David Heyman

1. Is the Globe prepared well for another Pandemic?

Preparedness has varied for the current pandemic with Asian countries that have had SARS and MERS in the past having had the surge capacity needed to deal with an excess of patients, and the public health capacity to do sustained contact tracing.  They had learned from the past – hopefully other countries will learn from the current outbreak and follow the example of Asian countries.

2. Will another Pandemic be with an influenza virus or have we got a greater chance to have a Pandemic again with a virus that jumped from an animal to humans?

Influenza pandemics also come from the animal kingdom – all influenza viruses are harboured in wild water foul and occasionally infect domesticated animals (e.g. chickens and pigs) that then infect humans.  If it is an influenza virus that has not infected humans before it can cause a major and severe pandemic.  It is not possible to predict an emergence as an emergence is a random event that occurs when risk factors line up.

3. Can we predict if an infection may become a pandemic? Is so, how?

A pandemic is an outbreak that spreads from the point of its origin to countries around the world – a pandemic is a random event and cannot be predicted.  If an outbreak of an emerging infection transmits easily from person to person it is likely that it will spread across borders and into other countries in our globalised world – many times travelling asymptomatically while still in the incubation period.

4. What is the place of testing sewage in identifying infection in particular areas?

Testing sewage is a major undertaking at present to identify where polio virus is circulating as the eradication programme comes to an end.  It is being used in certain countries to determine whether the SARS CoV2 is present as some of the virus particles are passed through the faeces, though it is not thought they are infective.

Dipti Patel

1. When do you think the UK-US travel corridor will open?

Not sure this will be a political decision, and whether US are willing to allow us to travel there.

2. Does Dipti think importation of other diseases, such as malaria will significantly increase when international travel fully resumes?

It will depend on the mode of transmission – close contact disease may stay low due to distancing measures for a while.  As focus has been on covid it is inevitable that there will be indirect effects such as less investment on other health programmes such as vector control ect has diminished and this may have a knock on effect on rates of infection of disease such as malaria, dengue etc.

3. I have a brother in Canada diagnosed with terminal cancer so am desperate to go, but quarantine times means a 2 week trip is not possible...

Very sorry to hear this unfortunately countries are becoming increasingly restrictive, and this makes speedy travel very difficult – it may be that Canada will introduce a system where vaccination may reduce quarantine requirements – but Canada has been quite cautious in their border measures.

Daniel Grace

1. Is this charity totally charity or are there paid workers e.g. yourself and other such people?

The charity has a small paid team in Zambia who help with admin and logistics, the founder and CEO Huw is paid as it is his full time job and he also has an admin assistant. Otherwise I volunteer, the app coders volunteer, the medical team and doctors answering cases volunteer.