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Science Alert: Experts Respond

WHO backs Olympics despite Zika letter – Expert reaction

John Kerr posted in on May 30th, 2016.

An open letter signed by almost 200 health researchers calls on the International Olympic Committee and World Health Organization (WHO) to postpone the 2016 Rio Olympic Games on account of the risk posed by the Zika virus. The authors write: “WHO’s declaration of Zika as a “Public Health Emergency of International Concern,” coupled with new […]

Pacific origins for Brazil Zika outbreak? – Expert Reaction

John Kerr posted in on April 13th, 2016.

The current Zika outbreak in Brazil may have had its origins in Polynesia, says new research speculating the virus was brought to South America by Pacific Island canoeing teams competing in Rio in 2014. The ongoing Zika outbreak in Rio de Janiero, Brazil, has been scrutinized by Brazilian and German scientists who have revealed its […]

Updated: Zika virus outbreak – Expert reaction

John Kerr posted in on January 27th, 2016.

Concern over the current outbreak of the mosquito-spread Zika virus in the Americas is growing. The virus is likely to spread to all countries in the Americas except for Canada and Chile, the World Health Organization said yesterday. The US Centres for Disease Control currently lists 22 countries with active transmission of the virus, including […]

UPDATED: GMO virus approved for cancer trial – Expert reaction

John Kerr posted in on October 29th, 2015.

The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) has approved the use of a genetically modified virus (Pexa-Vec) for a liver cancer treatment trial. The Pexa-Vec virus is the first genetically modified organism for a human therapeutic purpose that is capable of reproducing itself, to be approved by the EPA for release under the HSNO Act. In a separate media release Environment Minister […]

UPDATED: MERS outbreak in South Korea – Expert reaction

John Kerr posted in on June 16th, 2015.

The latest reports from South Korea confirm that 16 people have died in an outbreak of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS). A review by the World Health Organisation has determined that the outbreak – which began last month – has been large and complex. In New Zealand, the Ministry of Health is updating the health sector on […]

New viral immunotherapy for skin cancer completes phase 3 trials – Expert Reaction

Amy Guest posted in on May 27th, 2015.

A new drug that specifically targets cancer cells has shown promising results in phase three clinical trials. A genetically-modified herpes virus injected into tumours of melanoma patients stimulated an immune response to attack cancer cells, according to research published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. The virus replicated inside the cancer cells and used the body’s own immune system […]

Ebola becoming airborne – experts respond

Laura Goodall posted in on October 3rd, 2014.

Media coverage around the continuing Ebola outbreak has questioned whether or not the virus could in future change its mode of transmission to become airborne, though this is thought to be unlikely. The coverage follows news of the first imported case of Ebola in the United States, where a man from Liberia was admitted to a hospital […]

First case of Ebola in United States – experts respond

Laura Goodall posted in on October 2nd, 2014.

The first imported case of Ebola in the US has been confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and authorities are monitoring at least five schoolchildren who came into contact with the patient after he became sick and infectious. The patient came to the United States from Liberia on 20 September aboard a commercial […]

Ebola screening at NZ airports – experts respond

John Kerr posted in on August 11th, 2014.

Screening of at-risk passengers will begin at airports as part of increased efforts to prevent Ebola reaching New Zealand undetected, the Ministry of Health has announced. The Ministry of Health website cautions: “The risk of a traveller arriving in New Zealand with Ebola virus disease (EVD) remains very low. “However, travellers arriving in New Zealand […]

WHO meeting to address growing Ebola outbreak

Laura Goodall posted in on August 6th, 2014.

As the number of cases of Ebola in West Africa continues to rise, the World Health Organization (WHO) plans to hold a two-day meeting of its emergency committee looking at whether the current outbreak is a public health emergency of international concern. The latest update from the WHO estimates that as of 1 August 2014, the cumulative number […]

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