating Sir Ronald Ross’s 1897 discovery of the link between mosquitoes and malaria transmission, appeared widely across social media, and was also featured on our Instagram and Facebook.

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