The zoonotic diseases closer to home

With genetic analysis suggesting COVID-19 originated in animals before it spread to humans, now is a good time to bear in mind zoonotic diseases are closer to home than people might think, says a UNSW researcher. Whether it’s bin chickens raiding rubbish bins, pigeons flocking to alfresco dining leftovers or cuddles with the family pet, animals … Continue reading The zoonotic diseases closer to home

The healing power of data

When you’re in a medical emergency, you don’t typically think of calling a statistician. However, the COVID-19 outbreak has shown just how necessary a clear understanding of data and modelling is to help prevent the spread of disease. One person understood this a long time ago. Were she alive today, Florence Nightingale would understand the … Continue reading The healing power of data

Measles: what you need to know

When was the last time you heard of someone sick with diphtheria? Or polio? Mumps? Chances are, if you’ve grown up in a part of the world where vaccination is commonplace, you’ve probably forgotten or never known what it’s like to have these diseases. It’s easy to feel complacent when they almost disappear from our … Continue reading Measles: what you need to know

How measles impacts your immune system

For people who grew up prior to 1966, getting measles during childhood was so commonplace, it may have seemed like a mild disease: everywhere, children were getting sick, but once the rash was gone, most of them recovered. But it’s not a mild disease. Measles and its complications can be fatal. It’s easy to see … Continue reading How measles impacts your immune system

Who is most at risk of measles

It may seem easy to only blame the anti-vaccination movement for the recent rise in measles outbreaks in developed countries. While vaccine resistance may be an important contributor to the problem, it’s important to realise that it’s not just the unvaccinated who pose a risk to public health: many people in Australia may be under-vaccinated … Continue reading Who is most at risk of measles