Infectious Diseases Blog
March 14th 2017
The federal government’s push for all state and territories to ban unvaccinated children from child care is a coercive measure that may disadvantage working parents and their children, and may have other unintended consequences.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull says unifying how different state and territories handle access to child care is needed to boost... more
Raina MacIntyre March 12th 2017
I am a strong advocate for immunization and have worked in this field doing research to improve protection of populations by vaccination, for over a quarter of a century. I have previously written about coercive measures to increase vaccination rates and outlined my arguments against this approach. For my sins I was shouted down by public commentators in an... more
By Raina MacIntyre
March 2nd 2017
Every day when you check the news, you read of a new epidemic. An epidemic of ice, diabetes, obesity, antimicicrobial resistance or some other pressing problem. I searched the news today and came across the following new "epidemics": tooth decay, prescription pain pills, carer abuse, bomb threats and distracted driving. Journalistic misuse of the term is... more
Dr Julia Scott, Prof Nick Wilson, Prof Michael Baker
University of Otago, New Zealand
In a globalised world an infectious disease outbreak anywhere is a potential threat to New Zealand (NZ). Recent such threats have included severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), pandemic influenza (2009), Ebola and Zika. In the context of an upcoming University of Otago Wellington Public... more
Chau Bui, Padma Narasimhan, Raina MacIntyre.
October 13th 2016
Recent world events, such as the 2014 Ebola epidemic, have brought public attention to challenges imposed by emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases. The unprecedented scale of the Ebola epidemic demonstrated how severely an epidemic can affect countries with limited health capacity. Travel has emerged as a major vector for... more
By Raina MacIntyre and Sheng-Lun Yan
October 12th 2016
Social media has revolutionised how we communicate. In this series, we look at how it has changed the media, politics, health, education and the law.
Infectious diseases kill more than 17 million people every year. Large outbreaks, known as epidemics, are becoming more frequent. And more serious infections have emerged in the past... more
August 30th 2016
Two great leaders of the battle against smallpox have passed away in the last 6 years - Frank Fenner, the chairman of the Global Commission for the Certification of Smallpox Eradication, in 2010, and in 2016, DA Henderson, who was director of the WHO Smallpox Eradication campaign, among other important leadership roles. They were both recognised as pivotal... more
August 29th 2016
Since August 2016, locally transmitted cases of Zika virus have been reported in Singapore. Singapore is a major travel hub and a gateway to Asia, so this is quite concerning. Zika virus has been documented in several Asian countries since it first emerged in 1951, including Malaysia, India, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam and Pakistan, long before to the... more
By Chinenye Okeke
April 29th 2016
While the battle to end the Ebola epidemic raged on in Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia, another viral haemorrhagic fever, Lassa fever, was just beginning to take its roots in other parts of West Africa. Lassa fever (LF) is not new to this terrain and like Ebola has been around too long and probably ignored that long too. First described and isolated in a... more
File: Figure 1 - Estimated Lassa Fever cases and deaths 2013-2016 Nigeria
Thinking about getting the 2016 flu vaccine? Here's what you need to know
C Raina MacIntyre, UNSW Australia and Aye Moa, UNSW Australia
Up to one in ten adults and three in ten children are infected with influenza each year.
The vaccine we have used for decades, the trivalent vaccine (TIV), protects against three strains of flu. But in 2016, for the first time, the publicly funded vaccine... more