Testing for COVID-19 in NZ to Achieve the Elimination Goal

Monday, April 6th, 2020 | tedla55p | 7 Comments

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Nick Wilson,1 Ayesha Verrall,1,2 Len Cook,3 Alistair Gray,3 Amanda Kvalsvig,1 Michael Baker,1 (1epidemiologists, 2infectious disease physician, 3statisticians)

In this blog we raise ideas for how New Zealand might optimise testing to both identify cases in the community as part of the COVID-19 elimination strategy, and to confirm when the virus has been completely eliminated from the country. These are urgent issues to clarify in order to minimise time spent under lockdown conditions and allow the economy and health system to return to more normal functioning. The priority is to continue testing symptomatic people, with the sensitivity of case detection expanded by steadily broadening the case definition and ensuring wide geographic and demographic coverage. After that, testing to assess the elimination goal could involve testing of higher-risk exposed groups, potentially using pooled specimens and serology, along with sewage testing.

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Engaging online simulator of measles outbreaks (& how NZ needs to do better in eliminating measles)

Wednesday, March 30th, 2016 | Kate Sloane | 5 Comments

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Prof Nick Wilson, Dr Osman Mansoor, Prof Michael Baker

To help explain the concept of ‘herd immunity’, The Guardian Newspaper has produced a clever online simulator of measles spread. We comment on why this simulator is informative and how it also demonstrates chance effects in the spread of infectious diseases. Then we take the opportunity to explain why NZ should be doing more to wipe out diseases like measles.

Measles blog

Source: The Guardian – http://www.theguardian.com/society/ng-interactive/2015/feb/05/-sp-watch-how-measles-outbreak-spreads-when-kids-get-vaccinated

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