LSTM returns to the Bluedot festival at Jodrell Bank

News article 22 Jul 2019
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LSTM attended this year’s Bluedot Festival at Jodrell Bank, attracting huge audiences for the three-day festival, with contributions from Vector Biology, Tropical Disease Biology, International Public Health and Clinical Sciences.

Dr Shevin Jacob and Dr Tom Fletcher delivered a talk to nearly 200 members of the public in the Star Pavilion on Friday afternoon, drawing parallels between what happens when an infection such as sepsis spreads in the body and what happens when an infectious disease such as Ebola spreads in a community during an outbreak - resulting in death and disruption of families and economic collapse for the community. Professor Mark Taylor rounded off the talks on the Saturday discussing the bacterium, Wolbachia and how it is the most widespread symbiont on the Bluedot, existing in millions of invertebrates worldwide and how they are being exploited for public health benefits.

Across the weekend, LSTM’s stand in the Star Field was well attended. Themed as Club Tropicana, festival-goers of all ages were wowed by mosquitoes and parasites on Friday with the Department of Vector Biology and Tropical Disease Biology, discussed the challenges faced by midwives and obstetricians in low to middle income countries with the Centre for Maternal and Newborn Health on Saturday and taught how to wrangle a snake on Sunday with the Centre for Snakebite Research and Interventions. On Sunday the team was joined by the Snake Wallahs, who paraded the fields and arena with a 16-foot spitting cobra puppet leading the crowds to the Club Tropicana stand where, with the backdrop of the Telescope, the spitting cobra sprayed the youngsters with water!

Team lead Rhiannon Logan said: “Bluedot was fantastic again this year, everybody was incredibly engaging and eager to learn. Our Club Tropicana stall was able to brighten up a rainy festival with our Hawaiian shirts, pumping jams and of course the Guinea Worm limbo! It was amazing to welcome the festival-goers to LSTM and exhibit our different themes; this year we invited the Centre for Maternal and Newborn Health to join us along with Parasites, Vectors, and Snakebite - giving everyone a real taste of the variety of professions we have to offer. It was also particularly lovely to reconnect with returning visitors who remembered our stall and our staff! We heard lots of positive feedback and excellent questions, it was a joy to be part of and I can’t wait for next year!”

The team already have plans for Bluedot 2020!