Australia

A new virus in China, why more Australians aren’t wearing masks and calls for greater action on veteran suicide

Good morning, it’s Amy Hall here with SBS News’ Morning Briefing.

A new virus has been identified in China. Should people in Australia be worried?

A new virus – called Langya henipavirus (LayV) – has been identified in China this week, with at least 35 people so far infected. The virus is believed to have originated from animals, most likely shrews — small furry mammals that resemble mice. While the prospect of another disease transmitting from animals to humans may raise fears, , at least, not yet. “No one has died, no one has got seriously ill, and most important of all there is no human-to-human transmission, so it’s not really anything to worry about at the moment, but it’s something we need to keep watching,” University of Sydney virologist Professor Eddie Holmes says. “The warning sign would be if there is human transmission; if that occurs, then I think there would be more concern globally, the World Health Organization would get involved and governments would act, but at the moment there is no evidence of that.”

Most Australians aren’t wearing masks, despite their effectiveness against COVID-19. Here’s why

Despite Australia’s per capita COVID-19 rate being among the highest in the world, . According to UNSW infectious disease expert Associate Professor Holly Seale, that’s because many people are returning to their pre-pandemic behaviours, where “we didn’t have a culture of wearing masks during winters or respiratory infection periods”. She says whether people decide to wear a mask or not could also be influenced by misunderstandings surrounding the “perceived value” of public health measures and the likelihood of reinfection. “We’ve found in our research that family members are playing a role in medicine, so if you do have those within your inner-circle who have chronic health conditions or who are older adults, just [remind] them about when and why to use a mask.”

Veteran suicide has been labelled a ‘national tragedy’. This mother who lost her son is urging action

Dr Nikki Jamieson lost her 21-year-old son Daniel to suicide while he was serving in the Australian Defence Force. on the interim recommendations of the Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide. The 348-page interim report, released on Thursday, warns attempts to provide support to veterans continue to be impeded by structural and cultural failures. “I will make sure in all the powers that I have that these recommendations are executed and implemented and there is an accountability,” Dr Jamieson says.

US Attorney General ‘personally approved’ the search of Donald Trump’s home

United States Attorney General Merrick Garland has confirmed of Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida earlier this week. US officials are yet to disclose the reason for the search, but it’s widely suspected it’s part of an investigation into whether the former president illegally removed materials and documents from the White House when leaving office. Mr Garland says there was “probable cause” for the raid, and he’s asked a court to unseal the search warrant.

A police car outside former US President Donald Trump’s residence in Mar-A-Lago, Palm Beach, Florida Source: Getty / GIORGIO VIERA/AFP via Getty Images

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