Can pandemic threats justify border closure for island nations like NZ?

Monday, June 26th, 2017 | hensa32p | No Comments

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Professor Nick Wilson, Dr Matt Boyd, Dr Osman Mansoor, Professor Michael G Baker

Countries prepare for future pandemic risks because of pandemic influenza, novel emerging infectious agents and possible synthetic bioweapons. In a study we just published in a journal, we explored the costs and benefits of complete border closure in NZ in response to new pandemic threats. We found that there were some very severe pandemic scenarios where rapid closure of NZ’s border could provide overall societal benefit – even with the disruptions it would cause to tourism and trade.

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Antiviral Stockpiles for Pandemic Preparedness: Time for a Careful Rethink?

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Associate Professor Nick Wilson and Professor Michael Baker

As part of influenza pandemic readiness, NZ has a 32 million dollar stockpile of flu virus - bestantiviral drugs. But given recent evidence from a new Cochrane systematic review – NZ policymakers should probably now carefully review this approach. This blog discusses some of the new evidence and suggests options for a review process. Continue reading

Lessons From History: Helping New Zealand Prepare for Future Influenza Pandemics

Friday, November 29th, 2013 | Kate Sloane | No Comments

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Associate Professor Nick Wilson and Professor Michael Baker

Crowding on this NZ troopship (the Tahiti) may have contributed to a particularly severe outbreak during the 1918 influenza pandemic

Flu pandemics are important but relatively rare so the lessons learned from such events may not be available when they are most needed. This is where historical research can help. Here we reflect on some lessons that could be learnt from the 1918 influenza pandemic – building on a presentation we are presenting today at a Victoria University based conference on World War One [1].

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