Resources for Journalists

COVID-19 is a disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus strain, that has not been previously identified in humans. See below for a collection of resources to help you cover this issue (Please note: additional resources are available to journalists who are logged in).

The AusSMC also issues a daily COVID-19 update for registered journalists (click here to view an example). If you would like to receive this email, please go to your profile on MyScimex and select yes beside "Receive COVID-19 Updates?". The email update and this resources page are supported by the Google News Initiative.

Latest COVID-19 news, research, expert reactions and briefings

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  1. Half of surveyed renters suffered mental health decline during COVID-19

    Publicly released: Fri 4 Dec 2020 at 1400 AEDT | 1600 NZDT

    Australian renters have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19 facing income loss, the inability to pay rent, tenure insecurity and eviction risk and a new AHURI publication provides a stark Read more about Half of surveyed renters suffered mental health decline during COVID-19

    Australia; SAThe University of Adelaide|Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute (AHURI)
  2. Why does COVID-19 affect some animals, but not others?

    Publicly released: Fri 4 Dec 2020 at 0600 AEDT | 0800 NZDT

    PLOS Computational Biology

    Some animals are more susceptible to COVID-19 than others, and new international research suggests this may be due to distinctive structural features of a protein found on the surface of ... The Read more about Why does COVID-19 affect some animals, but not others?

    InternationalStanford University School of Medicine, USA
  3. EXPERT REACTION: Aussies likely to start COVID-19 vaccinations in March after UK approves Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine

    Publicly released: Thu 3 Dec 2020 at 1229 AEDT | 1429 NZDT

    This follows the news from the UK overnight that they have approved the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID vaccine for emergency use. Read more about EXPERT REACTION: Aussies likely to start COVID-19 vaccinations in March after UK approves Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine

    Australia; VIC; QLDAustralian Science Media Centre
  4. Money won't save countries from climate change health harms

    Publicly released: Thu 3 Dec 2020 at 1030 AEDT | 1230 NZDT

    The Lancet

    Every country, no matter how wealthy, will suffer health impacts from worsening climate change, according to the 2020 report of The Lancet Countdown on Health and Climate Change. ... Such a response would Read more about Money won't save countries from climate change health harms

    Australia; New Zealand; InternationalThe University of Melbourne|Institute for Global Health, Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology
  5. Don't drink the hand sanitiser - it can kill

    Publicly released: Wed 2 Dec 2020 at 1030 AEDT | 1230 NZDT

    BMJ Evidence Based Medicine

    The author says the public is largely unaware of the potential safety hazards of this form of hand hygiene, which has become commonplace in homes, hospitals, schools, workplaces and public venues, Read more about Don't drink the hand sanitiser - it can kill

    InternationalUniversity of Oxford, UK
  6. EXPERT REACTION: Māori and Pacific academics paid and promoted less

    Publicly released: Wed 2 Dec 2020 at 0300 AEDT | 0500 NZDT

    MAI Journal

    Māori and Pacific women are the most impacted, with a $7,700 pay gap and 65% less likely to be promoted to associate professor or professor. ... The research found the differences could not be explained Read more about EXPERT REACTION: Māori and Pacific academics paid and promoted less

    New ZealandTe Pūnaha Matatini|University of Otago|University of Auckland...
  7. Differences in immunity and blood vessels likely protect children from severe COVID-19

    Publicly released: Wed 2 Dec 2020 at 0005 AEDT | 0205 NZDT

    Archives of Disease in Childhood

    Differences in the immune systems and better blood vessel health were among the factors protecting children from severe COVID-19, according to a new review. Read more about Differences in immunity and blood vessels likely protect children from severe COVID-19

    Australia; VICMurdoch Children's Research Institute (MCRI)
  8. SARS-CoV-2 might enter the brain through your nose

    Publicly released: Tue 1 Dec 2020 at 1201 AEDT | 1401 NZDT

    Nature Neuroscience

    Previous research had described the presence of viral RNA – genetic material – in the brain and cerebrospinal fluid, but researchers couldn’t explain how the virus got there to begin with. Read more about SARS-CoV-2 might enter the brain through your nose

    InternationalCharité–Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Germany
  9. EXPERT REACTION: Moderna vaccine reports 100% efficacy against severe COVID

    Publicly released: Tue 1 Dec 2020 at 1100 AEDT | 1300 NZDT

    According to the company, the vaccine's efficacy was 94. 1 per cent overall. ... Moderna also announced it will request Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Read more about EXPERT REACTION: Moderna vaccine reports 100% efficacy against severe COVID

    InternationalModerna
  10. Pets, touch and COVID-19: why our furry friends are lifesavers

    Publicly released: Tue 1 Dec 2020 at 0900 AEDT | 1100 NZDT

    Journal of Behavioral Economics for Policy

    A new study published by University of South Australia researchers points to the lifesaving role that pets have played in 2020 and why governments need to sit up and take notice. Read more about Pets, touch and COVID-19: why our furry friends are lifesavers

    Australia; SAUniversity of South Australia
  11. Dream a COVID dream: Pandemic stress continues in our sleep

    Publicly released: Tue 1 Dec 2020 at 0600 AEDT | 0800 NZDT

    PLOS One

    The researchers used language processing tools to analyse 239 dream reports by 67 people made before or during the COVID-19 outbreak and lockdown in Brazil. ... These features seem to be associated with Read more about Dream a COVID dream: Pandemic stress continues in our sleep

    InternationalFederal University of Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil
  12. HIV in Australia has declined by 12% in the past five years

    Publicly released: Tue 1 Dec 2020 at 0001 AEDT | 0201 NZDT

    There were 903 HIV diagnoses in Australia in 2019, representing a decline of 12 per cent over the past five years. ... And among gay and bisexual men, the population with the highest burden of HIV in Read more about HIV in Australia has declined by 12% in the past five years

    Australia; NSWThe Kirby Institute for Infection and Immunity in Society...
  13. The challenge of communicating disaster risks examined

    Publicly released: Mon 30 Nov 2020 at 1358 AEDT | 1558 NZDT

    Progress in Disaster Science

    and what governments have learned from the COVID-19 pandemic. ... The authors call for public-interest media organisations to have viable business models and for students to be taught media literacy in Read more about The challenge of communicating disaster risks examined

    New Zealand; InternationalTonkin + Taylor International, New Zealand
  14. Children's Word of the Year - 'virus'

    Publicly released: Mon 30 Nov 2020 at 1130 AEDT | 1330 NZDT

    Three million Australian schoolchildren’s most-used words in a writing exercise give valuable insights into the minds of school-aged children during the COVID-19 pandemic. ... After a disrupted school Read more about Children's Word of the Year - 'virus'

    Australia; SAFlinders University
  15. Has quality suffered in the rush to publish COVID-19 research?

    Publicly released: Mon 30 Nov 2020 at 0001 AEDT | 0201 NZDT

    MJA

    And far fewer COVID-19 papers covered the 'gold standard' randomised controlled clinical trials, with more focused on smaller case studies, and more opinion pieces and editorials. ... They also found less Read more about Has quality suffered in the rush to publish COVID-19 research?

    Australia; QLD; ACTThe University of Queensland|Queensland University of Technology (QUT)
  16. COVID-19 Peer Hub combats vaccine avoidance amid pandemic

    Publicly released: Fri 27 Nov 2020 at 1516 AEDT | 1716 NZDT

    UniSA researchers are evaluating a new vaccination education initiative – the COVID-19 Peer Hub – to help immunisation and public health professionals to tackle the emerging dangers of vaccine Read more about COVID-19 Peer Hub combats vaccine avoidance amid pandemic

    Australia; SAUniversity of South Australia
  17. COVID-19 may hijack our cells' 'good cholesterol' system to spread through the body

    Publicly released: Fri 27 Nov 2020 at 1130 AEDT | 1330 NZDT

    Nature Metabolism

    When the scientists blocked the cholesterol receptor in the cells, the cholesterol-covered virus was no longer able to stick to them. ... The scientists say this hints at new targets for treatment, Read more about COVID-19 may hijack our cells' 'good cholesterol' system to spread through the body

    InternationalBeijing Institute of Biotechnology, China
  18. COVID toes may point to an overactive immune response

    Publicly released: Thu 26 Nov 2020 at 0300 AEDT | 0500 NZDT

    JAMA Dermatology

    The researchers had 40 cases of 'COVID toes' in their COVID clinic in less than two weeks, which they say is unusual in their temperate region and corresponded with the spread ... They say these results Read more about COVID toes may point to an overactive immune response

    InternationalCentre Hospitalier Universitaire de Nice, France
  19. Tackling disadvantaged children's education post-COVID

    Publicly released: Thu 26 Nov 2020 at 0101 AEDT | 0301 NZDT

    COVID-19 has exposed fault lines in the education system for already disadvantaged students who are more likely to be severely impacted by the pandemic. Read more about Tackling disadvantaged children's education post-COVID

    Australia; QLDThe University of Queensland
  20. New plant-based gel to fast-track 'mini-organs' growth, improve cancer treatment

    Publicly released: Wed 25 Nov 2020 at 1200 AEDT | 1400 NZDT

    Advanced Science

    Monash University researchers have created the world’s first bioactive plant-based nanocellulose hydrogel to support organoid growth for biomedical applications. ... This includes cancer development and Read more about New plant-based gel to fast-track 'mini-organs' growth, improve cancer treatment

    Australia; VICMonash University

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