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Media Monitoring: 18th – 24th March

By March 24, 2023No Comments

Breast cancer gene linked to Orkney islands

  • Researchers have discovered that one out of 100 people with grandparents from the Orkneys have the BRCA1 gene – which elevates the risk of breast and ovarian cancer.
  • Ordinarily, women have a one in a 1000 risk of having the faulty gene.
  • It is believed that this marks the first time a geographical health link of this nature has been uncovered – with most able to trace their family ancestry back to the island of Westray.


Temporary border measures to enhance COVID surveillance from China removed

  • Precautionary and temporary measures introduced in January to improve the UK’s ability to detect potential new variants of COVID from China are being removed.
  • From 17 March 2023, the UK Health Security Agency’s (UKHSA) voluntary, on-arrival testing programme of travellers arriving from China to London’s Heathrow airport is set to end.
  • The removal of these measures comes as China has increased information sharing regarding testing, vaccination and genomic sequencing results, providing greater transparency on their domestic disease levels.


Government sets out strategy to protect NHS from cyber attacks

  • The new strategy sets out 5 key ways to build cyber resilience in health and care by 2030.
  • This new strategy will ensure health and adult social care organisations across England are set up to meet the challenges of the future – from identifying areas in the sector which are most vulnerable, to better utilising resources and expertise across the country to defend against cyber attacks.
  • We will ensure any pertinent points are directed to BIVDA members.


Using AI to develop diagnostic technologies

  • Oxford University scientists have created a world-first AI diagnostic test which could markedly improve the efficiency of viral testing.
  • The software was able to spot a variety of pathogens among many nasal and throat swab samples.
  • The technology was able to rapidly discern different types and strains of respiratory viruses, including flu and COVID-19, with at least 97% accuracy.


2023: The decline of COVID-19 testing

  • COVID-19 testing is expected to decline, however there will likely be increased multiparameter testing for a range of respiratory diseases.
  • Instead there will be a shift towards companies producing rapid tests and home testing kits to be used by the public and a focus on point-of-care tests rather than laboratory tests.
Natalie Creaney