Top epidemiologist Mary-Louise McLaws reveals brain cancer diagnosis

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A familiar face guiding Australia through the last two years of the pandemic, Mary-Louise McLaws has shared her concerning health battle.

One of the country’s top epidemiologists, Mary-Louise McLaws has announced she’s been diagnosed with a brain tumour.

The Professor of Epidemiology said she was experiences severe headaches, which led to a diagnosis of a brain tumour.

As a result, Prof McLaws said she would be taking one month of sick leave from UNSW and the World Health Organisation where she works as an adviser on their health emergencies, and infection prevention and control response to Covid-19/.

“After a severe headache Thursday, I was diagnosed with a brain tumour,” she tweeted on Saturday afternoon.

“I will now be on a month’s sick leave from UNSW and WHO. Thank you media for helping me spread knowledge. Now it is time with my family.”

Throughout the pandemic, Prof McLaws has been a familiar face for Australians seeking health advice about Covid-19.

The Sydney-based epidemiologist often took a critical view of the government’s management of the pandemic and regularly called for tightened restrictions in order to curb infections.

Most recently, she called for the quick and free distribution of rapid antigen tests and said it was a key reason why the government’s “outbreak management has failed”.

Since sharing her post, hundreds of her medical colleagues, journalists and members of the public have wished her a quick recovery and a speedy return to her job.

“So sorry to hear this. You have supported so many during this difficult time. Please look after yourself first,” read one Twitter response.

“Sorry to hear that you are unwell. You have been such a consistently wise voice during this pandemic. You were way ahead of the curve on the need for RATs! Thank you so much for your great contribution. Lots of love,” wrote former Lord Mayor of Sydney, Lucy Turnbull.

“I wish I could ease your fears as reassuringly as you have eased ours over the past two years. May every lucky break go your way Professor,” another response read.