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 ... Using 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

    The COVID-19 pandemic has shown what happens when health is affected on a global scale and there is an opportunity for a joint response to the converging crises, according to ... 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

    SARS-CoV-2 might enter the brain of people through the nose, according to an autopsy study which may help explain the neurological symptoms such as loss of smell, taste, headache, ... International 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

    The results, based on 30,000 participants, included 196 cases of COVID-19, of which 30 cases were severe. ... The data also suggest the vaccine is 100 per cent effective against severe COVID-19. 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 mental suffering we experience during the COVID-19 pandemic is chasing us in our dreams, according to Brazilian researchers. ... The researchers used language processing tools to analyse 239 dream 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

    New HIV data, released today by the Kirby Institute at UNSW Sydney for World AIDS Day, are a reminder for Australia to sustain its efforts in HIV prevention amidst the ... 19 pandemic. 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

    SARS-CoV-2 may hijack our cells' internal cholesterol processing system to help it spread from cell to cell, according to a Chinese study of cells in a dish. ... They found the SARS-CoV-2 virus bound 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

    People coming to a clinic with a chilblain-like condition during the COVID-19 pandemic, often called 'COVID toes', have characteristics which indicate an overactive immune response called a type I 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
  21. Plasma from recovered COVID patients of no benefit in severe COVID-19

    Publicly released: Wed 25 Nov 2020 at 0900 AEDT | 1100 NZDT

    New England Journal of Medicine

    The plasma of patients who have recovered from COVID-19, known as convalescent plasma, has been found to be no better than placebo for patients with severe COVID-19 pneumonia, according ... Convalescent Read more about Plasma from recovered COVID patients of no benefit in severe COVID-19

    InternationalHospital Italiano de Buenos Aires, Argentina
  22. Hydroxychloroquine also doesn't work to prevent COVID-19

    Publicly released: Wed 25 Nov 2020 at 0900 AEDT | 1100 NZDT

    New England Journal of Medicine

    A trial which used hydroxychloroquine to try and prevent COVID-19 developing in people who were close contacts of a confirmed case, has found it provides no benefit. ... the trial of over 200 people found Read more about Hydroxychloroquine also doesn't work to prevent COVID-19

    InternationalHospital Germans Trias i Pujol, Spain
  23. Meet the experts behind ensuring the reliability of sewage testing for coronavirus

    Publicly released: Wed 25 Nov 2020 at 0900 AEDT | 1100 NZDT

    The collaboration on Sewage Surveillance of SARS-CoV-2 (ColoSSoS Project) is giving our regulators, industry and the community confidence in the quality and reliability of testing methods. Read more about Meet the experts behind ensuring the reliability of sewage testing for coronavirus

    AustraliaWater Research Australia|National Measurement Institute
  24. EXPERT REACTION: Emergency department visits surged during 2019-20 black summer bushfires

    Publicly released: Wed 25 Nov 2020 at 0001 AEDT | 0201 NZDT

    A new report from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare shows increases in emergency department visits for respiratory problems and sales of asthma medication in regions affected by the Read more about EXPERT REACTION: Emergency department visits surged during 2019-20 black summer bushfires

    Australia; NSWAustralian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW)
  25. UK SMC BRIEFING + EXPERT REACTION: Phase 3 Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID vaccine trial results

    Publicly released: Tue 24 Nov 2020 at 1042 AEDT | 1242 NZDT

    Our colleagues at the UK SMC have hosted a media briefing to present the results of the Phase 3 trial into the AstraZeneca/Oxford COVID vaccine. ... Phase 3 interim analysis including 131 Covid-19 cases Read more about UK SMC BRIEFING + EXPERT REACTION: Phase 3 Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID vaccine trial results

    InternationalUniversity of Oxford, UK, AstraZeneca
  26. Isolation makes us literally hungry for company

    Publicly released: Tue 24 Nov 2020 at 0300 AEDT | 0500 NZDT

    Nature Neuroscience

    Social isolation can evoke a craving response in the human brain, US research finds. ... Scientists restricted the in-person and online social interactions of 40 people for ten hours and measured their Read more about Isolation makes us literally hungry for company

    InternationalMassachusetts Institute of Technology, USA
  27. Greenhouse gas is still at record levels despite COVID-19 lockdowns, according to WMO

    Publicly released: Mon 23 Nov 2020 at 2100 AEDT | 2300 NZDT

    WMO Greenhouse Gas Bulletin

    The WMO says COVID-19 has not curbed record levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, despite the industrial slowdown as a result of the pandemic. ... The WMO Secretary-General Professor Petteri Read more about Greenhouse gas is still at record levels despite COVID-19 lockdowns, according to WMO

    InternationalWorld Meteorological Organization (WMO)
  28. Pioneering remote screening for vital health signs indicating COVID-19

    Publicly released: Fri 20 Nov 2020 at 1330 AEDT | 1530 NZDT

    A key symptom of COVID-19 – oxygen saturation – is now being estimated remotely from a camera, thanks to research from University of South Australia engineers Professor Javaan Chahl, Dr Ali Read more about Pioneering remote screening for vital health signs indicating COVID-19

    Australia; SAUniversity of South Australia
  29. Don’t use remdesivir to treat COVID-19 - WHO

    Publicly released: Fri 20 Nov 2020 at 1101 AEDT | 1301 NZDT

    The BMJ

    The WHO has concluded that remdesivir has no meaningful effect on whether COVID-19 patients die, need to go on a ventilator, or how long they take to improve. ... After thoroughly reviewing the evidence, Read more about Don’t use remdesivir to treat COVID-19 - WHO

    InternationalWorld Health Organization
  30. Infectiousness peaks early in COVID-19 patients, cases need to be rapidly isolated

    Publicly released: Fri 20 Nov 2020 at 1050 AEDT | 1250 NZDT

    The Lancet Microbe

    People infected with SARS-CoV-2 are most likely to be highly infectious in the first week after symptom onset, highlighting the need to identify and isolate cases early, according to ... Unlike COVID-19, Read more about Infectiousness peaks early in COVID-19 patients, cases need to be rapidly isolated

    InternationalUniversity of St Andrews, UK
  31. Slaughterhouses are coronavirus hotspots

    Publicly released: Fri 20 Nov 2020 at 0930 AEDT | 1130 NZDT

    PNAS

    Livestock processing plants are responsible for up to 8 per cent of all coronavirus infections in the United States, new research finds. ... The study authors say as of July, slaughterhouses were linked Read more about Slaughterhouses are coronavirus hotspots

    InternationalColumbia University, USA
  32. How the flu spreads within cities

    Publicly released: Fri 20 Nov 2020 at 0600 AEDT | 0800 NZDT

    PLOS Pathogens

    The researchers say this kind of data can help in understanding how respiratory viruses spread and could lead to more efficient public health interventions, including for the current COVID-19 Read more about How the flu spreads within cities

    InternationalETH Zürich, Switzerland
  33. NZers toughed out appendicitis through lockdown

    Publicly released: Fri 20 Nov 2020 at 0001 AEDT | 0201 NZDT

    NZMJ

    The number of patients with appendicitis in New Zealand hospitals noticeably dropped over the national COVID-19 lockdown. ... However those who did go to hospital had been experiencing symptoms for longer, Read more about NZers toughed out appendicitis through lockdown

    New ZealandTauranga Hospital
  34. Start monitoring for vaccine side effects now - GP

    Publicly released: Fri 20 Nov 2020 at 0001 AEDT | 0201 NZDT

    NZMJ

    A retired GP says New Zealand should set up a system to actively monitor the safety of COVID-19 vaccines. ... The author writes the planning should start urgently, as it took three years to establish Read more about Start monitoring for vaccine side effects now - GP

    New ZealandN/A
  35. Oxford's COVID-19 jab safer in older adults

    Publicly released: Thu 19 Nov 2020 at 1800 AEDT | 2000 NZDT

    The Lancet

    Phase 2 trial results from Oxford’s ChAdOx1 vaccine shows it’s better tolerated in older people compared to younger adults, and produces a similar immune response in old and young ... The jab prompted Read more about Oxford's COVID-19 jab safer in older adults

    InternationalOxford Vaccine Group, UK
  36. Potential new target to combat inflammatory diseases

    Publicly released: Thu 19 Nov 2020 at 1618 AEDT | 1818 NZDT

    EBioMedicine

    WEHI’s Associate Professor Seth Masters and his research team discovered the compound could prevent up-regulation of CD14, a key inflammatory protein. Read more about Potential new target to combat inflammatory diseases

    Australia; VICWEHI|The University of Melbourne
  37. Smartwatches could help detect COVID before symptoms appear

    Publicly released: Thu 19 Nov 2020 at 1508 AEDT | 1708 NZDT

    Nature Biomedical Engineering

    Smartwatches can detect changes in you body as much as nine days before COVID symptoms appear, according to US research. ... The researchers analysed data from 32 individuals infected with COVID-19, Read more about Smartwatches could help detect COVID before symptoms appear

    InternationalStanford University School of Medicine, USA
  38. Trial questions how well masks actually work for COVID-19

    Publicly released: Thu 19 Nov 2020 at 1300 AEDT | 1500 NZDT

    Annals of Internal Medicine

    A randomised trial of more than 6,000 people in Denmark suggests masks have limited additional benefit in stopping COVID-19 spread for people already following social distancing and hygiene Read more about Trial questions how well masks actually work for COVID-19

    InternationalCopenhagen University Hospital, Denmark
  39. EXPERT REACTION: Does Adelaide have a "super-strain" of COVID-19?

    Publicly released: Thu 19 Nov 2020 at 1249 AEDT | 1449 NZDT

    As South Australia begins a 6-day "circuit-breaking" lockdown, questions have been raised about the particular strain that has caused a cluster in Adelaide's north-west. ... Below Australian experts Read more about EXPERT REACTION: Does Adelaide have a "super-strain" of COVID-19?

    Australia; NSW; QLD; SAAustralian Science Media Centre
  40. Little impact of COVID-19 pandemic on routine childhood vaccination in Australia

    Publicly released: Thu 19 Nov 2020 at 0900 AEDT | 1100 NZDT

    A new report “COVID-19: Impact on routine childhood vaccination uptake in Australia” released today by NCIRS found no substantial impact on vaccination uptake at any of the National Immunisation Read more about Little impact of COVID-19 pandemic on routine childhood vaccination in Australia

    Australia; NSWNational Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance (NCIRS)
  41. EXPERT REACTION: South Australia to begin 6-day "circuit breaker" lockdown

    Publicly released: Wed 18 Nov 2020 at 1534 AEDT | 1734 NZDT

    Schools, restaurants, sport, weddings and funerals are amongst those to be closed or banned. ... The measure, described as a "circuit breaker", is designed to stop a growing cluster of COVID-19 cases in Read more about EXPERT REACTION: South Australia to begin 6-day "circuit breaker" lockdown

    Australia; NSW; VIC; SA; WAAustralian Science Media Centre
  42. Chinese COVID-19 vaccine found to be safe and induce immune response

    Publicly released: Wed 18 Nov 2020 at 1244 AEDT | 1444 NZDT

    The Lancet Infectious Diseases

    A COVID-19 vaccine candidate based on an inactivated whole SARS-CoV-2 virus has been found to be safe and induce an antibody response in healthy volunteers, results from a ... from COVID-19 - the Read more about Chinese COVID-19 vaccine found to be safe and induce immune response

    InternationalZhejiang Provincial Center for Disease Control and Prevention, China
  43. COVID case numbers may be six times higher than reported

    Publicly released: Wed 18 Nov 2020 at 1101 AEDT | 1301 NZDT

    Royal Society Open Science

    Australian researchers say the true number of infections in the COVID-19 pandemic could be around six times greater than the reported number of cases. ... In their analysis, Australia was the only country Read more about COVID case numbers may be six times higher than reported

    Australia; VIC; TAS; ACTThe Australian National University|The University of Melbourne...
  44. Can wearable tech predict COVID-19 and reveal how pandemics affect us?

    Publicly released: Wed 18 Nov 2020 at 0700 AEDT | 0900 NZDT

    University of Sydney researchers have joined an international US-led effort to discover if data from wearable tech like smartwatches and activity trackers could provide an early indication of COVID-19 Read more about Can wearable tech predict COVID-19 and reveal how pandemics affect us?

    Australia; NSWThe University of Sydney
  45. Kids mount a COVID-19 immune response without detection of the SARS-CoV-2 virus

    Publicly released: Wed 18 Nov 2020 at 0001 AEDT | 0201 NZDT

    Nature Communications

    Children in a Melbourne family developed a COVID-19 immune response after chronic exposure to the SARS-CoV-2 virus from their parents, a new case report has found. Read more about Kids mount a COVID-19 immune response without detection of the SARS-CoV-2 virus

    Australia; VICMurdoch Children's Research Institute (MCRI)
  46. Love goes on in lockdown, but is less physical for some

    Publicly released: Wed 18 Nov 2020 at 0001 AEDT | 0201 NZDT

    Sexually Transmitted Infections

    Sexual activity and dating app use declined among Australian adults during the coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdown, although chatting on dating apps increased, University of Melbourne research has found. Read more about Love goes on in lockdown, but is less physical for some

    Australia; VICThe University of Melbourne
  47. Queensland suicide rate unaffected during first phase of the COVID-19 pandemic

    Publicly released: Tue 17 Nov 2020 at 1030 AEDT | 1230 NZDT

    The Lancet Psychiatry

    Up until the end of August there was no overall change in Queensland’s suspected suicide rate between since the declaration of a public health emergency declaration (PHED) on January 29. Read more about Queensland suicide rate unaffected during first phase of the COVID-19 pandemic

    Australia; QLDGriffith University
  48. Ranking the best ways to limit COVID spread

    Publicly released: Tue 17 Nov 2020 at 1000 AEDT | 1200 NZDT

    Nature Human Behaviour

    The most effective ways of limiting COVID are cancelling small gatherings, closing schools and unis, border restrictions, individual movement restrictions, national lockdowns and increasing the Read more about Ranking the best ways to limit COVID spread

    InternationalMedical University of Vienna, Austria
  49. Measles outbreaks likely in wake of COVID-19 pandemic

    Publicly released: Tue 17 Nov 2020 at 0001 AEDT | 0201 NZDT

    The Lancet

    Major measles outbreaks will likely occur during 2021 as an unexpected consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a new academic article. Read more about Measles outbreaks likely in wake of COVID-19 pandemic

    Australia; VICMurdoch Children's Research Institute (MCRI)
  50. Key patient insights the missing link in understanding COVID-19 and its mutations

    Publicly released: Tue 17 Nov 2020 at 0001 AEDT | 0201 NZDT

    Transboundary and Emerging Diseases

    5 per cent of current entries in GISAID, the world’s largest novel coronavirus genome database, do not contain relevant patient information — a critical piece of the puzzle to understand Read more about Key patient insights the missing link in understanding COVID-19 and its mutations

    AustraliaCSIRO

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