Feb 13 • 24M

Effective Policy for Assessing Interventions Against Respiratory Viruses

Of policy based on poor evidence and spurious certainty

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Appears in this episode

Carl Heneghan
“Flu and Covid” and their role in the NHS winter crisis
Episode details

Listen to Carl and Tom discuss how the many problems with using poor or inappropriate evidence were glossed over and ignored by policy makers.

The landmark University of Wisconsin studies on transmission mentioned by Tom in the podcast are summarised in this paper:

D'Alessio DJ, Meschievitz CK, Peterson JA, Dick CR, Dick EC. Short-duration exposure and the transmission of rhinoviral colds. J Infect Dis. 1984 Aug;150(2):189-94. doi: 10.1093/infdis/150.2.189. PMID: 6088645.

We have made comments and explained the significance in the 7th instalment of our riddle series published on 4th of October. We concluded:

“There are three central issues. First, why did we abandon the human challenge approach; second, why have we deferred to poor-quality observational studies and models? Finally, what can we learn from the past to inform the future? 

If we can't address these three issues, how can we reproduce the clinical picture experimentally and test the interventions to prevent or lessen influenza-like illness?”