Benjamin Wakefield

Nota: Este archivo abarca los artículos publicados por el autor desde el 1 de enero de 2008. Para fechas anteriores realice una búsqueda entrecomillando su nombre.

Cleaning glasses in preparation for pubs to reopen following an easing of coronavirus restrictions in England. Photo by TOLGA AKMEN/AFP via Getty Images.

With growing pressure to get the economy going, the falling case numbers in the UK and downgrading of the alert level are positive indicators that efforts to tackle the pandemic are working and that work can begin to reverse some of the economic and societal damage.

But without the appropriate public health systems in place — such as the crucial capacity to effectively find, test and isolate cases and trace, quarantine and monitor contacts — a quick easing of lockdown measures and relaxation in public behaviour could walk the country into a second peak of infections, illness and perhaps deaths.

There is a danger that positive steps may encourage a shift in public attitudes toward the pandemic, such as the threat being taken less seriously or thinking the pandemic is over.…  Seguir leyendo »

A nurse prepares a vaccine against Ebola in Goma in August 2019. Photo: Getty Images.

The world’s second-largest Ebola outbreak is ongoing in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and experts from around the world have been parachuted in to support the country’s operation to stamp out the outbreak. The signs are encouraging, but we need to remain cautious.

In such emergencies, little thought is usually given to what happens to the body-fluid samples taken during the course of the outbreak after the crisis is over. What gets left behind has considerable implications for global biosecurity.

Having unsecured samples poses the obvious risk of accidental exposures to people who might come into contact with them, but what of the risk of malicious use?…  Seguir leyendo »