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I took off my face mask when I arrived home from the health centre with my daughter, who had just received her final round of infant vaccines. The outing left me filled with gratitude that I have such ready access to medical resources to protect myself and my family during the COVID-19 pandemic. My experience is far removed from that of so many people who live with the constant threat of infectious disease and who are less insulated from the consequences of a deadly pandemic.
For my 40 birthday I got a new brother. Not a scrawny, screaming, baby brother but a corpulent, competent, pillar of the community big brother. An old friend, having drunk his fill, found himself unable to keep his secret for a single second longer and spewed it out at my party.
Whether it’s hand hygiene, physical distancing, disinfecting surfaces, wearing masks or taking actions to protect the most vulnerable, behavior change has a key role to play in tackling the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic. That’s why a new brief from the World Bank, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, Harvard Kennedy School and Project Clear provides guidelines and principles to help governments develop national behavior change communications strategies.
Coronaviruses, such as the newly-discovered SARS-CoV-2, are RNA viruses that have a single short RNA strand consisting of 30,000 letters composed from either ‘A’, ‘C’, ‘G’ and ‘T’ - which provides the genetic instructions for the virus to replicate. As the virus spreads, its genetic information, or genome, randomly changes a few letters at a time (referred to as mutation). These changes can help us to track the origin, spread and transmission of SARS-CoV-2 around the world.

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