Infectious Thoughts

Coronavirus update: spread outside China and a new name

Siouxsie Wiles Feb 16, 2020

With over 69,000 confirmed cases and 1,600 deaths, here’s your round-up of the latest coronavirus news. New disease and virus have now officially been named On the 11th February, the WHO Director General announced a new name for the disease: COVID-19 which is short for coronavirus disease 2019. The naming follows the WHO’s commitment not to call diseases after … Read More

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Coronavirus: travel restrictions now in place for New Zealand

Siouxsie Wiles Feb 02, 2020

With reports that several people in New Zealand have been tested for suspected coronavirus – they were all negative – and the WHO declaring the outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern, our government has just announced entry restrictions for foreign nationals arriving from or transiting through mainland China.   A Public Health Emergency of International Concern … Read More

Coronavirus update: drug trials and asymptomatic spread

Siouxsie Wiles Feb 02, 2020

Now officially a Public Health Emergency of International Concern here’s my second round-up of some of the week’s coronavirus-related news. Gilead announces they are working with Chinese to test their antiviral drug remdesivir On the 31st January, pharmaceutical company Gilead announced they are working with health authorities in China to establish a randomized, controlled trial to see if … Read More

A Public Health Emergency of International Concern – coronavirus update

Siouxsie Wiles Feb 01, 2020

With reports that someone in Auckland is being tested for the novel coronavirus, and the WHO declaring the outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern here’s my first round-up of some of the week’s coronavirus-related news. New Zealand’s first case? Update 02/02/2020: Test came back negative. Also in the RNZ report is the information that so … Read More

The coronavirus outbreak in China: what a difference a week makes

Siouxsie Wiles Jan 27, 2020

When it comes to emerging infectious diseases and outbreaks, so much can happen in a week. In the case of the coronavirus outbreak in China, I’ve gone from not being too alarmed, to thinking “oh, crap!”. But that still doesn’t mean we should all panic. As I’m writing this on Monday the 27th of January, New Zealand’s Director-General of Health … Read More

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Snakeflu?! An intriguing source suggested for new Chinese coronavirus

Siouxsie Wiles Jan 23, 2020

Update 27/01/2020: Soon after the “snakeflu” paper was released, scientists took to social media expressing doubts, raising the fact that it’s pretty rare for the codon usage of a virus to closely match its reservoir host. Others criticised the way the authors prepared their codon usage tables. Kristian Andersen made some better codon usage tables and then calculated … Read More

The Chinese coronavirus outbreak: what are the options for vaccines and treatments?

Siouxsie Wiles Jan 22, 2020

By now you’ve probably heard of the coronavirus outbreak that started in Wuhan City, China. The number of cases is rising, up to about 300 with six deaths. Cases have been reported in several more Chinese cities, including Beijing and Shanghai, as well as in Japan, Thailand, and South Korea. There are also reports of a case in … Read More

Open by design, not default.

Siouxsie Wiles Mar 14, 2019

I’m currently taking part in the Culture Track of the Mozilla Open Leaders programme, 14 weeks of mentoring and training by the Mozilla Foundation. I’m hoping to learn how to build an open culture for my lab and other projects I’m involved in. I’ve been interested in the concept of open science/research for a while now. If you … Read More

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The Open Source Period project: my open leadership journey begins!

Siouxsie Wiles Mar 08, 2019

If you’ve not heard of Mozilla, you’ve likely heard of their web browser Firefox. The Mozilla Foundation is a global non-profit that wants to shape the future of the web for the public good. So, what’s Mozilla got to do with the Open Source Period project? For the last seven years, the Mozilla Foundation has run a programme … Read More