Public Health Expert

An Upgraded Alert Level 2 is Urgently Needed to Address the Delta Variant Threat

Public Health Expert Sep 03, 2021

Dr Leah Grout, Prof Nick Wilson, Dr Jennifer Summers, Dr Amanda Kvalsvig, Prof Michael Baker* Aotearoa New Zealand (NZ’s) Covid-19 Alert Level system worked well in early 2020, but the Covid-19 landscape has changed, and the system must be updated to address the threat of the highly transmissible Delta variant and future variants. The country is using lockdowns (Auckland currently at … Read More

Public health response to report on potential risk of nitrate from drinking water

Public Health Expert Sep 03, 2021

Dr Tim Chambers and Professor Simon Hales This week a report, co-funded by Fonterra and MBIE, investigated the relative contributions of nitrate in our diet from water and food. The report comes in response to emerging epidemiological evidence observing nitrate in drinking water as a risk factor for colorectal cancer. In separate public statements, the authors … Read More

The end game should not be just Smokefree 2025 but also Vapefree

Public Health Expert Sep 02, 2021

Jenni Stephenson* Aotearoa New Zealand has been a world leader in the smokefree arena and is doubling down on its efforts to reach the 2025 goal. This blog asks if is enough to aim just for smokefree or whether Te Tiriti o Waitangi demands we aim higher and eliminate vaping also. Under the Te Tiriti o Waitangi the Government is … Read More

Lessons from jurisdictions that are battling their own Delta variant outbreaks

Public Health Expert Aug 31, 2021

Dr Jennifer Summers, Prof Nick Wilson, Dr Leah Grout, Dr Amanda Kvalsvig, Prof Michael Baker * The first Delta-variant outbreak in the community brings a new challenge to Aotearoa New Zealand’s COVID-19 response. A Delta outbreak was in some respects a likely scenario given the high infectiousness of this variant and the emerging evidence that vaccines may be less effective … Read More

Throwing Open the Windows: The Need for Ventilation Improvements as Part of Covid-19 Outbreak Control in Aotearoa

Public Health Expert Aug 30, 2021

Dr Leah Grout, Prof Nick Wilson, Dr Julie Bennett, Dr Jennifer Summers, Dr Amanda Kvalsvig, Prof Michael Baker * The importance of indoor aerosol transmission of the virus that causes COVID-19 is increasingly recognised. In addition to public health measures such as masking and physical distancing, further protections are needed to prevent the spread of the virus. Interventions to improve … Read More

More Wastewater Testing Could Guide Optimal Covid-19 Control on the Path Back to Elimination

Public Health Expert Aug 26, 2021

Prof Nick Wilson, Dr Matthew Parry, Dr Leah Grout, Prof Michael Baker This blog briefly considers the issue of wastewater testing as part of Covid-19 control in Aotearoa NZ. Our analysis suggests that wastewater testing is much more effective in determining if a population is very likely to be Covid-19 free, when compared to typical levels of community testing. It … Read More

Five Potential Enhancements of Covid-19 Outbreak Control in Aotearoa NZ

Public Health Expert Aug 20, 2021

Prof Nick Wilson, Dr Jennifer Summers, Dr Leah Grout, Prof Michael Baker* Successful control of the current Covid-19 outbreak in NZ is looking feasible but many challenges remain. Therefore to maximise the chances of returning to elimination status and improve our resilience to future outbreaks, we propose the following potential enhancements: (i) develop a robust system to allow for … Read More

Five lessons for Aotearoa NZ from the current COVID-19 outbreak in New South Wales

Public Health Expert Aug 13, 2021

Dr Leah Grout, Dr Jennifer Summers, Dr Amanda Kvalsvig, Prof Michael Baker, Prof Nick Wilson* Australia has generally succeeded in eliminating community transmission of the pandemic virus SARS-CoV-2, but the Greater Sydney region is currently facing a large COVID-19 outbreak, driven by the Delta variant. The New South Wales Government is struggling to control the outbreak and the grim situation … Read More

A Smokefree Aotearoa – could making tobacco products available only through community pharmacies help us get there?

Public Health Expert Aug 12, 2021

Richard Edwards, Louise Marsh, Lindsay Robertson, Frederieke Petrović-van der Deen, Nick Wilson, Janet Hoek* In this blog we discuss the arguments for and against one of the proposals included in the Smokefree 2025 Action Plan Discussion Document that the sale of smoked tobacco products could be restricted solely to community pharmacies after the number of retail outlets selling these products are … Read More

New e-liquid flavour restrictions: Potential impacts on young people and people who smoke

Public Health Expert Aug 10, 2021

Janet Hoek, Nick Wilson, Richard Edwards, Andrew Waa* From today (11 August 2021), Aotearoa New Zealand’s Smoke-free Environments and Regulated Products (Vaping) Amendment Act 2020 will restrict the e-liquid flavours available at generic retail outlets, such as convenience stores. This measure responded to sustained concerns about the rising prevalence of electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) use among young people, many … Read More