A 100 years ago today a Death Ship from NZ Arrived in Samoa: A Reminder of NZ’s Responsibilities to its South Pacific Neighbours

Wednesday, November 7th, 2018 | dayhi34p | 1 Comment

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Prof Nick Wilson, Prof Michael Baker, Dr Jennifer Summers, Dr Matt Boyd, Dr Ramona Tiatia

Today is the 100th anniversary of the arrival of the SS Talune in Western Samoa. This single ship spread the influenza pandemic from NZ to Western Samoa, Tonga, and Fiji. Thanks to the Rt Hon Helen Clark, there has been an official apology to Samoa for NZ’s negligent role in this disaster. In this blog we reflect on this event and consider NZ’s current responsibilities in helping its Pacific neighbours with infectious disease surveillance and pandemic control.

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A 100 years ago today – the likely first NZ death from the 1918 influenza pandemic

Tuesday, August 28th, 2018 | dayhi34p | No Comments

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Prof Nick Wilson, Dr Jennifer Summers, Prof Michael Baker

The 1918 influenza pandemic began to kill New Zealanders 100 years ago today. Ultimately it killed 9000 NZ citizens and so is by far the largest natural disaster to hit this country. In this blog we reflect on this event and draw links with the present day pandemic risks (including from synthetic bioweapons). We highlight the importance of continuing to invest in public health infrastructure and pandemic preparedness and planning.

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A Statue of Merit: Dr Margaret Cruickshank and the 1918 influenza pandemic

Monday, September 11th, 2017 | dayhi34p | 4 Comments

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Nick Wilson, Ben Schrader, Geoff Rice, Christine Clement, George Thomson, Catharine Ferguson, Michael Baker

Some statues are getting bad press at present – and rightly so for the confederate military statues which represent the racist history of the Southern United States. But in this blog we briefly look at a particular New Zealand statue that we think characterises some of the best aspects of public monuments: the statue of Dr Margaret Cruickshank who died caring for patients during the 1918 influenza pandemic. Continue reading