The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says: “People who have tested positive for COVID-19 do not need to quarantine or get tested again for up to 3 months as long as they do not develop symptoms again.”
The CDC’s current guidance suggests that “People who develop symptoms again within 3 months of their first bout of COVID-19 may need to be tested again if there is no other cause identified for their symptoms.”
Quick and affordable saliva-based COVID-19 test developed by Yale scientists receives FDA Emergency Use Authorization
A saliva-based laboratory diagnostic test developed by researchers at the Yale School of Public Health has been granted an emergency use authorization by FDA.
“This is a huge step forward to make testing more accessible,” said Chantal Vogels, a Yale postdoctoral fellow, who led the laboratory development and validation along with Doug Brackney, an adjunct assistant clinical professor. “This started off as an idea in our lab soon after we found saliva to be a promising sample type of the detection of SARS-CoV-2, and now it has the potential to be used on a large scale to help protect public health. We are delighted to make this contribution to the fight against coronavirus.” The preprint on the development and validation of SalivaDirect was recently posted on medRxiv.
A Stanford study shows that in severely ill COVID-19 patients, “first-responder” immune cells, which should react immediately to signs of viruses or bacteria in the body, instead respond sluggishly.
Now, a study by investigators at the Stanford University School of Medicine and other institutions has turned up immunological deviations and lapses that appear to spell the difference between severe and mild cases of COVID-19.
That difference may stem from how our evolutionarily ancient innate immune system responds to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes the disease. Found in all creatures from fruit flies to humans, the innate immune system rapidly senses viruses and other pathogens. As soon as it does, it launches an immediate though somewhat indiscriminate attack on them. It also mobilizes more precisely targeted, but slower-to-get-moving, “sharpshooter” cells belonging to a different branch of the body’s pathogen-defense forces, the adaptive immune system.
Women leaders around the world have had considerably more success in slowing the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic and its general outcomes, and two economists can now explain why.
Only 19 countries around the world are currently led by women, and throughout the first few months of the pandemic, most of them had in common a relative success in fighting the virus. From Bangladesh to Norway to Iceland, a study reveals that some characteristics that are typical to women in leadership positions were instrumental in the success of these countries: “It required big thinking, empathy, and good communication skills,” Dr. Uma Kambhampati, Professor of Economics at the University of Reading and co-author of the study, told Forbes.
After seeing memes trending on social media of successful leaders dealing with COVID-19 being women, Dr. Kambhampati and her colleague, Supriya Garikipati, Associate Professor in Development Economics at the University of Liverpool, decided to look at whether this statement was accurate or not.
To do so, they matched each female-led country with another “neighbor” country led by a male, that is similar in terms of population, age, GDP per capita, health expenditure etc. For example, New Zealand was paired with Ireland and Germany with the United Kingdom. The results were clear, even when the researchers tried dropping countries with outstanding results (good and bad) and matching with other countries. “What we were surprised [by] is how systematic and robust it was,” Dr. Kambhampati said. For example, they tried looking at the data without New Zealand, Germany, and the United States, and the results still overwhelmingly showed that women leaders were doing better.
Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) will test wastewater in residence halls and on-campus apartments twice weekly to detect infections before symptoms show.
“We’re looking for viral RNA, pieces of the virus that get shed off of people when they go to the bathroom,” said Jennifer Schneider, the Eugene H. Fram Chair of Applied Critical Thinking and a professor in the Department of Civil Engineering Technology, Environmental Management and Safety. “By testing wastewater, we can get an idea of what the relative viral prevalence could be in the population using areas of campus. If we see it increase in a particular area, we can look more closely and run some strategic testing.”
Members of RIT’s fall planning task forces say the wastewater surveillance will be a critical and proactive complement to more standard COVID-19 tests like the PCR tests involving nasal swabs. If health officials see spikes in coronavirus levels, they could take actions such as having the residents of the affected areas get further testing.
New study by the University of New Mexico looks at shifts in community behaviors
Gabe Sanchez, professor of political science and director of the University of New Mexico’s (UNM’s) Center for Social Policy, is part of an interdisciplinary research team looking at how the pandemic is impacting behaviors of the US population as a result of the pandemic.
“Because we were able to move quickly, we are one of the few teams have data from early on in the pandemic,” Sanchez explained. “We’ve been able to get information from thousands of respondents across the country to look at variation in behavior based on where people live, as states have responded in different ways and entered different phases of quarantine.”
The National Panel Study of COVID-19 began in March and focuses on how different ethnicities and political party affiliations have influenced behavior patterns during the pandemic. This new study launched at the early onset of the COVID-19 pandemic has unique data reveals behavioral pattern changes within communities.
In response to the pandemic, The University of Kansas Health System launched a secure, HIPAA-compliant telehealth platform
Technology has served as crucial weapon in the global fight against the coronavirus. It’s helped bring people together in a time when it’s safer to remain apart. More specifically, telehealth has emerged as a digital bridge, allowing enterprises such as education, research and patient care to advance, even under the paralyzing grip of COVID-19.
While some institutions and organizations are just now fully embracing telehealth, the University of Kansas Medical Center is nearly 30 years into the journey, and the institution is helping its partner, The University of Kansas Health System, and others across Kansas, harness the innovation’s power and possibilities.
Also, in response to the pandemic, the university, through its University of Kansas Center for Telemedicine and Telehealth (KUCTT), hosted two webinars that drew more than 400 Kansas providers interested in how to develop and launch a telehealth plan in the wake of the crisis.
“It’s not just us doing for us, but us trying to do for the whole state,” said Ryan Spaulding, Ph.D., vice chancellor for community engagement, who oversees the University of Kansas Center for Telemedicine and Telehealth and the university’s telehealth outreach and programming.
Researchers Study Social and Biomedical Factors Underlying the Deadly Effectiveness of the Coronavirus
Physicians at SUNY’s University at Buffalo take a multidisciplinary approach through community interventions and research
The sudden appearance of a novel, sometimes deadly, highly infectious disease about which not much is known is terrifying enough. But when combined with pronounced health disparities among the underserved in communities like Buffalo, New York, the COVID-19 pandemic became all the more devastating.
Now, a team of University at Buffalo physicians have launched a project to explore both biomedical and public health factors of the pandemic, looking at how immunity to COVID-19 works by studying those who have recovered and at the same time, working to mitigate its dire effects on underserved populations through community engagement and educational interventions.
“COVID-19 has disproportionally affected African Americans, Hispanics and Native Americans in different regions in the U.S. To address these disparities in health, our project goals are to assess the community’s risk of COVID-19-associated poor outcomes through an evaluation of the social determinants of health, underlying health conditions and other demographic factors.”
Sociologists at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and at Bowling Green State University highlight differences in structure, resilience, and shared resources in proposing new policies and guidelines to help families weather the COVID-19 pandemic
Families are central to our experience of COVID-19, and they can serve as a mechanism that either exacerbates or reduces the health and economic inequalities our society is currently facing.
Mieke Beth Thomeer, Ph.D., associate professor in the College of Arts and Sciences’ Department of Sociology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and Jenjira Yahirun, Ph.D., assistant professor of sociology at Bowling Green State University, say as sociologists who study health and families, this is nothing new.
Decades of studies demonstrate that families matter for health; but being single, having kids or caring for a parent feels especially consequential during this time. This is reflected in several proposed policies and recommendations, say Thomeer and Yahirun.
Auburn University research to give voice to rural communities in pandemic
Researchers in Auburn University’s College of Agriculture hope to give rural areas of the Deep South a voice to the hardships they have endured during the crisis.
“While there has been some media attention on the impact of the pandemic on rural communities, particularly in light of the impact to the meat processing section, few have focused exclusively on rural areas and even fewer on the Deep South more broadly,” said Ryan Thomson, assistant professor in the Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology.
“There are many questions about the impacts to these areas, which too often are considered an afterthought despite their important and vibrant communities,” Thomson said.
This “grand omission,” as Thomson calls it, became the genesis of a research project including himself, Professor Michelle Worosz and graduate research assistant KC Vick titled “Rural Responses to the COVID-19 Pandemic: Analysis of Big Data from Southern Rural Communities.”