Wednesday, March 20, 2013

CDC Conference 2013, Canberra, Australia - Day 2

 Day 2 of CDC 2013, the main themes were foodborne disease, vaccine preventable diseases and anti-microbial resistance.

Blogging CDC 2013 Canberra, Australia, Day 1

Blogging some highlights from the Australian CDC 2013 Conference - the peak biannual communicable disease surveillance conference in Australia. The presentations should be available on the website soon. Some highlights from the morning panel session was John Kaldor's (from Kirby Institute) comment that the decreased rate of viral warts in young men prior to the roll out of the male HPV vaccine suggests "that we probably don't need to vaccinate guys as the women have it covered".   Rosemary Lester, CHO of Victoria - but speaking as chair of the Communicable Disease Network of Australia described a vision of national surveillance out to 2020. Allan Cheng from University of Melbourne asked what were the barriers to a CDC i.e. a federal centre for disease control akin to the US CDC or European ECDC in Australia.  It was obvious that this was an uncomfortable question for some of the panelists.More highlights..

Monday, March 4, 2013

Randomness is lumpy

Randomness is lumpy. Can you imagine anything less random than a bunch of trees all growing in a matrix each 2 metre apart, perfectly 2 metres apart. Or, if you dropped a handful of jelly beans and each one fell, perfectly 3 cm apart from each other.  Unlikely, and not "random". So why are we so surprised in public health (and life in general) when we see a "cluster"  (a time space aggregation) - isn't this what we should expect to see?   But then if we believe there is a cause behind everything is anything truly random or do we just not the reason determining the outcome.   See this nice article at 3quarks daily for more.