Public Health Expert

Reducing the health burden from contaminated drinking water in NZ: Opportunities arising from the new Water Services Bill

Public Health Expert Aug 10, 2020

Dr Tim Chambers, Prof Nick Wilson, Jayne Richards, A/Prof Simon Hales, Dr Mike Joy, Prof Michael Baker (author affiliations*) Increasing water-related health threats, notably the waterborne campylobacter outbreak in Havelock North, have highlighted failings in NZ’s regulatory system for drinking water. In this blog we consider how the new Water Services Bill might provide a framework to enable the new … Read More

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

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

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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 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

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

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

COVID-19 and the law in Aotearoa NZ

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 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

Eliminate the pandemic virus causing COVID-19 or risk an animal reservoir

Public Health Expert Jul 01, 2020

Prof John Potter* Elimination has been an effective strategy for New Zealand in the management of the COVID-19 pandemic virus (SARS-CoV-2). Most other countries have not pursued this goal and are ignoring the opportunity even now. SARS-CoV-2 is not manageable by the influenza playbook; its longer incubation period makes tracing and isolation more practicable and puts elimination within reach. There … Read More

Pandemic terminology: getting it right matters for effective risk communication and management

Public Health Expert Jun 30, 2020

Prof Nick Wilson, Dr Amanda Kvalsvig, Prof Michael Baker Compared with other OECD countries NZ is a stand-out success story by ending community transmission of COVID-19. While there have been some well-publicised recent deficiencies (eg, quarantine organisation), there has still been no evidence of community transmission for many weeks. Nevertheless, further improvements in NZ’s response are possible and in this … Read More

Preventing Outbreaks of COVID-19 in NZ Associated with Air Travel from Australia: New Modelling Study of Alternatives to Quarantine

Public Health Expert Jun 17, 2020

Prof Nick Wilson, Prof Michael Baker, Prof Martin Eichner (*author details) In this new study, we estimated the risk of COVID-19 outbreaks associated with air travel from Australia (with a low prevalence of COVID-19 infection) to NZ. We found that the combined use of exit and entry screening, two PCR tests (on days 3 and 12 in NZ), mask … Read More

After the new law for smokefree cars for Kiwi kids, what next?

Public Health Expert Jun 04, 2020

George Thomson, Nick Wilson, Richard Edwards This blog discusses the passing of the Smoke-free Environments (Prohibiting Smoking in Motor Vehicles Carrying Children) Amendment Act last week. We briefly review some lessons from this legislation’s long journey and explore future smokefree possibilities in Aotearoa / New Zealand.   A law providing smokefree cars for children is a matter for … Read More