Coronacast

Coronacast

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

Episodes

August 10, 2022 10 min
Is it finally time to say a big see ya later to the latest B5 COVID wave? The Omicron family has already brought us several waves - the first at the start of the year when it muscled out Delta and the most recent big one via B5. But there are signs that it is finally slowing down. Cases are dropping and there are small, but positive, signs that deaths are also falling. So while it may be the end of the worst of B5, what could be...
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As more and more people become infected with COVID-19, more and more people are also going to be reinfected. But there's another type of reinfection known as a rebound infection, which can happen in the days after you've recovered. The US President Joe Biden tested positive again this week for COVID-19 only a few days after he was cleared following his treatment with antiviral medication Paxlovid. So what could be going ...
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August 1, 2022 12 min
When the pandemic started we were so worried about surfaces. But it turned out that wasn't so much of a concern. The big thing was the very air we breathe. But as Governments largely scale back on mandates and restrictions, experts are urging more be done on things that can prevent spread of the virus And the big target is better ventilation. On today's special Coronacast, Tegan Taylor takes a look around to see how bad...
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BA5 sure is making itself well known, and is responsible for soaring infection and reinfection rates right across the country. So how does it compare in infectiousness to other diseases? Well working that out is a difficult question. It's partly down to changing variables like vaccination and controls, but also changes to the virus itself. So on this week's Coronacast, why it doesn't really matter if BA5 is as infect...
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It's been a month since Coronacast took a break, and since then a lot has changed. The BA4 and 5 variants have become dominant, and immunologists are starting to worry about the state of play. Firstly, BA4 and 5 are acting a bit like new variants. They're evading vaccines and prior infections even more than original Omicron and there's no sign they're slowing down. And secondly, COVID case loads are surging and h...
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There's been a bunch of good news this week about kids and COVID, including kids under 5 moving a touch closer to become eligible for vaccination A Scandanavian study has shown that before babies are born, they get an immune benefit from their vaccinated mother. Another study has looked at a rare condition that can happen in kids after COVID, called MIS-C, and found vaccinated kids are way more protected from it And also b...
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June 8, 2022 11 min
This time last year, Australia's vaccination program was getting underway and many were coming forward for their first or second shots. But Australia's haven't embraced the third dose as quickly or in as large numbers. The third dose is vital for the best protection against disease, and is recommended for the majority of Australians. So why aren't people coming forward as quickly? Also on today's show: * Is...
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Since the variant we now know as Omicron burst onto the scene late last year, it's proved to be a shapeshifter, spawning no fewer than five subvariants so far. Each have their own characteristics, but which is the most likely to become the dominant strain? There's finally enough data around to start making a comparison - so which subvariant will rule them all, what features give it the advantage, and what possible tools ...
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While COVID continues to ravage the world, it's far from the only virus that's affecting humans at the moment. Cases of flu are soaring in Australia, and the Queensland Government is worried enough about it that it's offering all Queenslanders a free flu vaccination. And to add to that is a new outbreak of monkeypox in Europe and North America with 100 suspected and confirmed cases so far, though cases have not been s...
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We are only days away from the 2022 Federal Election, where we'll find out who'll be leading the country for the next few years. But for whoever wins, there's the huge reality of dealing with and managing the ongoing COVID pandemic, which is still killing an average of 40 Australians a day. COVID policy and response hasn't featured much during the election campaign. So on today's Coronacast, what COVID issues...
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A British COVID report has finally answered a question many have had: can you get long COVID, even after you're triple vaccinated. And the answer is, sadly, yes. About eight to nine percent of people have some sort of long-COVID symptoms, even after they've had their third dose. But there is some good news: long COVID is still far lower in vaccinated people than in unvaccinated. Also on today's show: * What's ha...
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While most of the Australian population is vaccinated against COVID-19, going by the amount of people who have died in 2022, this is by far the worst year of the pandemic. More than 5000 people have died so far this year, and another 30 or 40 are continuing to die on average each day at the moment. So on this week’s Coronacast, why have we stopped paying attention to deaths and can we do anything to reduce them? Also on today’s...
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April 27, 2022 13 min
When Omicron burst onto the scene late last year, scientists were shocked at how many mutations it had compared to previous variants. We now know that it's way more transmissible than previous variants and less nasty than Delta, although that hasn't stopped it from causing a lot of severe disease and death. But biology isn't static and Omicron has continued to evolve. First came BA1, then came a new wave of BA2 and no...
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China is fighting its largest coronavirus outbreak since the pandemic begun, but the lockdown being used to try and control it is facing resistance? Videos on social media appear to show small riots breaking out in parts of Shanghai while some residents are recording themselves screaming and yelling from their apartments in desperation. So is China's zero-COVID policy unable to withstand the onslaught of Omicron? And why is C...
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The race has well and truly been on for third dose COVID-19 vaccinations, but now add to that vaccination for the coming flu season. The past couple of years have seen a lull in flu infections because closed borders kept more than just COVID out — but that will change this year. So what happens if you get both COVID-19 and the flu and the same time? Is it even possible? And how do you reduce the risk of that happening? Also on t...
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March 30, 2022 11 min
As the BA2 subvariant of Omicron infects its way to the top of the coronavirus leaderboard, we're thanking our lucky stars that it's not as or more severe than Delta. But imagine a coronavirus variant that has genes from both Omicron and Delta: enter Deltacron The ability for two variants to combine and share genetic information is possible, and according to recent research has already happened. So what's the possibi...
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With cases rising quickly again, it's left many wondering: wasn't the peak supposed to be behind us? Well, turns out the pandemic isn't over and a mix of relaxed restrictions and the BA2 sub-variant have combined to once again push up infections. It also shows that the rollercoaster ride that we're on may not be stopping for a while, and the up and down nature is something we'll have to get used to. Also on t...
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The sixth season of If You're Listening tells the story of Australia's turbulent history with climate change, and what that means for the future. As we approach a federal election where climate and energy is a key battleground, this eight episode series will examine how Australia wasted decades fighting change, instead of capitalising on it. This is a special listen of the first episode and is the only time it'll appe...
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The sub-variant of Omicron, known at the moment as BA2, is being blamed for a rise in cases in NSW and likely in other states and territories. And overseas, Hong Kong is struggling with a wave which is killing more and more people due to low levels of vaccination in high risk age groups. So what could the sub-variant mean for Australia as the weather slowly cools down and we enter darker, cooler times? Also on today's show: ...
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March 11, 2022 10 min
Occasionally, Coronacast gets a question from the audience that not only stumps them, it stumps the expert scientists as well. And this week, that question came from Helen who was wondering how many people before her had COVID and passed it on to someone else, stretching all the way from her back to Wuhan in China. It raises many interesting questions about viral evolution and how we can reduce the number of infections globally. ...
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