Infectious Thoughts

What is the Covid-19 ‘triangle’?

Siouxsie Wiles Aug 31, 2020

Since this pandemic started, I’ve been getting lots of messages from people and hearing an awful lot of pundits who sum up Covid-19 as a simple case of virus vs person, with a binary outcome: the infected person either lives or dies. If only it were that simple, but there’s more to it than just the microbe against its unfortunate … Read More

Why Covid elimination remains the best game-plan for NZ

Siouxsie Wiles Aug 25, 2020

Here in Aotearoa, we’re playing Covid-19 in “elimination” mode. Some countries are trying “suppression” mode, while others are running with what seems like “survival-of-the-fittest/wealthiest” mode. Over the last few weeks, I’ve been getting messages from people who don’t think our elimination game-plan is going to work. Some of them point to the fact we are currently experiencing an outbreak. Others … Read More

What does a robust Covid response look like for New Zealand?

Siouxsie Wiles Aug 23, 2020

Because we don’t have widespread community transmission of Covid-19 in New Zealand, our response managing our border and responding to any outbreaks will also help the rest of the world understand more about Covid-19. Let me explain how, and what I think a robust Covid-19 response looks like at least in the short term. Controls at the border are all … Read More

How genome sequencing could crack the case of the NZ Covid comeback

Siouxsie Wiles Aug 13, 2020

The novel coronavirus mutates as it travels between people and around the world. By sequencing the genome, we can try to work out which case is linked with another. As Aotearoa confronted its first cases of Covid-19 community transmission in more than 100 days, the director general of health, Ashley Bloomfield, raised genome sequencing – something which “may help us … Read More

Don’t panic. We can do this. Together

Siouxsie Wiles Aug 12, 2020

Aotearoa surpassed 100 days without a case of community transmission of Covid-19. Last night that virus-free streak ended and we’re moving back up the alert levels.  For months now, we’ve been intercepting cases of Covid-19 at the border. But just as has happened in many other countries, somehow the sneaky bastard has got in. At a late press conference last … Read More

Victoria’s lockdown ‘an endless game of Covid-19 whack-a-mole’

Siouxsie Wiles Aug 04, 2020

Siouxsie Wiles The restrictions in place for metropolitan Melbourne now are in some ways stricter than those that were in force during New Zealand’s COVID-19 lockdown. A curfew is in place and most people have to wear masks when they leave their home – neither of which happened in New Zealand. But the state of Victoria has lost valuable … Read More

Four possible scenarios for the Australian and South Korean travellers

Siouxsie Wiles Aug 01, 2020

Over the last few days, reports have emerged of people travelling from New Zealand and testing positive for Covid-19 upon arrival at their destination. First in South Korea and now in Australia. What might these positive tests mean? They’re false-positives As Toby Morris and I have explained before, there are different ways to test someone for Covid-19. The main ways … Read More