Health and Medicine

100 days without COVID-19: how New Zealand got rid of a virus that keeps spreading across the world - COVID-19

Guest Author Aug 07, 2020

Michael Baker, University of Otago; Amanda Kvalsvig, University of Otago, and Nick Wilson, University of Otago On Sunday, New Zealand will mark 100 days without community transmission of COVID-19. From the first known case imported into New Zealand on February 26 to the last case of community transmission detected on May 1, elimination took 65 days. New Zealand relied on … Read More

E-bikes are the new cars- why don’t transport policy makers treat them seriously? - Public Health Expert

Public Health Expert Aug 04, 2020

Caroline Shaw, Anja Mizdrak E-bikes are everywhere. Sales are booming and predicted to overtake sales of new cars in a few years. There were three times as many e-bikes and e-scooters imported into NZ in 2019 alone as there are e-cars in the entire country. You can’t go out in the city these days without seeing people having … Read More

NZ’s “Team of 5 million” has achieved the lowest COVID-19 death rate in the OECD – but there are still gaps in our pandemic response - Public Health Expert

Public Health Expert Jul 22, 2020

Prof Nick Wilson, Dr Tim Chambers, Dr Amanda Kvalsvig, Dr Anja Mizdrak, Dr Nhung Nghiem, Dr Jennifer Summers, Prof Michael Baker NZ has now achieved the lowest death rate from the COVID-19 pandemic out of 37 OECD countries and appears to be the only one to succeed with elimination at a national level. But despite the success of the “team … Read More

Immunity to COVID-19 may not last. This threatens a vaccine and herd immunity - COVID-19

Guest Author Jul 17, 2020

Nigel McMillan, Griffith University How is the world going to go back to the days when we could grab a coffee, see a movie, or attend a concert or footy game with anyone? Opinion suggests there are two options: an effective vaccine, or herd immunity via at least 60-80% of people becoming infected. Either one of these options requires that … Read More

How New Zealand could keep eliminating coronavirus at its border for months to come, even as the global pandemic worsens - COVID-19

Guest Author Jul 17, 2020

Michael Plank, University of Canterbury; Alex James, University of Canterbury; Audrey Lustig, Manaaki Whenua – Landcare Research; Nicholas Steyn; Rachelle Binny, Manaaki Whenua – Landcare Research, and Shaun Hendy Stringent border controls and mandatory quarantine give New Zealand a good chance to remain free of COVID-19 for months to come, according to our latest modelling. It’s been 76 … Read More

Lockdown, relax, repeat: how cities across the globe are going back to coronavirus restrictions - COVID-19

Guest Author Jul 15, 2020

Maximilian de Courten, Victoria University; Bojana Klepac Pogrmilovic, Victoria University, and Rosemary V Calder, Victoria University The World Health Organisation reported more than 230,000 new COVID-19 cases on Sunday — the world’s largest daily increase during the pandemic. The surge has forced governments in many places across the world to order new lockdowns. This includes Melbourne, which is back … Read More

Weekly deaths declined in NZ’s lockdown – but we still don’t know exactly why - Public Health Expert

Public Health Expert Jul 10, 2020

Prof Nick Wilson, Dr Anja Mizdrak, Dr Jennifer Summers, Prof Michael Baker The pandemic-related lockdown is possibly the most dramatic public health intervention in NZ history. It helped achieve the elimination of community transmission of the COVID-19 virus in NZ. But it was also associated with 548 fewer total deaths than for the same period in 2019. Death rates … Read More

Opening New Zealand’s borders – an educational scenario - COVID-19

Guest Author Jul 07, 2020

Associate Professor Sara Walton At the heart of the discussion on opening up our borders is the dichotomy of health and the economy – both of which are actually intertwined, like many things with our economy, as this epidemic has shown. If we think about our country as a system, an open system deals with the ebbs and … Read More

COVID-19 and the law in Aotearoa NZ - Public Health Expert

Public Health Expert Jul 06, 2020

Louise Delany (public health lawyer) Health and emergency laws have played a critical role in this country’s successful elimination of community transmission of the COVID-19 pandemic. This blog details key aspects of the legislation and comments on issues around testing, payments by incoming travellers for quarantine costs, and mask use. The implementation of law relating to COVID-19 has meant that … Read More

Kiwi public health doc reporting back from Victoria (Australia): “Do quarantine well!” - Public Health Expert

Public Health Expert Jul 03, 2020

A bit like a letter home. I have now been full-time at the University of Melbourne since 2019. Before that, I was 20 years at the University of Otago, Wellington. Indeed, I set up this very Public Health Expert Blog with Nick Wilson ten years ago. Now I am your Australian correspondent.   Life as an epidemiologist and public health … Read More