virologist. husband. dad. reader. writer. fixer. bad typist. learner. in no order. opinions mine alone.
Mar 9 • 5 tweets • 3 min read
😷Respiratory virus data in these tweets are from Sullivan Nicolaides Pathology (SNP) lab weekly report.
😷They service #Queensland, northern New South Wales and wider Darwin area and Alice Springs
😷A reminder that whatever respiratory signs & symptoms bring a patient in for a test/Doctor's visit - many very different respiratory viruses can cause that disease. Only a good pathology laboratory test has a hope of identifying a cause.
Feb 11 • 9 tweets • 3 min read
Equatorial Guinea quarantines 200 after unknown hemorrhagic fever deaths. reuters.com/world/africa/c…
"Equatorial Guinea said on Wednesday that it had registered the "unusual epidemiological situation" over the past weeks in Kie-Ntem province's Nsok Nsomo district that caused nine deaths in two adjacent communities over a short period."
Feb 4 • 4 tweets • 1 min read
🔅What follows is not to minimise serious impact of COVID-19. Because many things are true at once. 🔅
Pre-pandemic, excess deaths from heart & other issues were associated with respiratory virus seasons-Flu, RSV, MPV etc.
Cleaned air & 😷 will also reduce risk of those harms
We've never succeeded in removing those harms or, in many nations, made serious non-vax efforts to reduce the risks, although a well matched flu vaccine likely helps them for flu.
But now SARS-CoV-2 has added more harms to the pile.
Jan 27 • 7 tweets • 2 min read
We are all playing Covid roulette. Without clean air, the next infection could permanently disable you.
-a pretty full summary of the worst of it all. 1/7 theguardian.com/commentisfree/…
"Do we really mean to sit and watch as this infection encroaches on our freedom to be well, brutal winter after brutal winter?"
🦠Of course "No", but I can't square that with the fact that in my lifetime, there's been no action but a vaccine for the same question about influenza
Jan 14 • 5 tweets • 1 min read
Hey didja hear the buzz about the latest recombinant MPV variants reported from China?
No. You probably didn't. And why would you have?
We mostly ignore that stuff & the contribution this & other viruses continually make to our death, harm & hospitalisation baselines.
And while an arbitrary human naming system says all variations are called 'MPV' (human metapneumovirus; not current name btw), there are in fact distinct lineages & variants & constant evolution & recombination.
The Chinese study is just one I recently saw, of many out there.
Dec 31, 2022 • 10 tweets • 4 min read
Study on Measles Transmission in China Has Implications for Controlling Epidemic Worldwide shar.es/aflJn9 via @Columbiamsph
of the slice of time over which diseaseX is being observed. Let's use China & measles as an example. journals.plos.org/ploscompbiol/a…
🔴"we found that large industrial cities in China with large migrant populations supported 𝗲𝗻𝗱𝗲𝗺𝗶𝗰 measles transmission during 2005–2014"
Dec 4, 2022 • 4 tweets • 1 min read
Frikkin astounds and annoys me that we continue to focus only on the hyper detailed genetic variation of SARS-CoV-2, yet give none of that prime time attention to Flu virus or RSV, MPV & others driving hospitalisations around the world. Where's the genotyping & narration?
We should have the capacity to do this, at a wider range of sites than prepandemic times. We have vaccines for some of these (now or soon). We have a more knowledgeable populace. Shouldn't we be *building* on genomics, not slipping back to a pre-genomic communication age?
Nov 15, 2022 • 12 tweets • 4 min read
🧀Version 5.3 of my adaptation of a Swiss cheese transmission risk reduction graphic; applied to 𝙖𝙣𝙮 airborne virus
🧀Background and version history of the image up to this version, now updated on my blog: virologydownunder.com/the-swiss-chee…
🐁Added slices, reduced some words
🐁Added misinfo mice-because, the world
🐁Change shared responsibilities to Government/Corporate because better bang for buck if 𝒕𝒉𝒆𝒚 clean air in shared spaces
🐁Removed the person's mask
Nov 4, 2022 • 5 tweets • 2 min read
Comparison of Rhinovirus A–, B–, and C–Associated
Respiratory Tract Illness Severity Based on the
5′-Untranslated Region Among Children Younger
Than 5 Years. academic.oup.com/ofid/article/9…
Among 713 children with an acute respiratory illness under 5 years of age who did not test positive for another (coinfecting) virus, the severity of illness was investigated for those who tested positive for one (of many) rhinoviruses (RVs).
Sep 3, 2022 • 6 tweets • 2 min read
This is the part we need a better future plan for: counteracting - or forging ahead - in the face of predictable "pandemic fatigue".
Arguably a time of fatigue is always the riskiest time for huge & ill conceived missteps.
Planners could clearly see before we opened up that we'd get lots of cases. Models had shown this as well.
We couldn't prevent that.
We could however have prepared much better. But we rushed to cross the "opening up" line.
Sep 3, 2022 • 4 tweets • 2 min read
I'm looking forward to seeing the first Ep tonight. I only have expectations of it being visually beautiful. I'm hopeful it will craft an interesting tale with all new characters to love, and episodes to watch every Xmas for the next 20+ years!😁 #NoPressure#RingsOfPower
First Ep down.
Really really enjoyed. The teens weren't happy with some of the mullets & one character's casting (how can they turn into the older version?) also a non kingly looking king & modern haircut also bugged them- didn't bother me. @WetaWorkshop killed it as usual❤️
Aug 31, 2022 • 7 tweets • 4 min read
#Flu in #Queensland, week to 28AUG2022
😷Total numbers are low but a little tail is wagging
😷Hospital admission numbers because of #flu, broken up by region of Qld, with historical context.
🤒Few but lingering at that level
Aug 28, 2022 • 5 tweets • 1 min read
"The mutations [SARS-CoV-2] just keep on coming"
They do. And they will. Unless the world undertakes the kind of global program used to eradicate polio.
And let's be real. We're just not going to be doing that. Nope.
So what does that mean?
It means the virus will keep evolving in whatever direction results in a successfully transmissible new variant. You may have heard all this two years ago. RNA viruses like this one continually evolve. Nothing has changed since then except much more immunity to try to escape.
Aug 28, 2022 • 8 tweets • 2 min read
Optimizing and Unifying Infection Control Precautions for Respiratory Viral Infections
-I love this piece to absolute bits. academic.oup.com/jid/article/22…
"is high time to modify infection control guidelines for respiratory viruses to recognize that that their transmission is more alike than different and that most transmission is attributable to aerosol inhalation"
Aug 19, 2022 • 5 tweets • 2 min read
‘Not some weird elitist class’: the scientists bringing an urgent message to the streets of Hobart
-makes some really good points. theguardian.com/science/2022/a…
I like this one especially...
“It really bothers me how exclusionary science can be. You’ll have a university that brings, every week, some interesting researcher to give a talk to some departmental seminar for 30 people. And the public is not invited."
Aug 11, 2022 • 7 tweets • 2 min read
😷Australian National #Flu data up to 31JUL22.
🦠lab-confirmed total cases⬇ (peaked in ~first week of June)
Graphs from: www1.health.gov.au/internet/main/…
😷Yes, there is undoubtedly more testing capacity in Aus after labs beefed up PCR testing for the pandemic.
😷To check if this is a real change in #flu cases, we can look at positivity rate, deaths, hospital beds & ICU occupied beds with flu-positive patients
Aug 10, 2022 • 8 tweets • 3 min read
A 𝙢𝙖𝙨𝙨𝙞𝙫𝙚𝙡𝙮 important thing still missing from conversations we're not having: excess death in winter-now & pre-pandemic.
•Respiratory viruses play a role in such seasonal death & harm
•In big flu years-like 2017 & 2019-we saw excess deaths
In low #flu years like 2018 & in 2020-21 (when we briefly cared about protecting each other & our older populations from a pandemic pathogen), we saw a real drop in deaths in accordance with the huge effort we put in to prevent virus transmission & protect our healthcare system.
Aug 10, 2022 • 5 tweets • 3 min read
I'm not going to this year's Qld #Ekka but I am going to make scones.
And hot dogs.
And have strawberries & cream ice cream for desert tonight. And eat small chocolates.
They came out okay.
Aug 3, 2022 • 18 tweets • 5 min read
We know masks/respirators mechanistically filter our particles–effectiveness varying with type, style, fit and use.
•They work in practice, not only in theory.
But that doesn't mean they work all the time.
The use of 'masks' (overarching term) 𝗰𝗮𝗻 reduce the risk of transmitting an airborne pathogen.
They are imperfect. They are not a panacea. They cannot be used alone. They are a leaky\"holey layer". This means that outbreaks & epidemics still progress.
Aug 2, 2022 • 6 tweets • 3 min read
#Flu in #Queensland, week to 24JUL2022
😷Total numbers continue to decline for another week
🤧Flu season is not done and dusted quite yet
🔵current data point(s) change in the subsequent week as outstanding results are finalised and reported
😷Percent positive with a moving average.
🤧Steadily in those >20 years
🤧Decline has stopped in those <20
Jul 30, 2022 • 9 tweets • 2 min read
Masked but got infected?
It's not magic..
😷 Mask removed at a critical time, or
☁️In an unclean airspace so laden with virus aerosol that N95 (95% filtration and 5% not successfully filtered;surgical mask let's through much more) couldn't cope & you received an infectious dose
Room air will still get full of virus if...
☁️The air isn't being filtered, treated or rapidly replaced
😷Most keep wearing baggy surgical masks that aren't designed to filter much of what we exhale, just deflect it
It's time to understand that we should mask up(grade)