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LSHTM Viral

Author: LSHTM

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A global health podcast focusing on the science behind outbreaks and how we respond to them. Brought to you from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.
18 Episodes
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Streaming remotely from our homes, we bring you our live Covid-19 Q&A broadcast on Twitter and YouTube. On the 25th March Heidi Larson, an anthropologist and Professor of risk and decision science at LSHTM, and Jimmy Whitworth, Professor of International Public Health at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, answer questions from social media in real-time.
Is hand-washing enough to stop the spread of COVID-19? In this episode, LSHTM professor Wendy Graham joins Prof Stephanie Dancer from NHS Lanarkshire to explain the science behind hand-washing and give tips on keeping clean during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Sam Tweed, a medical doctor studying public health at LSHTM, makes a special guest appearance to demonstrate how to clean a surface correctly
The UK's response to COVID-19 has dramatically changed in recent days. Dr. Adam Kucharski, outbreak modeller from LSHTM is working to provide robust scientific evidence for the government and other decision-makers. Adam talks us through the evidence behind the government's response at this time, and shares his thoughts about the outbreak and it’s social impacts long-term.
We speak to Professor Liam Smeeth, who is the Dean of the Faculty of Epidemiology and Population Health at LSHTM, and also a practising GP in north London. As cases spread across Europe, Prof Smeeth discusses what it's like on the frontlines of UK healthcare, the value of the NHS, and also shares his recent experiences in self-isolation.
Broadcast on the 5th March, we ran a live Q & A session with two of our outbreak experts, Professor Jimmy Whitworth and Dr Roz Eggo. Jimmy and Roz answer on a range of topics proposed by the audience including vaccines, current public health measures at the time, school closures, transmission rates and travel advice. To watch the video go to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-dwQkWqWHcw
In this episode we speak to Annelies Wilder-Smith, Professor of Emerging Infectious Disease at LSHTM. With a team of scientists, she has just published a paper on the success and failures of quarantining the Diamond Princess cruise ship, with their research showing earlier evacuation we could have prevented hundreds of passengers and crew becoming infected, and what this means for other countries and their policies going forward. We'll be answering your questions on COVID19 LIVE Thursday 5th March 12:30 : bit.ly/3cxmX84
In a special behind-the-scenes episode, we here at LSHTM share what it is actually like to be working on communications during COVID-19.  James Barr, Media Manager of LSHTM’s Press Office, takes us through a day in the life of a PR professional during a global outbreak, explains the critical role of university press offices in linking academics to the media when there is such high demand for experts, and describes how the global network of communications professionals are all working hard to ensure accurate information is being shared.
Misinformation during an outbreak has serious consequences, but how do we prevent it? Professor Heidi Larson, Director of Vaccine Confidence Project at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and former head of immunisation communication at UNICEF discusses public trust in science and how this is effecting COVID-19 outbreak control. She also talks about wider issues of public health communication including the role of social media, schools and the introduction of new vaccines.
There are now daily reports in the media of racist abuse and attacks against Chinese and East Asian people due to the coronavirus outbreak. We speak to LSHTM statistician Edmond Ng and Jabez Lam from Hackney Chinese Community Services about the experiences of London’s Chinese community, LSHTM student Kazuki Shimizu reflects on the situation in Japan, and LSHTM social scientist Leesa Lin looks at the evidence on discrimination and disease outbreaks. For anyone affected by racist attacks as a result of COVID-19, information and support is available at https://bit.ly/3bWqKLU. You can read Kazuki’s correspondence to The Lancet at https://bit.ly/39SqyLT. Please keep sending your questions about the science behind the outbreak to comms@lshtm.ac.uk.
Can we protect ourselves from COVID-19? Dr Shunmay Yeung is a paediatrician who specialises in infectious diseases, and was one of the first LSHTM responders to the Ebola outbreak in 2014. Here, she discusses personal protective equipment (PPE) for healthcare workers during outbreaks, advice for how the public can best protect themselves, and why children don’t seem to be affected by COVID-19.
Having worked with the WHO for more than 22 years, David Heymann is renowned as one of the world’s leading disease control experts. In a wide-ranging chat, David discusses the global response to COVID-19, the challenges faced by policymakers and his experiences of dealing with outbreaks.
Dr Adam Kucharski talks us through mathematical modelling – what it is and its crucial role during disease outbreaks like the novel coronavirus. He also explores the implications of using certain language during outbreaks, and answers a question from one of our listeners. To discover LSHTM’s latest modelling work visit https://cmmid.github.io/ncov.
We want to hear from you! Please get in touch by emailing comms@lshtm.ac.uk and let us know what you would like to hear on the podcast. Stay tuned for upcoming episodes with top outbreak-modeller Adam Kucharski and Professor David Heymann who led the WHO’s response to SARS in 2003.
Is coronavirus on it's way to becoming a full pandemic? Professor Peter Piot is Director of LSHTM, founding executive director of UNAIDS and was a member of the original team that discovered Ebola in 1976. He explains why he thinks coronavirus will become a pandemic, how this is worrying for sub-Saharan Africa, and what we need for epidemic preparedness.
How do we diagnose coronavirus? Martin Hibberd Professor of Emerging Infectious Diseases at LSHTM talks us through the current tests for coronavirus and what infectious disease experts hope for the future. He explains the typical features of viruses like this, including different strains and potential mutations.
With the first death outside China, what is the potential scope for coronavirus to spread further? Jimmy Whitworth is a Professor of International Public Health at LSHTM with almost 40 years’ experience in the spread of infectious disease. He provides an expert view on outbreak responses through history and how this current outbreak compares, and also answers our questions on face masks, vaccines, and what’s next.
As the outbreak evolves daily, what is Africa doing to prepare in case coronavirus reaches the continent? Professor Martin Antonio of the MRC Unit The Gambia at LSHTM has previously worked in epidemic responses in Nigeria. He explains how the MRC Unit’s genomic sequencing labs are ready to help African scientists respond to the threat of coronavirus reaching their shores, and what the African CDC’s plans are.
Our first guest on LSHTM Viral is Professor John Edmunds, who specialises in mathematical modelling for infectious diseases. John, who was awarded an OBE for real-time modelling during the Ebola crisis, explains where we are with coronavirus now and how we can use data to control the outbreak.
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