Recent outbreaks in Singapore made me wonder whether there is a paradigm for an effective way of communicating an outbreak (a subset of risk communication) to healthcare professionals and the general public. This is perhaps especially relevant in the context of the current focus on fake news. The ubiquity of social media and messaging platforms […]

Lassa fever is a zoonotic viral haemorrhagic fever that is endemic to West Africa. It is caused by the Lassa virus, which is named after a small town in Nigeria where the virus was first discovered in 1969 (although the disease has been around far longer than that). The story of that discovery is present […]

The Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) had released a press statement yesterday regarding the recall of rock melons (cantaloupes) from an Australian farm implicated in a nation-wide outbreak of listeriosis. There were apparently two consignments shipped to Singapore, available for sale at Sheng Siong supermarket outlets and wet markets between 12 February and […]

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 […]

In June last year, the Ministry of Health Singapore initiated a large-scale on-site voluntary tuberculosis (TB) screening for the residents of a 10-storey apartment block after a cluster of 6 multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB) cases in the Block were diagnosed over the preceding 4 years. The results were released in an academic paper published in the […]

A paper published in Lancet Infectious Diseases (behind a paywall) by researchers from the Institut Pasteur and the French National Reference Centre for Escherichia coli, Shigella and Salmonella generated much buzz online among those interested in antimicrobial resistance. They had studied 288 historical (1911-1969) isolates of Salmonella enterica serotype Typhimurium – a zoonotic bacterium that is one of the most common causes of non-typhoidal Salmonella […]

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 […]

While the first prize was the JC/Polytechnic section was deservedly awarded to Mstr Fong Khi Yung from Raffles Institution, for his work of futuristic fiction. More by the microscopic than the colossal On some evenings, I walk through the expressionless countryside fields undulating in the wind, gazing up at the crimson heavens and golden sunset […]

This clearly written effort from Suhaina Yasmin of Tanjong Katong Girls’ School netted her the second prize in our Post-Antibiotic World Essay Competition. One of our judges was deeply impressed and persuaded the other two to revise their scores! The War Between Man and Mutant Along with other crises of the world like terrorism and […]

This reflective essay by Ms Julianne Jessica Talens Leow from Tanjong Katong Girls’ School was awarded one of the two Merit Awards by our judges. Antibiotic Resistance, Paralysis, and Stewardship: The Walking Ecosphere’s Destiny I read the headline many times over: “FDA (United States Food and Drug Administration) Fails to Protect Against Antibiotic Resistance, Guarantees […]