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Topic: infectious diseases

Australia’s Ebola response: A worrying insight into our lack of preparedness for other infectious disease threats?

Melissa Sweet writes: While G20 leaders are under pressure to step up the global response to the Ebola crisis in West Africa, experts warn that Australia’s tardy response raises concerns about our overall preparedness for global health threats. The Consumers Health Forum of Australia has supported a call from the International Alliance of Patients’ Organizations […]

Worried about the flu season? Here’s the story behind the figures

Heath Kelly writes: Tuesday’s reports suggesting a particularly severe flu season could easily be overstating the case. The figures, released by Influenza Specialist Group say there have been more than 20,000 cases of flu nationally so far this year, double last year’s number. The release highlights the fundamental problem with trying to get a picture of […]

Media reports of HIV can be part of the problem – or the solution

Trevor Cullen writes:  Research has shown that if used effectively, the media can play an important role in lessening fear and stigma about HIV – the biggest obstacles to seeking information and treatment about the disease. Yet media coverage of this important health issue remains patchy and sensationalist. Take the case of the western Victorian dentist who discovered […]

Proposed Australian centre for disease control will deliver high-voltage public health

Last week the parliamentary report Diseases Have No Borders was released at a time when most people’s attention was diverted to other events in Canberra. While the recommendations represent small steps, Trent Yarwood writes that there is reason to be hopeful of a significant public health advance. Many thanks to The Conversation for allowing us […]

Superbugs vs Antibiotics: are we facing a return to the pre-antibiotic era of medicine?

Alexander Fleming’s serendipitous discovery of penicillin in 1928 was one of the most important medical breakthroughs of the 20th century.  While antibiotics have since saved hundreds of millions of lives, the emergence of antibiotic resistant bacteria, or “superbugs” is now threatening to change the future of medicine. The Conversation recently ran a nine-part series examining the […]

Experts up in arms over demise of critical infectious diseases training program

Concerns were raised at the Australasian Epidemiological Association meeting in Sydney yesterday about the demise of the Masters of Epidemiology program at the ANU, and how this will compromise Australia’s ability to respond to future infectious diseases threats. Below is a statement from  Emeritus Professor Bob Douglas, who was the Founding Director of The National […]