A personal and primarily local look back at the year. What are the major infectious diseases events in modern Singapore in 2017? Outbreaks The World Health Organization (WHO) has a list of outbreaks by year on its website, and the 2017 list is depressingly long. There are the usual “suspects” like cholera (Africa) and diphtheria […]

It has been quite a long wait, but finally, investigators from the Environmental Health Institute (EHI – a part of the National Environment Agency) and the Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) have published their work on tracing the source of the unusual ST283 Group B Streptococcus (GBS) that caused the huge raw freshwater fish-associated […]

I was privileged to be invited for the Singapore Centre for Environmental Life Sciences Engineering (SCELSE) annual scientific retreat last Thursday and Friday. Unfortunately, I was only able to attend the Thursday sessions, but I was very impressed by the work done there. It is virtually all basic science, but the results of the metagenomics […]

It was a great privilege to be invited for the conference organised by the University of Hong Kong’s Centre for Medical Ethics and Law in collaboration with their School of Public Health. Titled “Tackling Antimicrobial Resistance: Meeting the Global Challenge of AMR”, the organizers had invited a formidable line-up of local and international speakers, one […]

I attended the INFECTIONS 2017 conference in Putrajaya, Malaysia on 24th and 25th October. This biannual conference is organized by the Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences of Universiti Putra Malaysia. It was a small friendly event. I enjoyed the great hospitality of the hosts, and learned much from the talks, as well as many […]

I wished to write about 2 remarkable popular science books on microbes and infectious diseases that I recently read. The first is British science journalist Ed Yong’s “I Contain Multitudes: The Microbes Within Us and a Grander View of Life”. An extraordinary book – marred only by the slight (but perhaps understandable) hyperbole – on microbes […]

Before moving on, I thought it would be good to address the “tick issue”. There were a couple of Facebook comments about the Haemaphysalis longicornus photo from Wikipedia, and how this resembled the dog ticks that are prevalent in Singapore. I am by no means a tick expert, but I understand that the predominant tick in Singapore […]