Posts in tag

Infectious diseases


The National Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCID), the National University of Singapore (NUS) Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health and Nanyang Technological University, Singapore’s (NTU Singapore) Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information have embarked on a partnership to jointly study how various social and behavioural factors in our population influences and is …

The influenza pandemic of 1918 (also known as the Spanish flu, even though it didn’t originate in Spain) is among the most severe pandemics in recent history, only second to the Black Plague of the 1300s. While it may have been a bit more than a century now since this pandemic struck, there are noticeable …

When it comes to infectious disease outbreaks, cities are dual-edged. To be sure, cities are a big part of the problem. They intensify the spread and transmission of infectious disease through increased human contact. Today, roughly 4 billion people live in cities, more than half of the world’s population. According to some analysts, around 600 cities generate …

The recent global spread of a deadly coronavirus originating in Wuhan, China, has led world leaders to invoke an ancient tradition to control the spread of illness: quarantine. The practice is first recorded in the Old Testament where several verses mandate isolation for those with leprosy. Ancient civilizations relied on isolating the sick, well before …

Emerging infectious disease has much to do with how and where we live. The ongoing coronavirus is an example of the close relationships between urban development and new or re-emerging infectious diseases. Like the SARS pandemic of 2003, the connections between accelerated urbanization, more far-reaching and faster means of transportation, and less distance between urban …

The novel coronavirus that has so far killed more than 1,100 people now has a name – COVID-19. The World Health Organisation (WHO) didn’t want the name to refer to a place, animal or certain group of people and needed something pronounceable and related to the disease. “Having a name matters to prevent the use …

With a new infectious disease outbreak on our doorstep, we might ask ourselves: are we reacting to the coronavirus in a way that is proportional to the threat? The problem is that when it comes to infectious disease epidemics, we have a strong tendency to overreact emotionally and underreact behaviourally. The overreaction aspect may be …

The big idea: It’s the enduring media image of infectious disease outbreaks, including the current coronavirus outbreak from Wuhan, China: people in public spaces with faces half-hidden by surgical masks. Filters have long been used to remove particles, including viruses and bacteria, from the air we breathe. Particle filters are key components of building and …

As the novel coronavirus death toll mounts, it is natural to worry. How far will this virus travel through humanity, and could another such virus arise seemingly from nowhere? As microbial ecologists who study the origins of new microbial species, we would like to give some perspective. As a result of continuing deforestation, “bushmeat” hunting …

We usually think of viral respiratory infections, like the common cold, as mild nuisances that pass in a few days. But the Wuhan coronavirus has proven to be different. Of those infected, around 2% are reported to have died but the true mortality is unknown. There’s much we’re yet to learn about this new virus, …