COVID-19

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

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

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

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

NZ needs an evolving pandemic strategy if it’s to keep the public’s trust

Guest Author Feb 01, 2021

Bernard Walker, University of Canterbury Kiwis know what it’s like when life throws curveballs. We’ve had major quakes, floods, fires, an eruption, a terrorist attack and now a pandemic. In those situations, it’s the ability to collectively “get the smarts”, to devise clever, adaptable responses, that really makes a difference. But the challenge now is to keep doing the smart … Read More

The big barriers to global vaccination: patent rights, national self-interest and the wealth gap

Guest Author Jan 21, 2021

Ilan Noy, Te Herenga Waka — Victoria University of Wellington and Ami Neuberger, Technion – Israel Institute of Technology We will not be able to put the COVID-19 pandemic behind us until the world’s population is mostly immune through vaccination or previous exposure to the disease. A truly global vaccination campaign, however, would look very different from what we are … Read More

The cold supply chain can’t reach everywhere – that’s a big problem for equitable COVID-19 vaccination

Guest Author Jan 19, 2021

Timothy Ford, University of Massachusetts Lowell and Charles M. Schweik, University of Massachusetts Amherst To mitigate health inequities and promote social justice, coronavirus vaccines need to get to underserved populations and hard-to-reach communities. There are few places in the U.S. that are unreachable by road, but other factors – many rural hospitals can’t afford ultralow-temperature freezers or might … Read More

What the Blood Supply Shows About Covid-19’s Spread

Guest Author Jan 19, 2021

Nathaniel Scharping In March, as the Covid-19 pandemic began to shut down major cities in the U.S., researchers were thinking about blood. In particular, they were worried about the U.S. blood supply — the millions of donations every year that help keep hospital patients alive when they need a transfusion. The researchers were able to put to rest … Read More

Coronavirus: few vaccines prevent infection – here’s why that’s not a problem

Guest Author Jan 18, 2021

Sarah L Caddy, University of Cambridge Vaccines are a marvel of medicine. Few interventions can claim to have saved as many lives. But it may surprise you to know that not all vaccines provide the same level of protection. Some vaccines stop you getting symptomatic disease, but others stop you getting infected too. The latter is known as “sterilising immunity”. Read More

With COVID-19 mutating and surging, NZ urgently needs to tighten border controls

Guest Author Jan 13, 2021

Nick Wilson, University of Otago and Michael Baker, University of Otago The global COVID-19 pandemic is intensifying, with more infectious variants of the virus, and more rapid spread, especially in countries such as the US and UK. This deterioration has meant a higher number of infected returnees arriving at New Zealand’s MIQ facilities — with 31 new cases in … Read More

Post-pandemic cities can permanently reclaim public spaces as gathering places

Guest Author Jan 08, 2021

Anne-Marie Broudehoux, Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM) Will the COVID-19 pandemic prompt a shift to healthier cities that focus on wellness rather than functional and economic concerns? This is a hypothesis that seems to be supported by several researchers around the world. In many ways, containment and physical distancing measures have contributed to an increased recognition of the … Read More

Long COVID: who is at risk?

Guest Author Jan 06, 2021

Frances Williams, King’s College London For most people, infection with SARS-CoV-2 – the virus that causes COVID-19 – leads to mild, short-term symptoms, acute respiratory illness, or possibly no symptoms at all. But some people have long-lasting symptoms after their infection – this has been dubbed “long COVID”. Scientists are still researching long COVID. It’s not well understood, though our … Read More