62 episodes

Coronacast is a podcast that helps to answer your questions about coronavirus. We break down the latest news and research to help you understand how the world is living through a pandemic.

Coronacast ABC Podcasts

    • Daily News
    • 4.7, 3 Ratings

Coronacast is a podcast that helps to answer your questions about coronavirus. We break down the latest news and research to help you understand how the world is living through a pandemic.

    Just when you thought it was safe to go outside again

    Just when you thought it was safe to go outside again

    You might have thought we were finally getting on top of coronavirus, but the pandemic is not without its surprises.

    There's been a few cases in the past few days that have health authorities scratching their heads.

    Two school kids in Sydney have tested positive, and there's a case in Queensland that apparently dates back to the Ruby Princess.

    So what's going on? And what might it say about the level of community transmission of the virus?

    On today's show:

    * What do the cases in Sydney schools mean for community transmission numbers?

    * Is coronavirus more common out in the wild that we thought?

    * How can there be another case from the Ruby Princess?

    * Are enough people still getting tested to give a true indication of the spread?

    And Norman's here to explain the latest from the vaccine trial that's just started in Australia. But how can they test it here if there are such low active cases?

    • 9 min
    Which mask is the best? What should you avoid?

    Which mask is the best? What should you avoid?

    There are all sorts of options when picking a mask to help protect yourself and other people from picking up coronavirus.

    But some masks can be expensive, and not every mask is equal.

    Firstly, you have to wear it correctly. Secondly, you want to make sure it's doing what it is supposed to.

    So what mask should you choose?

    On today's show:

    * What mask should I wear and can I make my own?

    * What’s going on with state border closures? Is there any point?

    * Can smoking help inhibit coronavirus?

    And Norman and Tegan discuss a few pieces of research about how long coronavirus may be infectious for.

    • 9 min
    Is it finally time to hug your grandparents again?

    Is it finally time to hug your grandparents again?

    At the height of the Australian coronavirus epidemic, older people were urged to stay away from children and grandchildren to avoid contracting the virus.

    Age is a major risk factor for COVID-19, and many older people made the emotional decision to stay away from loved ones.

    But as the number of active cases continues to fall, families are wondering if it's okay once again for grandparents to hug and be around their children and grandchildren.

    On today's show:

    * Is it ok to hug our parents again?

    * What should people aged over 70 be doing now?

    * Why is it ok for kids to go to school, but not visit grandparents?

    And Norman talks about a study how coronavirus affects the immune system and what it could mean for designing treatments.

    • 10 min
    How complacency could trigger a third wave and force us back indoors

    How complacency could trigger a third wave and force us back indoors

    We know that in the 1918 flu pandemic the second wave was far more deadly than when it first arrived.

    This time around in Australia, it seems we may avoid a terrible second wave but that may make us more vulnerable to a third wave.

    By the end of this year and into 2021, we'll have little natural immunity, a vaccine may not be available and there's a danger that complacency may have set in.

    On today's show:

    * Norman goes on a bit of a tear about masks, and says if we all wore them we could re-open society much more quickly

    * How should social distancing work on flights?

    * Will any second or third coronavirus wave be better or worse than the 1918 flu?

    • 9 min
    Coronavirus loves lungs. Does it also lurk in our blood?

    Coronavirus loves lungs. Does it also lurk in our blood?

    When coronavirus infects someone, we know they can spread the disease via coughing and sneezing.

    But what about other forms of bodily fluid like blood?

    Around the world, there have been no reports of transmission that have definitely proven blood to be the cause.

    But the virus has been found in our blood, so it is theoretically possible.

    So what could this mean for blood donations?

    On today's show:

    * Is giving blood safe?

    * If someone with the virus coughed or sneezed on another's open wound, can the virus get into the bloodstream then the lungs?

    * Is there a chance we've eradicated the seasonal flu seeing as its infection rate is much lower than coronavirus?

    * If there are no new cases and haven't been for a while, like in WA, why do we need to continue with social distancing?

    • 8 min
    The race for a coronavirus vaccine may have a frontrunner

    The race for a coronavirus vaccine may have a frontrunner

    The search for a coronavirus vaccine has taken a small step in the right direction, with promising early results from a vaccine trial.

    Made by biotechnology company Moderna, the very early findings indicate the vaccine is safe and doing what it needs to do.

    But the results now need to be repeated in thousands more people to see if the vaccine works in the real world.

    On today's show:

    * What is this Moderna vaccine all about?

    * It appears that five sailors on USS Theodore Roosevelt have been reinfected or tested positive after recovering from infection. What does this imply for immunity?

    * Because we've been at home for so long without going out much, when we do start going back to school and work, will we become more likely to catch colds?

    Also, Norman and Tegan have a chat about bats, and Norman has some research about one of his favourite topics: the faecal oral route.

    • 10 min

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