Welcome to a column for those who don’t have time or inclination for Twitter-scrolling.
This week, we bring the latest on COVID, report an historic apology, and pay respects to Professor Charles Kerr’s wide-ranging public health legacy. We note that Dr Anthony Fauci may be leaving a top job, but has no plans to retire, at age 81.
As for the Reuters “Responsible Business Awards”, what on earth?
Scroll to the end to find out about some notable new appointments, and a stack of upcoming events that look interesting.
Governments must do more to increase COVID vaccination amongst those at most risk in all countries, urged Dr Maria Van Kerkhove, infectious disease epidemiologist and COVID-19 Technical Lead at the World Health Organization in a Twitter thread this week.
Globally, over the last four weeks, 26,722,228 new cases and 62,892 new deaths were reported to the WHO, a 15 percent increase in new cases and a 35 increase increase in deaths over the reporting period.
She said reduced surveillance, testing & sequencing globally is making our ability to track known & detect new variants much more difficult.
“Lives can be saved now with early testing, the right clinical care & treatments and vaccination administered by trained, protected & respected work force. Vaccination amongst those most at risk in all countries is not as high as it should be,” she said.
“There is no zero risk but we can live our lives while taking simple measures: get vaccinated with all recommended doses; wear a mask while indoors, spend time outdoors, ventilate, test, seek care.”
Meanwhile, Australia reported another 60 COVID deaths on 24 August; it barely rated a headline.
Read the British Medical Association statement on Long COVID.
Read The Lancet study on Long COVID (see related discussion below) Read the report on what is needed to prevent future pandemicsRead the New Scientist article on infectious periods
Read the Twitter thread by John Burn-Murdoch arguing that the collapse of emergency healthcare in England may be costing 500 lives every week.
Dr Anthony Fauci, 81, may be leaving his role as director of the National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) in December – where he has overseen the United States responses to infectious diseases ranging from AIDS to COVID since 1984. But he is not retiring, reports Covering Health.
Read about Professor Charles Kerr’s public health legacy
At the recent Congress of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Nurses and Midwives (CATSINaM) 25-year conference, the Council of Deans of Nursing and Midwifery offered an apology for the harm caused by their professions to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, as previewed here.
Croakey Professional Services has been supporting the #CATSINAM25years campaign.
Climate action and news
This is a must-read article on climate reporting and the Pacific. Don’t miss it! Read this systematic review of the impact of heatwaves on health service demand in Australia. The authors conclude: “Heatwaves are predicted to increase in number, intensity, and duration. As such, we need to prepare a resilient health system which is able to meet the increased demand which occurs during heatwaves. This review shows that all health services see increased usage during heatwaves and notes specific conditions that are impacted by heatwaves. Vulnerable population subgroups are more likely to access health services during heatwaves. Evidence-based heatwave prevention programs should be developed and evaluated to address areas of opportunity related to sensitivity, exposure, and adaptive capacity. To help understand the benefits of any prevention programs, there needs to be a consistent definition of heatwaves used…”
Racism and health
Read about the ongoing legacy of medical racism in the US.
Read about how research mishandles racial disparities in the US.
Racism in justice and policing is a critical public health concern.