jm + epidemiology   5

What happened with the UK's "herd immunity" COVID-19 strategy
"I'll tell you what happened in the UK. Over the past decade, eminent figures in public health developed complex models that would help inform the UK response to a pandemic. The response plan would allow slow spread through a population and a number of deaths that would be deemed acceptable in relation to low economic impact. Timing of population measures such as social distancing would be taken, not early, but at a times deemed to have maximal psychological impact. Measures would be taken that could protect the most vulnerable, and most of the people who got the virus would hopefully survive. Herd immunity would beneficially emerge at the end of this, and restrictions could relax. This was a ground-breaking approach compared to suppressing epidemics. It was an approach that could revolutionise the way we handled epidemics. Complex modelling is a new science, and this was cutting edge.

But a model is only ever as good as the assumptions you build it upon. The UK plan was based on models with an assumption that any new pandemic would be like an old one, like flu. And it also carried a huge flaw - there was no accounting for the highly significant variables of ventilators and critical care beds that are key to maintaining higher survival numbers."

Amazing. The sheer arrogance and hubris of assuming the model was right! Somebody will have to pay for this, it's shocking.
herd-immunity  hubris  arrogance  covid-19  uk  uk-politics  pandemics  models  data-science  epidemiology 
7 days ago by jm
COVID-19 Notes from UCSF Expert panel - March 10
Superb set of points from a star-studded panel:
Joe DeRisi: UCSF’s top infectious disease researcher. Co-president of ChanZuckerberg BioHub (a JV involving UCSF / Berkeley / Stanford). Co-inventor of the chip used in SARS epidemic.
Emily Crawford: COVID task force director. Focused on diagnostics.
Cristina Tato: Rapid Response Director. Immunologist. 
Patrick Ayescue: Leading outbreak response and surveillance. Epidemiologist.  
Chaz Langelier: UCSF Infectious Disease doc.
covid-19  health  medicine  ucsf  diseases  epidemiology 
22 days ago by jm
'In 1976 I discovered Ebola, now I fear an unimaginable tragedy' | World news | The Observer
An interview with the scientist who was part of the team which discovered the Ebola virus in 1976:
Other samples from the nun, who had since died, arrived from Kinshasa. When we were just about able to begin examining the virus under an electron microscope, the World Health Organisation instructed us to send all of our samples to a high-security lab in England. But my boss at the time wanted to bring our work to conclusion no matter what. He grabbed a vial containing virus material to examine it, but his hand was shaking and he dropped it on a colleague's foot. The vial shattered. My only thought was: "Oh, shit!" We immediately disinfected everything, and luckily our colleague was wearing thick leather shoes. Nothing happened to any of us.
ebola  epidemiology  health  africa  labs  history  medicine 
october 2014 by jm
A Closer Look At OC's Anti-Vaccination Cluster
In communities such as San Clemente, Laguna Beach, Laguna Niguel, Aliso Viejo, Mission Viejo and Capistrano Beach, where Dr. Bob Sears practices, there are clusters of unvaccinated children. Last year, at 15 of the 40 elementary schools in the Capistrano Unified School District, more than 10 percent of kindergartners had [Personal Belief exemptions], according to data from the California Department of Public Health. At one public charter school, Journey, 56 percent of kindergartners were unvaccinated, at least partially, due to their parents' beliefs.

This is going to end horribly. Typical OC (update: South County OC! sorry Tatsuya ;)
orange-county  health  vaccination  laguna-beach  oc  dr-bob-sears  kindergarten  measles  mumps  rubella  pertussis  epidemiology 
may 2014 by jm

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