News

Inter‐seasonality of influenza in Australia

Check out new publication to determine changes in inter‐seasonal influenza activity in Australia over time. READ MORE. Moa, AM, Adam, DC, MacIntyre, CR. Inter‐seasonality of influenza in Australia. Influenza Other Respi Viruses.2019; 00: 1– 6. https://doi.org/10.1111/irv.12642

Northern Territory facing measles outbreak

Northern Territory facing measles outbreak as US and Philippines battle deadly disease’ revival

The Northern Territory is taking measures to try to stop the spread of measles in the capital, Darwin, as outbreaks of the disease widen worldwide.

Health authorities in the NT are lowering the age of vaccination for babies to just nine months - a measure more typical in developing countries.

Among a long list of countries struggling with the disease, the Philippines has seen a 266 per cent increase in cases so far this year. HEAR ABC News interview with Raina Macintyre

Anti-vaccination messaging from politicians

Australian parents susceptible to anti-vaccination messaging from politicians

The majority of Australian parents are susceptible to vaccine messages from political and medical leaders, according to a new study by researchers at UNSW Sydney. READ MORE

Bioterrorist attack of smallpox can affect the world for 10 years, says study

The hypothetical outbreak would extend to 200 people, of whom 40% would die and start in a private hospital in Fiji

USTRALIA.- A bioterrorist attack with the smallpox virus could expose vulnerabilities in global systems with potentially catastrophic effects and affect the world for 10 years, according to a study published in the journal Global Biosecurity.

A team of researchers from the University of New South Wales (Australia) with several international specialists conducted a study and created a simulation model of a smallpox attack in the Pacific region, with the objective of examining local, regional and local preparation. global to fight against the disease.

"Through a mathematical modeling of smallpox transmission, we simulate a large-scale bioterrorist attack in the worst case," explained the study's lead researcher, Raina MacIntyre. READ MORE

Potential bioterrorist use of smallpox should put world on notice, experts say

Potential bioterrorist use of smallpox should put world on notice, experts say

Smallpox, although eradicated, has joined the growing list of potential biosecurity threats, according to experts, who say preparedness for the possible return of the virus should be prioritized around the world.

Smallpox, a contagious, disfiguring and often deadly disease, was eradicated globally in 1980 by the World Health Organization (WHO) — the result of an unprecedented global immunization campaign, according to the Mayo Clinic. READ MORE

New WHO housing and health guidelines could save millions each year

New WHO housing and health guidelines could save millions each year

Research done in New Zealand before now has generally focused on the effect of a single housing condition on health outcomes and the associated burden of disease. The research published today builds on that research to estimate the combined burden of disease from multiple housing conditions – damp, cold, mould, and disrepair.

ISER  CRE"s Professor Michael Baker was also involved in the housing research.

Photo by Mikes Photos from Pexels

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Terrifying "Exercise Mataika" Smallpox Simulation

Terrifying "Exercise Mataika" Smallpox Simulation Did Not End Well For Humanity

"Using mathematical modelling of smallpox transmission, we simulated a worst-case, large-scale bioterrorist attack," explained Professor Raina MacIntyre, head of the Kirby Institute’s Biosecurity program.

The research, published in Global Biosecurity, took into account clinical, public health, emergency, and societal responses, with participants from government and non-government organizations around the world making realistic, real-time decisions.

So how does it all go down? READ MORE

Listeria contamination in Victoria

Thousands of elderly and ill Victorians may be exposed to listeria outbreak, one woman dead.

Australian National University professor Martyn Kirk has examined the burden of food-borne disease in Australia and the risk factors associated with listeriosis.

Professor Kirk told The New Daily listeria was a rare infection in Australia with only 70 to 90 cases per a year nationally and about 20 in Victoria.

Unlike the listeria outbreak on the surface of rockmelon last year, Professor Kirk said the health department would likely find some form of contamination on the bench surfaces, possibly near a sink, in the I Cook Foods kitchen. READ MORE

Bioterror WARNING: Smallpox attack could be CATASTROPHIC for humanity

A BIOTERROR attack with the smallpox virus could be “CATASTROPHIC” for humanity and wipe out large swathes of the population, researchers have warned.

Terrorists and feuding countries could use genetically modified diseases to attack their enemies, and the consequences would be devastating. A team of researchers have ran simulations on a bioterror attack using smallpox in the Asia Pacific region, and discovered there is no way authorities could act quickly enough to prevent an epidemic. Infectious disease epidemiologist Raina MacIntyre from the University of New South Wales (UNSW) said: “Using mathematical modelling of smallpox transmission, we simulated a worst-case, large scale bioterrorist attack.” READ MORE

‘National interest’ funding tests ‘bad for science’

Raina MacIntyre, professor of global biosecurity at UNSW, warned that political oversight of research could affect academics’ engagement in public debate.

She said that relying on public funding – as opposed to the financial independence of some of the wealthy US universities – meant that “we are more beholden to government…and that does make it more difficult to speak out”.

Professor MacIntyre, who leads the biosecurity programme at UNSW’s Kirby Institute, also warned that nationalist politics could directly undermine attempts to control global pandemics in future.

“We saw issues arising during the Ebola epidemic in 2014, when Australia itself was reluctant to commit support in the affected areas”, she said, warning that “infectious diseases do not have passports or observe national borders” and that things “could go catastrophically wrong” if the global response to a pandemic was not appropriate. READ MORE