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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.
28 Episodes
In this episode we speak to Professor Beate Kampmann, Director of the The Vaccine Centre at LSHTM. We ask Beate about the latest progress in finding a vaccine for COVID-19 and discuss the challenges of producing a one on such an enormous scale. Vaccine candidate tracker:
Medical detection dogs have previously been able to sniff out malaria, cancer, Parkinson's, and other disease. Could they now be trained to detect COVID-19? Prof James Logan of LSHTM discusses the current research under way with Clare Guest of Medical Detection Dogs and Prof Steve Lindsay of Durham University, and how puppers may be deployed at airports and other ports of entry to identify people carrying the disease. 
In his first interview since being hospitalised with COVID-19, LSHTM Director and world-leading virologist Peter Piot gives a personal account of his experience with the novel coronavirus. He shares lessons learned from his work on Ebola and HIV, the role of survivors in the COVID-19 response, and his renewed mission for tackling the pandemic.
Broadcast on the 1 May, we ran a live Q & A session with two of our infectious disease modelling experts, Professor John Edmunds and Dr Petra Klepac. John and Petra answer on a range of topics proposed by the audience including how modelling provides evidence to COVID-19 policy, modelling the lockdown exit in the UK, ideal data sets and limitations of modelling an outbreak. To watch the livestream go to:
Without their social networks and the same understanding of the pandemic as adults, children may be struggling with their mental health and well-being during COVID-19. Professor James Logan from LSHTM has recently co-authored a book with illustrator Lydia Monk to help children and parents cope with coronavirus, and together with child psychologist  Dr Linda Papadopoulos, discusses how to manage these challenges at home.
What do we know about the impact of viruses on pregnancy? Can vaccine trials involve pregnant women? And how has the process of labour changed in light of COVID-19? We discuss all of this and more with maternal and newborn health expert, Professor Joy Lawn
Human health is influenced by earth’s natural systems, the wildlife around us, and the environment we create. The spread of infectious diseases may be linked climate factors and animals, but the consequences can tell us even more about the health of people, and of our planet. In this episode, Dr Rachel Lowe, Associate Professor in infectious diseases and Professor Alan Dangour, Director for the Centre on Climate Change & Planetary health, discuss COVID-19 and climate change.
Is Africa the new COVID-19 epicentre? Professor Francesco Checchi discusses his latest paper, using mathematical modelling to look at what can be done in low-resource settings across the continent, and how to protect the most vulnerable populations without the human and economic costs of total lockdown.
The COVID-19 pandemic is affecting each country differently. Healthcare structures, the government and the characteristics of a particular population create unique challenges that require a tailored response. Dr Mishal Khan and Professor Rashida Ferrand from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine explain key issues that Low- and Middle-income Countries (LMICs) are facing, and Dr Abdul Sesay from MRC Unit The Gambia at LSHTM describes how the Unit are utilising the latest genomic advancements to trace the virus.
Can the world work together to find COVID-19 treatments and vaccines? We speak with Professor Dan Bausch, a physician and virologist specialising in  emerging tropical viruses, and Director of the UK Public Health Rapid Support Team. He shares insights into new international collaborations that aim to harmonise clinical trials and research to end the pandemic worldwide.
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:
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 :
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 You can read Kazuki’s correspondence to The Lancet at Please keep sending your questions about the science behind the outbreak to
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.
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