Health and Medicine

B.1.1.7 variant – early result suggests longer infections, management questions - Code for life

Grant Jacobs Feb 21, 2021

Sometimes it’s smaller, intensive studies that shed light on issues. Just reported results of daily sampling of COVID-19 patients indicate patients with the B.1.1.7 variant first observed in Kent, UK may have a longer infection compared to patients infected with non-B.1.1.7 variants. This is the variant seen in NZ’s most recent outbreak in Auckland. If this observation bears out in … Read More

Test, test, test - The Dismal Science

Eric Crampton Feb 18, 2021

My column over at Newsroom this week points out the fairly obvious. The government can add daily saliva testing for everyone at the border to the existing testing regimen. If daily testing winds up proving the swab tests to be redundant, ditch the swab tests when we find that out. If it turns out they’re both useful, keep both. Read More

No internet, no vaccine: How lack of internet access has limited vaccine availability for racial and ethnic minorities - COVID-19

Guest Author Feb 17, 2021

Tamra Burns Loeb, University of California, Los Angeles; AJ Adkins-Jackson, Harvard University, and Arleen F. Brown, University of California, Los Angeles Racial and ethnic minority communities that lack internet access have been left behind in the race to get a COVID-19 vaccine. The average monthly cost of internet access, about US$70, can be out of reach for those … Read More

Why more contagious variants are emerging now, more than a year into the COVID-19 pandemic - COVID-19

Guest Author Feb 16, 2021

David Welch, University of Auckland; Jemma Geoghegan, University of Otago; Joep de Ligt, ESR, and Nigel French, Massey University New variants of SARS-CoV-2 have now evaded New Zealand’s border protections twice to spread into the community. In the most recent outbreak, which placed Auckland into an alert level 3 lockdown, there are three active community cases of the … Read More

Your questions on the latest NZ Covid cases, answered - Infectious Thoughts

Siouxsie Wiles Feb 16, 2021

Three new community cases of Covid-19 and an unknown source have plunged Auckland into lockdown and the rest of the country into alert level two. Microbiologist Siouxsie Wiles tackles some of the critical questions we now face. Could we be looking at a situation as worrying as last August in Auckland? Yes. Like in August, it isn’t clear yet how … Read More

Close contact test results will be crucial to whether Auckland’s level 3 lockdown is extended beyond three days - COVID-19

Guest Author Feb 15, 2021

Michael Plank, University of Canterbury; Shaun Hendy, University of Auckland, and Siouxsie Wiles, University of Auckland New Zealand’s latest community cases, the first to be infected with the more infectious B.1.1.7 variant of COVID-19, have a plausible link to the border through one person’s workplace at LSG Sky Chefs, a business that deals with laundry and catering from international … Read More

How best to classify and count NZ’s border control failures in the COVID-19 pandemic? - Public Health Expert

Public Health Expert Feb 12, 2021

Prof Nick Wilson, Dr Leah Grout, Prof Michael Baker In taking a systems approach to pandemic control, it is helpful to define what is meant by a “border control failure” so that such events can be used to guide performance improvement. This blog proposes specific definitions for the current context in Aotearoa NZ. It concludes that since July 2020, NZ … Read More

It’s still too soon for NZ to relax COVID-19 border restrictions for travellers from low-risk countries - COVID-19

Guest Author Feb 06, 2021

Michael Plank, University of Canterbury and Shaun Hendy, University of Auckland Relaxing border restrictions for travellers from low COVID-19 risk countries would increase the risk of community cases in New Zealand by around 25%, says an article published yesterday in the New Zealand Medical Journal. This might not sound like a big increase in risk, but it means breaches … Read More

The demise of Project Energize in the Waikato - Guest Work

Guest Author Feb 04, 2021

Emeritus Professor Elaine Rush, Auckland University of Technology New Zealand is a world leader in many things, but health promotion and disease prevention, particularly for children, is not one of them. One exception is the long-running Project Energize programme in the Waikato.  Every year for the last sixteen years, Project Energize worked with up to 240 schools attended by 40,000 … Read More