We’ve heard the rumours: on the first Wednesday of August, as junior doctors around the country begin their first day of work, there is a small spike in the number of deaths in hospitals. Many of us newly-qualified doctors are terrified that these rumours might actually be true. After all, we went into medicine because … Continue reading ‘Black Wednesday’: will patients really die today as new doctors take up their first NHS jobs?
My reflections on the healthcare system in Brazil, what we could learn from Brazilians, and perhaps most importantly, what I learned about myself!
Two other viruses which are very similar to Zika virus – the chikungunya and the dengue viruses – are also known to cause neurological complications and may have contributed to the recent increase in neurological diseases that I'm studying here in Brazil. Although the international collaboration I’m working with is called “ZikaPLAN”, our group recognises the importance of these other two viruses and we’re actually studying chikungunya and dengue with just as much interest as Zika.
What next for research on 'congenital Zika syndrome'? Are there still children being born with problems due to the Zika virus? What will happen to the children already born with microcephaly?
This is the second of a three-part series on Zika's effects during pregnancy. In the first part, I introduced ‘congenital Zika syndrome’ and described how Zika is responsible for a lot more than just microcephaly. In this post I will explain why we may be under-estimating the full extent of the problem. Zika infection … Continue reading Zika congenital syndrome: are we under-estimating the full extent of the problem?
The initial conern over Zika arose when it was suspected to cause a birth defect called 'microcephaly' (small brain). It has since been shown that Zika causes a far wider range of problems in the newborn than just microcephaly. In this article I discuss the range of defects caused by the Zika virus and put them in the context of the other causes of birth defects that we know about.
Today, I had one of those moments after which you can sit back, sigh and say to yourself: "faith in humanity: restored!" This is just a little snippet from my day here in Recife, but something that I really wanted to share with you.
Too often, when we visit developing countries, we think more about what we could do to help rather than what we could learn from them. The Western world could learn a great deal from the efficiency of countries with limited resources and this is something I've been trying to think about a lot during my time here in Brazil.
Recife is the Jewish-Caribbean-Venetian-Silicon Valley of Brazil. Here’s some facts about this enchanting city that I’ve absolutely fallen in love with since starting my research project here.
As a (very new) member of the medical profession, I feel it is my duty to bring to your attention the terrible food crisis that is happening in four different countries across Africa at the moment. This is something that isn't making the headlines, but really ought to be. 20 million people, including 10 million children, … Continue reading The famine in Africa that no-one hears about