Science

Coronavirus update: spread outside China and a new name - Infectious Thoughts

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

The numbers are the numbers, except when they’re not. - Physics Stop

Marcus Wilson Feb 14, 2020

I’m not quite sure of what to make of the new figures for COVID-19 (as we must now call the novel coronavirus – though I’m not sure the capitalisation is correct) from Hubei province: Image from https://www.bbc.com/news/world-51495484  The spike yesterday is a consequence of a using a different way of defining a case – one based on a clinical diagnosis (i.e. Read More

Update on how to see the Space-X satellite chains from NZ - Out of Space

Duncan Steel Feb 08, 2020

In a previous post I described briefly when and how the Starlink satellite chains – recent launches by Space-X in a scheme to bring 5G internet connectivity to the whole globe – could be seen from New Zealand with the naked eye. Here I provide an update and predictions for the next several days.  My preceding post included … Read More

Seeing the Space-X satellite chains from NZ - Out of Space

Duncan Steel Feb 04, 2020

Space-X has started launching its Starlink satellites into low-Earth orbit with a plan to use some tens of thousands of these to deliver 5G wifi to the whole globe. Chains of these satellites can be seen in the evening or before-dawn skies, through the sunlight they scatter. Here I provide a movie showing opportunities for spotting such satellites over the … Read More

COVID-19 coverage - News

Sarah-Jane O'Connor Feb 04, 2020

Our Scibloggers have been providing updates on the ongoing coronavirus outbreak. This page will be updated as more posts are published. As of 11 February 2020, the virus has been officially named COVID-19. 10 February 2020 NZ Should Prepare for a Potentially Severe Global Coronavirus Pandemic Given the virus’ potential to become a severe and prolonged global pandemic, … Read More

Neandertals’ genetic legacy extends into africa - BioBlog

Alison Campbell Feb 03, 2020

For the last few years it’s been pretty much received wisdom that African populations shared only a tiny proportion of their genes, if any, with Neanderthals. In contrast, other non-African sapiens populations had a small but significant admixture of Neanderthal genes. The underlying reason for this, it’s been assumed, is that Homo sapiens and neandertalensis only bred with each other in Europe … Read More

Coronavirus: travel restrictions now in place for New Zealand - Infectious Thoughts

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 - Infectious Thoughts

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 - Infectious Thoughts

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 - Infectious Thoughts

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