School of Public Health and Community Medicine

Infectious Diseases Blog

− a blog for rapid communication and analysis

In outbreaks and other situations, there is a need for reliable rapid communications and for the ability to tap into relevant expertise. This need is not well served by peer-reviewed publications because of the slow turn-around time. At UNSW, we are well placed to provide such a service, as infectious diseases epidemiology is a major area of research strength. We teach major courses and degrees in infectious diseases, and are involved in leading international research in this field. I have started this blog for rapid, topical information on infectious diseases, with a focus on outbreaks, emerging infections, epidemiology, vaccines and vaccine-preventable diseases. I am committed to responsible blogging, which means all posts are by people qualified to write about the particular topic, or that blogs will be reviewed by relevant experts where required. All contributions are welcome, and will be reviewed/moderated. Comments on blogs are moderated.

Professor Raina MacIntyre



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A paramedic's perspective on Ebola

An out of hospital perspective By Alan McLean 07/10/2014 As an intensive care paramedic with 35 years experience,  I watched TV thinking I am glad it’s not me dealing with Ebola as the many courageous front line HCW and community responders in Western Africa are. But are we that lucky, is Ebola a West African problem that we only watch on TV? Now having firsthand experience in... more
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Ebola vaccines – required efficacy, principles of vaccinology and public health implications for disease control

By Raina MacIntyre October 4 2014 Vaccines are one of the greatest public health achievements in history. In 1796 Edward Jenner discovered that inoculation with cowpox could protect against smallpox. The term “vaccinus” means “Of a cow” in Latin, and refers to Jenner’s discovery.  Smallpox vaccine was followed in the 19th century by vaccines against plague, diphtheria and typhoid. Smallpox... more
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West African Voices on Ebola - 1

Questioning the origin of the West African Ebola Outbreak Dr. Mohammed Alpha Jalloh (MD). October 2 2014 This current 2014 West African Ebola outbreak has indeed being quite unprecedented and has been described by the Global health agencies including the World Health Organisation, Doctors without borders or Medicins Sans Frontier (MSF) and the Center for Disease Control (CDC) with superlative... more
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Acute Encephalitis Syndrome Outbreaks in India – an ongoing puzzle.

By Ronan Kelly.  October 1 2014 Ronan Kelly (USA) is a Senior Moderator at, with an interest in outbreaks in India. Past history of AES in India Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) is a growing problem in India. The first major outbreak was in West Bengal in 1973 involving 700 cases and over 300 deaths. Subsequent serological studies identified the Japanese Encephalitis (JE)... more
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Reflections on my experience of nosocomial Ebola

By Professor Guy Richards MBBCh PhD FCP(SA) FRCP Professor of Critical Care University of the Witwatersrand Director of Critical Care Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital, South Africa. September 30th 2014 Professor Richards led the management of nosocomial Ebola outbreak in Johannesburg in 1996. The current West African epidemic of Ebola raises many questions that have troubled me... more
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Articulating a clear strategy for Ebola control - turning modeling research into action.

By Raina MacIntyre September 27 2014 The latest Ebola modelling paper from MMWR by Martin Meltzer et al(1) is a welcome change from the flood of descriptive papers which do nothing more than describe the massive failure of disease control efforts in West Africa. This study gives us a practical piece of information which can be used to inform disease control efforts: If 70% of cases are in Ebola... more
Professor Lisa Brosseau

Explaining aerosol transmission of Ebola

By Professor Lisa Brosseau and Assistant Professor Rachael Jones, University of Illinois at Chicago. September 24 2014   I would like to respond to recent comments about the likelihood of aerosol transmission of Ebola virus.  The CIDRAP commentary I published with my colleague, Dr. Rachael Jones, outlines the variables that might contribute to aerosol transmission of this particular infectious... more