Joe’s View: On data fever in the Mekong Delta

On a trip down the Mekong Delta, Professor Joe McDonald’s thoughts turn to the potentially serious disease that is data fever – and how it might be prevented.

Rowing down the tiny stream through the impenetrable jungle of the Mekong Delta, it’s 39 degrees in the shade and the humidity is 100%. You can’t really sweat in these conditions. Well you can, but it doesn’t cool you down – it just makes you hot and wet. Without our lovely local guide, Mii, there is no chance we will ever find the haven of the air-conditioned Sampan boat from which I will spend the next three days exploring the Mekong.

When I was growing up, the Vietnam War – or as, the Vietnamese call it, the American War – was on the news every night. The army hadn’t yet realised that you had to keep control of journalists and so the conflict came vividly into our living room.

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