University of Michigan infectious disease experts to host virtual discussion on COVID-19 vaccines
ANN ARBOR – Now that the vaccination effort against COVID-19 is ramping up, what will the weeks and months ahead look like? This is what infectious disease experts from the University of Michigan School of Public Health and Michigan Medicine will be discussing on a virtual panel on COVID-19 vaccines on April 8 from 9:30 a.m.-10:30 a.m. The event is free and open to the public, but registration is required. The event will be moderated by Dr. Emily Martin, Associate Professor of Epidemiology at the University of Michigan School of Public Health. Panelists include:Dr. Arnold Monto, Professor of Epidemiology, University of Michigan School of Public HealthDr. Sandro Cinti, Clinical Professor of Infectious Diseases, Michigan Medicine and Ann Arbor VA Health SystemDr. Laraine Washer, Clinical Associate Professor of Infectious Diseases, Michigan MedicineRelated reading:
University of Michigan study suggests COVID-19 won't completely disappear
ANN ARBOR – New research from the University of Michigan shows that reinfections of seasonal coronaviruses are common, suggesting that the virus behind COVID-19 could be endemic. “The frequency of reinfections with the different seasonal coronaviruses suggests that SARS-COV-2 is not going to completely disappear.”AdThe researchers used data on 3,418 individuals from the Household Influenza Vaccine Evaluation from the years 2010-2018. Upon evaluating the data, the team found 1,004 seasonal coronavirus infections. Additionally, 27 percent of the reinfections occurred within one year of the initial infection, which researchers say is a relatively short period of time given the virus’ seasonal nature. “In our study, participants had high levels of anti-spike protein binding antibody to seasonal coronaviruses, but these antibodies did not correlate with protection from infection,” Petrie said in a release.
Black COVID-19 survivors in Michigan suffer worse outcomes than white counterparts, U-M study says
(AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)ANN ARBOR – Researchers at the University of Michigan studying the impact of COVID-19 on Michiganders have found that Black survivors of the virus experience worse socioeconomic and health outcomes than their white counterparts. The joint research is being conducted by the University of Michigan School of Public Health and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services as part of the Michigan COVID-19 Recovery Surveillance Study. Researchers hope the study’s data will inform future health equity and response efforts during the coronavirus pandemic and other public health emergencies that arise. More Black respondents reported increased social stressors since the start of the pandemic, with 26% being unable to pay important bills like mortgage, rent or utilities (versus 10% of white respondents). More Black respondents (23%) were afraid to disclose their COVID-19 status to their friends or family than white respondents (10%).
U-M: Michigan’s strict public health measures likely saved lives during holidays
ANN ARBOR – Researchers at the University of Michigan said that the state’s “Pause to Save Lives” mandate in mid-November likely saved thousands of lives during the holiday season. According to preliminary findings by the School of Public Health, the measures over Thanksgiving and Christmas might have prevented more than 100,000 cases of COVID-19 across the state. That translates to 2,800 lives saved based on the state’s fatality rate of 2.6%. They also determined that government response measures, including closures, public health efforts and economic supports, had an impact on case prevention. Michigan had the lowest amount of coronavirus cases in the Midwest over the holiday season.
University of Michigan epidemiologist leads FDA COVID vaccine advisory committee
ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Pfizer and BioNTech submitted their COVID-19 vaccine to the FDA to be considered for an emergency-use authorization Friday. In 2018, he showed Local 4 his “Flu Lab” at the University of Michigan School of Public Health. Monto will lead the committee that will advise the FDA on whether or not to grant an emergency-use authorization for any coronavirus vaccines. RELATED: Local 4 assignment editor shares experience with COVID-19 vaccine trialThe FDA is not required to follow the recommendation of its advisory committee, but it typically does. “It’s an intellectual pressure, not a political pressure,” Monto said.
U-M: Food insecurity spikes for low-income adults during coronavirus pandemic
ANN ARBOR Even before school closures and stay-at-home orders were issued in March due to the coronavirus outbreak, four out of 10 low-income Americans were struggling with food insecurity, according to researchers at the University of Michigan. Julia Wolfson and Cindy Leung of the U-M School of Public Health have been measuring household food insecurity by using data from a mid-March survey of low-income adults across the country. According to their study, 44% of low-income adults in the country are food insecure, 20% experience marginal food security and 36% reported being food secure. Food is a core determinant of health and food insecurity is associated with numerous poor health outcomes, Leung, assistant professor of Nutritional Sciences at the School of Public Health, said in a statement. This study highlights the growing number of families facing food insecurity in the wake of COVID-19 who need additional support with food, finances, and child care.U-Ms Poverty Solutions Initiative funded the study.
U-M develops app that calculates risk of delaying cancer treatments during COVID-19
ANN ARBOR As overwhelmed healthcare systems across the country continue to grapple with COVID-19, thousands of cancer patients have had surgeries and other treatments postponed during the health crisis. Drawing on large, national cancer data sets, the OncCOVID app helps assess what risks a patient faces from receiving immediate treatment versus delayed treatment based on their individual characteristics. The app also takes into consideration the impact of COVID-19 on that individuals local community. But each time a cancer patient goes to the hospital to receive care, theyre also putting themselves at higher risk of contracting COVID-19. A series of factors may contribute to the decision by a care provider to recommend delaying or proceeding with cancer treatment, including their capacity to treat local cancer patients safely during the pandemic.
University of Michigan releases video that explains coronavirus to children
For small children experiencing school closures and months without play dates, the experience can be particularly confusing and difficult to grasp. Thats why the University of Michigan School of Public Health created a video for children that provides scientifically accurate information in an engaging way with age-appropriate graphics. Coronavirus is a word people are talking about a lot lately, is how the short video begins with a child narrator. Its creators hope the video will spark constructive conversation about the virus in households with children ages 6 to 11. It also calls young viewers to action to follow public health methods to provide both personal and community protection.