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Is COVID-19 'One and Done?' Experts Ponder Odds for Reinfection, U.S. NEWS & WORLD REPORT, May 29
We'd love to think we're basically one-and-done with this virus, so that if you're infected with the virus, you develop antibodies and the next time you encounter the virus it takes it and it removes it from your body," Jeffrey Shaman, director of the Columbia University Climate and Public Health Program, said during a HealthDay Live! interview. … Scattered studies have found the presence of COVID-19 in the bloodstream of people who appeared to have recovered, Shaman said. But it's not clear whether this is an actual reinfection or something else. "We've seen this over and over again, where people who we really thought were cleared and had tested negative are testing positive subsequently," Shaman said. "We haven't found really definitive evidence it is a repeat infection for these individuals."
Trump marks 'very sad milestone' of 100K coronavirus deaths, THE HILL, May 29
A study by Columbia University released last week found that the U.S. could have prevented roughly 36,000 deaths from the coronavirus through early May if social distancing and stay-at-home orders had been implemented earlier.
We Need a Voice for Public Health in the President’s Cabinet, THE NEW YORK TIMES, Opinion, BYLINE: MICHAEL S. SPARER, May 28
The coronavirus pandemic has exposed crucial shortcomings in our public health system. Plenty of experts said a pandemic was coming, but that didn’t affect a response that included a lack of coordination, inadequate funding and a failure to be strategic. There is no simple solution either to the immediate crisis or to the underlying concerns. But one way to improve the odds that we get the public health system we need, as opposed to the one we have, would be to add a secretary of Public Health Systems to the president’s cabinet. Michael S. Sparer is the chairman of the department of health policy and management at Columbia’s School of Public Health.
Also referenced in Kaiser Health NEWS
Why New York Suffered When Other Cities Were Spared by Covid-19, BLOOMBERG, May 28
“There’s blame to go all around,” said Jeffrey Shaman, director of the climate and health program at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. “We haven’t been confronted with an infectious-disease threat like this for 100 years.”
Also covered in POLITICO
Researchers Ponder Why COVID Appears More Deadly in the U.S. and Europe than in Asia, THE WASHINGTON POST, May 28
“We are all facing the same bug with the same general arsenal of immune responses,” said Jeffrey Shaman, an epidemiologist at Columbia University. “There are differences in testing, reporting, control from country to country. And there are differences in rates of hypertension, chronic lung disease, et cetera, on a country-by-country basis.”
How to Have a Low-Risk Coronavirus Summer, THE GUARDIAN, May 28
Barun Mathema, assistant professor of epidemiology at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, “It has to do with the volume of air. Compare a park to a restaurant in New York: typically a small space, where concentrations [of virus] can get quite high if you have a few people who are infected. Outdoors, it’s harder for virus to become concentrated.”
“Expand gradually, cautiously at first. As we gain more experience, we can adjust our behavior. Initially, small groups of friends and family, people we trust,” Stephen Morse, a professor of epidemiology at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, told MarketWatch. “The decision has to be on an individual basis, as everyone differs in their risk tolerance and personal history. Unfortunately, we don’t have meaningful tests that could tell individuals who’s ‘safe,’ as the tests are still evolving and we’re still learning how to interpret the results. Some people may have recovered from COVID-19 already, and probably can expand their circles more.”
‘Measles Parties’ and Anti-Vaxxers Fueled 2019 Outbreak in NYC, Study Finds, NEW YORK POST, May 28
The study, published Wednesday in the journal Science Advances, helps explain why NYC experienced the US’s largest measles outbreak in three decades in 2018-19. It also speaks to the implications of current declining vaccination rates during the coronavirus pandemic, says Wan Yang, Ph.D., the study’s author. For her research, Yang — an assistant professor of epidemiology at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health — simulated transmissions in an Orthodox Jewish community using city measles case data and a computer model.
For Seniors, COVID-19 Sets Off A Pandemic Of Despair, KAISER HEALTH NEWS, May 28
“[Older adults] are wondering if their lives are going to end shortly for reasons out of their control,” said Dr. Linda Fried, dean of the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University, in a university publication. “They’re wondering if they’ll be able to get the care they need. And most profoundly, they’re wondering if they are going to be cast out of society. If their lives have value.”
Is COVID-19 Falling Harder on Black Prisoners? Officials Won’t Tell Us., THE MARSHALL PROJECT, May 28
“There is a bottlenecking happening,” said Barun Mathema, an epidemiologist at Columbia University. “People of color are being incarcerated at far higher rates than their counterparts, while neighborhoods that are economically or politically disenfranchised will also have an accumulation” of health factors that make them more vulnerable to COVID-19.
US Death Toll From Coronavirus Surges Past 100,000 People, ASSOCIATED PRESS, May 27
Dr. Wafaa El-Sadr, director of ICAP, a global health center at Columbia University, called the U.S. death rate shocking. “It reflects the fact that we have neglected basic fundamentals for health,” El-Sadr said. “So, now we are in this shameful situation. It is the most vulnerable people in our midst — the elderly, the poor, members of racial/ethnic minority groups — who are the ones disproportionately getting sick and dying.”
Also covered in CTV News
The Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer, CNN, May 27
“Unfortunately this is a new entity, a new virus that has dropped in our mists and we are still scrambling to fully understand it. We don't understand the epidemiological characteristics of it. We don't know if the virus is seasonal in that it will be less transmissible in July and August, and then be more transmissible come wintertime. These are things that have important ramifications in how we control the virus on a patient by patient level, how we treat people, and how we prepare for it as a society and in our public health interventions.” Dr. Jeffrey Shaman, professor at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health.
'We All Feel at Risk': 100,000 People Dead From COVID-19 In The U.S., NPR ONLINE, May 27
A study done this month by a Columbia University research team suggests the number of coronavirus deaths in the U.S. could have been considerably lower had Americans been told sooner to stay home and maintain social distancing. … Columbia University's [Jeffrey] Shaman said the U.S. has to keep suppressing the spread of COVID-19 while having an acceptable level of a functioning economy. "That's the hard problem we're trying to address as we try to figure that out and we loosen restrictions," Shaman said.
So, What Can We Do Now?, THE ATLANTIC, May 27
“The appropriate precautions haven’t changed, in my view, until we have more data,” said Stephen Morse, an epidemiologist at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. But Morse and others also acknowledged that many people have grown predictably weary of isolation, and that reopened businesses, like the now-infamous poolside bar at Lake of the Ozarks, will be attractive diversions for some this summer. Extreme isolation isn’t sustainable, and it has to be replaced with something.
'We don't have meaningful tests': As coronavirus pandemic rolls on, is it time to expand your social circle?, MARKET WATCH, May 27
“Expand gradually, cautiously at first. As we gain more experience, we can adjust our behavior. Initially, small groups of friends and family, people we trust,” said Stephen Morse, a professor of epidemiology at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. “The decision has to be on an individual basis, as everyone differs in their risk tolerance and personal history. Unfortunately, we don’t have meaningful tests that could tell individuals who’s ‘safe,’ as the tests are still evolving and we’re still learning how to interpret the results. Some people may have recovered from COVID-19 already, and probably can expand their circles more.”
‘It’s the Death Towers’: How the Bronx Became New York’s Virus Hot Spot, THE NEW YORK TIMES, May 26
“We could have anticipated that the Bronx and other communities of need would have a higher infection rate,” said Diana Hernandez, an assistant professor of sociomedical sciences at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health and a resident of the South Bronx. “It was really a missed opportunity to do testing, contact tracing and outreach to high-risk populations in a more targeted fashion.”
Is defunding the WHO really just a backdoor attack on sexual and reproductive health?, THE HILL, BYLINE: Terry McGovern, May 26
It goes without saying that now is a spectacularly bad time to defund the WHO. We are in the midst of a pandemic and the WHO remains the only international body capable of effectively spearheading the global response. Not only is the WHO responsible for both tracking the spread of COVID-19 and coordinating relief efforts, but the organization also serves as an irreplaceable support to low- and middle-income countries with poor health infrastructures… It should come as no surprise that administration appointees have also frequently called for the creation of an alternative to the WHO, which actively collects global data on abortion incidence and provided key support for the inclusion of safe abortion care in the 2018 revision of the Minimum Initial Services Package (MISP) for sexual and reproductive health. Terry McGovern, chair of the Heilbrunn Department of Population and Family Health at the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University
Also referenced by Kaiser Family Health
Disaster Season is Upon Us. The Pandemic Changes Everything., THE WASHINGTON POST, BYLINE: Irwin Redlener, May 26
The pandemic is about to be joined in the headlines by multiple catastrophic events that will cost lives, wreck communities and exact severe economic tolls on affected populations…Beyond the overall response capacity concerns, conflicting protocols for simultaneous disasters pose unique challenges…One thing is clear: The United States is unprepared to face multiple crises on top of the global pandemic.
Irwin Redlener is professor of Health Policy and Management at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health and director of the Columbia National Center for Disaster Preparedness.
'Tell Me What To Do! Please!': Even Experts Struggle With Coronavirus Unknowns, THE WASHINGTON POST, May 26
Jeffrey Shaman, an influential epidemiologist at Columbia University, said that the health of the economy matters, and that the nation needs to restore economic activity in a way that keeps people safe. “We have to do both those things,” Shaman said. “We want a functioning economy, and we don’t want people getting sick.”
Tracing 'Patient Zero': Why America's First Coronavirus Death May Forever Go Unmarked, THE GUARDIAN, May 26
If previous epidemics are to be a guide, there were multiple patient zeros, said Stephen Morse, an epidemiologist at the Columbia University medical center focused on developing early disease warning systems.
Distress in Seniors Surges Amid Coronavirus Pandemic, CNN, May 25
"[Older adults] are wondering if their lives are going to end shortly for reasons out of their control," said Dr. Linda Fried, dean of the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University, in a university publication. "They're wondering if they'll be able to get the care they need. And most profoundly, they're wondering if they are going to be cast out of society. If their lives have value."
On Weekend Dedicated to War Dead, Trump Tweets Insults, Promotes Baseless Claims and Plays Golf, THE WASHINGTON POST, May 25
In a Sinclair Broadcasting interview, Trump politicized a study from Columbia University indicating that had stringent social distancing been in place a week earlier, the United States could have prevented 36,000 coronavirus deaths through early May — about 40 percent of fatalities reported to date. “Columbia University is a liberal, disgraceful institution, to write that,” Trump said in the interview broadcast Sunday. “I saw that report from Columbia University and it is a disgrace that they would play right to their little group of people to tell them what to do.”
Also covered in New York Daily News
In Survival Mode': The Pandemic Is Devastating the Black LGBTQ Community, VICE, May 25
Dustin Duncan, associate professor in the department of epidemiology at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health, added that high rates of HIV among Black LGBTQ people also make them especially vulnerable to COVID-19. “We know there are significant disparities in immunosuppression and behaviors that contribute to immunosuppression, such as alcohol drinking,” Duncan told VICE. “We also know that there’s an increased rate of smoking among LGBTQ people overall.”
Can You Catch the Coronavirus From Handling Cash? Here's What Experts Say, TECH TIMES, May 25
Some experts say it's better safe than sorry. Dr. Jeffrey Shaman, professor at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health, told CBS News that droplets could live on surfaces, including dollar bills. "It seems like it could be a path for transmission because it's something people commonly share and handle," he said.
Trump Lashes Out Amid Pandemic at Medical Research That's Discordant with His Views, MARKET WATCH, May 23
Trump offered similar pushback Thursday to a new study from Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. It found that more than 61% of COVID-19 infections and 55% of reported deaths — nearly 36,000 people — could have been been prevented had social distancing measures been put in place one week sooner. Trump has repeatedly defended his administration’s handling of the virus in the face of persistent criticism that he acted too slowly.
The ‘Wine Mom’: Who Is She?, THE ATLANTIC, May 23
For what it’s worth, researchers have found little evidence to suggest that binge-drinking is a problem particular to moms… “It’s not something about motherhood” that drives women to drink more, Sarah McKetta, an MD-Ph.D. candidate at Columbia Mailman School of Public Health and one of the study’s authors, told me. “We should be concerned about people binge-drinking, but we shouldn’t be focusing all this concern on moms.”
America Begins to Unlock for Summer - But is it Inviting a Disastrous Second Wave?, THE GUARDIAN, May 23
Stephen Morse, director of the infectious disease epidemiology program at Columbia University medical center, said as long as the virus is circulating in humans, there will be flare-ups as soon as it’s introduced to a street, town or county with enough susceptible people. “It’s like adding kindling to embers,” said Morse.
Parents Really Need a Break. But Is Summer Camp Too Risky?, THE NEW YORK TIMES, May 22
Day camps pose an extra unknown in terms of risk because campers and staff return to their families each night where they could be exposed or spread the virus, said Dr. Jessica Justman, an epidemiologist and professor of medicine at Columbia University’s Irving Medical Center. “Will the amount of virus circulating in the community be low enough so that level of mixing will be OK, or will that trigger a second wave?” she said.
When Amusement Parks Reopen, What Will Tt Be Like?, CNN, May 22
"In my opinion, pool water, fresh water in a lake or river, or seawater exposure would be extremely low transmission risk even without dilution (which would reduce risk further)," said Angela Rasmussen, a virologist at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, in an interview with the The New York Times.
A California Trauma Doctor Claims More People Have Tried to Kill Themselves in the Past Four Weeks of Lockdown Than in a Normal YEAR, and Says Deaths by Suicide Have Far Outstripped the Coronavirus Toll, DAILY MAIL, May 22
During an emergency such as the current pandemic, it's important that the government provide consistent science-based information to the public, said Dr. Wafaa El-Sadr, an epidemiology professor at Columbia University´s Mailman School of Public Health. El-Sadr said having doctors relay contradictory information on behalf of the president is 'quite alarming.'
Lawsuit Prompts New York State to Allow Gatherings of Up To 10 People, GOTHAMIST, May 22
When asked about socializing with people outside, epidemiologist Stephen Morse said, "I think it’s best to err on the side of caution. We can’t say with certainty about any individual, who just might be one of the unlucky ones." Morse's colleague at Columbia University, Barun Mathema, added that in New York City, "We are very much still in this pandemic. Therefore, taking steps to prevent spread is vitally important. This includes preventing acquisition of infection and preventing dissemination of the virus to others unknowingly. At the moment, minimizing social activities or actions that lend itself to coming into close contact with others is really quite important."
US, Russia, Brazil And India Count Latest Surge In Coronavirus Cases, WBUR, May 22
Here & Now's Jeremy Hobson speaks with Dr. Wafaa El-Sadr, professor of epidemiology and medicine at Columbia University.
‘Big Tragedy’ Ahead if Coronavirus Cases Mount Amid Fighting, Afghan Official Says, STARS AND STRIPES, May 22
“Almost always, there’s way, way more infections out there than anyone is realizing,” said Leslie Roberts, an epidemiologist at the Columbia University Medical Center. “The world over, two really big things happen when conflict arrives: the rates of illness and death from the disease that were there go up, and the willingness of people to come in and get tested goes down,” said Roberts, who has studied mortality in Afghanistan and other war-torn countries.
Science Friday, WNYC, May 22
“It’s very important to be aware of how much more affected children, everyone in low income communities, and communities of color have been,” says Frederica Perera, founding director of the Center for Children’s Environmental Health at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. “They have suffered disproportionate exposure to air pollution and they’ve more vulnerable to the impacts of climate change as well.”
Trump Lashes Out At Scientists Whose Findings Contradict Him, ASSOCIATED PRESS, May 22
(Trump) offered similar pushback Thursday to a new study from Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. It found that more than 61% of COVID-19 infections and 55% of reported deaths — nearly 36,000 people — could have been been prevented had social distancing measures been put in place one week sooner. Trump has repeatedly defended his administration's handling of the virus in the face of persistent criticism that he acted too slowly. ”Columbia's an institution that’s very liberal," Trump told reporters Thursday. "I think it’s just a political hit job, you want to know the truth.”
Also covered by ABC NEWS
Virus ‘does not spread easily’ from contaminated surfaces or animals, revised CDC website states, THE WASHINGTON POST, May 21
The change to the CDC website, without formal announcement or explanation, concerns Angela L. Rasmussen, a virologist at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. “A persistent problem in this pandemic has been lack of clear messaging from governmental leadership, and this is another unfortunate example of that trend,” Rasmussen said. “It could even have a detrimental effect on hand hygiene and encourage complacency about physical distancing or other measures…
Considering a Vacation Rental? What to Know Before You Travel, BLOOMBERG, May 21
It’s hard to know right now what the epidemic picture is going to look like in August,” said Dr. Jessica Justman, an associate professor of medicine in epidemiology at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, warning that there could be new and sudden outbreak clusters at any destination. In other words, reading the fine print on your cancellation policy has never been more important… Prepare to pack more than just clothes if you want to reduce your risk, as well as that of local residents. Columbia professor Justman recommends bringing your own groceries, for instance, “so you don’t have to go into a new grocery store.”
President Trump on Thursday dismissed as a "political hit job" a Columbia University study that showed thousands of lives lost to the coronavirus could have been saved with earlier social distancing measures. The president defended his actions to combat the pandemic after The New York Times published findings from the university's disease modelers that roughly 36,000 fewer people in the U.S. would have died from COVID-19 if the country imposed restrictions just one week earlier.
"I was so early. I was earlier than anybody thought… "Columbia is an institution that's very liberal," he added. "I think it's just a political hit job, you want to know the truth." The university study found that by early May about 54,000 fewer people would have died from the virus had those policies been put in place on March 1.
Columbia University researchers point to critical decisions made in March. After researchers at Columbia University this week estimated about 36,000 lives in the United States could have been saved from the novel coronavirus had social distancing and other restrictions been put in place a week earlier in March, the White House on Thursday pointed a finger at China, and the president called it a "political hit job."
Earlier coronavirus lockdown 'could have saved 36,000 lives', BBC NEWS, May 21
A study has estimated there may have been 36,000 fewer coronavirus-related deaths had the US entered lockdown a week earlier in March. The Columbia University research also estimated that around 83% of deaths could have been avoided if measures had been taken two weeks earlier. It suggested that 54,000 fewer people would have died had cities begun locking down on 1 March. President Trump dismissed the report as a "political hit job".
The Lead With Jake Tapper, CNN, May 21
Researchers at Columbia University estimated about 36,000 lives in the United States could have been saved from the novel coronavirus had social distancing and other restrictions been put in place a week earlier in March. President Trump dismissed the report as a "political hit job".
An analysis by Columbia University released Wednesday night concluded that if New York acted even one week earlier in ordering people to stay home and mandating social distancing, it would have spared more than 17,000 lives in the New York metro area. The study evaluated how the entire country would have fared had it taken faster action and determined that roughly 36,000 fewer people would have died from the fast-spreading virus had people been forced to keep their distance from one another one week earlier in March.
Study finds early intervention key to blocking coronavirus spread, Rachel Maddow Show, MSNBC (VIDEO), May 21
Jeffrey Shaman, professor of environmental health sciences at Columbia University School of Public Health, talks with Rachel Maddow about how the doubling nature of the spread of coronavirus makes it crucially important to act quickly in the early stages of an outbreak before cases balloon.
New COVID-19 Models Shows Why Early Action Matters, PBS NEWS HOUR, May 21
A newly released analysis of coronavirus' spread in the U.S. suggests a haunting hypothetical: that if social distancing and stay-at-home orders had been implemented only a week earlier, more than 30,000 lives might have been saved. If you take a look at using as a template South Korea, where they instituted early action, they did widespread testing, contact tracing, and the numbers have diminished dramatically — as a matter of fact, they're getting back to work. Professor Jeffrey Shaman is the lead author. He's at Columbia University. He elaborated on that a little bit further.
A study by Columbia University suggests tens of thousands of lives could have been saved if we began social distancing earlier. "Our estimates are that a majority of deaths would have been prevented, just over 50% of them would have been reduced if we had acted just a week earlier," said researcher and epidemiologist Dr. Jeffrey Shaman. He determined that not only would this have prevented death, there would have been at least 700,000 fewer infections had Americans been told to socially distance on March 8…"This study shows the power of physical distancing," said Dr. Shaman.
More than 500 doctors signed a letter to President Trump calling the state coronavirus lockdowns a 'mass casualty event' causing 'millions of casualties' from alcoholism, homelessness, suicide and other causes. During an emergency such as the current pandemic, it's important that the government provide consistent science-based information to the public, said Dr. Wafaa El-Sadr, an epidemiology professor at Columbia University´s Mailman School of Public Health…El-Sadr said having doctors relay contradictory information on behalf of the president is 'quite alarming
Social Distancing a Week Earlier Could Have Saved 36,000 American Lives, Study Says, THE WASHINGTON POST, May 21
New research from Columbia University epidemiologists offered one possible answer. If the same kind of social distancing had been in place seven days earlier, their study found, the United States could have prevented 36,000 deaths through early May — about 40 percent of fatalities reported to date. “If you don’t take steps to fight the growth rate aggressively, you get much worse consequences,” Jeffrey Shaman, an environmental health sciences professor who led the study, told The Washington Post. His team’s analysis used infectious disease modeling to examine the spread of the virus from March 15, when many people nationwide began staying home, until May 3. Then, Shaman and other researchers modeled another scenario: What if government officials had closed everything down one week earlier?
HD Live! Preview: How Big Is the Risk of COVID-19 Reinfection After Recovery?, HEALTH DAY, May 21
New research from Columbia University says that reinfections with coronaviruses are not uncommon, and they could even happen within a year of prior infection. Jeffrey Shaman, PhD, Director of the Climate and Health Program at Columbia University, is one of the world's experts in modeling the spread of infectious disease. He is a professor in the Department of Environmental Health Sciences at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health. Watch a preview above, and see the full interview here on Friday, May 22, at 4:30 p.m. ET.
Lockdown Delays Cost at Least 36,000 Lives, Data Show, THE NEW YORK TIMES, May 20
“It’s a big, big difference. That small moment in time, catching it in that growth phase, is incredibly critical in reducing the number of deaths,” said Jeffrey Shaman, an epidemiologist at Columbia and the leader of the research team. The findings are based on infectious disease modeling that gauges how reduced contact between people starting in mid-March slowed transmission of the virus. Dr. Shaman’s team modeled what would have happened if those same changes had taken place one or two weeks earlier and estimated the spread of infections and deaths until May 3. The results show that as states reopen, outbreaks can easily get out of control unless officials closely monitor infections and immediately clamp down on new flare-ups. And they show that each day that officials waited to impose restrictions in early March came at a great cost.
Trump Allies Lining Up Doctors to Prescribe Rapid Reopening, ASSOCIATED PRESS, May 20
During an emergency such as the current pandemic, it’s important that the government provide consistent science-based information to the public, said Dr. Wafaa El-Sadr, an epidemiology professor at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. El-Sadr said having doctors relay contradictory information on behalf of the president is “quite alarming. I find it totally irresponsible to have physicians who are touting some information that’s not anchored in evidence and not anchored in science,” El-Sadr said. “What often creates confusion is the many voices that are out there, and many of those voices do have a political interest, which is the hugely dangerous situation we are at now.”
New GOP Reopening Plan: Put Right-Wing Doctors on TV to Parrot Trump Talking Points, VANITY FAIR, May 20
Dr. Wafaa El-Sadr, an epidemiology professor at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, said about the GOP initiative: “What often creates confusion is the many voices that are out there, and many of those voices do have a political interest, which is the hugely dangerous situation we are at now.”
What To Expect At NYC Beaches This Summer? "Human Waste" And Lots Of Cops, GOTHAMIST, May 20
"The beach in of itself is not the problem, it's what we do in these inherent social environments," said Barun Mathema, an assistant professor of epidemiology at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. "What are the meaningful and acceptable ways that the city can open [beaches] while protecting its citizens? That's the big question."
What Happens to the Coronavirus When it gets Warmer?, BBC News, May 20
The bottom line is whatever effect the summer will have on the coronavirus, it is still going to be able to spread “given the high level of susceptibility in the broader population for the virus to get around and move from person to person,” said Jeffrey Shaman, a professor of environmental health sciences at Columbia University. "It’s hard to say too much about the coronavirus because we only have months’ worth of data, unlike other viruses for which there are years of data. And whatever available data there is could vary by reporting requirements and standards in different countries: not all places document and report infections at the same level of detail. All of this makes it a bit challenging to actually unlock this by looking at case data or death data or hospitalization data,” Shaman said.
Ask An Epidemiologist: Is It Safe To Socialize In The Open Air?, GOTHAMIST, May 19
Epidemiologists Stephen Morse and Barun Mathema looked at the above photos from Sunday, and shared their thoughts with Gothamist. "The pictures show an interesting mix," Morse observed. "Some social distancing, some wearing masks and avoiding looking straight at each other (South Korea recommended this so you’re not in someone’s direct line of breath), some throwing caution to the wind. [But] until we know more, I think it’s best to err on the side of caution. We can’t say with certainty about any individual, who just might be one of the unlucky ones."
"The safest way to socialize is with physical separation," Mathema instructed. "Even as societies slowly start opening up, we will still need to maintain a certain amount of distancing [at least 6 feet] — this is really necessary when interacting with others that are not part of your own household. As is handwashing. This would be true even in the open air (surely transmission risk is lower outdoors but still a risk as there is some evidence on the aerosol production with infectious particles). Socializing without practicing these principles is not at all advised or beneficial for the individual, families or community."
Way Too Late’: Inside Amazon’s Biggest Outbreak, THE NEW YORK TIMES, May 19
An Amazon warehouse in the Poconos section of Pennsylvania has become the company’s largest COVID-19 hotspot after missing early opportunities to protect workers. The company in February began consulting with Dr. Ian Lipkin, an infectious-disease specialist at Columbia University, who advised introducing checks for fever, social distancing and other measures. “They wanted to stay ahead of the science as best they could,” Dr. Lipkin said.
You Probably Won't Catch the Coronavirus from Swimming. It's the Crowds on the Beach that Matter., BUSINESS INSIDER, May 19
Dr. Angela Rasmussen, a virologist at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, said “Even fresh or salt water is highly unlikely to spread the coronavirus since other coronaviruses aren't stable in water.”
No Offense, but is This a Joke?’ Inside the Underground Market for Face Masks., THE WASHINGTON POST, May 18
Re. medical masks Dr. Stephen Morse, an epidemiologist at Columbia University who has advised many Republican and Democratic administrations on planning for a pandemic, said “The lack of preparation and coordination has been appalling, In past disasters, the federal government, with its enormous buying power, took the lead in procurement,” he said. “This time, federal inaction forced states into competing with each other for these scarce products. ”
Public health officials, including many Columbia public health experts, wrote a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Azar criticizing the Trump administration for using a public health law to seal off the border from those seeking refuge. "We, as a set of colleagues, have been feeling increasingly uneasy on the public health basis," Monette Zard, director of the Forced Migration and Health Program at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, said. "It's not looking like a genuine response to Covid and more like immigration policy in another guise. "What perhaps you could excuse as a short term emergency measure to reorient procedures and processes has now stretched out for a couple of months," Zard added.
Where Chronic Health Conditions and Coronavirus Could Collide, THE NEW YORK TIMES, May 18
“Places that have not seen a lot of infection yet should be thinking about what infection is going to mean once they have an outbreak there,” said Micaela E. Martinez, a professor at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. “This infection is highly contagious and we have no vaccine, so it will inevitably sweep through our populations unless we have very tight measures in place to prevent that from happening,” Dr. Martinez said. Once it does, the overall health of a community will matter, she added.
Rate of New U.S. Coronavirus Cases Is Declining, U.S NEWS AND WORLD REPORT, May 17
"We're seeing a decline; undoubtedly, that is something good to see," Jeffrey Shaman, an epidemiologist at Columbia University in New York City, told the Times. "But what we are also seeing is a lot of places right on the edge of controlling the disease."
It raises the question: “Of the people who are staying home, how rigorously are they staying at home?” Stephen Morse, professor of epidemiology at the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University, who focuses on risk assessment of infectious diseases, tells CNBC Make It. “Just because we’re tired doesn’t mean that the virus cares,” he says. “Viruses have no emotions; they just do their thing.”
Go Outside, Experts Say. But Keep Your Distance and Have a Mask Handy., THE NEW YORK TIMES, May 15
Although scientists don’t have data on the novel coronavirus specifically, other coronaviruses are not stable in water and are very sensitive to chlorine, said Angela Rasmussen, a virologist at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health…Pool water, fresh water in a lake or river, or seawater exposure would be extremely low transmission risk even without dilution (which would reduce risk further). Probably the biggest risk for summer water recreation is crowds — a crowded pool locker room, dock or beach, especially if coupled with limited physical distancing or prolonged proximity to others. The most concentrated sources of virus in such an environment will be the people hanging out at the pool, not the pool itself.”
When compared with many other countries — including Canada, South Korea, Iran, Russia, Poland and Switzerland — the U.S. numbers don't do very well. "We have higher levels of deaths per capita than [those] countries and many others," said Jeffrey Shaman, a professor of environmental health sciences at Columbia University.
Tracing the Origins of the Novel Coronavirus, THE CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR, May 13
Ian Lipkin, director of the Center for Infection and Immunity at the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University, said he is cooperating with a Chinese team to research whether this novel coronavirus existed in other parts of China before it was discovered in Wuhan in December, according to a Financial Times report. Dr. Lipkin worked on the 2003 SARS outbreak and has close professional ties in China, through which he is seeking access to key Chinese data important for international collaboration on the virus.
COVID-19 Cases In New York City, A Neighborhood Level Analysis, WGBH (NPR Boston) Online, May 15
Early research has revealed that people of color, and those living in poverty and crowded housing situations have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19. But these findings have come as no surprise to Diana Hernández, who grew up in the South Bronx and is still a resident of the diverse and historically low-income New York City neighborhood, which is a hotspot for the virus. The assistant professor of sociomedical sciences at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health - who studies how the places that we live impact our well-being.
Disease Modelers Are Wary of Reopening the Country. Here's How They Arrive at their Verdict., THE WASHINGTON POST, May 14
“The math is unfortunately pretty simple,” said Jeffrey Shaman, a leading epidemiologist at Columbia University. “It’s not a matter of whether infections will increase but by how much.” To answer that question — by how much? — epidemiologists like Shaman use computer models to project a range of possible futures based on assumptions about the nature of the disease and how society will react to it.
Trump’s Comparison Of COVID-19 Death Rates In Germany, US Is Wrong, KAISER HEALTH NEW, May 14
“We have higher levels of deaths per capita than [those] countries and many others,” said Jeffrey Shaman, a professor of environmental health sciences at Columbia University.
S47 E9: Decoding COVID-19 (video), NOVA, May 13
“When we saw this outbreak, we were struck with the rapidity with which it spread geographically within China and how quickly it translocated to other countries around the globe.” Jeffery Shaman, professor of environmental health sciences at Columbia University. (11:57 mark)
Public Health Deans Call on Cuomo to Overrule de Blasio on contact tracing, POLITICO, May 13
Linda Fried, Dean of Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, called on Governor Cuomo to overrule Mayor de Blasio’s decision to have the city’s contact tracing program run by public hospitals and instead have it be overseen by the city health department. Warning that the public won’t trust Health + Hospitals, “which has no record or experience in contact tracing,” Fried, said Mayor Bill de Blasio’s recent decision amounts to an “unlawful transfer of authority” which “will result in concrete and irreversible damage to individual New York City and State residents.”
The petition is also signed by Dr. Wafaa El-Sadr, University Professor of Epidemiology and Medicine at Columbia University, among other leaders in health and social activism.
Massachusetts death rate seems to be climbing, but it’s not the full picture, THE BOSTON GLOBE, May 13
The first is a simple lack of complete data. Many cases of COVID-19 are going uncounted. “The cases we are detecting in the US are predominantly people who come to us with symptoms,” said Columbia University professor Jeffrey Shaman, who studies infectious disease transmission and forecasting. “There are a lot of people out there with mild or limited symptoms or with no symptoms. They don’t seek medical care because they don’t know they have the virus. Those cases are going to be undocumented.”
Fauci Says U.S. Death Toll Is Likely Higher. Other COVID-19 Stats Need Adjusting, Too, NPR, May 13
"The [under]reporting issue for death numbers is less severe than case numbers, but it still exists," says Sen Pei, a public health research scientist at Columbia University.
Did the Coronavirus Originate Outside of Wuhan?, US NEWS & WORLD REPORT, May 13
Ian Lipkin, a virologist at Columbia University, is working with Chinese researchers to investigate hospital samples in China to see if there is more evidence that the outbreak occurred elsewhere in China before it was picked up in Wuhan. "He is conducting the kind of work my research is pointing at," Forster says.
Pelosi's Pandemic Strategy, POLITICO, May 12
“Something that concerns me is places that don't have sufficient medical resources to contend with another surge of patients. I’m talking about places like New York, but I am very concerned about ring counties that surround major counties. Maybe they are not as dense, but they have a decent chance of having a reoccurrence, and they have fewer medical resources. I’m looking at areas around Indianapolis, Des Moines, the Twin Cities — these look like places that might be exceeding their medical capacity.” — Charles Branas, chair of the Department of Epidemiology at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health
Today’s Children are the Pandemic Generation. For Millions, the Future is Now Grim., THE WASHINGTON POST, OPINION: Irwin Redlener, May 12
The sudden closing of schools and elimination of educational summer activities in many communities might have lifelong consequences for children who already live with severe social and economic adversities, impairing even further their ability to read at grade level, graduate from high school on time and have equitable access to post-education opportunities generally… We should acknowledge that some children have exhibited unexpectedly high levels of resiliency and independence while dealing with the restrictions and disruptions imposed by the pandemic. That said, for millions of children, the outlook is grim.
Irwin Redlener, a pediatrician, directs the National Center for Disaster Preparedness at the Earth Institute and is a professor at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health
For Many San Franciscans, Covid-19 Recalls the HIV Crisis — and That May Have Helped the City Respond, CNBC, May 12
China Stalls Global Hunt for Origins of Virus in Wuhan, WALL STREET JOURNAL, May 12
Dr. Ian Lipkin, a professor of Epidemiology at the Mailman School of Public Health, explained that China’s CDC originally thought that the virus came from a wet market in Wuhan, but they haven’t been able to identify the source due to “too much contamination.” Ian Lipkin, a virologist at Columbia University who visited China in late January to help combat the virus, said his Chinese contacts told him that the China CDC did take samples from animals and meat at the market. Dr. Lipkin, who also helped tackle SARS, said that George Gao, the China CDC chief, was initially convinced that the culprit was a bamboo rat, a rodent often sold as meat in China.
"After they went through and did this exhaustive search of the live and the dead and the frozen animals in various freezers, and they didn't come up with anything, they had to revise their model," said Dr. Lipkin.
COVID-19 Survivors Could Suffer Health Effects For Years, BLOOMBERG, May 12
“There is such a wide range in the way the illness affects people. The various stakeholders need solid data to help them understand the breadth and duration of long term effects,” said Jessica Justman, a professor of medicine in epidemiology at Columbia University.
Antipoaching Tech Tracks COVID-19 Flare-Ups in South Africa, SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN, May 12
“The household survey is a key part of active surveillance to understand community transmission [and] generate geospatial maps of distribution” to focus interventions, says Quarraisha Abdool Karim, an infectious disease epidemiologist at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health and the University of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa. She developed some of the survey procedures.
CDC Docs Stress Plans for More Virus Flareups, ASSOCIATED PRESS, May 12
Such detailed advice should have been available much earlier, said Stephen Morse, a Columbia University expert on the spread of diseases. “Many different places are considering how to safely develop return-to-work procedures. Having more guidance on that earlier on might have been more reassuring to people. And it might have have prevented some cases,” Morse said.
Don't Open Businesses Until Rapid Reliable Testing Is Available Everywhere, OPINION: Irwin Redlener, May 12
This mad rush, most notably led by Georgia’s Governor Brian Kemp (R), is fraught with the danger of new, uncontrollable surges of COVID-19. If the reopening is not done properly, there could well be tens of thousands of potentially avoidable pandemic deaths throughout the nation.
Irwin Redlener, MD, is a professor of Health Policy and Management at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health. He is also director of the National Center for Disaster Preparedness at Columbia's Earth Institute.
Virus Conspiracists Elevate a Discredited Scientist as a New Champion., THE NEW YORK TIMES, May 11
Dr. Ian Lipkin, the director of the Center for Infection and Immunity at Columbia University, said in an interview on Saturday morning that Dr. Fauci had asked him in 2011 to design a study that would address whether Dr. Mikovits and others could reproduce her research showing an association between XMRV, the mouse retrovirus, and chronic fatigue syndrome. He pointed to a September 2012 news conference at Columbia in which Dr. Mikovits admitted the link her original research had made between the mouse retrovirus and chronic fatigue syndrome was “simply not there.”
Jobs Picture will get Worse Before Improving, Treasury Secretary Says, LOS ANGELES TIMES, May 11
Speaking on the same program, Jeffrey Shaman of Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health said he expected a rebound in coronavirus cases as states proceeded with “patchwork” reopenings. He said much more could have been accomplished in the two months since the outbreak began in earnest in the United States. “We have not used the eight weeks as well as we could have, unfortunately,” Shaman said. “It would have benefited enormously from consistent messaging and a concerted, consolidated plan of attack for actually aggressively and proactively dealing with this virus.”
Risk of Reopening US Economy Too Fast: A W-Shaped Recovery, ASSOCIATED PRESS, May 11
Last week, researchers at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health warned that easing stay-at-home orders and allowing people to mingle more freely would mean that “new COVID-19 cases and deaths will rebound in late May.’’ The Columbia researchers predict a resurgence of cases two to four weeks after states begin to reopen.
Doctors Keep Discovering New Ways the Coronavirus Attacks the Body, WASHINGTON POST, May 11
“We don’t know why there are so many disease presentations,” said Angela Rasmussen, a virologist at the Center for Infection and Immunity at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. “Bottom line, this is just so new that there’s a lot we don’t know.”
How Some African Countries are Beginning to Ease Coronavirus Lockdowns, NEW SCIENTIST, May 11
Dr. Wafaa El-Sadr, a professor in epidemiology at Columbia University, said that South Africa has “responded vigorously” to COVID-19, which “highlights the importance of political leadership and will.”
Coronavirus Updates: Some New York Regions Meet Guidelines to Begin Reopening Friday, THE GOTHAMIST, May 11
“We don’t know why there are so many disease presentations,” Angela Rasmussen, a virologist at the Center for Infection and Immunity at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, told the Post. “Bottom line, this is just so new that there’s a lot we don’t know.” The growing list of symptoms has become increasingly alarming—from strokes and neurological issues to kidney and heart damage. Less serious effects include vomiting, diarrhea and pinkeye.
Scientists Expect an Acceleration of Coronavirus Cases as States Reopen, MARKET WATCH, May 11
Jeffrey Shaman, professor of environmental health sciences at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, agreed there would be a “rebound” in cases as a result of the patchwork response from federal and state officials… People who get infected today aren’t seen as confirmed cases for a couple weeks. So the growth of cases won’t be seen until the end of May, Shaman said. “In a lot of the states in which they are loosening restrictions — they are barely hanging on. In some of them, they already have growth of the virus taking place,” he added.
Infectious Disease Expert: 'We are Going to See a Growth in Cases' in Coming Weeks, THE HILL, May 10
Columbia University infectious diseases expert Jeffrey Shaman predicted Sunday that the U.S. will see a growth in coronavirus cases in coming weeks as some states loosen restrictions Shaman said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” that Trump administration officials have not taken full advantage of the past eight weeks of near-total lockdowns, saying that the period would have “benefitted enormously from consistent messaging” from the White House.
How Long Immunity Lasts After a Coronavirus Infection and What that Means for Vaccines, THE PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, May 10
In one case, the second positive test occurred within a month of the first, so it might have been the same infection, said Jeffrey Shaman, a professor of environmental health sciences at Columbia’s Mailman School of Public Health. But generally, it seemed the immune system couldn’t recognize, and fight off, coronaviruses it had encountered just a few months before.
Covid-19 School Closings May Spur Childhood Obesity, Experts Warn, THE WASHINGTON POST, May 10
“Weight gained each summer accumulates year after year since children don’t usually lose it when they return to school,” says Andrew Rundle, who heads the childhood obesity research project within the Columbia (University) Center for Children’s Environmental Health. … Shelter-in-place orders, with parents working from home, likely contribute to obesity by decreasing physical activity, “especially for children living in urban areas with limited access to outdoor space safe for social distancing,” says Eliza Whiteman Kinsey, a postdoctoral research scientist at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. “Parents working from home... is also likely to increase screen time [for children.]”
Meet The Press, NBC, May 10
Jeffrey Shaman, Director of the Climate and Health Program at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, said, “What I think we are probably going to see over the coming weeks towards the end of the month is we are just going to start to see a growth in cases. It's not going to happen over the next week or two.”
Also covered on the New York Daily News, Marketwatch and The Hill
Referenced by Los Angeles Times
The Coronavirus Is Mutating. That's Normal. Does That Mean It's More Dangerous?, NPR ONLINE, May 8
"I think that it is an important observation," says Angela Rasmussen, a virologist at Columbia Mailman School of Public Health, "We have seen in other virus epidemics, such as the Ebola epidemic, that there are these mutations that seem to persist and become the dominant form of the virus." However, Rasmussen says, there's no clear evidence that the mutation referenced in the paper does anything to change how the virus spreads.
Experts Worry Health Inequalities, Highlighted By Coronavirus, Will Continue To Grow, THE GOTHAMIST, May 8
“The reality of COVID is that it has exposed and exacerbated certain health inequalities,” said Diana Hernandez, an assistant professor of sociomedical sciences at Columbia University, during a discussion Columbia hosted with public health experts Thursday on the disparate impacts of the virus. “The color line has existed historically in this country.”
Here’s What Public Health Experts Think Our Pandemic Summer Will Look Like, BUZZFEED NEWS, May 8
A Columbia University School of Public Health analysis released on Thursday, for example, projected how US daily coronavirus death rates will change through the middle of June, depending on three scenarios for how people behave in coming weeks. In one scenario…contacts increased by 10% every week in reopened states. … “The dip is very worrisome, people see lower cases and think there isn’t a problem, so they increase their contacts,” which leads to more deaths weeks later, Columbia’s Sen Pei, a coauthor on the analysis, told BuzzFeed News. “We expect people will change their behavior once they see deaths racing upward again,” he said.
The Emerging Long-Term Complications of Covid-19, Explained, VOX, May 8
“In China, doctors noted some people coming [in] with chest pain,” says Mitchell Elkind, president-elect of the American Heart Association and professor of neurology and epidemiology at Columbia University. “They had a heart attack, and then developed Covid symptoms or tested positive after.”
U.S. Expert Says Race to Find COVID-19 Vaccine Still Needs to be Careful, CGTN, May 7
CGTN spoke to Jessica Justman, ICAP's senior technical director at the Columbia University Medical Center. She didn't believe that it would be possible to have a vaccine that's really ready to go by the end of this year. She said, "As much as we want everybody to go quickly, we also want everybody to be careful and develop a vaccine that is both safe and truly effective. There's no point vaccinating people with something that will be harmful."
Most who recover from coronavirus carry antibodies, study finds, THE NEW YORKER, May 8
This week, a group of researchers at Columbia University’s Department of Environmental Health Sciences released a report projecting that covid-19 cases and deaths will rise significantly if more states continue to lift shelter-in-place orders and reopen businesses. The researchers, who drew from ten weeks of county-level data on daily confirmed cases and deaths, predict a resurgence in covid-19 deaths and incidence beginning in late May, two to four weeks after some states begin to loosen restrictions. “These findings indicate that most states are not well-positioned to re-open their economies and simultaneously control the spread of covid-19 infections,” the report states.
Scientists Are Trying To Understand Whether People Can Be Immune To The Coronavirus, NPR, May 8
Are antibodies actually protecting people from further infection? And if so, for how long? Jeffrey Shaman at Columbia University is one of many scientists exploring that. “This, to me, is one of the big unanswered questions that we have because it really says, what is the full exit strategy to this, and how long are we going to be contending with it?”
China backs WHO investigating origin of Covid-19, hits out at US 'politicising issue', South China Morning News, May 8
On the ground, US scientists are already working with China to investigate the outbreak. Ian Lipkin, director of the Centre for Infection and Immunity at the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University, is working with a team of Chinese researchers to determine whether the virus emerged in other parts of China before it was first reported in Wuhan in December
Librarians Are Being Enlisted to Help in the Battle Against Coronavirus, MARKET WATCH, May 8
Contact tracing, a mainstay of public-health work, has long been employed around the world for conditions like tuberculosis, HIV and other sexually transmitted infections, said public-health physician S. Patrick Kachur, a professor of population and family health at Columbia University Medical Center. “When you identify a case of an infectious disease, you want to understand not only where that person might have acquired the illness, but who it is they’ve been in contact with since they acquired that illness and since they might have been infectious,” he told MarketWatch. “The idea is to work with the index case to understand who those people are, and then reach out to them so that they can take measures to prevent ongoing transmission.”
"This to me is one of the big unanswered questions that we have," says Jeffrey Shaman, a professor of environmental health sciences at Columbia University, "because it really says, 'What is the full exit strategy to this and how long are we going to be contending with it?' "
Finding Coronavirus' Patient Zero; and a Guilty Bat, CBS News, May 7
The origin of the COVID-19 virus — SARS-CoV-2 — could be determined by collecting blood samples from different parts of China that had been drawn and stored in the country prior to the winter of 2019, according to Dr. Ian Lipkin of Columbia University's Center for Infection and Immunity, and then testing them for antibodies to see if the virus was present in another area before the devastating Wuhan outbreak. "I want to find out where it came from and find drugs to defeat it," Dr. Lipkin told CBS News in a phone interview. Lipkin hopes to be able to collaborate with Chinese researchers to access local blood banks to determine if the virus was present anywhere from one to ten years ago. He had conducted similar research with the virus that caused MERS. But conducting such research takes time and access.
Americans Deeply Wary of Reopening as White House Weighs Ending Covid-19 Task Force, The Washington Post, May 7
Jeffrey Shaman, a top epidemiologist who leads the Columbia group, said it is particularly alarming that states are reopening without first developing the tools needed to detect and control the virus. “The rebound will be masked because of the lag in the system,” he predicted. “By the time you recognize the rebound, it could be too late. Cases will still increase for another two weeks or more.”
Track Your State's Testing; What A Possible Mutation Means, NPR, May 7, 2020 – “Most of the viruses, actually, probably don't even have the capacity to infect humans.” That's Simon Anthony at Columbia University Medical Center. For scientists to find a coronavirus in the wild that had already evolved in a way that was highly infectious to people - those are just lottery odds.
Epidemiologists Answer Your Latest Questions About The Coronavirus Pandemic, WBUR, May 7
A new report considers evidence that possibly suggests the coronavirus was circulating outside of China as early as late last year. We talk to epidemiologists about how that changes what we know about the virus. Guests include, Angela Rasmussen, associate research scientist at the Center for Infection and Immunity at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health.
Experts Warn of 'Intolerable Backslide' if COVID-19 Restrictions Are Eased Too Soon, Voice of America,
“We’re risking a backslide that will be intolerable,” said Dr. Ian Lipkin of Columbia University in New York.
F.D.A. Paves Way for Home Testing of Coronavirus, THE NEW YORK TIMES, May 7
Dr. Angela Rasmussen, a virologist at the Center of Infection and Immunity at Columbia’s School of Public Health, said she worried commercial labs could be overwhelmed by millions of specimens. She also wondered whether health authorities have the capacity to act on the results and do labor-intensive contact tracing, notifying people who might have been exposed to the virus and making sure they self-quarantine. “Widespread home testing would be a game changer, but the logistics of this are going to be a huge challenge,” she said.
Amazon Lends its Expertise — and its Cash — to Covid-19 Research, STAT News, May 7
Every week, a team from Amazon meets virtually with Columbia researchers including W. Ian Lipkin, director of Columbia University’s Center for Infection and Immunity and the principal investigator on the trial, to talk about the study, how it is progressing, and to go over logistics and pending approvals. Amazon was also influential in the design of the study and suggested that health care workers be included as one of the groups
World gambles with looser lockdowns, risking coronavirus revival, AL JAZEERA ONLINE, May 7
Wafaa El-Sadr, professor of epidemiology at Columbia University, said easing curbs in some states while the US remained in the grip of the pandemic was a "risk and a gamble" as "epidemics don't know borders". "A major Achilles heel for many states in the US is the availability of sufficient testing capability," she said. "Another challenge is the urgent need for a large cadre of health workers poised to do the hard work of going out into communities to expand testing, do case and contract tracing."
Ways to Help Older Neighbors and Relatives in Isolation (and How They Can Help You), The Washington Post, May 6
None of these solutions are perfect, but Linda Fried, the dean of the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University, said there’s a way to reframe our situation positively as an altruistic act. “We’re not socially isolating; we’re physically isolating,” Fried said over the phone. “Not just to protect ourselves, but to protect our community.”
The Virus Is Winning, The New York Times, May 6
A new Columbia University study by Drs. Shaman, Teresa Yamana and Sen Pei of the Mailman School of Public Health suggests that we may face a rebound in deaths by late this month because of the easing of restrictions, just as a model used by the Trump administration shows deaths increasing to 3,000 daily by June 1.
'If This Thing Boomerangs': Second Wave of Infections Feared, ASSOCIATED PRESS, May 6
As Europe and the U.S. loosen their lockdowns against the coronavirus, health experts are expressing growing dread over what they say is an all-but-certain second wave of deaths and infections that could force governments to clamp back down. “We’re risking a backslide that will be intolerable,” said Dr. Ian Lipkin of Columbia University’s Center for Infection and Immunity.
More Contagious Form of the Coronavirus ‘Rapidly Emerging’ As Dominant Strain, Study Says, New York Magazine, May 6
Angela Rasmussen, a Columbia University virologist, tweeted that the D614G may very well be a more transmissible form of the virus, but the Los Alamos study is not a good way to determine that. “We won’t know until this is tested experimentally,” she wrote.
Coronavirus Cases, Deaths Projected to Rise as Georgia Reopens, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, May 6
An approach worked so well in South Korea -- the country of more than 51 million put the novel coronavirus in check while businesses remained open, observed Columbia University Professor Jeffrey Shaman, an expert in infectious disease projections who is with that college’s team of COVID-19 modelers. One reason South Korea’s approach is so powerful is that it identifies and isolates people who are infected before they show symptoms, keeping them from unwittingly spreading the virus. “They’ve really throttled the disease,” he said.
Americans Deeply Wary of Reopening as White House Weighs Ending COVID-19 Task Force, The Philadelphia Inquirer, May 6
Jeffrey Shaman, a top epidemiologist who leads the Columbia group, said it is particularly alarming that states are reopening without first developing the tools needed to detect and control the virus. "The rebound will be masked because of the lag in the system," he predicted. "By the time you recognize the rebound, it could be too late. Cases will still increase for another two weeks or more."
Homebound Kids Are at Risk for Weight Gain, The New York Times, May 5
Wrote that school closures may put students at risk of obesity and health problems, especially if students will be home from school for double the length of their normal summer vacations. Dr. Andrew Rundle of the Mailman School of Public Health said his research shows that kids experience unhealthy weight gain during the summer, “more so for African-American and Hispanic kids, and that the weight gain that occurs during the summer does not get worked off during the school year.”
The NYPD and Social Distancing; Appreciating Building Service Workers; Race and the Pandemic ..., WNYC, May 5
Dr. Jessica Justman, senior technical director at ICAP at Columbia, a global health center at the Mailman School of Public Health, associate professor said, “It will be interesting to hear the stories that may turn into dada about where the new cases are coming from. I think that we can learn that through contact tracing as well and these are going to be measures that are going to be increasingly possible as cases come down.” Dr. Justman continued on to answering listener questions.
Antibodies Play Large Role in Possible Coronavirus Cure: Doctor, Fox Business News, May 5
Dr. Ian Lipkin, director of the Center for Infection and Immunity, who provided insights into the discovery of an antibody that blocks the coronavirus from infecting cells. Dr. Lipkin said there are a number of not well-validated antibody tests going around and it’s still unclear whether antibodies make one immune to COVID-19.
The Tricky Math Behind Coronavirus Death Predictions, The Wall Street Journal, May 5
The modelers at Columbia University, for instance, make their projections with three different social-distancing scenarios: 20%, 30% or 40% reduction of person-to-person contact in U.S. counties with at least 10 cases, and assume that social distancing increases with more new cases and remains in place indefinitely.
New Studies Add to Evidence that Children May Transmit the Coronavirus, The New York Times, May 5
“Are any of these studies definitive? The answer is ‘No, of course not,’” said Jeffrey Shaman, an epidemiologist at Columbia University who was not involved in either study. But, he said, “to open schools because of some uninvestigated notion that children aren’t really involved in this, that would be a very foolish thing.”
Americans Deeply Wary of Reopening as White House Weighs Ending Covid-19 Task Force, The Washington Post, May 5
On Monday, a modeling group at Columbia University — whose work has been used by New York leaders, as well as the White House — released research showing that even a small increase in the contact rate among individuals will lead to a rebound in transmission and an increase in cases, hospitalizations and deaths.“These findings indicate that most states are not well-positioned to reopen their economies and simultaneously control the spread of COVID-19 infections,” the researchers concluded.
Push to Reopen National Parks Sparks Pandemic Concerns, The Hill, May 5
Susan Michaels-Strasser, an epidemiology professor at Columbia University, told The Hill that she believes reopening the parks might be “premature.” “We’re still deep in the midst of a pandemic,” Michaels-Strasser said, adding that the decision to open the parks would require a balance of factors such as the capacity to respond to an uptick in cases and the adoption of widespread testing. “A lot of pieces of the puzzle have to come together to give the public health systems the data needed to know if it’s getting worse or if it’s getting better or staying the same, and right now those systems are not in place,” she said.
Trump's 100,000 Dead Projection Gets Muddied by Reopenings, Bloomberg, May 4
“People’s behavior is essentially unpredictable,” said Sen Pei, an associate research scientist of environmental health sciences at Columbia University who is part of a team modeling the coronavirus in counties across the country. “We can’t predict what will happen tomorrow.”
Can Survivors Get Reinfected With Coronavirus?, U.S. News & World Report, May 4
For the study Jeffrey Shaman, a professor of environmental health sciences at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, reported that it was not uncommon for people with coronaviruses (not the one that causes COVID-19) to have repeat infections within one year. But the symptoms in these cases were not severe. Shaman and colleagues looked only at the four coronaviruses that are endemic in humans -- the kind that cause nothing worse than cold symptoms…So it's hard to know whether our experiences with endemic coronaviruses will translate to SARS-CoV-2 -- the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. "It's not the same as these endemic viruses," Shaman said. "But obviously, we can't look at repeat infections with [SARS-CoV-2], because it's new….but how often reinfections occur, and in what time frame -- may at least give a sense of what could happen with the new virus.
Dr. Ian Lipkin of the Mailman School of Public Health expressed concerns that people will misuse the information that come from antibody tests. He said people who tested positive for antibodies should not think they are immune, but rather still practice the same precautions as everyone else.
FDA Turns Its Attention To Companies Claiming To Have Legitimate Coronavirus Antibody Tests, WCBS-TV, May 4
“We have to be a little more careful about it, unfortunately. It’s not clear that we are one and done with this virus. We may be subject to repeat infections,” said Jeffrey Shaman of the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health.
Trump Cheers on Governors Even as They Ignore White House Coronavirus Guidelines in Race to Reopen, The Washington Post, May 4
A lack of planning on those fronts could leave states vulnerable if there is another outbreak, said Jeffrey Shaman, one of the country’s leading epidemiologists at Columbia University. “We don’t have the testing. We don’t have the contract tracing. We can’t detect a rebound,” he said. “It’s a really problematic place to be. This is not where we want to be.”
DeSantis is Ready to Declare Victory but the Coronavirus Picture in Florida is Still Unclear, CNN, May 4
Epidemiologists warned it is still too early to determine the success of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ response to the pandemic. Concerns about data, insufficient testing and the ongoing study of whether heat and humidity influence transmission of the virus all suggest to epidemiologists that the coronavirus picture in Florida is still unclear. "There are too many possibilities here," said Jeffrey Shaman, a leading epidemiologist at Columbia University.
Why Lockdown is Bad News for our Kids' Waistlines, The Telegraph, May 3
“Social distancing and school closures are absolutely the right thing to do to stop the spread of Covid-19, but the lingering effects of the lockdown will likely lead to increasing levels of childhood obesity,” says Dr Andrew Rundle, an associate professor of epidemiology at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. “What my co-authors and I are trying to do is predict the possible consequences and discuss ways to minimize them. “We know schoolchildren gain weight during summer breaks, but not during the school year…The lockdown, however, means children are going to be housebound for at least twice the length of their summer break, if not longer. They can’t access playgrounds or play team sports, while at the same time households are increasingly stocking up on high energy foods.”
Coronavirus is Making Some People Rethink Where They Want to Live, CNN Online, May 2
Epidemics historically have played a big role in shaping where and how people live in New York and other cities, said David Rosner, co-director of the Center for the History and Ethics of Public Health at Columbia University. After a cholera epidemic hit the city in the 19th century, for example, people began to move from lower Manhattan to other neighborhoods -- if they could afford to. "You start seeing the suburban communities kind of segregate according to class and movement of people," he says.
FDA Authorizes Emergency Use of Remdesivir to Treat Coronavirus, CNN- The Situation Room with Wolk Blitzer, May 1
Wolf Blitzer interviewed Dr. Jeffrey Shaman, director of the Climate and Health Program at the Mailman School of Public Health, on the FDA approving the emergency use of antiviral medication Remdesivir to treat coronavirus patients. Dr. Shaman said he thinks the FDA made the right decision and the drug is a cause of “cautious optimism.”
‘Fast And Easy’ Saliva-Based Coronavirus Test Could Pave The Way To Widespread Testing, Expert Says, WCBS-TV, May 1
Columbia University virologist Angela Rasmussen says the saliva test is part of the answer to getting America back to work. “It’s certainly better to have more types of tests available to more people,” said Rasmussen. “Really, the only thing that will allow us to open up safely is having those additional tests.”
How to Measure Your Nation’s Response to Coronavirus, National Geographic Online, May 1
However, lessons from one country aren’t necessarily applicable to another. For example, New Zealand announced earlier this week that it has effectively eliminated the virus from its shores, “but it might not have attributes that would fit with New York City or many densely populated parts of the U.S. and Europe,” says Wafaa El-Sadr, an epidemiologist and director of ICAP at Columbia University, an initiative that strengthens health systems in resource-poor countries.
Women With HIV Interested in Long-Acting Injectable Treatment, POZ, May 1
“Adherence to antiretroviral therapy is imperative for viral suppression and reducing HIV transmission, but many people living with HIV report difficulty sustaining long-term adherence over the life span,” Morgan Philbin, PhD, the study’s lead authors and an assistant professor of sociomedical sciences at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. “We found that long acting injectable antiretroviral therapy was a compelling option among the women we interviewed.”
Sports leagues really want to play games again. They just can’t figure out how., THE WASHINGTON POST, May 1
Dr. Jeffrey Shaman, director of the Climate and Health Program at the Mailman School of Public Health, said having stadiums full of fans right now is “just begging for something to go wrong.”
Was the new coronavirus accidentally released from a Wuhan lab? It’s doubtful., THE WASHINGTON POST, May 1
Dr. Angela Rasmussen, a virologist at Columbia’s Mailman School of Public Health, cautioned against putting too much weight in reports that coronavirus was released from a lab in Wuhan, China, and that two research facilities near the wet market where the outbreak is believed to have originated failed to follow proper safety precautions.: “Without fail, every single BSL-4 lab in the U.S. gets some type of safety violation, some type of thing that they could do better.”
Fact check: COVID-19 may be 'here to stay,' even after a vaccine, USA TODAY April 30
Charles Branas, chair of the epidemiology department at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, said eradicating the virus like we did with smallpox “will be challenging, to say the least.” Ali Khan, dean of the College of Public Health and professor of epidemiology at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, said COVID-19 sticking around is “likely, but not inevitable.”
States' Missing COVID-19 Racial and Ethnic Data Creates Incomplete View of Virus' Impact, ABC NEWS ONLINE, April 30
“Even if health departments are collecting the data, they may not feel compelled to share because it tells a very harsh story about the realities of people of color,” said Dr. Diana Hernandez, an assistant professor of sociomedical sciences at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. “I question whether that’s a political decision not to share the data.”
Blood Tests for COVID-19 Antibodies Ramping Up with Reopening Plans, NEWSDAY, April 30
Jeffrey Shaman, an epidemiologist at Columbia University who is modeling the virus, in an email said the state’s antibody tests present “many opportunities for bias.” That’s particularly true, he said, “if the specificity of the test is lower than advertised (even just a small amount); if true infection numbers are low; if lags in the system aren’t accounted for, and if not everyone develops antibodies.”
Jeff Skoll's $100M for Covid-19 Builds on Legacy Fighting Pandemics, BARRON’S, April 30
Participant Media, meanwhile, has backed public service announcements, along with Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, that feature Contagion cast members Matt Damon, Kate Winslet, Laurence Fishbburne, and Jennifer Ehle. And it’s launched a campaign called Care For The People Who Care For You in partnership with the National Domestic Workers Alliance (NDWA).
Racial and Ethnic Data Creates Incomplete View of Virus' Impact, YAHOO NEWS, April 30
“Even if health departments are collecting the data, they may not feel compelled to share because it tells a very harsh story about the realities of people of color,” said Dr. Diana Hernandez, an assistant professor of sociomedical sciences at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. “I question whether that’s a political decision not to share the data.”
COVID-19 Showing Suburbs Are Just as Vulnerable as Cities, THE PHILADELPHIA TRIBUNE, April 29
On studies showing that suburbs are just as vulnerable to COVID-19 as urban areas, Dr. Stephen Morse, professor of epidemiology at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, said “you expect to see it spread more rapidly in densely populated areas like cities, but it does that anywhere the virus is introduced and where people are in contact with other people.”
Studies Leave Question of ‘Airborne’ Coronavirus Transmission Unanswered, THE WASHINGTON POST, April 29
“I’m skeptical. To my knowledge we haven’t really seen evidence of transmission occurring that way,” said Angela Rasmussen, a virologist at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. “The transmission studies from the call center and restaurant suggest that regular airborne droplet transmission in enclosed or poorly ventilated spaces is itself a transmission risk without needing to worry about small particle aerosols, too.
COVID-19 Showing Suburbs Are Just as Vulnerable as Cities, THE NEW YORK TIMES, April 29
“You expect to see it spread more rapidly in densely populated areas like cities, but it does that anywhere the virus is introduced and where people are in contact with other people,” said Dr. Stephen Morse, professor of epidemiology at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health in New York. “All it needs is fertile soil because it spreads quite well, unfortunately.”
Baseball is Returning in South Korea — Just Without Fans, High-Fives or Spitting, THE WASHINGTON POST ONLINE, April 29
Dr. Jeffrey Shaman, a Columbia University epidemiologist whose virus forecasts have been cited by the White House, points to South Korea’s response as the blueprint to follow. The country sees only a dozen or so new cases each day, society there is largely open, its economy is humming and the KBO season is about to begin.
The Pieces of the Puzzle of Covid-19’s Origin are Coming to Light, THE ECONOMIST, April 29
Ian Lipkin, the boss of the Centre for Infection and Immunity at Columbia University, in New York, is working with Chinese researchers to test blood samples taken late last year from patients with pneumonia all around China, to see if there is any evidence for the virus having spread to Wuhan from somewhere else. If there is, then it may have entered Huanan market not in a cage, but on two legs. The market is popular with visitors as well as locals, and is close to Hankou railway station, a hub in China’s high-speed rail network.
Covid-19 More Lethal than the Flu?, FOX NEWS: THE STORY WITH MARTHA MCCALLUM (video), April 29
Ian Lipkin, director, Center for Infection and Immunity discusses the death rate associated with the coronavirus outbreak.
US, Chinese Researchers Team Up in Search for Virus' Origins, THE STRAITS TIMES, April 29
Professor Ian Lipkin, director of the Centre for Infection and Immunity at the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University, said he was working with a team of Chinese researchers to determine whether the coronavirus emerged in other parts of China before it was first discovered in Wuhan in December. The effort relies on help from the Chinese Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)."The China CDC is interested in learning as much as it can about the origins (of) these types of viruses," Prof Lipkin, a virologist who worked on the 2003 Sars and 2012 Mers coronavirus outbreaks, told the Financial Times. "We share whatever we learn with the entire scientific community."
COVID-19: More Than One Million Infected, AL JAZEERA (Video), April 29
Susan Michaels-Strasser, assistant professor of epidemiology at Columbia Mailman School of Public Health, interviewed on the U.S. response to the COVID 19 pandemic. “Our whittling away of the country’s public health budget has weakened our ability to respond to the pandemic.”
Researchers Built Various Models To Predict Pandemic Shifts. Right Now, They Show 'A Tremendous Amount Of Uncertainty', WBUR, April 29
Being able to aggressively trace the people contacted by someone who's tested positive for COVID-19 will be the key to controlling the pandemic while reopening businesses and ending social distancing measures, according to Jeffrey Shaman, an epidemiologist at Columbia University….
But at the moment, even mechanistic models are severely limited in their ability to predict how the COVID-19 pandemic will behave once restrictions begin lifting, Shaman said.“We are stuck with a tremendous amount of uncertainty,” Shaman said. “We don’t know what fraction of restaurants will open, and we don’t know how many people would actually go to them if they did open.”
What Covid-19 Antibody Tests Say — and Don’t Say — About Immunity, VOX, April 28
“We don’t yet have reliable data about protective immunity,” Angela Rasmussen, a Columbia University virologist, says. Much more scientific work needs to be done to make sure the presence of, and quality of, antibodies detected in a test confers immunity. Scientists also need to figure out how long that immunity lasts. Finally, there are also concerns about the reliability of some of the antibody tests. It’s not helpful if antibody tests have a high rate of false positives and false negatives. … Adding to the pessimism: Just recently, Columbia University researchers published a preliminary study that found that some people got reinfected with a coronavirus (one that causes the common cold) within a year.
The Latest on Coronavirus and Immunity, MEDIUM, April 28
It’s also possible that a person’s immunity to Covid-19 could decrease with time, as Antonio Regalado reported yesterday at the MIT Technology Review. In a study on immunity to common respiratory viruses — including four within the coronavirus family, which SARS-CoV-2 belongs to — researchers at Columbia University found that people can get reinfected with the same virus within a year, or even multiple times in a year. Co-author Jeffrey Shaman told TR that for coronaviruses, “immunity seems to wane quickly,” though it’s not clear yet whether the same holds true for Covid-19.
Antibody Tests Support What's Been Obvious: Covid-19 is Much More Lethal Than the Flu, THE WASHINGTON POST, April 28
Jeffrey Shaman, a Columbia University epidemiologist who has been studying the coronavirus since early in the outbreak…. have developed a model of the coronavirus spread that estimates that only 1 in 12 infections in the United States have been documented in official counts. At that rate, the United States could potentially experience 1 million deaths if half the population became infected and no efforts were made to limit the contagion through social distancing, a vaccine or proven therapeutics, Shaman said. “That’s 20 times worse than a bad flu season.”
Lou Dobbs Tonight (Video clip), FOX BUSINESS NEWS, April 28
Dr. Ian Lipkin, Director of the Center for Infection and Immunity, discussed nucleic acid tests, antibody tests and plasma treatments that have been studied to combat the coronavirus.
U.S. Chinese Scientists Tracing Virus Origins Together, CNN- First Move With Julia Chatterley, April 28
On collaborating with a team of Chinese researchers on the origin of the coronavirus, Ian Lipkin, Director of the Center for Infection and Immunity, said “The idea is that when you recover from an infection, you have an immune response, which is how you clear that viral infection, and if you can take antibodies from people who have recovered and give those to people who are at risk or have disease, you may be able to change the course of the disease or even prevent infection in the first place. so, it's a stopgap measure until we have drugs and until we have a vaccine. We've unrolled 17 patients thus far at Columbia, and we're very eager to see the results.”
All in with Chris Hayes, MSNBC (Video clip), April 28
Dr. Jessica Justman, associate professor of medicine in epidemiology and senior technical director, ICAP at Columbia Mailman School of Public Health, was interviewed on the potential development and timeline of a vaccine for COVID-19.
Endless Summer Puts Homebound Kids at Risk for Weight Gain, THE NEW YORK TIMES, April 28
“What is very apparent from the data is that kids experience unhealthy weight gain during the summer, that it’s more so for African-American and Hispanic kids, and that the weight gain that occurs during the summer does not get worked off during the school year,” said Dr. Andrew Rundle, an associate professor of epidemiology at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. “It’s a stepwise pattern where the summer is the step up and the school year is the flat part of the step.”
What if Immunity to Covid-19 Doesn’t Last?, MIT TECHNOLOGY REVIEW, April 27
On prior testing efforts by researchers at Columbia University on different strains of coronavirus, Dr. Jeffrey Shaman, a professor of environmental health sciences, said “immunity seems to wane quickly ” for the coronaviruses and that “we have some unresolved questions” for the behavior of COVID-19.
Closing Bell, CNBC, April 27
Dr. Ian Lipkin, Director of the Center for Infection and Immunity at the Mailman School of Public Health, on the safety of some states beginning to reopen, said that if re-openings are done carefully, he thinks it’s “fine” but that we need to have better testing and more effective contact tracing.
US, China Researchers Collaborate in Hunt for Virus Origin, FINANCIAL TIMES, April 27
The team includes Dr. Ian Lipkin, director of the Center for Infection and Immunity at the Mailman School of Public Health, who said that “the China CDC is interested in learning as much as it can about the origins [of] these types of viruses.”
When Will the Stay-at-Home Orders End?, NEW YORK MAGAZINE, April 27
“It’s not a matter of whether infections will increase, but by how much,” Jeffrey Shaman, a leading epidemiologist at Columbia University, told the Washington Post.
Trump is Driving Birx to a Tough Spot. It's About to Get even Tougher., CNN, April 27
Jeffrey Shaman, an environmental health sciences professor at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, said it is hard to say what level of testing "will be sufficient in our society, particularly as the virus is so widespread."
"A doubling of testing is a start but may be insufficient," he said in an email to CNN when asked about Fauci's estimate. "Regardless these efforts need to be supported by effective contact tracing, which requires a bevy of trained personnel." Shaman added that testing needs will change as the economy re-opens: "Should chefs and waiters at restaurants be tested every day? Every week? What about dentists and bus drivers? Ideally, we would have abundantly available testing and protocols for testing many professions routinely," he said.
The FDA just approved Columbia's Covid-19 plasma therapy study, backed by Amazon, CNBC, April 26
Food and Drug Administration just green-lit a clinical trial at Columbia University to determine whether the plasma collected from Covid-19 survivors can effectively protect health care workers on the frontlines and alleviate symptoms in those who are severely ill.
The trials will be led by epidemiologist Dr. Ian Lipkin, MD, a professor at the Columbia Mailman School -- and one of the key advisors behind the movie “Contagion” -- in collaboration with the Center for Infection and Immunity, the school of public health at Columbia University, Columbia’s Irving Medical Center and the New York Blood Center. “We appreciate the FDA’s approval of this trial, which has the potential to help us protect courageous frontline healthcare workers and first responders during this crisis,” says Lipkin.
Seattle’s Leaders Let Scientists Take the Lead. New York’s Did Not, THE NEW YORKER, April 26
Jeffrey Shaman, a disease modeller at Columbia, said, “All you had to do was look at the West Coast, and you knew it was coming for us. That’s why Seattle and San Francisco and Portland were shutting things down. But New York “dithered instead of telling people to stay home.”
6 Solutions To Beat COVID-19 In Countries Where The Usual Advice Just Won't Work, NPR
For low-income countries that struggle with weak health systems, large populations of impoverished people and crowded megacities, "there needs to be a very major adaptation" to the established measures we've been using to fight COVID-19, says Dr. Wafaa El-Sadr, an epidemiologist and director of ICAP, a global health organization at Columbia University.
"I think they're trying, but it's not easy," El-Sadr says. "Ministries of health are working, partnering with international organizations to try to innovate — and hopefully, if the innovation works, it can be scaled up."
A Candidate in Isolation: Inside Joe Biden’s Cloistered Campaign, THE NEW YORK TIMES,
The campaign has consulted physicians and health experts about safeguarding Mr. Biden, who at 77 falls squarely into a high-risk group for the coronavirus. Irwin Redlener, a clinical professor at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, said he had spoken with the campaign about health precautions, including how to handle the possibility that members of Mr. Biden’s traveling staff had been exposed. “In terms of the safety of the staff, the candidate, what did they need to know?” said Dr. Redlener, who previously served on Mr. Biden’s public health advisory committee.
Reopening of America Accelerates as States Prepare to Relax Coronavirus Restrictions, THE WASHINGTON POST, April 25
The article quotes Jeffrey Shaman, professor of environmental health sciences, who cautioned against this decision because “we don’t have the resources in place to do the level of testing and contact tracing we need to make sure we’re monitoring this effectively,” he said. “We’re flying blind.”
Answers to Questions About New Coronavirus Antibody Studies, ABC NEWS, April 24
“I think we are beginning to get interesting little rays of light” into how widespread infections have been, but larger and more rigorous studies will be needed to get a better understanding, said Stephen Morse, a Columbia University expert on the spread of diseases.
How Overly Optimistic Modeling Distorted Trump Team’s Coronavirus Response, POLITICO,
“You can’t oversell the models, and you have to view them within the correct context,” said Jeffrey Shaman, a coauthor of Columbia University’s coronavirus model, who warned of the difficulty in making projections based “on a highly fluid situation for which the information is woefully incomplete.”
White House Promotes New Lab Results Suggesting Heat and Sunlight Slow Coronavirus, THE WASHINGTON POST, April 24
“If true, these results would point to preferred transmission in winter indoors (where we spend 90 percent of our time) when the air is dry. It suggests that in summer we could see some drop in virus activity in the Northern Hemisphere (again indoor humidity — both [relative humidity] and [absolute humidity] — is higher in summer),” said Jeffrey Shaman, a leading infectious disease expert at Columbia University.
Afraid of Bringing Coronavirus Home? Experts Weigh In (VIDEO), REUTERS, April 24
Dr. Stephen Morse, epidemiologist at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, was interviewed on simple steps Americans can take to safeguard against contracting the virus, and said that wiping down phones with disinfectant wipes is a good practice.
These Prisons Are Doing Mass Testing For COVID-19—And Finding Mass Infections, THE MARSHALL PROJECT, April 24
“Certainly for prisons who are taking the time, effort and resources to test everybody, not testing staff would be a bit of a blind spot,” said Barun Mathema, a professor of epidemiology at Columbia’s Mailman School of Public Health in New York. “The force of infection can be extraordinarily high in prisons. The most dynamic of that group is the people who work there.”
How's Your Recovery?, WNYC: The Brian Lehrer Show (audio), April 22
Dr. Lloyd Sederer, an adjunct professor at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health and the author of The Addiction Solution: Treating Our Dependence on Opioids and Other Drugs, takes calls from listeners struggling to manage their addictions and compulsions during isolation.
Erin Burnett Out Front, CNN, April 22
"There's an enormous difficulty we have right now with xenophobia and finger-pointing," says Dr. W. Ian Lipkin, who contracted coronavirus while studying it. "It's going both directions and it's not productive... This is a virus that originated in a bat. We don't know which bat."
White House promotes new lab results suggesting heat and sunlight slow coronavirus, THE WASHINGTON POST, April 24
“If true, these results would point to preferred transmission in winter indoors (where we spend 90 percent of our time) when the air is dry. It suggests that in summer we could see some drop in virus activity in the Northern Hemisphere (again indoor humidity — both [relative humidity] and [absolute humidity] — is higher in summer),” said Jeffrey Shaman, a leading infectious disease expert at Columbia University, in an email.
Gov. Cuomo Says Preliminary Antibody Testing Indicates Far More New Yorkers Had Coronavirus Than Previously Believed, ASSOCIATED PRESS, April 24
“I think we are beginning to get interesting little rays of light” into how widespread infections have been, but larger and more rigorous studies will be needed to get a better picture, said Stephen Morse, a Columbia University expert on the spread of diseases.
Science by Press Conference, SLATE, April 24
Antibody tests produce false positives and false negatives—for example, by picking up signs that a coronavirus has been in someone’s body, perhaps one that causes the common cold, and mistaking them for the coronavirus, as in the one that is wrecking everything right now. Without more information on which test was (or tests were) used, it’s hard to know what the error bars on the estimates should be. We don’t have that much information at all on the study, which was again, briefly summarized on TV. “It would be helpful (for scientists, essential) to have the details on methods in order to evaluate a study, including the sampling plan and the test characteristics,” Stephen Morse, an epidemiologist at Columbia, wrote me in an email.
Why you’re unlikely to get the coronavirus from runners or cyclists, VOX, April 24
“I think we should be very careful with making assumptions about transmission based on that ‘study,’ since it didn’t account for any variables related to transmissibility,” said Angela Rasmussen, a virologist at Columbia University, adding, “It’s important to understand that infections are started with a minimum infectious dose of virus.” In other words, the “study” failed to consider two key questions: How easy is it for particles traveling in the air outdoors to infect you? And how many particles containing infectious virus would you have to inhale to become infected?
The trials will be led by epidemiologist Dr. Ian Lipkin, MD, a professor at the Columbia Mailman School -- and one of the key advisors behind the movie “Contagion” -- in collaboration with the Center for Infection and Immunity, the school of public health at Columbia University, Columbia’s Irving Medical Center and the New York Blood Center. “We appreciate the FDA’s approval of this trial, which has the potential to help us protect courageous frontline healthcare workers and first responders during this crisis.”
New virus timeline: California had 2 deaths weeks earlier, ASSOCIATED PRESS, April 23
“It’s not unusual, as an epidemic is first unfolding, for infections to go unrecognized, said Stephen Morse, a Columbia University expert on the spread of diseases. “When you’re not expecting it, you don’t look for it,” he said. That’s why tissues from autopsies can be important in understanding an outbreak, he added.
When Is It Safe to Go Back to Normal? States Weigh Benchmarks, THE WALL STREET JOURNAL, April 23
The article cites Columbia University’s latest projects of the virus, noting that according to their research “if current physical-distancing restrictions were lifted nationwide on May 1, an immediate surge in cases would follow.”
Virus Researchers Cast Doubt on Theory of Coronavirus Lab Accident, NPR, April 23
Although the exact route from nature to people remains a mystery, bats are the likely reservoir for the virus, says Simon Anthony, a researcher at Columbia University who specializes in emerging infectious diseases. Bats are believed to be the carriers of two other coronavirus diseases that can infect people: SARS, which was first identified in Asia in 2003, and MERS, which was first reported in the Middle East in 2012.
Why did so many New Yorkers with COVID-19 wait until it was too late to call an ambulance?, NBC NEWS ONLINE, April 23
Dr. Ashwin Vasan, an assistant professor at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health, called the data dramatic, saying, "This virus has come into our society and simply exposed the structural weaknesses and the inequities and the disparities that were already there."
Angela Rasmussen, a virologist at Columbia University, also sees the lab-leak theory as very unlikely. “This virus came from bats under unknown circumstances,” she told me. “While I cannot rule out the lab-accident theory, there are so many other possibilities for how it could have happened. It could have been someone collecting bat guano for fertilizer, somebody cleaning out a barn, somebody exploring a cave. It could be any situation like that of someone in contact with animals who then spread it to other humans. There are so many other options than a lab leak.”
21 Percent of NYC Residents Tested In State Study Have Antibodies From COVID-19, THE GOTHAMIST, April 23
More than 21 percent of roughly 1,300 New York City residents tested as part of a state study had antibodies linked to COVID-19, Governor Andrew Cuomo revealed Thursday during a press conference. … Dr. Stephen Morse, an epidemiologist at the Columbia Mailman School of Public Health questioned the sample size. "Something is better than nothing," he said, "but of course that's not nearly enough to estimate seroprevalence for the entire state."
Don't Feel Bad If Your Kids Are Gaming More Than Ever. In Fact, Why Not Join Them?, TIME ONLINE, April 23
Gaming has benefits for people of all ages. According to a 2016 study conducted by Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, high video game usage among children aged 6-11 was associated with high intellectual functioning and competence in school and fewer relationship problems with peers.
School Closures During The Coronavirus Pandemic Might Worsen The Epidemic Of Childhood Obesity, FORBES, April 23
“Although we criticize schools a lot for poor nutrition and physical activity, children actually tend to gain weight during the summer months, when school is out of session,” says Andrew Rundle, associate professor of epidemiology at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health and lead author of the recent study that was published in the journal, Obesity.
States rushing to reopen are likely making a deadly error, coronavirus models and experts warn, THE WASHINGTON POST, April 22
“The math is unfortunately pretty simple. It’s not a matter of whether infections will increase but by how much,” said Jeffrey Shaman, a leading epidemiologist at Columbia University.
What 5 Coronavirus Models Say the Next Month Will Look Like, THE NEW YORK TIMES, Upshot, April 22
“We want them to provide more information than they can,” said Jeffrey Shaman, a co-author of the Columbia model, who said the models were still valuable in showing a range of what could happen. “We have uncertainty on top of uncertainty on top of uncertainty.”
COVID-19 testing and tracing being ramped up across New York, MARKETWATCH, April 22
Contact tracing is a tried and tested method of disease control, according to Dr. Barun Mathema, assistant professor of epidemiology at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health. It's an "aggressive, proactive way of dealing with these infections in the community," Mathema said. "Will this be all that's required? Probably not, but it's an important ingredient in the package to combat this moving forward."
"We have to be careful in how we open up society again, and having in place strong and coordinated efforts to do contact tracing, and certainly a lot more testing is only a positive direction," he said.
Dr. Susan Michaels-Strasser, assistant professor of epidemiology at Columbia's Mailman School of Public Health, said “Had this action been started at the beginning of the outbreak, "we may have been able to get ahead of the transmission of this virus and stop it.
"When widespread community transmission started to occur and new cases started popping up in many locations at once, testing and tracing became unwieldy," Michaels-Strasser said. "As the curve flattens and goes down and the number of new cases decreases, we need to go back to this action. It is the gold standard in containment of an epidemic."
Latest COVID-19 projections from Columbia University show mid-May spike if social distancing is relaxed, TECHCRUNCH, April 22
Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health has released updated projections of when we can expect U.S. case numbers of COVID-19 infections to peak and decline, based on different levels of social distancing measures. The updated projects, which take into account the most recent information, show that with around a 30% decrease in social contact we could be nearing a national peak of new cases for now by the end of April — but that if you decrease social contact by just 20%, the picture changes drastically, with a late peak that extends into mid-May and grows the number of new daily cases to as many as 30,000.
The Other Crisis, MANHATTAN TIMES, BYLINE: FREDERICA PERERA, April 22
In the grip of the coronavirus, frightened and distracted, we have taken our eyes off a crisis that is far more serious in terms of its long-term impacts: the “existential crisis” of climate change. COVID should not be an excuse or cover for the weakening of environmental and climate policies. Children would be the biggest losers. They bear the brunt of the emissions of climate-altering carbon dioxide and toxic co-pollutants such as fine particles and vapors from fossil fuel-powered motor vehicles, power plants and industry. … Why are the young so vulnerable? … Frederica Perera, DrPH, PhD is Professor of Public Health and Founding Director of the Columbia Center for Children’s Environmental Health at the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University.
It's Time to Flatten The Loneliness Curve For Older Americans, FORBES, April 21
Volunteering is such an important health intervention for older adults that Dr. Linda Fried, dean of the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University, has suggested that Medicare "prescribe and support" programs like AARP Experience Corps, a tutoring and mentoring effort matching older adults and K-3 students in under-resourced public schools. That kind of public health investment could save money in the long run, as older adults stay healthier longer and children get a better start with the confidence that comes from having more caring adults in their corner.
Why the Covid-19 Death Forecasts Are Wrong, NEWSWEEK, April 21
Forecasts predicting the total number of deaths from COVID-19 may be wildly inaccurate because we do not know key information about the virus. This includes how many people have had it, whether people who recover will develop lasting antibodies to protect from it, how well people are observing social distancing measures—and how long they will be willing to do it for. "Even though there's a huge amount of resources being poured into modeling... [the forecasts are] going to be wrong," said Irwin Redlener, Professor of Health Policy and Management and Pediatrics at the Columbia University Medical Center, who is currently working on the coronavirus pandemic.
Could COVID-19 Immunity Certificates Help Reopen America — Or Create More Class Divide?, ROLLING STONES, April 21
Two small studies out of China and South Korea…have been in the news a lot. But Dr. Jessica Justman, associate professor of medicine in epidemiology and the senior technical director of the International Center for AIDS Care at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, says to take these studies with a grain of salt. “If you don’t get your specimen properly, it might appear negative when in fact, virus is there,” Justman explains. Then, a week later, if a person has another test that was conducted properly, they may test positive, making it look like they were reinfected, though they may have been infected the whole time. “You have to view these kinds of initial studies with small numbers of patients with some skepticism,” she tells Rolling Stone. “If we start to see similar patterns emerging from larger studies — and especially several different studies from different research teams — then we might have something to talk about.”
Cities Around the World Are Opening Streets to Pedestrians During Coronavirus. Why Not NYC?, THE GOTHAMIST, April 21
"It's to everyone's public health benefit to have more people active, reduce congestion, reduce air pollution," said Dr. Christopher Morrison, an assistant professor of epidemiology at Columbia University. "And where there's mixed land use between motor vehicles, pedestrians and other road users, there's greater incidences of crashes and injuries. And so to the extent that we can open up land-use and we can open up roadways for pedestrians and non-motorized vehicular-use, it's generally beneficial."
New York could possibly ease social distancing in beginning of June, model projects, MARKETWATCH, April 20
MarketWatch referenced a study from Washington University’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, which shows New York and surrounding areas could possibly ease social distancing in early June. However, Jeffery Shaman of the Mailman School of Public Health said “it’s really too soon to tell whether transmission, testing and tracing will get to the levels needed to warrant any change to social distancing in June.”
Dr. Andrew Rundle, a professor of epidemiology at Columbia University, also said in the article that “decisions on relaxing social distancing, must also take into account our ability to test, trace contacts and set up quarantine.”
Don't Touch Your Face: The Way Out, FOREIGN POLICY, April 20
Don’t Touch Your Face hosts James Palmer and Amy Mackinnon are joined by NPR’s Beijing correspondent Emily Feng, who was in Wuhan the day the lockdown was eased, and Wafaa El-Sadr, the director of the International Center for AIDS Care and Treatment Programs at Columbia University and a professor of epidemiology and medicine at the Columbia Mailman School of Public Health.
What the Next Year (or Two) May Look Like., THE NEW YORK TIMES, April 19
Dr. W. Ian Lipkin, a virologist at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, suggested an alternative strategy. Pick at least two vaccine candidates, briefly test them in humans and do challenge trials in monkeys. Start making the winner immediately, even while widening the human testing to look for hidden problems. As arduous as testing a vaccine is, producing hundreds of millions of doses is even tougher, experts said.
The Covid-19 response must balance civil liberties and public health — experts explain how, CNBC ONLINE, April 19
Ronald Bayer, a professor at the Center for the History and Ethics of Public Health at Columbia University, sees potential in using new technology for public health surveillance to get ahead of an infectious disease outbreak. But he also warns that there may be examples of countries using the threat of a disease as a “pretense” to justify authoritarian impulses to amass power, and that technology can be used as a tool in that process. He also notes that measures introduced during emergencies can’t easily be dismantled.
The coronavirus might break the nuclear family. That wouldn't be a bad thing., THE WASHINGTON POST, April 18
Shortly before the covid-19 pandemic, Columbia University's school of public health said older Americans faced “an epidemic of loneliness,” citing an
Trump Foments Protests Against Governors; Experts Warn of Testing Shortages, THE NEW YORK TIMES, April 18
Without widespread testing and surveillance, said Angela Rasmussen, a virologist at Columbia University in New York, “we won’t be able to quickly identify and isolate cases in which the patients are presymptomatic or asymptomatic, and thus community transmission could be re-established.”
New York City’s Coronavirus Deaths Match Demographics in Other Hot Spots, THE WALL STREET JOURNAL, April 18
“This is what we saw out of China, this is certainly what we saw out of Italy, and this is what we’re seeing out of Spain,” said Jeffrey Shaman, a professor of environmental health sciences at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. “It’s a disease of the elderly.”
Enforcement Of New York's Plastic Bag Ban Delayed to June, THE GOTHAMIST, April 18
Stephen Morse, Professor of Epidemiology at the Columbia Mailman School of Public Health, has told Gothamist that “there is limited data on how long the virus can last on cloth, also varies with temperature and humidity...Unless you’re in a highly contaminated environment, the amount of virus on the clothing is likely to be minimal, and the risks are probably small.”
Virologist behind ‘Contagion’ film criticises leaders’ slow responses, FINANCIAL TIMES, April 17
“Frankly, we’re in trouble,” Ian Lipkin, the 67-year-old virologist and physician behind the new segments and the movie, said in an interview with the Financial Times. More deadly viruses will emerge in future, he believes, and a series of government mis-steps has helped spread the current one around the world at an alarming rate. … As director of the Center for Infection and Immunity at Columbia University, he is now hunting the origin of coronavirus and leading his team’s work on Covid-19 tests, prevention and treatment.
Promoters Want Live Music to Return This Fall. Not So Fast, Say Medical Experts, ROLLING STONE, April 17
The door isn’t completely shut yet, says Stephen Morse, professor of epidemiology at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. It’s improbable, Morse says, but in the event that wider, improved at-home testing was made available in the next few months, or a vaccine comes sooner than expected, properly planned gatherings could still happen. Still, he says such a scenario is unlikely, and shows would have to come back later than expected.
“It’s wise that [festival organizers] pushed, but it’s hard — and come later this summer, they’ll have to make a decision,” Morse says. “But I wouldn’t book my tickets now.”
This Harvard Epidemiologist Is Very Popular on Twitter. But Does He Know What He's Talking About?, THE CHRONICLE OF HIGHER EDUCATION, April 17
Feigl-Ding was not the first scientist to raise concerns about the virus. The day before his tweet, W. Ian Lipkin, an epidemiologist at Columbia University and director of its Center for Infection and Immunity, who is also known as the “virus hunter,” told NPR that he believed “the outbreak is going to be much larger” than it was at the time and that “we need to move very quickly if we’re going to contain this virus.” It had been a source of concern for many infectious-disease epidemiologists since initial reports about the illness started to appear, in late December.
AM with Sabra Lane: Epidemiologist warns against relaxing restrictions too soon, ABC RADIO, April 17
Dr. Ian Lipkin, Director of the Center for Infection and Immunity, at the Mailman School of Public Health, talked about his own diagnosis of COVID-19 and the prospects for the virus spreading further in Australia. Professor Lipkin, professor of Epidemiology, advised the producers of the film Contagion. AM also spoke with him in January about coronavirus just as he was about to head to China to investigate the Wuhan outbreak.
America's 'new normal' will be anything but ordinary, CNN, April 16
Jeffrey Shaman, professor of environmental health sciences at Columbia University, said South Korea is using "very aggressive" contact tracing which looks into personal credit cards and phone records and car GPS information.
"The reality is your credit card company is already using this on you," he said. "You signed it when you signed the contract that was in the fine print there, and they were using for whatever the heck they wanted to do with it to make money. And your phone is already using it. That's what all the phone companies do, they track you. And lots of other apps on your phones do also."
As Trump lays out reopening plan, governors fear a second coronavirus disaster, BOSTON GLOBE, April 16
“The federal government has to be the force behind getting testing up fast,” said Jeffrey Shaman, a professor of environmental health sciences at Columbia University who led a team of researchers modeling the outbreak’s spread. “Having the federal resources behind it consistently in a coherent fashion with a competent leader leading it is desperately needed.”
Governors should ignore Trump's advice until widespread testing and effective contact tracing are ready, CNN, BYLINE: Irwin Redlener, April 16
“Failing to continue these strategies could result in a "deadly resurgence," as the World Health Organization recently warned. Until we have widespread rapid and reliable testing, aggressive contact tracing and an effective vaccine, the coronavirus may be "hiding" and mutating in people who have few or no symptoms — and we can't even be certain that those who had the infection once will be resistant to a second bout of the disease.” Dr. Irwin Redlener is a professor at the Mailman School of Public Health and director of the National Center for Disaster Preparedness.
Models are based on “a century worth of epidemiologic science,” said Charles Branas, chair of the department of epidemiology at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. “But really, the biggest contribution in the models we have now is the numbers that were given to us from China, Korea, Italy, that were very helpful in formulating the specific numbers of how this particular [virus] propagates through populations.” (Columbia’s model projections for coronavirus in New York are used as key data points in Cuomo’s daily news conferences.)
Should countries start lifting coronavirus lockdown measures?, AL JAZEERA, April 16
Dr. Wafaa El-Sadr, Professor of epidemiology and medicine at Columbia University, appeared in a broadcast interview on Al Jazeera to discuss the risk of countries reopening and the potential for a second wave of infections.
Other viruses make COVID-19 diagnosis, tracking challenging, UPI, April 16
"The PCR assays being used are quite specific and they can, and will, easily differentiate flu and the SARS-CoV-2," Stephen S. Morse, a professor of epidemiology at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health, told UPI. "However, we aren't able to test and characterize as many flu isolates as we'd like, and testing is extremely limited for SARS-CoV-2."
When emissions decrease, people's asthma gets better, FAST COMPANY, April 16
Air pollution has long been linked to health issues, especially asthma. ... health sciences at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. “Coal-fired power plants emit a number of health-harming pollutants. That includes sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide, particulate matter, and mercury as well as other things,” says Joan Casey, lead author of the paper and assistant professor of environmental health sciences at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. “But we selected sulfur dioxide as our target because coal-fired power plants far and away are the number-one producers of sulfur dioxide in the United States, whereas they make up a much smaller portion of some of these other pollutants, and so it’s a nice way to be able to track coal-fired power plant-specific emissions.”
When SARS Ended, THE NEW YORKER, April 16
“Seasonality is a universal driver of almost all of our infectious diseases,” Micaela Martinez, an infectious-disease ecologist at Columbia’s Mailman School of Public Health, told me. Martinez’s research focusses on identifying the causal mechanisms behind seasonality. It’s possible, for instance, that, for certain diseases, circadian rhythms matter: because the location of some immune-system cells in the body varies depending on the time of day, longer days could change how the immune system responds to an infection. Martinez stressed how much is unknown about the biology of seasonality. “I hope for seasonal decline,” she said. But, in the case of sars-CoV-2, seasonal factors could be outweighed by the scale of the outbreak and the ease with which the virus spreads.
Contact tracing for coronavirus: How it works and why it could be so difficult, CBS NEWS, April 16
"You can imagine that's quite a labor-intensive process for just one case," said Barun Mathema, a Columbia University epidemiologist. "Contact tracing is heavily used in tuberculosis, which is where my expertise really is. When you have a tuberculosis case that sets off a chain reaction where the health department gets notified, they dispatch a bunch of individuals to fan out from that index case to all of the close contacts. They want to know who do you live with, who do you sleep with and so on and so forth. "But for a disease that spreads as easily as coronavirus, the investigation is much more difficult”, Mathema said.
Asthma Sufferers Win When Coal Plants Shut Down, HEALTH DAY, April 16
Researchers were led by Joan Casey, an assistant professor of environmental health sciences at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health in New York City. They said that Kentucky historically has been among the top five states for high levels of air pollution from power plants.
Map shows how millions of people's movements have dropped by 87% in parts of the US during the coronavirus lockdown, DAILY MAIL, April 15
'People want to talk about this virus as an equal opportunity pathogen, but it's really not,' Dr. Ashwin Vasan, a doctor and public health professor at Columbia University, told the Times. 'It's going right to the fissures in our society.'
Retirees are finding creative ways to cope with isolation, MARKETWATCH, April 15
“Being told to stay home all the time isn’t normal living” and can trigger loneliness, said Dr. Linda Fried, dean of the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health and a Next Avenue Influencer in Aging.
Why Respectable Doctors Choose to Mix with Cranks and Quacks on Fox News, ROLLING STONE, April 15
For the loyal viewers of Fox News, the tired face and ragged voice of Dr. W. Ian Lipkin, one of the country’s foremost infectious-disease experts, have become something of a familiar sight. On America’s Newsroom on March 13th, he discussed best practices for personal hygiene during the novel coronavirus outbreak. At 4:15 in the morning on March 17th, he went on Fox & Friends First to assess President Trump’s new safety guidelines. He appeared in the Fox special America vs. Virus. And when Lipkin revealed in late March that he had tested positive for COVID-19, he did it on the Fox Business show hosted by Lou Dobbs, a conservative firebrand who liked to call the novel coronavirus the “Wuhan virus.”
South Africa flattens its coronavirus curve—and considers how to ease restrictions, SCIENCE MAGAZINE, April 15
Wafaa El-Sadr, an epidemiologist at Columbia University, says South Africa’s “energetic and evidence-based” response to COVID-19 “starkly contrasts” with the country’s early halting response to its HIV epidemic in the late 1990s and 2000s, which saw the government obstructing treatment rollout and denying the connection between HIV and AIDS. But, she says, vigilance will be needed not just to keep an eye on the epidemic, but also to monitor the impact of the lockdown measures on the social and economic well-being of the population, particularly in areas where many people already live hand-to-mouth. “This is the challenge that South Africa and other countries face today.”
California Set the Tone on Coronavirus Shutdowns. What’s Its Next Move?, NEW YORK TIMES, April 14
Jeffrey Shaman, professor of environmental health sciences at Columbia University, noted that it was likely that some aspects of West Coast culture helped mitigate the early spread of the virus. “But that does not argue, he said, for car congestion as a cure-all.”
C.D.C. Says More Than 9,000 Health Care Workers Have Contracted Coronavirus, NEW YORK TIMES, April 14
Dr. Charles Branas, a professor and the chairman of epidemiology at Columbia University, said it was not unusual for research on patients to lack complete information about occupational status. But he said that even incomplete numbers could be useful in demonstrating trends and starting a conversation among scientists.
“Especially if you are in a crisis situation, which obviously we are in,” he said.
How effective is the saliva-based coronavirus test?, FOX BUSINESS, April 14
Director of Mailman’s Center for Infection and Immunity W. Ian Lipkin appeared in a broadcast interview with Fox Business where he discussed new saliva-based coronavirus testing and the latest news regarding the development of a COVID-19 vaccine.
The medical advisors for the movie ‘Contagion’ saw a pandemic coming, but got one big thing wrong, CNBC, April 14
Few mainstream movies spend big budgets on ensuring scientific accuracy, but “Contagion” had a team of advisors checking everything from the script to the props. The work was overseen by Columbia University’s Center for Infection and Immunity Ian Lipkin, and incorporated input from more than a dozen scientists, emergency room doctors, bio-safety experts and epidemiologists. The film is by no means flawlessly accurate, but it’s far more true to life than most.
When coal plants decrease pollution or shut down, people have fewer asthma attacks, ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH NEWS, April 14
"We saw about three fewer emergency department visits and hospitalizations per quarter per zip code," Joan Casey, assistant professor at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health and lead author on the study, told EHN. "That translates into about 400 prevented asthma-related hospital visits per year across the county."
Why Did The World Shut Down For COVID-19 But Not Ebola, SARS Or Swine Flu?, FIVE THIRTY EIGHT, April 14
“By and large, except for a couple of mass transmission events, almost all of the transmission of SARS was within the health care setting, when you have an aerosol-generating event like intubating someone or dialysis,” said Stephen Morse, an infectious disease epidemiologist at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. “So basically, you could control SARS by improving infection control and prevention in the hospitals.”
To Test or Not to Test: The Latest on New York’s COVID-19 Screening Saga, CITY LIMITS, April 13
Dr. Diana Hernández, a professor of sociomedical sciences at Columbia University, was quoted in an article by City Limits – a nonprofit news organization – about access to coronavirus testing in New York City. “If we deny people the opportunity to test, we deny them the opportunity to protect themselves and others,” she said.
Global Leaders Call For Shutdown Of ‘Wet Markets’, ONE AMERICA NEWS NETWORK, April 13
Dr. Ian Lipkin, director of the Center for Infection and Immunity at Columbia University, explained that “where there’s an opportunity for a virus to jump species, you are creating a super highway for viruses that go from the wild into people.”
NY has hit its COVID-19 apex, but that doesn't mean the virus is going away., CITY & STATE, APRIL 13
“The one thing that I think about are people who suffer from mental health conditions: people who suffer from depression and anxiety disorders and other kinds of mental health conditions.” Dustin Duncan, an associate professor of epidemiology at Columbia University, told City & State. “How do you know if social distancing really impacts them? I would say it probably impacts them to a large degree.”
You've Gotten Over COVID-19. Now What? A Post-Virus Guide, THE CITY, April 13
Dr. Stephen S. Morse, professor of epidemiology at the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University, said some people who recover will continue to feel respiratory symptoms “as a result of tissue damage during the disease,” or may feel fatigued for quite a while.
“Don’t be afraid to go slowly and give yourself some time,” he said.
These New York City restaurants are offering free grab-and-go meals, YAHOO SPORTS, April 13
“These are folks who cannot stay at home,” Dr. Sandra Albrecht, an assistant professor of Epidemiology at the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University, told the station. “And even as the cases soar in the city, they have to continue taking the subway, they have to continue going to work.”
Sheltering: Quarantine as a Shared Experience, THE NEW YORK TIMES, April 13
Dr. Jessica Justman, senior technical director of ICAP at the Mailman School of Public Health, was quoted in a New York Times piece on the experience of staying in quarantine as a family. She said the arrangement of multiple families sheltering in place together could be safe as long as the group is “practicing social distancing from all others who are not part of the extended household.”
'China Took Strong Measures To Successfully Control COVID-19': Prof Wafaa El-Sadr, OUTLOOK INDIA, April 13
Wafaa El-Sadr, Professor of Epidemiology and Medicine at Columbia University, says China was successful in containing the coronavirus due to the strong and rapid measures undertaken by the government. El-Sadr, who is also the director of ICAP and the director of the Global Health Initiative at the Mailman School of Public Health said the U.S.’s incremental response “may have been the Achilles’ heel” and China was successful in containing the coronavirus because of its more decisive action taken by the government.
Computer models are front and center in coronavirus era, NEWSDAY, April 12
Dr. Jeffrey Shaman of Columbia cautioned that models “aren't forecasts, they're projections. We're dealing with a situation where we can affect the outcome by what we do today.”
No, You Don't Need To Disinfect Your Groceries. But Here's How To Shop Safely, NPR, April 12
Dr. Angela Rasmussen, a virologist at the Center for Infection and Immunity at the Mailman School of Public Health, said in an NPR piece on how to shop safely in this pandemic that “while it is possible to contract the virus [from contaminated surfaces], the majority of transmission is probably going to be from respiratory droplets.”
Poverty, pollution and neglect: How the Bronx became a coronavirus 'formula for disaster', ABC News, April 11
Michaela Martinez, a public health expert at the Mailman School of Public Health, whose lab is tracking the spread of the virus, said the Bronx is carrying the burden in terms of severe cases and that the population “is more invisible and more dispensable, which is to me so unfair.” “In terms of the really severe cases, the Bronx is carrying the burden right now, said Martinez.
"We need more local options to match the need," Diana Hernandez, a Columbia University public health expert who lives in the Bronx, told ABC News, ...
Can we conquer loneliness in a time of social isolation?, NEW YORK DAILY NEWS, OPINION: Linda P. Fried, April 10
In an op ed Linda Fried, the dean of the Mailman School of Public Health, writes about people’s struggles with loneliness during periods of social isolation, especially among the elderly and people living alone. Dean Fried suggests six tips to overcome these feelings, including being active and ways to stay in touch with family and friends.
Interview with Jeffrey Shaman, CNN, THE SITUATION ROOM WITH WOLF BLITZER, April 10
Interview with Charles Branas, MSNBC, MSNBC LIVE WITH VELSHI AND RUHLE, April 10
Dr. Diana Hernandez, a professor at Columbia University who researches the intersection of healthcare and race, told Business Insider that communities "challenged by socioeconomic and environmental disparities" are experiencing higher death rates for people of color.
New map shows the states most at risk of exceeding their hospital capacity during coronavirus, DAILY MAIL, April 10
The team, led by Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, says its findings highlight the importance of preparing hospitals and continuing social distancing measures to make sure the cases and deaths don't skyrocket.
Dramatic Changes in Behavior Produce Flickers of Optimism, THE NEW YORK TIMES, April 9
The governor’s very qualified sense of progress is shared by Jeffrey Shaman, a professor of environmental health sciences at Columbia University who is advising New York City. “There’s some room for some optimism on this front,” Dr. Shaman said. But he also warned that “we should not be exuberant and not get ahead of ourselves,” and said that another two weeks may tell whether New York’s curve is undeniably flattening.
As social distancing shows signs of working, what’s next? Crush the curve, experts say., THE WASHINGTON POST, April 9
“This virus will rebound if there are enough susceptible people in the population,” said Jeffrey Shaman, an epidemiologist at Columbia University. “Susceptibles are the tinder for this fire. The virus will come into the community if the community goes back to its normal ways of doing thing.”
Optimism Is Less Distant as Global Coronavirus Battle Rages On, NEW YORK TIMES, April 9
The governor’s very qualified sense of progress is shared by Jeffrey Shaman, a professor of environmental health sciences at Columbia University who is advising New York City.
“There’s some room for some optimism on this front,” Dr. Shaman said. But he also warned that “we should not be exuberant and not get ahead of ourselves,” and said that another two weeks may tell whether New York’s curve is undeniably flattening.
Forecast Map Predicts Counties at Greatest Risk from Surge in COVID-19 Cases, NEWSWEEK, April 9
The map, developed by researchers led by Charles Branas at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, suggests that even regions that have not been badly impacted by the novel coronavirus may face critical care bed shortages over the next six weeks.
Study co-author Andrew Rundle, associate professor of epidemiology at Columbia University, told Newsweek: "I knew intellectually that social distancing was key to suppressing the infection, but to see visually how different the hospital demand scenarios were for different levels of social distancing was surprising. And having seen these differences on the maps, it makes me very concerned about calls for relaxation of social distancing."
These US counties are at risk of exceeding their hospital capacity during COVID-19 surge, LIVE SCIENCE, April 9
The study, from researchers at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, highlights just how important it will be to continue social distancing and hospital preparations in the coming weeks, which could save hundreds of thousands of lives, the authors said.
"We hope that these analyses and the online mapping tool are useful for COVID-19 response planning and implementation and reinforce the critical importance of social distancing," study co-author Andrew Rundle, an associate professor of epidemiology at Columbia University, said in a statement.
The Germ-Cleaning Power of an Open Window, ELEMENTAL, April 9
“Changing the room air is a widely used measure for infection prevention and control,” says Stephen Morse, an infectious disease researcher and professor of epidemiology at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. “It replaces any virus-contaminated air with clean air.” Opening windows is one of the easiest and cheapest ways to encourage this type of air turnover, he says.
COVID-19 school closings drive risk for weight gain, unhealthy behaviors among children, HEALIO, April 9
Healio spoke with Andrew Rundle, DrPH, assistant professor of epidemiology at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, about factors that increase obesity risk during a mandated school closure, heightened food insecurity during a pandemic and the need to get creative about physical activity. Rundle and colleagues’ article on mandated school closings and risk for weight gain among children was published this week in Obesity.
C.D.C. Releases Early Demographic Snapshot of Worst Coronavirus Cases, NEW YORK TIMES, April 8
“There have been a lot of questions swirling about testing and what is the actual burden of the disease in the population,” said Charles Branas, a professor of epidemiology at Columbia University, who did not participate in the study. “By the time it gets to hospitals, that is a really nice way to gauge the burden of the disease.”
How Scientists Create Models For Disease, And What The Latest Ones Say, NPR, April 8
The other model, which the administration has also consulted, was put together by a team at Columbia University that includes Jeffrey Shaman. And he tells me that their projections only look at what happens six weeks out, but they find that a lot of those states I just mentioned won't hit their peak number of daily deaths until at least mid-May, maybe longer. And even if those states take much more drastic steps to social distance, it'll be more like late this month before daily deaths peak there.
In New York State, the black and Hispanic populations are at higher risk of dying from coronavirus, preliminary data shows, USA TODAY, April 8
“The virus is an equal-opportunity crisis … but the impact and the burden of it is not going to be shared equally,’’ Dr. Ashwin Vasan, a public health expert and assistant professor at Columbia University in New York City said to USA TODAY. “Like most things in society, it's going to be regressive. It's going to be felt disproportionately by the poor, the vulnerable, the marginalized, and obviously that falls down in this country on communities of color," he added.
C.D.C. Releases Early Demographic Snapshot of Worst Coronavirus Cases, THE NEW YORK TIMES, April 8
April 8, 2020 - “There have been a lot of questions swirling about testing and what is the actual burden of the disease in the population,” said Charles Branas, a professor of epidemiology at Columbia University, who did not participate in the study. “By the time it gets to hospitals, that is a really nice way to gauge the burden of the disease.”
School closures could increase childhood obesity, UPI, April 8
"There could be long-term consequences for weight gained while children are out of school during the COVID-19 pandemic," said Andrew Rundle, who studies ways to prevent childhood obesity. He's an associate professor of epidemiology at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health in New York City. "Research shows that weight gained over the summer months is maintained during the school year and accrues summer to summer," Rundle said in a university news release. "When a child experiences obesity, even at a young age, they are at risk for higher, unhealthy weight, all the way into middle age."
School Closures Could Be Adding to Kids' Waistlines, U.S. NEWS, April 8
"There could be long-term consequences for weight gained while children are out of school during the COVID-19 pandemic," said Andrew Rundle, who studies ways to prevent childhood obesity. He's an associate professor of epidemiology at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health in New York City.
Experts warned of a pandemic decades ago. Why weren't we ready?, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC, April 8
When I started researching A Dancing Matrix in 1990, the term “emerging viruses” had just been coined by a young virologist named Stephen Morse, who would become the main character in my book. … The other day, I phoned Morse to see how he’s holding up. He’s a professor of epidemiology at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health and in the age range of the most vulnerable now, he told me. (I am, too.) He and his wife are self-quarantining in their apartment on New York City’s Upper West Side. “I’m discouraged, yes, to find we’re not better prepared after all this, and we’re still deep in denial,” Morse said.
Why Manhattan Has Seen Relatively Few Coronavirus Cases, SPECTRUM NEWS NY1, April 7
“Social distancing is a privilege that not everybody has equal ability to practice,” said Dr. Jessica Justman, an infectious disease specialist at Columbia University. “Earlier on in the epidemic there may have been better access to testing in places like Manhattan,” said Dr. Justman. “And that might have reinforced the ability to isolate and quarantine.”
Adjusting Daily Routines During the Pandemic, NEXT AVENUE, April 7
April 7, 2020 - “Being told to stay home all the time isn’t normal living” and can trigger loneliness, said Dr. Linda Fried, dean of the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health and a Next Avenue Influencer in Aging.
Nursing Homes Have Thousands Of Ventilators That Hospitals Desperately Need, KAISER HEALTH News, April 7
“From an ethical point of view, for people who are not conscious, if it’s a matter of removing people from a [ventilator] who are not going to recover, I think it’s a hard decision, but one that in an emergency has to be made,” said Ronald Bayer, a professor of sociomedical sciences at the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University.
Early Insights on COVID-19’s Impact an Mental Health and Suicide Risk, CITYLIMITS, April 7
For Katherine M. Keyes, associate professor of epidemiology at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, this was a terrible mistake because “it is these kinds of statements” from public figures that can lead to a real “increase in the number of suicides as people lose hope,” and these statements have no real basis.
US: Retired doctors, medical students volunteer against COVID-19, AL-JAZEERA, April 7
Susan Michaels-Strasser on US: Retired doctors, medical students volunteer against COVID-19.
Bias and Health Care Don't Mix: Samaritan's Purse Shouldn't Be Welcome in New York, Not Even to Treat the Coronavirus, NEW YORK DAILY NEWS, OPINION: Terry McGovern and Emily Battistini, April 7
The makeshift field hospital recently erected in Central Park will begin to treat critically-ill respiratory patients overflowing from nearby Mount Sinai. This would be wonderful news were it not for the fact that this outpost is being staffed and administered by Samaritan’s Purse, a Christian fundamentalist group led by notoriously anti-LGBTQI and Islamophobic preacher Franklin Graham. Graham is specifically recruiting Christian medical staff to serve in the Central Park facility — and all volunteers, including health-care workers, are being asked to adhere to a statement of faith…” There is also widespread worry that the organization provides sub-standard clinical care.
As coronavirus rages, nursing homes have ventilators that hospitals desperately need, LOS ANGELES TIMES, April 7
“From an ethical point of view, for people who are not conscious, if it’s a matter of removing people from a [ventilator] who are not going to recover, I think it’s a hard decision, but one that in an emergency has to be made,” said Ronald Bayer, a professor of sociomedical sciences at the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University. Bayer has been a member of the World Health Organization and in 2011 served on an ethics subcommittee that advised the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on the allocation of ventilators in the event of a severe pandemic.
Not surprised to see flattening of curve: ‘Virus Hunter’ on coronavirus, CNBC Closing Bell (Video), April 6
‘Virus Hunter’ Dr. Ian Lipkin, Director of Columbia University’s Center for Infection and Immunity, joins “Closing Bell” to discuss the state of the coronavirus outbreak.
Scientists warn COVID-19 could lead to neurological complications in some patients, THE GLOBE AND MAIL, April 6
Chronic neurological problems have been tied to other types of coronaviruses in the past, said Mady Hornig, associate professor of epidemiology at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. She noted, for example, that there have been reported cases of myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS), a debilitating condition, in some individuals who have had SARS and MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome).
“That’s one of the questions here,” said Dr. Hornig. “We must really look hard, particularly with these types of coronaviruses, for chronic effects that are in the neurological – and even bordering on neuropsychiatric – category.”
How did coronavirus break out? Theories abound as researchers race to solve genetic detective story, CNN, April 6
It's "the most simple, obvious and likely explanation," said Dr. Simon Anthony, a professor at the public health grad school of Columbia University and a key member of PREDICT, a federally funded global program investigating viruses in animal hosts with pandemic potential. PREDICT has discovered 180 coronaviruses over a decade. "Early in the outbreak ... everyone was talking about the thing having emerged from the wet market," he said. "And now I think the data calls into question whether or not that's really true."
Anthony noted that not even the mystery of the 2003 SARS outbreak is settled. "We don't know which of those is actually true," Anthony said.
New York leaders are hopeful coronavirus crisis is peaking, flattening, THE WASHINGTON POST, April 6
New York remains the most severe area for the coronavirus outbreak in the United States, with more than 130,000 residents testing positive for the virus, far more than any other state. Officials cautioned that it is impossible to know whether New York has indeed reached the apex or whether the recent numbers are only a lull before worse ones. … “It’s too soon to celebrate,” said Stephen S. Morse, an epidemiologist at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. “We’ll know later this week if the trend continues, and we should start to see a sustained decrease in the numbers.”
Periods Don’t Stop for Pandemics, So She Brings Pads to Women in Need, THE NEW YORK TIMES, April 5
Marni Sommer, a professor of sociomedical sciences at Columbia School of Public Health, recently received a call from a student telling her that she had seen the price for tampons in her local store jump $3 this month. In Alabama, the state attorney general teamed up with eBay to crack down on the inflated costs of essential goods like tampons. For a lot of families, if it comes down to buying food or buying menstrual products, the latter will be shunted, Sommer said. Aside from the sheer inconvenience of it, when pads and tampons aren’t supplied in shelters, women often turn to using ripped up T-shirts and mattresses, which can carry health risks.
Preparedness spending exploded after 9/11. So why isn't that helping now?, SALON, April 5
Such sentiments reflected a growing tension between federal priorities — focused on terrorism — and the needs of local health departments, said David Rosner, the co-director of the Center for the History and Ethics of Public Health at Columbia University and the author, with Gerald Markowitz, of "Are We Ready?" Speaking of the post-9/11 period, Rosner said that "the public health community in some sense saw the moment as a means of buttressing a field that had gone into steep decline over the course of the previous three decades."
Can I have sex? A guide to intimacy during the coronavirus outbreak, THE GUARDIAN, April 5
With countries on lockdown and millions being made to stay at home, it’s unsurprising many couples and single people are wondering what coronavirus means for their sex lives. With this in mind, we asked three experts five of the most pressing questions about intimacy during the pandemic. … [Dr Jessica Justman is a professor and attending physician in the Division of Infectious Diseases at the Columbia University Irving Medical Center], “We’re not seeing patterns that indicate sexual transmission. It’s primarily spread through respiratory droplets. And touching contaminated surfaces is thought to be the secondary mode of transmission.”
Scientists ask: could summer heat help beat Covid-19?, THE GUARDIAN, April 5
The arrival of spring does not only affect the behaviour of a virus, however. It also produces changes in the human immune system, other researchers point out. … However, the impact of seasons on cell rhythms is still under investigation, added the study’s leader, Micaela Martinez of Columbia University. Results would be of considerable importance, she added. “Knowing the vulnerabilities of our body to diseases and viruses across the year could inform the timing of vaccination campaigns that will help us eradicate infections.”
Runners: Please Practice Social Distancing, GOTHAMIST, April 4
Stephen Morse, Professor of Epidemiology at the Columbia Mailman School of Public Health, said that if someone passes you within a few feet, instead of six, "The risk is going to increase if someone has the infection, and with the amount of time you may be near them... if they're coughing or sneezing in your direction and are infected and you are close, then you have a better chance of getting infected. People who are just walking or running by, the chances are if they are not coughing or sneezing at that moment you have a very low likelihood of getting infected." He added: "Nothing is ever completely without risk."
Coronavirus deaths pass 60000 globally, CNN, April 4
Dr. Barun Mathema, an assistant professor of epidemiology at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health, said that because of the high, concentrated number of people in these facilities, community spread is likely. "The prison population in and of itself has a fairly sizable, vulnerable population within that, have a lot of chronic conditions, other types of infections," Mathema said. "We should also ensure that what happens in a prison, or a jail for that matter, does not pose an undue risk to the community. In this case, we know we have ample examples from many infectious diseases."
Will Coronavirus End Like Contagion?, VANITY FAIR, April 3
Is coronavirus on track to play out like the movie Contagion? Scott Z. Burns, the writer of the film, and W. Ian Lipkin, a professor of epidemiology at Columbia University, join Nick Bilton to explain how much of the research that went into the film is playing out in real time; how the states and countries that ignore social distancing will pay the ultimate price; why this particularly insidious virus is unlike anything we’ve seen in recent history; and how an FDA-approved vaccine could take a lot less time than we’ve been told.
Coronavirus could worsen US childhood obesity crisis, FOX NEWS ONLINE, April 3
Andrew Rundle, associate professor of epidemiology at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, and his colleagues expect that COVID-19-related school closures will double out-of-school time this year for many children and exacerbate risk factors for weight gain associated with summer recess.
Tensions Persist Between Trump and Medical Advisers Over the Coronavirus, THE NEW YORK TIMES, April 3
“The growth rate in New York City is slowing. We do have evidence that measures we put in place two or three weeks ago may be having an effect,” said Jeffrey Shaman, a professor of environmental health sciences at Columbia University. Data from Seattle and San Francisco, he said, shows “they’ve slowed it in spots.”
Virus hot spots in South poised for disproportionate suffering, POLITICO, April 3
Hot spots like St. John the Baptist are erupting across the South. The virus is also poised to consume the area around Norfolk, Va., a rural county in Tennessee just north of Nashville and parts of southwest Georgia near Albany, according to models assembled by Columbia University epidemiologists. And without the resources of major cities, these areas are poised to see disproportionate suffering, economic hardship and death when cases peak.
America’s Hospital System Is About to Be Severely Tested by Coronavirus. Just Look at New York., BARRON’S, April 3
“There’s no way to overprepare for this,” says Dr. Neil Schluger, a professor of epidemiology, environmental health sciences, and medicine at the Columbia University Medical Center, who has been treating Covid-19 patients for the past two weeks. “The volume really is overwhelming.”
“Places like Colorado can’t have a Navy ship sail in to provide additional beds,” says Charles Branas, a professor of epidemiology at Columbia’s Mailman School of Public Health.
“Hospitals should be thinking about how they can safely use as much space as they possibly can in their hospital,” says Columbia’s Schluger. It is not just ventilator supplies that will be stretched to their absolute limit. Drugs used to sedate intubated patients may run low. Many Covid-19 patients go through renal failure and need to be supported by a type of specialized dialysis machine.
As ventilator availability runs out, hospitals and health officials need to offer clarity about how rationing decisions will be made. “If that comes to pass, then it will be important for public health officials and hospitals to communicate very clearly with the public about how that’s going to work,” says Columbia’s Schluger. “Nobody wants to be in that position at all.”
It's Estimated 1 in 4 Coronavirus Carriers Could Be Asymptomatic. Here's What We Know, SCIENCE ALERT, April 3
"There's significant transmission by people not showing symptoms," Stephen Morse, an epidemiologist at Columbia University, told Business Insider. "We don't know all the unidentified cases out there," Morse said. "It's mostly sicker people in hospitals who are being tabulated."
Asymptomatic people may be fueling the coronavirus spread, LIVE SCIENCE, April 3
Part of the reason is that people with mild cases or asymptomatic cases likely have lower amounts of virus in their systems that they could shed, co-author Sen Pei, an associate research scientist at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health.
Experts and Trump’s Advisers Doubt White House’s 240,000 Coronavirus Deaths Estimate, The Washington Post, April 2
“Repurposing a [car] plant to make ventilators is great, but honestly — I’m not one to cast stones — but it could have been done earlier,” said Jeffrey Shaman, the Columbia University epidemiologist whose models have been reviewed by the White House. But Shaman doesn’t think the White House’s death projection is too low, nor does he think it’s too late to act decisively. “I think we can come in under 100,000 deaths. I do,” he said. “The jury is not yet in on this.”
He Said Mass Via Live Stream. 8 Days Later, He Fell to the Virus, THE NEW YORK TIMES, April 2
“It is facile to think this is an equal opportunity virus,” said Dr. Ashwin Vasan, a professor at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. “In some ways that is true because we can all get sick from it, but the impact of the pandemic is not going to be felt equally across society. We know that in communities of color, lower income communities, communities with a higher proportion of immigrants and other marginalized groups, those folks at a baseline suffer from higher rates of chronic health conditions than the general population,” he said.
'Contagion' vs. coronavirus: The film's connections to a real life pandemic, CNN, April 2
The filmmakers also consulted medical experts including Dr. W. Ian Lipkin and Lawrence "Larry" Brilliant. Lipkin is the director of the Center for Infection and Immunity at Columbia University Mailman School of Health. He recently contracted the novel coronavirus.
Democrats Postpone Convention, and a Test of Wills With Republicans Looms, THE NEW YORK TIMES, April 2
Dr. Irwin Redlener, a clinical professor at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, said he was deeply skeptical of a summer convention. “It is unreasonably optimistic to think that a traditional presidential political convention can happen in the summer of 2020, there’s so much we don’t understand about this,” said Dr. Redlener, who is also the director of the National Center for Disaster Preparedness. He said that gathering large numbers of people together “is counter to every reasonable public health guideline during the pandemic.”
How Far Should Police Go in Enforcing Coronavirus Lockdowns?, THE NEW YORK TIMES, April 2
“You want to use carrots instead of sticks,” said James Colgrove, a public health professor at Columbia University. “People want to do what’s best for themselves, and the way you get them to do what’s best is to tell them why they should do it and explain it to them. Nobody likes to be threatened.”
Trapped at Home With People You Met on Craigslist, The Atlantic, April 2
Experts say there are best practices to follow. Don’t share hand towels with roommates, and regularly disinfect often-used surfaces like counters, faucets, remotes, and refrigerator handles, Jessica Justman, an epidemiology professor at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, told me. When you’re moving from a communal space to another room, wash your hands. “Wash your hands more times than you think would be possible.”
Also quoted in TIME.
Will COVID-19 become a seasonal disease like the flu? It's too early to tell, experts say, CBC NEWS (Canadian Broadcasting Company), April 2
"We do know that ambient conditions — and it seems to be particularly humidity — modulate the survival ofthe influenza virus," said Dr. Jeffrey Shaman, a professor at Columbia and director of its climate and health program. "Now why that is, we don't know. But it's something that's been observed over and over again."
Why Queens May Have Emerged as New York City's Coronavirus Epicenter, NY1 Online, April 2
“These are folks who cannot stay at home. And even as the cases soar in the city, they have to continue taking the subway, they have to continue going to work,” said Dr. Sandra Albrecht, an assistant professor of epidemiology at the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University.
Coronavirus Testing in China Finds More Symptom-Free Cases, Bloomberg, April 2
With the pandemic-causing virus infecting more than 1 million people across the world, scientists are finding a wider range of manifestations than previously recognized. These include an abrupt loss of smell and taste to unusual neurological symptoms in a small number of cases, said Mady Hornig, a physician-scientist at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health in New York.
Worried Cleaners Take Front Line Positions in Fight Against Virus, THE CITY, April 2
If a building is unoccupied, then any virus that could linger from previous tenants should no longer be infectious after a few days, according to Dr. Stephen Morse, professor of epidemiology at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. Occupied buildings pose a slightly higher risk, but most standard cleaning fluids would eliminate the virus effectively, he said.
Face masks: can they slow coronavirus spread – and should we be wearing them?, THE GUARDIAN, April 2
Jessica Justman is a professor and attending physician in the division of infectious diseases at the Columbia University Irving Medical Center. “It’s like a pitcher and a catcher at a baseball game. And the masks are all about trying to keep the pitcher from pitching the ball. There are more pitchers than we realized, and if we need to all wear masks in order to keep the pitchers from pitching their balls, then so be it.”
“Silent Carriers” Are Helping Spread The Coronavirus. Here’s What We Know About Them., BUZZFEED NEWS, April 2
To Jeffrey Shaman, an infectious disease expert at Columbia University, the simpler and more important distinction is between “documented” versus “undocumented” cases — the latter being all infected people who aren’t diagnosed. Those could include a person who is very sick but “hates to go to the hospital or Shaman, the Columbia infectious disease expert, thinks the proportion of undocumented cases — infected people who are not officially diagnosed — could be as high as 86% in some places, meaning that these “invisible” cases are driving the pandemic. See a doctor and toughs it out at home,” he told BuzzFeed News.
Low-income zip codes hit hardest by COVID-19, PIX 11, April 2
Public health experts like Dr. Sandra Albrecht, a Columbia University epidemiologist, said as scarce as resources are, the city needs to get personal protective gear in the hands of people living in low income neighborhoods. She said it’s especially needed for those still going to work or doing the food shopping, then returning to what are often multigenerational homes in large apartment buildings.
The cast of 'Contagion' creates coronavirus PSAs, but Kate Winslet gets burned by Twitter, AD AGE, April 1
Last week, the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health worked with actors from the film—Matt Damon, Kate Winslet, Laurence Fishburne.
How Epidemics of the Past Forced Americans to Promote Health—and Ended Up Improving Life in..., THE SMITHSONIAN, April 1
In “Portrait of an Unhealthy City,” Columbia University professor David Rosner writes that since horses are so heavy, when one died in New York City, ...
Coronavirus Quarantine FAQ, WBUR, April 1
Here & Now's Jeremy Hobson speaks with Jeffrey Shaman, professor of environmental health sciences at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health.
A Month of Coronavirus in New York City: See the Hardest-Hit Areas, The New York Times, Apr 1
Dr. Jessica Justman, an epidemiologist at Columbia University in Manhattan, said the numbers were most likely because many immigrants and low-income residents live with large families in small apartments and cannot isolate at home. “I think unfortunately this is showing how devastating that can be,” Dr. Justman said.
The writer of 'Contagion' imagined all of this — except the inept government response, Washington Post, April 1
And he said, “Well, it's not even a question of if there will be another ... to be accurate, it should give them confidence in the public health experts who are out ... It has been reported that Columbia University epidemiologist Ian Lipkin.
He Said Mass Via Live Stream. 8 Days Later, He Fell to the Virus., THE NEW YORK TIMES, April 1
“It is facile to think this is an equal opportunity virus,” said Dr. Ashwin Vasan, a professor at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. “In some ways that is true because we can all get sick from it, but the impact of the pandemic is not going to be felt equally across society.” “We know that in communities of color, lower income communities, communities with a higher proportion of immigrants and other marginalized groups, those folks at a baseline suffer from higher rates of chronic health conditions than the general population,” he said.
Rising sea levels leave public housing residents struggling with mold, POPULAR SCIENCE, April 1
Alongside exposure to pests, such as cockroaches, and air pollution from vehicles, “mold is probably an important component in the total picture of what leads to a higher burden of asthma in low-income communities,” says Matthew Perzanowski, an associate professor of environmental health at Columbia University who studies asthma.
Why Jails Are So Important in the Fight Against Coronavirus, The New York Times, March 31
“Density is bad — we know that,” said Barun Mathema, an infectious disease epidemiologist at Columbia University who was part of a team that studied the spread of tuberculosis in a prison in Brazil. The team found that people entered the prison with low rates of infection. Within six months, their rates had shot up 30 times, and remained elevated for years after release. The prison drove the disease not only inside its walls, but also in the neighboring community, according to models of the general population.
The Contagion Cast Tells Us How to Fight Coronavirus, GQ, March 31
In addition to Damon and Winslet, Laurence Fishburne, Marion Cotillard, and Jennifer Ehle have also filmed PSAs, which were made with the help of the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. Soderbergh and writer Scott Z. Burns teamed up with the school’s Dr. W. Ian Lipkin, a professor of epidemiology who also served as an advisor for the chillingly realistic 2011 movie.
“The Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University reached out to the cast and asked us if we’d have a virtual reunion and do some PSAs,” Damon explains. “Everything you’re going to hear from us has been vetted by public health experts and scientists.”
Infected but Feeling Fine: The Unwitting Coronavirus Spreaders, THE NEW YORK TIMES, March 31
“There’s no standard definition for it, and you could say to yourself, Well, that’s kind of ridiculous: You either have symptoms or you don’t,” said Dr. Jeffrey Shaman, an infectious diseases expert at Columbia University. But studies by his team have shown, he said, that some people never notice their symptoms, others are unable to distinguish the infection from their smoker’s cough or allergies or other conditions, and still others may feel every pain acutely.
Infectious disease expert who has coronavirus says public health cannot be overlooked again, CNBC ONLINE, March 31
Governments around the world cannot afford to neglect public health after the coronavirus pandemic, infectious disease expert Dr. Ian Lipkin told CNBC on Tuesday. … “That’s something we’re not thinking about right now, but we should be doing so very soon, if not now,” added Lipkin, who himself became sick with COVID-19. Lipkin, director of the Center for Infection and Immunity at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, said he “ironically” became infected with the disease in New York City through community spread. (Video)
Coronavirus: Contagion cast share Covid-19 advice, BBC News, March 31
The social media campaign came about after Columbia's Mailman School of Public Health contacted the Contagion cast and asked if they'd be willing to have a virtual reunion to do some public service announcements.
To protect ourselves from the pandemic, we must protect our health workforce, THE HILL, March 30
Despite being the most critical human resource during a pandemic, frontline health workers are routinely underfunded, overworked, and often lack the protective equipment they need to provide care and treatment safely.
Susan Michaels-Strasser, Ph.D., MPH, is the senior director for human resources for health at ICAP, a global health organization based at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. Dr. Michaels-Strasser is also an Assistant Professor in Epidemiology at the Mailman School of Public Health.
Making America sick again: How anti-immigrant measures will worsen the coronavirus pandemic, NEW YORK DAILY NEWS, Opinion, March 30
BYLINE: GOLEEN SAMARI
The past few weeks, as life in the U.S. came to a halt, President Trump promised to “take care of the American public” in the “war with a foreign virus.” Trump continues to use the COVID-19 pandemic to push forward his racist and xenophobic agenda, but the administration’s immigration policies, including expansion of the “public charge rule” to prevent legal immigrants from accessing basic programs, will actually exacerbate the spread of COVID-19 and deaths from the coronavirus in the U.S.
Samari is an assistant professor of population and family health at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health.
Ask An Epidemiologist: Can I Go Outside? Or Use An Elevator? Should I Wear A Mask?, THE GOTHAMIST, March 30
Last week we asked a Professor of Epidemiology at the Columbia Mailman School of Public Health, Stephen Morse, a few questions about living in New York City as COVID-19 continues to spread and we all try to safely navigate life here. The questions focused on our new normal, like, can I go to the grocery store, and what happens if I touch that cardboard box? As promised, we're back with another installment. Below, Morse answers our questions about going outside, wearing masks, getting into an elevator, and more.
Coronavirus deniers take aim at hospitals as pandemic grows, NBC NEWS ONLINE, March 30
Dr. Irwin Redlener, the director of the National Center for Disaster Preparedness and a clinical professor of health policy and management and pediatrics at Columbia University, said privacy laws and respect for patients’ privacy inside of hospitals prevent some of the harrowing images of the inside of hospitals from being released. "HIPAA and patient privacy is a final reality for every hospital in the U.S. and every health care encounter," he said, referring to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. "These are federal laws we have to comply with, and certainly images fit into there."
Maker of masks for health care workers accused of making defective earplugs for military, ABC NEWS ONLINE, March 30
3M, the maker of tens of millions of respirator masks to be purchased by the U.S. government for health care workers battling the novel coronavirus, was accused several years ago of knowingly selling defective earplugs to the military in a federal lawsuit settled with the U.S. Justice Department. … "It's particularly masks and the protective gear that we need desperately -- both to protect ourselves from patients but also patients from others," Dr. David Bell, a physician at Columbia University Irving Medical Center, told ABC News.
Politicians, experts call for global cooperation against coronavirus pandemic, XINHUA NEWS, March 29
Wafaa El-Sadr, director of the Global Health Initiative and ICAP at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health, said that by strengthening collaboration on various fronts such as scientific research, China and the United States can contribute to tackling major global public health threats.
Relations with Iran, THE NEW YORK TIMES, Letters to the Editor, March 28
Social media has become a pivotal communication tool in the 21st century and central to information and misinformation dissemination in the Covid-19 pandemic. While there are potential drawbacks, social media has enabled the scientific community to analyze and discuss data in nearly real time allowing for informed decision-making and multidisciplinary global research collaborations. In our “on demand” society, it is vital to balance rapid dissemination of information with scientific integrity. [Dr.] Angela L. Rasmussen is an associate research scientist at the Center for Infection and Immunity, Columbia Mailman School of Public Health.
In a Time of Distancing Due to Coronavirus, The Health Threat of Loneliness Looms, STAT NEWS, March 28
“There’s clear evidence across a number of studies that older adults do well with being online if they see a utility to it,” said Linda Fried, dean of the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University and a reviewer of the NASEM report.
Mystery In Wuhan: Recovered Coronavirus Patients Test Negative ... Then Positive, NPR ONLINE, March 27
"There are false positives with these types of tests," Dr. Jeffrey Shaman, a professor of environmental health sciences at Columbia University, told NPR by email. Shaman recently co-authored a modeling study showing that transmission by individuals who did not exhibit any symptoms was a driver of the Wuhan outbreak.
How Can You Safely Grocery Shop in the Time of Coronavirus? Here's What Experts Suggest, TIME ONLINE, March 27
Standing so far apart from people might feel uncomfortable, Dr. Jessica Justman, an associate professor of medicine in epidemiology at Columbia University, warns. People in the U.S. tend to have conversations two or three feet apart, she explains, so doubling that can feel alien. Still, it’s necessary right now.
Doctor with coronavirus: 'If it can hit me, it can hit anybody', FOX NEWS, March 24
Columbia University's Center for Infection and Immunity director Dr. Ian Lipkin explains what researchers have learned about the use of blood plasma from recovered coronavirus patients to treat current coronavirus patients.
Norwegian Cruise Line managers urged salespeople to spread falsehoods about coronavirus, THE WASHINGTON POST, March 12
Jeffrey Shaman, the director of the climate and health program at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, said there has been no clear evidence to suggest that the coronavirus that causes the covid-19 disease is less transmissible at higher temperatures. The ongoing pandemic, he said, could last straight through the summer in the United States and Europe.
Travel and the Coronavirus: Answers to Your Top Questions, The New York Times, March 12
Travel could be restricted, if the state or local government thought it necessary, said Jessica Justman, a professor of epidemiology at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. “That flexibility that the government then gains might allow the government to lay out certain policies and those policies in turn could easily affect what an individual can do or not do.”
What the U.S. and Europe Can Learn From Asia's Two-Month Virus Battle, Bloomberg News, March 12
“No matter how your health systems or political systems are organized, the keys to epidemic control remain the same” -- test, trace, isolate and inform, said Jessica Justman, a professor of medicine in epidemiology at Columbia University.
Also in The Japan Times
Avoid flights and crowds? Try telling that to Congress, Chicago Tribune, March 12
Dr. Jack Rowe, a professor of health policy and aging at Columbia University, said he didn’t understand why Congress would ignore the threat. “There are 535 of these people between the two chambers — you can’t tell me there aren’t any of them that don’t have chronic disease who would be at special risk,” he said. “These people should be excused. They should be sitting at home looking at their computers, listening to the debate and voting, and that would send the right message.”
COMIC: I Spent A Day In Coronavirus Awareness Mode. Epidemiologists, How Did I Do?, NPR ONLINE, March 12
Dr. Deliang Tang, a molecular epidemiologist at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health, gave me an A-. Like Nolan, he says that going to the movies was probably not a good idea (although to be fair, lots of other people were unafraid — the theater was packed). "We are generally recommending the public to not go to any gathering places at this moment," he says. "It would have been better if you just stayed home."
Depressed Pregnant Women 3 Times More Likely to Turn to Pot, US NEWS & WORLD REPORT, March 12
Could depression prompt a pregnant woman to use marijuana? New research suggests it could: Pregnant women with depression are more than three times more likely to use pot than those without depression, a new study finds. Researchers with the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health in New York City analyzed U.S. federal data from 2005 to 2018. "Our findings are timely, given rapidly shifting perceptions about risks associated with cannabis use and its legalization," said researcher Renee Goodwin, from Columbia's Department of Epidemiology. Marijuana users were defined as respondents who reported using the drug at least once in the past 30 days.
'Disaster socialism': Will coronavirus crisis finally change how Americans see the safety net? | Will ..., The Philadelphia Inquirer, March 12
“The black and brown folks who work for these corporations have to show up on their line or at their cleaning facility, because they’re taking care of the things that can’t be taken care of remotely,” Diana Hernández, professor of sociomedical sciences at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health, told me. I’d called her after reading her op-ed on how a public health crisis has laid bare what so many have tried to ignore for so long — the many ways that the cruel inequalities of modern U.S. capitalism weigh on working people.
Joe Biden’s presidential campaign announced on Wednesday that it had formed a new advisory committee to counsel the campaign on the risks posed by the new coronavirus, just hours after the World Health Organization declared the outbreak to be a pandemic. … Dr. Irwin Redlener, a professor and disaster preparedness expert at Columbia University’s school of public health, is on the committee.
Also in The Hill
'Contagion' makers predicted an outbreak like coronavirus - Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Times, March 11
“It was not going to be pure entertainment — it was actually going to have some public health messaging,” said Dr. Ian Lipkin, a Columbia University epidemiology professor who served as the movie’s main scientific consultant. “The idea was to make people aware of the fact that emerging diseases will continue to emerge and reemerge.” Lipkin, who has identified hundreds of new diseases throughout his career, shared with Burns his experiences from 2003 on the frontlines of the SARS outbreak in Beijing. Elliott Gould’s character in the movie, a UC San Francisco scientist named Ian Sussman, is a nod to Lipkin. Lipkin invited Winslet and actress Jennifer Ehle, who plays the researcher developing a vaccine for the virus, to his lab at Columbia to help them prepare for their roles.
How the makers of ‘Contagion’ saw an outbreak like coronavirus coming, LOS ANGELES TIMES, March 11
There’s a moment early in the movie “Contagion” when health officials lay out what’s known about the film’s villain, a novel virus that is sweeping the globe and leaving dead bodies in its path. … “It was not going to be pure entertainment — it was actually going to have some public health messaging,” said Dr. Ian Lipkin, a Columbia University epidemiology professor who served as the movie’s main scientific consultant. “The idea was to make people aware of the fact that emerging diseases will continue to emerge and reemerge.”
I’ve seen ‘Contagion’ four times. No, the coronavirus outbreak isn’t the same, LOS ANGELES TIMES, March 11
Dr. Ian Lipkin, a Columbia University epidemiologist who was a consultant on “Contagion,” said he thinks many milder cases of COVID-19 have not been counted, so the death rate is exaggerated. When I spoke to Lipkin, he had recently returned from China where he was helping with the COVID-19 response. He said tests that identify how many people in the general population had the disease but were not diagnosed will give a more accurate death rate. “When we complete that work we’re going to find out that the mortality rate is much lower than is currently described,” he said.
Hospital Thought New York Lawyer Had Pneumonia. It Was New Virus., THE NEW YORK TIMES, March 11
During earlier outbreaks of other coronaviruses, including SARS, a lot of transmission occurred in hospitals “during procedures like intubation,” said Stephen Morse, a professor of epidemiology at the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University.
One Group of Older Americans Is Ignoring Coronavirus Advice: Members of Congress, THE NEW YORK TIMES, The UpShot
Dr. Jack Rowe, a professor of health policy and aging at Columbia University, said he didn’t understand why Congress would ignore the threat. “There are 535 of these people between the two chambers — you can’t tell me there aren’t any of them that don’t have chronic disease who would be at special risk,” he said.
Coronavirus may have a seasonal cycle, but that doesn’t mean it will go away this summer, experts warn, THE WASHINGTON POST ONLINE, March 11
Jeffrey Shaman, the director of the climate and health program at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, said that the novel coronavirus may exhibit a seasonality but that this is far from clear. “Given that it is a newly emerged virus to which most of the world is susceptible, I don’t think it will abate in April. Rather, it might ramp down in the U.S. in late May or June,” he said via email.
What Will You Do If You Start Coughing?, THE ATLANTIC, March 11
“An inaccurate test—one prone to false positive or false negative results, can be worse than no test at all,” Ian Lipkin, an epidemiology professor at Columbia University, told me in an email. The CDC has not shared the exact sensitivity of the testing process it has been using. When Fauci was asked about it on Monday, he once again hedged. “If it’s positive, you absolutely can make a decision,” he said. If it’s not, that’s a judgment call. Usually a second test is recommended, and it depends on the patient’s symptoms, exposures, and how sick they appear to be.
How Sports Leagues Are Reacting To Coronavirus, FiveThirtyEight, March 11
Dr. Wan Yang, a professor of epidemiology at Columbia University: “It’s a huge unknown. If there’s no local transmission when you go, then there’s no exposure. But the problem is we don’t know how many people have been infected in each location. If there were a case in this huge gathering, then lots of people would get exposed. We saw this in South Korea, where … infection at a church gathering infected hundreds. And Zika a few years ago has been hypothesized to be introduced during a soccer game to Brazil. So we’ve seen many, many cases of this superspreading due to huge gatherings. It’s a big concern. If there’s transmission locally, people getting together will lead to transmissions.”
Smoke chemicals clinging to clothes can be released in nonsmoking environments, REUTERS, March 10
“This is a superb paper,” said Steven Stellman, a professor of clinical epidemiology at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health in New York City. “The level of science is first rate.” The study opens the door to more research into the effects of the third-hand smoke that clings to smokers, Stellman said. Those studies could investigate health risks associated with this kind of exposure, he added.
COVID-19 and the City, WNYC RADIO, The Brian Lehrer Show
Dr. Jessica Justman, associate professor of epidemiology at the Mailman School of Public Health, brings updates on how the COVID-19 is spreading through the city, and informs listeners on the best practices on how to stay well.
Your Coronavirus Questions Answered, WNYC RADIO, The Brian Lehrer Show, March 9
New York State now has among the most confirmed coronavirus cases in the nation. The latest count puts the number of cases over 140, and public officials are expecting that number to rise as more people are tested. In this special nighttime call-in: Your questions with expert answers.
On tonight's show: Dr. Jessica Justman, associate professor of epidemiology at the Mailman School of Public Health
CNN Tonight with Don Lemon, CNN, MARCH 9
Stephen Morse, a professor of epidemiology, joins a discussion of President Trump's response to the coronavirus with Frank Bruni and Erica Hill.
How the Have-Nots Are Coping With Coronavirus, NEW YORK DAILY NEWS, Op-Ed, March 9
BYLINE: DIANA HERNÁNDEZ
For a while, coronavirus was something happening on the other side of the world. As of this week, it’s a more imminent threat for many New Yorkers. And for those on the margins, it’s an especially serious threat. … Of course, the coronavirus itself doesn’t care about whether a host is high- or low-income; anyone can be affected, and many will unknowingly spread it to others. In fact, at least initially, it appears that the business class and the global jet-setters might be at higher risk of exposure; they’re the ones who can engage in international travel for work or leisurely purposes. That’s where the relative disadvantage of wealth ends. Hernández is an assistant professor of sociomedical sciences at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health.
The language that we use around containment needs to be positive, that we’re trying to get ahead of the virus…we’re trying to really understand what is happening.” Susan Michaels-Strasser, assistant professor at Columbia University School of Public Health (1:45 mark). Dr. Michaels-Strasser also appeared on MSNBC with Steve Kornacki at 7pm.
Can You Catch the Coronavirus From Handling Cash?, CBS NEWS ONLINE, March 9
Some doctors say better safe than sorry. "Droplets can live on surfaces, including subway seats and dollar bills. It seems like it could be a path for transmission because it's something people commonly share and handle," said Dr. Jeffrey Shaman, professor at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health.
Coronavirus Fears Show How 'Model Minority' Asian Americans Become the 'Yellow Peril', NBC NEWS ONLINE, March 9
BYLINE: MATTHEW LEE
With the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, Asian Americans are once again facing hostility during a global public health emergency. While Americans have been advised by experts and officials to prepare, not panic, we also see empty Chinatown restaurants across the country, flight cancellations and travel restrictions to and from China and other parts of Asia, Asian American children and students experiencing harassment and discrimination (something I was very familiar with during the SARS outbreak in 2003), insidious misinformation that can spread far more quickly and widely than the virus itself, and a top medical journal publishing a damaging viewpoint that speculates on biological differences among Asian males based on “unconfirmed data.” Matthew Lee is a doctoral candidate in sociomedical sciences at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health.
Commuting in the time of coronavirus in the nation's largest subway system, CNN ONLINE, March 9
"Even if you clean it twice a day, if someone happens just by chance to come on who's infected and their hands may be contaminated — they just sneezed into their hands and they put their hand on some surface — the cleaning only works for a short time," said Stephen Morse, an epidemiology professor at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health. "It's really up to all of us to take the precautions to protect ourselves."
Confronting the Coronavirus, Our Town, March 9
Dr. Stephen Morse, professor of epidemiology at the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University, has spent his career confronting outbreaks of infectious disease, including the SARS global outbreak of 2003. Morse spoke with Straus News about the novel coronavirus, COVID-19 and what New Yorkers need to know as the crisis unfolds.
Dr. Stephen Morse, Columbia University professor of epidemiology, separates fact from fiction.
Gig economy workers say they'll have to work through the coronavirus outbreak even if they get ..., Business Insider, March 6
“If a worker feels sick but is able to go to work and carry out his or her duties, they will not stay home and risk losing that day’s income,” said Sandra Albrecht, of the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. “It’s even worse if they do not have health insurance, and are in need of that income to pay for healthcare bills, as well as other costs of daily living.”
Merlin Chowkwanyun, historian and assistant professor of sociomedical sciences at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, recently told Vox, xenophobia has been intertwined with public health discourse for a very long time, against many different groups. “Historically, in both popular and scientific discourse, contagious disease has often been linked, in a blanket way, to population groups thought to be ‘outsiders,’” he said.
Lose Weight, Lower Prostate Cancer Risk, U.S. News & World Report, March 6
"These study results show that risk for advanced prostate cancer can be decreased by maintaining a 'healthy' weight, which is in line with guidelines by the American Cancer Society and World Cancer Research Fund," said study author Jeanine Genkinger, an associate professor of epidemiology at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. "Adopting healthy eating and exercising are factors that can help maintain a healthy weight," Genkinger said.
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“Washington state counties are not the only places where that is going to be discussed,” said Irwin Redlener, a disaster preparedness expert and public health professor at Columbia University in New York. “We might have to adopt procedures and protocols that would be unacceptable in the absence of a true national emergency. In other words, our standards might have to get much more lax.”
The Comic Con at the Epicenter of the U.S. Coronavirus Outbreak Finally Got Canceled, VICE, March 6
“This thing has huge pandemic potential, meaning that it really could sweep the world and 50% to 70% of the world’s population could be infected within a couple of years,” Jeffrey Shaman, a professor of environmental health at Columbia University told VICE News. The goal, Shaman says, is to avoid getting into a scenario where hospitals operate over capacity and have to take measures like setting up tents outside to treat patients.
Worried About Coronavirus on the Subway? Here’s What We Know, THE NEW YORK TIMES, March 4
As cases of coronavirus increase in the United States and public health officials urge healthy Americans to avoid contact with those who are sick, many people who live and work in New York wonder how they can do that given the heavy reliance on public transit. … Dr. Stephen S. Morse, an epidemiology professor at the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University, said that, generally speaking, two main factors determined the likelihood of contracting a virus in any given place: how crowded it is and how much time one spends there.
How to Prepare for a Coronavirus Quarantine, According to Experts, New York Magazine, March 4
“Cover your coughs and sneezes and wash your hands after you cover your coughs and sneezes, stay away from sick people, stay home when you’re sick,” says Stephen Morse, professor of epidemiology at the Columbia University Medical Center and director of the Infectious Disease Epidemiology Certificate Program. “We really have to rely on what we would essentially call non-pharmaceutical measures, and good common sense,” he explains, because a vaccine for this particular virus is still at least a year out.
Why Pandemics Activate Xenophobia, VOX, March 4
The history of pandemics, as Columbia University assistant professor Merlin Chowkwanyun told Vox recently, is bound up with outbursts of fear-mongering and anti-immigration hysteria. This is no less true in the US, where concerns about infectious diseases have historically been linked to draconian restrictions on various groups, including Chinese Americans and African Americans.
Pathologists Debunk 13 Myths About the Coronavirus, Including Why Masks Won't Help, Business Insider, March 4
Business Insider asked the Senior Director of NYC Health + Hospitals System-wide Special Pathogens Program and a professor of epidemiology at Columbia University to debunk 13 of the most common coronavirus myths. I'm Dr. Stephen Morse, professor of epidemiology at the Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University. We're here to debunk myths about the coronavirus.
Coronavirus is spreading, but no telling how many people have it, PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, March 4
“Early on, management was less than optimal in Hubei, and they’re paying for that now,” said Ian Lipkin, an epidemiology professor at Columbia’s Mailman School of Public Health, who has been advising the Chinese government since the SARS outbreak. There were, of course, genuine barriers to understanding what was happening in Wuhan: Pneumonia cases are not unusual in winter. Lipkin pointed out that it took many months for U.S. health officials to recognize HIV as a new virus, despite gay men turning up at alarming rates with unusual pneumonias and skin cancers.
How bad will the coronavirus outbreak get in the U.S.?, THE WASHINGTON POST, March 3
It is not certain that the virus will spread broadly across the United States, but there is a consensus that the country needs to prepare for that. “I don’t think we’re going to be able to control it, the same as we’re not able to control flu,” said Jeffrey Shaman, a Columbia University epidemiologist. “The problem is, this is 10 times or maybe 20 times the burden of a typical seasonal flu. Maybe 40 times. That is daunting.”
Can't get your hands on hand sanitizer? Make your own, CBS NEWS ONLINE, March 3
Do-it-yourself sanitizers must contain at least 60% alcohol, by volume, to work, Dr. Agus said. Isopropyl alcohol (better known as rubbing alcohol) or ethanol are both suitable varieties, experts told CBS MoneyWatch. "If you make it well, it's about as effective as using soap and water," said Dr. Stephen Morse, a professor of epidemiology at Columbia University in New York. "We know it works — just make sure it has enough alcohol in it."
Will COVID-19 will ruin your travel plans? Follow these 3 tips, PBS NewsHour, March 2
Travel has helped to perpetuate the virus, said Ian Lipkin, an epidemiologist who directs Columbia University’s Center for Infection and Immunity, because when individuals “who are infected then travel to a new site” they “create a nucleus” from which new cases emerge. .. Now, the most important thing is to remain flexible when it comes to travel, Lipkin said.
WAPO: Trump Aide Calls Cornonavirus Response Complete Chaos, MSNBC, 11th Hour with Brian Williams, March 2
Joining us is Dr. Irwin Redlener, pediatrician and a professor at the School of Public Health at Columbia and head of the National center for Disaster Preparedness
The incompetencies throughout the Administration have been extraordinary. We are so far behind other countries. We already have a pandemic and measures will need to be taken in order to decrease the transmission.
Are New Yorkers at greater risk of catching coronavirus?, City & State, March 2
“In general, infections with person-to-person transmission, such as this coronavirus and flu, often will spread more rapidly in denser urban environments,” Dr. Stephen Morse, professor of epidemiology at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, wrote … “Even in the suburbs, there are many places where people may congregate in numbers – many workplaces, schools, shopping malls, movie theaters, sports events, for example, so there is potential for spread there as well,” Morse told City & State. Some public health experts, in fact, have said that running into viruses or bacteria on the subway isn’t any likelier than in other environments, such as offices.
A Local Guide To The Coronavirus, THE NEW YORKER, March 1
On Friday morning, two hours before the stock market opened and resumed its plunge, amid deepening fears of a global pandemic, Dr. Ian Lipkin, one of the world’s leading infectious-disease epidemiologists, sat in his living room, on the Upper West Side, preparing to head back into the fray. He was dressed for TV—he’d been making the rounds. “I never turn down Fox,” he said. “It’s an opportunity to preach in the wilderness.” Lipkin, who is sixty-seven, directs the Center for Infection and Immunity, at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, where attempts to¬ develop a better diagnostic test for covid-19 are underway.
There's Not Going to Be a Coronavirus Shutdown — Yet, AXIOS, March 1
We still don't know a lot about the coronavirus, and those unknowns make even the best contingency planning a lot harder. … But "the people who are making those decisions are going to be mindful of the fact that this [virus] can spread very quickly," said Jeff Shaman, an infectious disease expert at Columbia University.
Why Is Data on Coronavirus So Limited?, THE NEW YORK TIMES, February 29
“Early on, management was less than optimal in Hubei and they’re paying for that now,” Dr. Ian Lipkin, a professor of epidemiology at Columbia’s Mailman School of Public Health who has been working in China and advising the Chinese government since the SARS outbreak, told me. There were, of course, some genuine barriers to understanding what exactly was happening in Wuhan: Pneumonias are not unusual in winter, and there was no way to know that there was a novel virus. (Dr. Lipkin’s group is working on building a new test that distinguishes between different cause of viral pneumonias, with a researcher headed to China next week for testing.)
The Olympics Are the Perfect Way to Spread a Virus, But a Decision on the Tokyo Games Can Wait, THE WASHINGTON POST, February 29
Columbia University epidemiology professor Stephen Morse, in an email, agreed with this line of thought: “As of a week or two ago, with the virus still causing only limited outbreaks outside of China, I would have thought the Tokyo Olympics would very likely have to be canceled or postponed. Once it’s very widespread, like a flu pandemic, or there’s a vaccine readily available, the question of canceling the Olympics will become moot.
Interview: Strong, Resilient Public Health Systems Vital to Combating Global Epidemics, Says U.S. Expert, XINHUA NEWS, February 29
Strong and resilient public health systems are critical in the battle against epidemics, a renowned U.S. expert on global health has said. In the prevention and control of major global epidemics, "what's very valuable for countries like China or the United States or any other country is to work on establishing strong health systems that are resilient," said Wafaa El-Sadr, director of the Global Health Initiative and ICAP at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health.
Coronavirus with careful controls and safe guards will be OK., CatsRoundtable Podcast, March 1
Stephen Morse was the guest on the Sunday program Cats Roundtable where he discussed coronavirus including the sustainability of keeping the controls that are in place until there is a vaccine…On a scale of severity, coronavirus is closer to the flu than to ebola.
How the public can protect itself against coronavirus, Yahoo Finance (VIDEO), February 29
Dr. W. Ian Lipkin, Director of the Center for Infection and Immunity at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, joins us to discuss the coronavirus outbreak, and how the public can protect itself as the virus spreads.
Into the Black Box: What Can Machine Learning Offer Environmental Health Research?, Environmental Health Perspectives, February 29
“One of the most common questions I get is, ‘What sort of model should I use with my data?’ ” says Marianthi-Anna Kioumourtzoglou, an assistant professor at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health who uses AI in health studies of chemical mixtures. The answer, she says, is that researchers should start by clearly framing the question they want to answer.
How Medical Schools Are Adapting to This Century’s Biggest Health Threat, NEW YORK POST, February 27
The time burden may be eased via shared materials. Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health formed the Global Consortium on Climate and Health Education in 2017 to begin to share ideas on how to train health professionals. To date, it can count some 180 signatories of mostly public-health programs, but also over 20 medical schools and another two dozen nursing programs.
Opinion | Syrian Refugees are Experiencing Their Worst Crisis to Date. Coronavirus Will Make it Worse.
BYLINE: IRWIN REDLENER, SEAN HASSEN, THE WASHINGTON POST, February 27
Feb 27, 2020 - You may not realize it from the news coverage, but we are witnessing one of the worst humanitarian crises in modern history. Resurgent fighting and violence around Idlib, Syria, have produced the largest wave of human displacement in Syria’s nine-year civil war. Irwin Redlener, professor at the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University; Sean Hansen, graduate student at The School of International and Public Affairs.
Covid-19: Trump says risk to Americans is “very low”, British Medical Journal, February 28
Goleen Samari, assistant professor at the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University in New York, told The BMJ, “People who lack insurance are less likely to seek care. American public health is decentralized. It’s up to the cities and states. Some states which have accepted Medicaid (health insurance for poorer people) expansion could use funds to provide care to the uninsured and undocumented.” The large state of Texas, for example, did not accept Medicaid expansion. Quarantine policies, she said, differ widely from state to state and haven’t been updated in 50 years.
How to Prepare for the Coronavirus, Wall Street Journal, February 27
For now, make provisions, says Stephen Morse, professor of epidemiology at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. Arrange to telecommute if there is an outbreak in your area. Check your sick leave policy in case you get sick. Arrange childcare for your children in case schools close.
Coronavirus in The Tri-State Area: How Prepared Are We Really?, WCBS News, February 27
If we get a really, really severe pandemic with lots of people-to-people transmissions and a high fatality rate, then we certainly are not prepared,” said Dr. Irwin Redlener of the National Center for Disaster Preparedness at Columbia University who is also a professor at the Mailman School of Public Health. Redlener also points out that these days hospitals, especially city hospitals, are usually operating at or near capacity, which means difficult decisions would have to be made during a widespread outbreak of where to put infected patients, which patients would be discharged, what procedures would be postponed and so on.
Coronavirus is coming. Is New York ready?, City & State, February 27
(Dr. Craig) Spencer’s case “is a good indication that it can be done,” Dr. Stephen Morse, professor of epidemiology at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, told City & State. “If you are careful and mindful of the fact that (infection) could happen, you make sure to look for those cases, whether it’s Ebola or the 2019 coronavirus. It’s a matter of having the right procedures and infrastructure in place and people who know how to act.”
Interview: China's efforts against COVID-19 encouraging -- US health expert, Xinhua, February 26
"It's very heartening to see how quickly Chinese scientists were able to identify the sequence of the virus" and published it rapidly thereafter, said Wafaa El-Sadr, director of the Global Health Initiative at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health. ... The moves are valuable in terms of facilitating the development of tests to diagnose the virus disease as well as a potential medication, said El-Sadr, a professor of epidemiology and medicine at Columbia University.
We have to prevent people from getting the illness, not wait till they’re really sick: Expert, CNBC, February 26
Dr. Stephen Morse of Columbia University and Dr. Leana Wen discuss President Trump's remarks and what we're likely to see next.
US volgger discusses COVID-19 with top virologist, CGTN America, February 26
As the COVID-19 outbreak continues, American vlogger Jerry Kowal caught up with Waffa El-Sadr, a professor at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, in New York.
A Guide: How To Prepare Your Home For Coronavirus, NPR ONLINE, February 26
We still don't know exactly how long the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 can survive on surfaces. But Stephen Morse, a professor of epidemiology at Columbia University Medical Center, says what we know from other coronaviruses is that most household cleansers — such as bleach wipes or alcohol — will kill them.
China's health care system under pressure as coronavirus continues to spread, CNBC, February 26
With an estimated 800 million in home isolation the Chinese government has done something very unique, Jeffrey Shaman, professor at the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University said. His research includes infectious disease transmission. “It has slowed the outbreak,” Shaman said. “But tin his view that only buys time for vaccines and therapeutic development. At present, a big concern will be outbreaks in hospitals which will be very hard to control in China as elsewhere.”
Climate change is the biggest health threat this century — here’s how medical schools are adapting, MarketWatch, February 26
Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health formed the Global Consortium on Climate and Health Education in 2017 to begin to share ideas on how to train health professionals. To date, it can count some 180 signatories of mostly public-health programs, but also over 20 medical schools and another two dozen nursing programs.
As CDC warns of coronavirus’s spread in US, officials reveal that more than 600 in Mass. have been monitored for illness, THE BOSTON GLOBE, February 26
Dr. Irwin Redlener, director of the National Center for Disaster Preparedness and professor health policy and management at Columbia University, also cautioned against overreacting. It’s too soon to start stockpiling cans of beans in the basement, he asserted; that “creates an unnecessary amount of panic.” Taking overly strong measures can do more harm than good. “If we overdo it, the other consequences for the economy and education could be a very unfortunate thing,” Redlener said.
How to Prepare For The Coronavirus In NYC, THE GOTHAMIST, February 26
Health officials have thus far focused on basic precautions such as frequent hand-washing, covering coughs and sneezes, and staying home when sick. Dr. Stephen Morse, a professor of epidemiology at Columbia University Medical Center said those measures should continue to serve as a baseline of protective measures against the disease. "You can’t get perfection," he said. "On the other hand, many of these things should become habitual." … "Don't touch your face or eyes," after touching surfaces that may be infected, Morse said.
Trump says coronavirus is 'going to go away' despite mounting concerns, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, February 26
Chelsea Clinton, who teaches at the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University, said the President was ignorant about global health and presided over an administration that had sought to cut funding in the area. "The Trump administration is chronically inept at, and seemingly uninterested in, any type of long-term planning," Clinton wrote in an opinion piece on CNN.com.
Are people in their 70s healthy enough to run the country? Yes., Washington Post, BYLINE: John W. Rowe, February 25
How old is too old to be president of the United States? As we watch several men in their mid-70s compete for the chance to run against a sitting president in his mid-70s, one has to wonder whether these guys are too old for the job. The answer is: No, they are not.
John W. Rowe is professor of Health Policy and aging at Columbia University
Under Trump, America is less prepared for a coronavirus outbreak, CNN International, February 25
Scientists are also conducting crucial research to help develop a vaccine, diagnose cases more rapidly and develop public health containment strategies. Under former President Barack Obama, infrastructure was established to respond to the Ebola and Zika outbreaks and to ensure that they did not become pandemics.
Unfortunately, President Donald Trump has taken actions that many doctors and experts agree will leave the US less prepared to respond to COVID-19.
Surge of Hundreds of New Coronavirus Cases Raise Fears of Global Pandemic, The Weather Channel, February 25
“What we find is that this virus is going to be very difficult to contain,” Jeffrey Shaman, an infectious disease researcher at Columbia University and co-author of the study, told the Post. “Personally, I don’t think we can do it.”
New study reveals previously invisible health issues among Asians in US, NBCNews.com, February 25
Researchers added that aggregate data limit the identification of future priorities for research, policy and health programs. Robert Fullilove, a sociomedical sciences professor at the Columbia University Medical Center who was not involved in the study, said he found the research useful because it underscores the difference in findings in aggregated vs. disaggregated data.
Trump’s Xenophobia Could Create a Public Health Crisis, THE NEW REPUBLIC, February 24
“In an immigrant population, asthma, epilepsy, cancer, disabilities, all of these issues are quite prominent and under addressed even before this change,” Terry McGovern, chair of the Department of Population and Family Health and founder of the Program on Global Health Justice and Governance at Columbia University, told The New Republic.
CNN Opinion: Under Trump, America Is Less Prepared for a Coronavirus Outbreak, CNN, Byline: Chelsea Clinton and Devi Sridhar, February 24
Unfortunately, President Donald Trump has taken actions that many doctors and experts agree will leave the US less prepared to respond to COVID-19. He has eliminated the position of Global Health Czar and has repeatedly proposed cuts important to global health funding -- thankfully that have failed to pass in Congress. Two aspects in particular worry us about the White House's response, or lack thereof. We have a President uninterested in global health concerns, broadly disdainful of experts and recently obsessed with and distracted by his impeachment.
Chelsea Clinton, a co-author of this article, is an adjunct assistant professor of health policy and management at the Mailman School.
China’s Surveillance State Pushed to the Limits in Virus Fight, Bloomberg Businessweek, February 24
The usefulness of high-tech surveillance tools will be limited until officials identify the incubation period of the new coronavirus and develop rapid diagnostic tests and effective treatment, says Jessica Justman, an associate professor of medicine in the Department of Epidemiology at Columbia University and senior technical director of its global public health center, ICAP.
Study: Half of US Deaths from Pollution Linked to Out-of-State Emissions, Voice of America, February 24
Dr. Peter Muennig studies health effects of air pollution at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health in New York City. He praised the new research. “This is a great study,” said Muennig, who was not involved in the research. A notable limit, he said, is that the information is based on models, which can be complex and more likely to contain mistakes.
Columbia University professor on misconceptions of COVID-19, China Global TV Network, February 22
John Snow Professor of Epidemiology at the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University W. Ian Lipkin discussed the challenges China is facing as it deals with misconceptions people and the media have about COVID-19. Lipkin says there's no evidence that the coronavirus was deliberately made or accidentally released.
Sharing Data Faster to Fight an Epidemic, Wall Street Journal, February 21
It’s all a big change from past epidemics, when key findings could take weeks or months to be shared. Many researchers once snubbed preprint servers, fearing that sharing their work there would jeopardize their chances of publication in an established academic journal. “If you look at the rate at which people are publishing and sharing data online, it’s great,” said Ian Lipkin, a veteran microbe hunter and director of the Center for Infection and Immunity at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. “Things have improved.”
Coronavirus outbreak edges closer to pandemic, Washington Post, February 21
“What we find is that this virus is going to be very difficult to contain,” said Jeffrey Shaman, an infectious disease researcher at Columbia University and co-author of the study posted Monday. “Personally, I don’t think we can do it.”
“I don’t want to be complacent. I don’t want to say we’re out of the woods,” said Ian Lipkin, a Columbia University epidemiologist who traveled to China recently to assist with the epidemic response and who isolated himself for two weeks after returning. “But I think we’re not in as dire straits as we might be, and that’s because everyone is pulling together internationally.”
Dr. Deliang Tang, a molecular epidemiologist at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health, says his friends from medical school and his research colleagues in China find it difficult to trust Chinese health authorities, especially after police reprimanded the eight Chinese doctors who warned others about a pneumonialike disease in December. As a result, Tang's network in China has been looking to him and others in the scientific community to share information. Since the outbreak began, Tang says he's been answering "30 to 50 questions a night." Many want to fact-check rumors or learn about clinical trials for a potential cure.
How Does The New Coronavirus Spread?, VOX, February 21
“For a virus pretty closely related to SARS, it shows very effective person-to-person transmission, something nobody really expected,” Stephen Morse, a professor of epidemiology at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, told Vox. Researchers currently believe one infected person generally infects two to more than three others, which would make the new coronavirus more contagious than seasonal flu, SARS and MERS.
American doctor about to embark on new path Ian, CNBC, February 20
Dr. Ian Lipkin of the Center for Infection and Immunity, Columbia University, speaks of his recent experience in China. “It was quite similar to my experience with SARS in 2003 when streets were also empty and stores were deserted.. This virus seems to be more infectious than the SARS virus we encountered in 2003. It’s also spreading more widely..
Hear doctor's message to those worried about coronavirus (full episode), CNN, Anderson Cooper: Full Circle, February 19
Joining me is Dr. Ian Lipkin, known as a "master virus hunter" who helped fight the SARS outbreak, and was invited to study the coronavirus in China but is now back in the US under quarantine.
“I’ve been working in China since 2003. We speak to people there about th4e challenges and are trying to find the assays for those people who are infected and those who are not Coronavirus is highly transmissible -- not as much as measles but more so than SARS and possible even more than the flu. We try to asses those with underlying medical issue that might predispose them to becoming ill.
Coronavirus 'spike' protein just mapped, leading way to vaccine, Live Science, February 19
Stephen Morse, a professor at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health who was also not a part of the study agrees. The spike protein "would be the likely choice for rapid development of vaccine antigens" and treatments, he told Live Science in an email. Knowing the structure would be "very helpful in developing vaccines and antibodies with good activity," as would producing higher quantities of these proteins, he added.
People often skip neurological meds when out-of-pocket costs rise, REUTERS, February 19
Dr. Peter Muennig wasn’t surprised by the findings. It’s just basic economics, said Muennig, a professor of health policy and management at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health in New York City. “If you increase the cost, demand will fall,” he said. Health insurance companies raised deductibles, co-pays and co-insurance in attempts to bring healthcare costs down, Muennig said. “There is a trend in the U.S. health system to ask patients to have more ‘skin in the game,’ meaning that they need to be more careful consumers. This study shows what is an obvious flaw in this philosophy: increasing out-of-pocket costs means less care.”
Coronavirus is More Fatal in Men than Women, Major Study Suggests, CNBC, February 18
Speaking to CNBC’s “The Exchange” last week, Dr. Ian Lipkin of Columbia University said it wasn’t possible for an official mortality rate to be determined because of variables such as an unknown number of asymptomatic infections and varying diagnosis methods. “My estimate is that the actual mortality rate
“We don’t yet have a vaccine and we don’t have approved drugs for prevention of disease or treatment of disease. So all we have is isolation,” said Ian Lipkin, who directs Columbia University’s Center for Infection and Immunity. An expert virus hunter, Lipkin was invited by Chinese health authorities to help assess the risk posed by COVID-19. He did similar work in China during the SARS outbreak in 2003. “This is my second time in the slammer,” said Lipkin, who spent time in quarantine then. He will end his confinement Tuesday
Home Quarantine for Travelers Buys Time as New Virus Spreads, The New York Times, February 17
On his return from China last week, Dr. Ian Lipkin quarantined himself in his basement. Lipkin is among hundreds of people in the U.S. and thousands around the world who, although not sick, live in semi-voluntary quarantine at home. They, too, experts say, play a crucial role in slowing the spread of the new viral disease now called COVID-19. “We don’t yet have a vaccine and we don’t have approved drugs for prevention of disease or treatment of disease. So all we have is isolation,” said Lipkin, who directs Columbia University’s Center for Infection and Immunity. An expert virus hunter, Lipkin was invited by Chinese health authorities to help assess the risk posed by COVID-19. He did similar work in China during the SARS outbreak in 2003.
Also in Worcester Telegram
Coronavirus' greatest problem is its ability to spread, Fox Business News, February 14
Columbia University professor of epidemiology Stephen Morse says the current coronavirus outbreak is closely related to SARS.
Virus Cases Surge After China Revises Way Count Is Tallied, The New York Times, February 13
Experts expressed hope that Friday could bring greater understanding of whether COVID-19 was growing or waning. Provided China continues to tally with the new method, it would give a chance for an apples-to-apples, day-to-day comparison. “The real question is whether or not the trend, using the same criteria, is up or down,” said Dr. Ian Lipkin, director of the Center for Infection and Immunity at Columbia University in New York. Lipkin traveled to China to help researchers and public health officials in assessing the risk of COVID-19.
Air Pollution Crossing US State Lines, Causing Premature Deaths, The New York Times, February 13
Dr. Peter Muennig, who studies health effects of air pollution at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health in New York City, applauded the work. "This is a great study," Muennig, who was not involved in the research, said in an email."Because this study looks at changes over time and geographic region, it goes far beyond simple correlation," he said. A key limitation, he said, is that the data are based on models, which can be complex and prone to error.
Epidemiologist Veteran of SARS and MERS Shares Coronavirus Insights after China Trip, Scientific American, February 12
While most people were doing what they could to avoid the epicenter of the new coronavirus outbreak, W. Ian Lipkin quietly flew to China to get closer. Lipkin, a professor of epidemiology at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, also traveled to Saudi Arabia in 2012 to investigate the first cases of Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS). And he went to China in the early 2000s to study severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), which killed nearly 800 people. This time, he says, his main goal during his weeklong stay in the nation was to figure out which local public health officials and researchers he could best collaborate with in efforts to unravel what triggered the current outbreak of the novel coronavirus—now called COVID-19—and to determine what can be done to prevent a repeat.
At least 500 Wuhan medical staff infected with coronavirus, TODAY Online, February 13
Ian Lipkin, John Snow professor of epidemiology at the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University, said the risks faced by health care workers were high even with protective gear.“ The reason for this is that physicians and health care workers have a very intimate relationship with their patients, and even with personal protective equipment, sometimes we use it late, sometimes we get exposed inadvertently, and the efforts we make to support them with fluids and such place us at extremely high risk,” he told a briefing on Sunday after visiting China at the invitation of the government.
Contagion' writer, scientific adviser reflect on film's newfound relevance amid coronavirus crisis, FORTUNE, February 12
In writing the script for Contagion, Burns always set out to make the most scientifically accurate version of a pandemic thriller he could, enlisting doctors W. Ian Lipkin and Larry Brilliant to help create an imaginary virus based on both science and their firsthand experiences within the field of epidemiology. Luckily, in Brilliant and Lipkin, Burns had two “hero scientists” at his disposal. Lipkin, meanwhile, is known in his field as a “master virus hunter,” a reputation earned across three decades of racing against time to identify and combat new viruses, from West Nile virus to the 2003 SARS outbreak. (Lipkin, the John Snow Professor of Epidemiology at the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University, is currently on a 14-day self-quarantine at his home in New York after traveling to China to advise local health officials on COVID-19.)
At Outbreak’s Center, Wuhan Residents Question Accuracy of Virus Tests, THE WALL STREET JOURNAL, February 11
Close to 100 companies in China say they have developed testing kits for the virus, according to state media. One medical diagnostics company, Guangdong-based Hybribio Ltd., told the party-controlled Chaozhou Daily that it had donated 3,000 unapproved testing kits to local health authorities. … “There are differences in the quality of dyes [and] other components that are used,” said W. Ian Lipkin, an epidemiologist at Columbia University.
Trump’s Budget Would Gut Global Health Programs, Huffington Post, February 11
“We can’t build a border wall that will prevent microbes from getting in. They’re going to travel the world as they always have,” said Dr. Stephen Morse, a professor of epidemiology at Columbia Medical University and leading expert on emerging diseases. “We’re going to be living with this reality, and it’s only proof that we can’t isolate ourselves.” Trump has been largely silent and vaguely dismissive of the virus.
Also in MedPage Today: Coronavirus Cruises: A New Meaning to Seasick
China Coronavirus Update: Death Toll Now At 1013, Could Evolve To Deadlier Disease, International Business News, February 11
“It’s a new virus. We don’t know much about it, and therefore we’re all concerned to make certain it doesn’t evolve into something even worse,” said infectious disease expert Dr. Ian Lipkin to CNBC on Monday. Dr. Lipkin is the director of the Center for Infection and Immunity at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. He recently visited Guangzhou and Beijing where he advised local health officials. He said he didn't travel to Wuhan because it would have been more difficult to return to the U.S. Dr. Lipkin confirms the Novel coronavirus is “not nearly as challenging for us as influenza” when seen strictly by the number of deaths. Seasonal influenza or the flu kills up to 650,000 people each year worldwide.
Also in Yahoo Singapore: At least 500 Wuhan medical staff infected with coronavirus
Also in The Straits Times: Coronavirus may have infected 500000 in Wuhan by peak in coming weeks
China launches an app to combat coronavirus spread, ABC News, February 11
The situation is already really kind of out of control," Dr. Irwin Redlener, who is also a professor at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, said. "We’re applying these tools which will help, but there is so many unknowns about the behavior of this coronavirus that the amount of help it is going to do in controlling spread is going to be limited."
Many in US worry about affording healthcare in retirement, Reuters, February 11
The concerns about healthcare costs after retirement are “realistic,” said Dr. John Rowe, a professor of health policy and management at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health in New York City. “While Medicare is a generous and affordable benefit, current estimates show that out-of-pocket healthcare costs - co-pays, deductibles, out-of-network fees, costs related to long term care - may outstrip the capacity of low-middle-income elders to pay,” Rowe said in an email.
Scientists analyzed 1700 cities and determined how to design safe streets, Fast Company, February 11
Public health researchers have been studying road injuries for years, and Christopher Morrison, an assistant professor of epidemiology at Columbia and one of the study authors, says there has been some progress with reducing the rate of car crashes relative to the amount of people that are driving. “But what this research is looking at is, how does the way we design our cities affect injury incidents and the public health burden?” he says. “What this work very strongly suggests is that the best approach is to get people out of cars in the first place, and to design cities in ways that people are using motor vehicles less.”
General Anesthesia Ups Postpartum Depression Risk, WebMD, February 11
Researchers from Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health analyzed more than 428,000 discharge records of women who delivered by C-section in New York state hospitals between 2006 and 2013. Eight percent had general anesthesia. "Our findings underscore the need to avoid using general anesthesia for cesarean delivery whenever possible, and to provide mental health screening, counseling and other follow-up services to obstetric patients exposed to general anesthesia," said study co-author Dr. Guohua Li, a professor of epidemiology
Scientists worry coronavirus could evolve into something worse than flu, says quarantined expert, CNBC, February 10
The seasonal flu has killed more people than the coronavirus, but that is not why scientists and health officials are so concerned, infectious disease expert Ian Lipkin said. “It’s a new virus. We don’t know much about it, and therefore we’re all concerned to make certain it doesn’t evolve into something even worse,” said Lipkin.
'Vastly underestimated:' Coronavirus outbreak may infect 500000 in Wuhan alone before it peaks, Fortune, February 10
While the fast-moving, infectious coronavirus has caused thousands of people to fall gravely ill and overwhelm hospitals, once researchers understand the full spectrum of illness associated with the virus, the overall case-fatality risk is likely to be much less than 1%, said Ian Lipkin, director of the Center for Infection and Immunity at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health in New York.
Coronavirus Live Updates: Trump Says Xi Jinping 'Confident', The Epoch Times, February 10
Stephen Morse of Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, an epidemiologist and expert on emerging infectious disease said that the coronavirus could become a pandemic, settle down into a respiratory illness, and come back seasonally.
What Is Medicare for All and How Would It Work?, Teen Vogue, February 10
Another major concern for some medical professionals and patients is granting the federal government the power to make decisions on how health care should be handled. Michael Sparer, chair of health policy and management at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, says, “This opposition is coming from factions, the institution, and from cultural beliefs that bureaucracy shouldn’t exist in the patient-doctor relationship.”
Coronavirus Outbreak Has Killed More People than SARS, THE WALL STREET JOURNAL, February 9
China’s virus strategy faces a major test starting Monday, when local governments allow people to return to the workplace. “If, in fact, there’s a bump when people go back to work at the beginning of this week, then we’ll know we’re in trouble and then we have to back off again, and I trust that the government will do that,” W. Ian Lipkin, director of Columbia University’s Center for Infection and Immunity, said on Sunday. Dr. Lipkin, who was a lead member of China’s SARS response team, said the new coronavirus was highly transmissible. Its mortality rate is about 2%, compared with roughly 10% for SARS.
Coronavirus death toll surpasses SARS but new cases fall, ASSOCIATED PRESS, February 9
“Dramatic reductions” in the spread should begin this month if containment works, said Dr. Ian Lipkin, director of Columbia University’s Center for Infection and Immunity. He assisted the World Health Organization and Chinese authorities during the outbreak of SARS, or severe acute respiratory syndrome. Warmer weather will reduce the coronavirus’ ability to spread and bring people out of enclosed spaces where it is transmitted more easily, Lipkin said in an online news conference. However, he said, if new cases spike as people return to work after the Lunar New Year holiday, which was extended to reduce the risk of spreading the virus, then “we’ll know we’re in trouble.”
Coronavirus death toll surpasses SARS but new cases fall, Los Angeles Times, February 9
“Dramatic reductions” in the spread should begin this month if containment works, said Dr. Ian Lipkin, director of Columbia University’s Center for Infection and Immunity. He assisted the World Health Organization and Chinese authorities during the outbreak of SARS, or severe acute respiratory syndrome.
Women who have general anesthesia during C-sections are more likely to experience postpartum depression, study finds, CNN ONLINE, February 8
Women who have general anesthesia during C-sections are significantly more likely to experience severe post-partum depression resulting in hospitalization, suicidal thoughts or self-harm, according to a study published last week. That might be because general anesthesia can delay breastfeeding and skin-to-skin interaction between the mother and infant, and often results in more acute and persistent pain after childbirth, researchers from Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health explained. "These situations are often coupled with a new mother's dissatisfaction with anesthesia in general, and can lead to negative mental health outcomes," according to the authors.
CBS 5 News, U.S. News & World Report
The U.S. Government is Quarantining More than 800 Americans. Here’s Why That Very Rarely Happens, TIME, February 7
W. Ian Lipkin, director of the Center for Infection and Immunity at Columbia University, recently traveled to Beijing and Guangzhou. Upon returning to the U.S., he is self-quarantining for 14 days because the CDC views those areas of China as medium risk, he says….When asked for his thoughts on the quarantines, he responded with concerns about being objective given that he has been personally affected. “The new coronavirus is highly transmissible,” he wrote in an email. “Thus, I appreciate the concern underlying the decision to impose quarantines.”
We Must Repeal the Global Gag Rule to Protect Girls' and Womens' Lives, The Hill, BYLINE: Terry McGovern, February 7
To this administration, the “importance of family” is code for limiting women's and girls’ choices and regulating who gets to have a family. We need to push back, as difficult as it may seem, against this grotesque tableau and disrupt this administration’s attempt to distort established principles of public health and human rights. The women and girls of the world deserve better.
Terry McGovern is Harriet and Robert H. Heilbrunn professor and chair, Heilbrunn Department of Population and Family Health.
Also cited in Kaiser Daily Global Health Policy Report
Coronavirus Concerns: New U.S. Case Confirmed, Fox TV Business News (Video), February 7
Dr. Stephen Morse, interviewed on Fox Business News, said “I think we should be taking the same precautions we do during the flu until we have a vaccine or something else that could be used to protect everyone… Right now, you can stay home when you’re sick, cover your coughs and sneezes, wash your hands and don’t touch your nose or mouth after you sneeze, and be careful if you’ve been around people who are sick.
Cruise Ship Virus Outbreak Is Biggest Outside China With 61 Sick, Bloomberg, February 7
“You want to test people periodically and separate people who are sick from those who aren’t and isolate them,” said Stephen Morse, a professor of epidemiology at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health in New York and a specialist in infectious diseases. “The safest thing to do is to stay away from other people.” Morse also raised questions on the type of air ventilation system on
The coronavirus exposes the history of racism and “cleanliness”, VOX, February 7
Xenophobia has been intertwined with public health discourse for a very long time, against many different groups, Merlin Chowkwanyun, historian and assistant professor of sociomedical sciences at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, told Vox. “Historically, in both popular and scientific discourse, contagious disease has often been linked, in a blanket way, to population groups thought to be ‘outsiders,’” he said. Associations between germs and immigrants, for example, was a critical part of the early 20th-century xenophobia that led to immigration restriction in New York City in the 1920s, Chowkwanyun said. “City authorities justified racial segregation by drawing supposed links between germs and Mexican, Chinese, and African American people.”
The Clock is ticking — real time coverage amid a public health emergency, CHINA GLOBAL TV NETWORK, February 7
“So what we really need to do is to say, we will test this drug, versus purely supportive care. And then we have to compare the morbidity and mortality associated with those two groups of people. And it has to be designed in such a way that will be statistically powerful enough so that we can get information. But until you have accurate ways to diagnose cases to make comparisons between groups, you can't really begin to start talking about therapeutics. This is difficult. Now everybody wants to test their own drug. We just need to do it in a way that is scientifically and ethically sound. At the moment, the crisis is still going on, so are efforts seeking solutions to it, and so is our coverage. This is going to be unforgettable for me and I guess for everyone of us.”
Ian Lipkin, Professor of Epidemiology, Columbia University
Coronavirus: Newborn becomes youngest person diagnosed with virus, BBC News, February 6
"It's quite possible that the baby picked it up very conventionally - by inhaling virus droplets that came from the mother coughing," Stephen Morse, an epidemiologist at the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University, told Business Insider.
How experts plan to treat the new coronavirus, LiveScience, February 6
Until recently, there were very few effective antivirals, said Stephen Morse, a professor at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health. That was especially true for RNA viruses — like 2019-nCov and HIV — which use RNA, rather than DNA, as their genetic material, Morse said.
That's changing. "In recent years, perhaps encouraged by the successful development of HIV anti-virals, which proved it might be feasible to do more, our armamentarium has greatly expanded," Morse said. Even so, developing brand-new drugs requires a huge investment of both time and resources, he added. So "while you're waiting for the new miracle drug, it's worthwhile looking for existing drugs that could be repurposed" to treat new viruses.
How much should we worry about the new coronavirus?, The Hill, February 6
BYLINE: Irwin Redlener
Just in the last few days, as the World Health Organization declared a Global Health Emergency and a similar Public Health Emergency declaration was made in the U.S., there has been growing evidence of possible person to person transmission of the Wuhan coronavirus, and it is increasingly likely that people can be contagious even before the appearance of symptoms. So, it should come as no surprise that public concerns about this new public health threat are also on the rise. Still, many questions remain unanswered and unanswerable at the moment. Irwin Redlener, M.D., is a professor of Health Policy and Management at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health.
Does The New Coronavirus Spread Silently?, NPR, All Things Considered, February 5
"If you have a lot of people who [have a mild disease or are] asymptomatic and not seeking medical care for respiratory illness but are still contagious, you're going to have a very difficult time," says Jeffrey Shaman, a professor of environmental health sciences at Columbia University. … His study found the coronavirus in the nasal passages of people who didn't report any symptoms, "and it's going to leak out as they're speaking and breathing and coughing and sneezing and wiping their nose," Shaman says. "Whether it's ... a sufficient quantity to make somebody else infectious, we can't discern that from what we've done."
Podcast with Dr. Lewis Ziska: Rising CO2 Levels Make Our Food Less Nutritious, Agriculture Adapts by Climate Ai, February 5
Lew Ziska discusses how higher atmospheric CO2 is causing a food and public health emergency in developing countries and talks about the role of food businesses in protecting consumer health & taking the mantle on sustainability.
A pregnant mother infected with the coronavirus gave birth, and her baby tested positive 30 hours ..., Business Insider UK, February 5
Stephen Morse, an epidemiologist at the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University, told Business Insider that an in-utero transmission was improbable. "It's more likely that the baby contracted the virus from the hospital environment, the same way healthcare workers get infected by the patients they treat," Morse said. "It's quite possible that the baby picked it up very conventionally — by inhaling virus droplets that came from the mother coughing."
C-Sections Under Anesthetic Raise Risk of Postnatal Blues, The Daily Telegraph, February 5
“Our findings underscore the need to avoid using general anesthesia for caesarean delivery whenever possible, and to provide mental health screening, counseling, and other follow-up services to obstetric patients exposed to general anesthesia,” said co-author Guohua Li.
Experts envision two scenarios if the new coronavirus isn't contained, StatNews, February 4
2019-nCoV joins the four coronaviruses now circulating in people. “I can imagine a scenario where this becomes a fifth endemic human coronavirus,” said Stephen Morse of Columbia University, an epidemiologist and expert on emerging infectious diseases. “We don’t pay much attention to them because they’re so mundane,” especially compared to seasonal flu. “One scenario is that we go through a pandemic,” as the current outbreak may become, said Columbia’s Morse. “Then, depending what the virus does, it could quite possibly settle down into a respiratory illness that comes back seasonally.”
As Fears of Wuhan’s Coronavirus Spread, THE NEW YORK TIMES, Letters to the Editors, February 3
While it is far too early to make concrete predictions about the lethality of the coronavirus that is now spreading around the globe, the media has overlooked one critical risk factor that is present in China: high levels of PM 2.5 in the air. PM 2.5 refers to particles of pollution that are small enough to pass through the lung and enter the bloodstream, causing damage to the immune system as well as other organ systems, such as the lungs. Peter Muennig, the writer is a professor of health policy and management at Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University.
U.S. 'Virus Hunter' W. Ian Lipkin Assisting China, CHINA GLOBAL TV NETWORK, February 3
A specialist known as one of the world's leading "virus hunters" is in China, to help contain the coronavirus epidemic. Dr. W. Ian Lipkin is the John Snow Professor of Epidemiology and director of the Center for Infection and Immunity of Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University. Dr. Lipkin came to China 17 years ago to help fight SARS. … "I'm assembling a formal written report that will be forwarded to the central government at the request of various members there," says the professor.
NYC Team Led By Scientist Who Advised On “Contagion” Is Racing To Unlock The Coronavirus. Here’s What They Told Us, GOTHAMIST, February 3
The Center for Infection and Immunity, which is located on three floors of the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University, is led by Dr. W. Ian Lipkin, a man who is known in his field as a "master virus hunter" for his speed and new methods of identifying new viruses. Since the epidemic, the group of between 50 to 60 researchers have been collaborating with their counterparts at Sun Yat-sen University in the Guangzhou region of China.
Renowned epidemiologist Walter Lipkin lauds China's transparent and professional approach ..., Global Times, February 3
On January 29, internationally acclaimed epidemiologist Walter Ian Lipkin of Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health flew to China amid the coronavirus break. He is here 17 years since the SARS epidemic to fight against the coronavirus outbreak. As the world’s first scientist who used molecular methods to diagnose pathogenic bacteria, Lipkin trained several medical staff members in China during the SARS epidemic. Lipkin, also known as the “virus hunter” in the field of epidemiology, said, compared with SARS, China’s national epidemic control of the coronavirus infection has made two significant advancements.
On Social Media, Racist Responses To Coronavirus Can Have Their Own Contagion, NPR (WFAE), February 2
Robert Fullilove, a professor of sociomedical sciences and the associate dean for minority affairs at the Mailman School, comments on social media's potential to amplify racist and xenophobic views.
We saw this kind of racism and discrimination with the SARS epidemic back in 2002 and 2003 - in Toronto, a lot of people refusing to go to Chinatown. But Robert Fullilove and other people I spoke with say one thing that's changed since then is now there's a new element. And that, again, is social media. FULLILOVE: I'm really worried about the wildfire way in which things become viral. And with social media, I think we have more of a danger of a kind of a social contagion as a result of this.
Wuhan Coronavirus Looks Increasingly Like a Pandemic, Experts Say, The New York Times, February 2
Dr. W. Ian Lipkin, a virus-hunter at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health who is in China advising its Center for Disease Control and Prevention, said that although the virus is clearly being transmitted through casual contact, labs are still behind in processing samples. But Dr. Lipkin said he knew of one lab running 5,000 samples a day, which might produce some false-positive results, inflating the count. “You can’t possibly do quality control at that rate,” he said.
The Wuhan coronavirus is causing increased incidents of racism and xenophobia at college, work ..., Business Insider, February 2
“We tend to exist in social silos where we’re surrounded by people who look like us, think like us, and act like us, and we are innately suspicious of folk that we don’t have contact with and we don’t understand,” Robert Fullilove, a professor of sociomedical sciences told Business Insider. He also said it’s “almost impossible to contain stories” of misinformation and xenophobia when news moves so quickly in the media.
U.S. Declares Coronavirus a Public Health Emergency But Says There is Little Risk to Citizens, Fox TV Business News (Video), January 31
Dr. Nischay Mishra, a virologist at the Center for Infection and Immunity, Columbia University School of Public Health, was interviewed on Fox Business News at 5pm, Friday, January 31, on coronavirus. Dr. Mishra said “our worst fear is that the coronavirus could spread rapidly and nationally, and if panic sets in. He also noted that for people who choose to use a mask, that they wear it properly. Most important is to wash your hands…Yes, I trust the data coming out of China.”
What to Know About the Health impact of Australia Wildfires, The Wall Street Journal (Video), January 16
NASA says smoke from the wildfires in Australia has made a full circuit of the Earth. Columbia University’s Darby Jack explains how this happened and who is at risk.
China informed the World Health Organization about the new virus on December 31, 2019, about three weeks after the first case was detected. The virus behind the outbreak was identified on January 7. This is as swift as any other developed country would have been able to identify it, said Ian Lipkin, a professor of epidemiology at Columbia University who worked to contain SARS back in 2003.
Viral Outbreaks Are Here to Stay. This is How Humans Will Fight Back, TIME, January 30
“Twenty years ago, people weren’t thinking in terms of coronaviruses being potential causes of pandemics or respiratory disease,” says Dr. Ian Lipkin, director of the center for infection and immunity at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health.
Coronavirus Outbreak in US May Depend on This: 'We just don't know yet' says Infectious Disease Doc, Fox News, January 30
The Chinese Ministry of Health has said that they believe this is possible, that people can be spreading it before they show symptoms," said Dr. Stephen Morse, who is a professor of epidemiology at the Columbia University Medical Center. "But that's why we're doing a lot of screening at the airports... based largely on geography," he continued. "But once it spreads further, it's going to be hard to be that targeted."
After 4 Years of Decline, U.S. Life Expectancy Rises -- A Little, Associated Press, January 30
Preliminary data for the first half of 2019 suggest the overall decline in overdose deaths is slowing down. It’s still a crisis, said Katherine Keyes, a Columbia University researcher. “But the fact that we have seen the first year where there’s not an additional increase is encouraging.”
Also covered by Voice of America
What to Know About the New Chinese Coronavirus, THE WALL STREET JOURNAL, January 29
Very little is known about this virus, which for the moment carries the scientific name 2019-nCoV, meaning “novel coronavirus.” Scientists are racing to learn more. Key questions to answer are how long the incubation period is, how long someone is infectious, and whether or not people can be asymptomatic and spread the virus, says Ian Lipkin, director of the Center for Infection and Immunity at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health.
Some Lunar New Year Events in New York Canceled Over Fear of Coronavirus, THE WALL STREET JOURNAL, January 29
Stephen Morse, a professor of epidemiology at Columbia University, said that while it was highly likely someone in New York would contract the virus, there shouldn’t be widespread alarm. “There’s no need to panic,” he said. “I can understand postponing these events is a prudent thing to do, especially because people will feel safer and enjoy it more later on. But it may not be essential.”
Hong Kong Closes China Borders as Wuhan Coronavirus Spreads, CNN International, January 29
China informed the World Health Organization about the new virus on December 31, 2019, about three weeks after the first case was detected. The virus behind the outbreak was identified on January 7. This is as swift as any other developed country would have been able to identify it, said Ian Lipkin, a professor of epidemiology at Columbia University who worked to contain SARS back in 2003.
As Coronavirus Spreads, So Does Concern Over Xenophobia, NBCNews.com, January 29
“If anything, I am tempted to predict that xenophobia will rise in significance to precisely the degree to which our sources of information — all of them, not just media — give us stuff to panic about,” Robert Fullilove, a professor of sociomedical sciences at New York’s Columbia University Medical Center, said in an email. “More panic, more temptation to blame the outsider -- the other.”
Heavy Traffic Pollution May Affect Kids' Brain Development, REUTERS, January 28
The new findings confirm and extend what’s been seen in other imaging studies, said Darby Jack, an associate professor of environmental health sciences at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health in New York City. “This is one more piece in a very important puzzle,” Jack said. Other studies have found that children exposed to high levels of traffic-related pollution tend to perform poorly on standardized tests, Jack said. “This study is getting us one step closer to understanding the underlying biology…Taken as a whole, the research connecting pollution to changes in brain development “is getting quite convincing,” Jack said.
Scientists Solve a Deadly TB Mystery, SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN, January 28 (February Issue)
The researchers behind the paper say the multidisciplinary tool set they used to find its origin could help identify other drug-resistant pathogens early, as they emerge, and stop them from spreading. “The bottom line is that this strain, like many other pathogens, took time to build,” says Barun Mathema, an epidemiologist at Columbia University and the paper's senior author. “But if you have your eye on the ball, you can pick up on these mutations and take action.”
We’re Still Not Sure Where the Wuhan Coronavirus Really Came From, POPULAR SCIENCE, January 28
The origins of 2019-nCoV remain mysterious, but Huanan—or other wet markets—may well have helped its spread. “It is certainly possible that this virus has been circulating in humans prior to early December,” says Columbia University epidemiologist Ian Lipkin. “But there is no question that this virus moved into humans from an animal source,” he says. And with their mix of wild and domesticated animals, he adds, wet markets “are risks to public health.”
Based On Trump's Past Responses To Pandemics, Experts Worry About A Harmful Overreaction ..., Kaiser Health News, January 28
Scientists are racing to learn more. Key questions to answer are how long the incubation period is, how long someone is infectious, and whether or not people can be asymptomatic and spread the virus, says Ian Lipkin, director of the Center for Infection and Immunity at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health.
Worries Grow That Quarantine in China is Not Enough to Stem Increasingly Virulent Coronavirus, Washington Post, January 27
W. Ian Lipkin, director of Columbia University’s Center for Infection and Immunity, said that information about this new virus remains preliminary and that it’s still too soon to predict how widespread or deadly the outbreak will turn out to be. Among the unanswered questions, he said, are how long the virus incubates before becoming symptomatic, whether it can be spread before symptoms emerging, how exactly the virus is spread, how likely it is to cause a severe illness and what other factors might contribute to that. “Until we have a handle on all of these issues, it’s very difficult to make predictions about the outbreak,” he said. He added: “It’s fair to say that every year, there are 30,000 to 40,000 people who die of flu in the United States. It is very unlikely that this will ever reach the level that we annually lose to flu.”
Professor Lipkin: There Is Much We Don't Know About the Coronavirus (Video), BLOOMBERG NEWS, January 27
Jan 27, 2020 - Ian Lipkin, John Snow professor of epidemiology and director of the Center for Infection and Immunity at Columbia University, talks about the worsening coronavirus crisis. He speaks with Shery Ahn and Paul Allen on "Bloomberg Daybreak: Australia."
Interviews also aired on Globo TV Brazil (Jan. 26) and Hong Kong Phoenix TV (Jan 24)
What to Know About the New Chinese Coronavirus, Wall Street Journal, January 27
Scientists are racing to learn more. Key questions to answer are how long the incubation period is, how long someone is infectious, and whether or not people can be asymptomatic and spread the virus, says Ian Lipkin, director of the Center for Infection and Immunity at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health.
In College, It Matters Whether Mutual Friends Think It Was Bad Sex or Assault, THE ATLANTIC, January 25
Before they wrote Sexual Citizens, their new book about campus sexual assault and how to prevent it, the Columbia University professors Jennifer S. Hirsch and Shamus Khan spent much of 2015 and 2016 talking with Columbia undergrads about their experiences with assault.
New Coronavirus Tests Scientists' Ability to Tangle with an Evolutionary Trickster, The Globe and Mail, January 25
According to Simon Anthony, a virologist at Columbia University in New York, the fact that bats are so diverse – at least 900 species have been identified – has helped to accelerate coronavirus evolution. Like a flying archipelago, each species provides an island where versions of the virus can evolve new survival strategies that are then exchanged in the form of RNA sequences.
Too Soon to Tell if New Virus as Dangerous as SARS Cousin, Associated Press, January 24
“These wildlife markets are a risk,” said Dr. Ian Lipkin of Columbia University, who assisted the WHO and China during the SARS outbreak and advises Saudi Arabia about MERS.
What's Changed Between the 2003 SARS Outbreak and the Current Wuhan Coronavirus, CNN, January 24
China informed the World Health Organization about the new virus on December 31, 2019, less than three weeks after the first case was detected on December 12. The virus behind the outbreak was identified on January 7 -- as swift as any other developed country would have been able to identify it, said Ian Lipkin, a professor of epidemiology at Columbia University who worked to contain SARS back in 2003.
How Worried Should You Be About the New Coronavirus?, SLATE, January 24
“I think that our first concern can rightly be the people in China,” says Columbia epidemiologist Simon Anthony. Both because of the virus, and because of the vigorous response, which is a hassle even if warranted: China has shut down outbound travel from Wuhan, where the virus originated. Wuhan resident Yasin Gaardo has been posting videos to Twitter, of police blocking a road, and of a supermarket running out of vegetables.
What You Need To Know About The Spreading Coronavirus, GOTHAMIST, January 24
Dr. Nischay Mishra, a virologist and molecular biologist at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health, said that all outbreaks that involve human to human transmission warrant concern. He previously worked on another coronavirus outbreak known as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), which was first reported in Saudi Arabia in 2012.
Everything You Needed To Know About the Deadly Coronavirus, Dr. Oz Show, January 24
“The incubation period could be up to two weeks,” said virus hunter Ian Lipkin, director of the Center for Infection and Immunity at Columbia Mailman School of Public Health. “These sorts of outbreaks have implications that go way beyond public health…on trade, travel. Wuhan has been shut off. People have to realize this is unprecedented.”(2:03 mark)
China Expands Virus Lockdown, Encircling 22 Million, The New York Times, January 24
QUOTE of the Day: “The horse is already out of the barn,” said Dr. W. Ian Lipkin, an epidemiologist at the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University, who had assisted the Chinese authorities in the response to SARS.
Coronavirus Deaths Are So Far Mostly Older Men, Many With Previous Health Issues, The New York Times, January 23
Dr. W. Ian Lipkin, an epidemiologist at Columbia University who advised the Chinese government and the World Health Organization during the SARS outbreak, said that infected people outside Wuhan would continue to spread the disease. “The horse is already out of the barn,” he said.
New Virus Paralyzes Chinese Cities, Science Friday, January 24
A novel coronavirus—the type of virus that causes SARS, Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), and common cold symptoms—has killed 18 people, and sickened more than 600. In response, Chinese officials have quarantined several huge cities, where some 20 million people live. In this segment, Ira talks with Ian Lipkin about what we know about the virus, how it appears to spread, and whether efforts to contain it are effective—or ethical.
Coronavirus Cases on the Rise: How Does it Compare with the SARS Outbreak?, CNBC Closing Bell, January 23
Dr. Ian Lipkin, director of the Center for Infection and Immunity at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health was interviewed on Closing Bell about the coronavirus.
China Coronavirus: Rush Is On in Wuhan to Build Treatment Centre For Up to 1000 Patients, South China Morning Post, January 24
“Quarantine is a very specific term, meaning that you have to be in isolation for 40 days. I don’t see anything like that happening [in China],” said Ian Lipkin, professor of epidemiology at Columbia University. “It is, at present, the only approach, because we do not have any effective vaccine for controlling [the virus]. I prefer to refer to it as isolation for containment rather than quarantine, until we have a better strategy so that the disease doesn’t spread further,” Lipkin said.
China Sends In Military Doctors to Help Wuhan Hospitals Fight Coronavirus Outbreak, South China Morning Post, January 24
W. Ian Lipkin, a professor of epidemiology at Columbia University, said the PLA was good at mobilization, particularly in mass campaigns. “There are different ways of looking at the army. It would be helpful since the army has a history of being able to organize large groups of people, so for example, if you wanted to have a vaccination campaign, they could be very helpful in that respect,” he said. “It’s not necessarily a bad thing to have the military involved, it depends on how they’re involved.”
US Confirms Second Coronavirus Case as China Extends Travel Ban, FINANCIAL TIMES, January 23
“Isolating the cities where the virus has circulated already is a very significant action to take. The first step is containment,” said Nischay Mishra, a virologist and infectious disease expert at Columbia University, who is developing tests to identify the virus. “This will definitely help but not stop the spread completely.”
The Timing of the Wuhan Coronavirus Could be a Global-Health Nightmare, Popular Science, January 23
If an infected person travels from Wuhan to somewhere else, “they could potentially set up a secondary site of infection,” says Columbia University epidemiologist Ian Lipkin. That could help the disease spread more rapidly, he says. Wuhan responded this week by shutting down flights and trains out of the city and urging residents not to travel unnecessarily. The city has even installed several dozen infrared thermometers so feverish travelers can be identified and screened.
In 'Sexual Citizens,' Students Open Up About Sex, Power and Assault On Campus, NPR Online, January 23
Sex, power and assault are at the heart of a new study that looks at what it is that makes college the perfect storm for misunderstandings around sexual encounters. Beginning in 2015, Professors Jennifer Hirsch and Shamus Khan interviewed more than 150 Columbia and Barnard College undergrads to learn about their sex lives. What they wanted out of sex, how troubling encounters unfolded, and how layers of misunderstandings led to assault. In their new book, Sexual Citizens, Hirsch and Khan make the case that prevention starts with education — and they offer new approaches for universities, parents and kids on how to tackle the problem and empower people to feel like they have the right to choose their sexual experiences.
As New Virus Spreads From China, Scientists See Grim Reminders, The New York Times, January 22
“Now that you have a cluster of 14 health care workers infected, it suggests that the potential for spread is much greater,” said Dr. Ian W. Lipkin, director of the Center for Infection and Immunity at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health in New York, who has researched SARS and MERS. “I saw film footage of a hospital lobby in Wuhan, and they are wearing full personal protective equipment from head to toe,” he said. “They are taking it very seriously. I still don’t think this is as bad as SARS, but it’s worse than they originally portrayed it.
Mystery Coronavirus from China: What to Know, WebMD, January 22
There are still many questions about the new virus, such as where it came from, how it passed to people (it is usually found in mammals), whether people can be contagious without showing signs of the disease, and how best to treat it, says W. Ian Lipkin, a professor of epidemiology at the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University in New York. Wild animal markets are a huge way to pass new diseases to humans, says Lipkin, who has urged the closure of such markets for years, because both the 1999 H5N1 flu -- known as bird flu -- and the 2002-2003 SARS outbreak are believed to have started in one. It’s not yet clear what animal is carrying the Wuhan virus, says Lipkin, who is an expert in identifying animal reservoirs for disease and says he has offered his services to the Chinese government.
New Coronavirus Can Spread Between Humans— But it Started in a Wildlife Market, National Geographic, January 21
“You could vaccinate the people who have the most common contact with camels, like the bedouins and the people who work in the slaughterhouses,” Lipkin says. “It's unclear whether or not this [Wuhan] virus is simply going to die out or whether it's going to evolve into something that's more pathogenic,” Lipkin says. “We don’t have any evidence yet of superspreaders, and hopefully we never will. But we also don’t know how long this new coronavirus lasts on surfaces, or how long people will continue to shed virus after being infected.”
Inadequate Sex Education and Socialization Collide in College Spaces that Stymie Consent, Science Magazine, January 21
Jennifer Hirsch and Shamus Khan, authors of Sexual Citizens, Khan present a novel model for explaining and responding to campus sexual assault. At its crux are three concepts: sexual projects, sexual citizenship, and sexual geographies. Sexual Citizens is one of the products of a 5-year study of undergraduates at Columbia University called the Sexual Health Initiative to Foster Transformation (SHIFT).
Columbia University to Host Discussion on Campus Sexual Assault Prevention, WABC-TV, January 21
Dr. Jen Ashton, ABC News' Chief Medical Correspondent, is moderating a discussion on Tuesday night at Columbia University about a new book on campus sexual assault prevention. The book, "Sexual Citizens: A Landmark Study of Sex, Power, and Assault on Campus" is based on a multi-million dollar research project called "Moonshot" on how to solve this epidemic. … The authors, Columbia University anthropologist Jennifer Hirsch and Columbia University sociologist Shamus Kahn, approach the crisis as a public health issue and seek to provide some answers, many of which Columbia is currently implementing.
What the 2020s have in store for aging boomers, Salon, January 21
Helping older adults remain connected to other people is a common theme. "There is a growing understanding of the need to design our environments and social infrastructure in a way that designs out loneliness" and social isolation, said Dr. Linda Fried, dean of Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health. Dr. John Rowe, a professor of health policy and aging at Columbia University, observed that "low savings rates, increasing out-of-pocket health expenditures and continued increases in life expectancy" put 41% of Americans at risk of running out of money in retirement.
Researchers, health officials call for a unified approach to loneliness and social isolation, The Boston Globe, January 20
Linda P. Fried, the dean of Columbia’s Mailman School of Public Health, who chairs the International Loneliness Research Network, said a confluence of trends — including the rise of social media and increasing age segregation — are pushing seniors to society’s periphery. “We designed so much in the 20th century to create independence and autonomy,” Fried said. “But human beings are social animals who really need intimate personal connections and meaningful connections with family and friends, and religious and civic organizations.”
Coronavirus in China: Over 200 Cases, Human-to-Human Transmission, NPR, January 20
Dr. Ian Lipkin, director of the Center for Infection and Immunity at Columbia Mailman School of Public Health, notes that "We don't have evidence of clusters in distant geographic locations as we did with SARS. This is what we would anticipate if the virus were highly transmissible."… There are no approved vaccines to prevent these diseases, says Lipkin. "If you have good diagnostic tests and can identify people and animals that have been infected, you can isolate them and contain an outbreak," he says. "That's something that's already being done in Wuhan by closing the seafood market. But once things start spreading from human to human, it becomes more difficult to [contain the outbreak]."
China Reports New Cases of Deadly Virus, Adding to Outbreak Concerns, The New York Times, January 19
W. Ian Lipkin, a Columbia University professor who assisted in the effort to tackle the SARS outbreak, said it was still too early to know how deadly the virus might prove to be. “Until it becomes capable of human-to-human transmission, there’s not a major threat of a pandemic,” said Dr. Lipkin, the director of the Center for Infection and Immunity at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. “We need to prepare for the possibility that this could be a larger outbreak and it could become a pandemic. But that doesn’t mean that it will.”
Pharmacy Chains Sue Ohio Physicians Over Opioid Prescribing, Medscape, January 17
Most doctors across the country who have prescribed opioids did so to treat pain, "and they thought they were doing the right thing," Sylvia Martins, MD, PhD, associate professor of epidemiology and director of the substance use epidemiology unit at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health, New York City, told Medscape Medical News. "But there were some people who were overprescribing. Also, in some cases, the dosages could have been lower or other options could have been tried first." Martins traces the role of physicians in the opioid epidemic back to the early 1990s when the huge increase in opioid prescribing began. "There was this idea that pain should be the fifth vital sign, and there was a push from Big Pharma for doctors to prescribe opioids for pain," she said.
Palliative care services at hospitals reduce end-of-life ICU stays, UPI, January 17
The study's findings suggest that "implementing palliative care programs may be a way to improve the quality of end-of-life care for some patients who die in the hospital," said study lead author Dr. May Hua. She's an assistant professor of anesthesiology at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health in New York City. … "It may be that the ICU does provide value to patients and families in a manner that is incompletely understood," Hua said.
How Palliative Care Remade End-of-Life Care at New York Hospitals, US NEWS & WORLD REPORT, January 16
Researchers say that ICU use at the end of life is considered an indicator of poor quality of care. The study's findings suggest that "implementing palliative care programs may be a way to improve the quality of end-of-life care for some patients who die in the hospital," said study lead author Dr. May Hua. She's an assistant professor of anesthesiology at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health in New York City. Hua and her colleagues noted that just a 4% decrease in end-of-life ICU use would translate to savings of about $265 million per year in the United States.
A Landmark Study of Sexual Assault on Campus, WNYC RADIO, January 16
Jan 16, 2020 - Jennifer S. Hirsch, professor of sociomedical sciences at Columbia and co-director of the Sexual Health Initiative to Foster Transformation (SHIFT) at Columbia, and Shamus Khan, chair of sociology at Columbia and co-head of the ethnographic team of SHIFT, join us to discuss their new book, Sexual Citizens: A Landmark Study of Sex, Power, and Assault on Campus. Hirsch and Khan will be speaking at a book launch event on January 21 at The Forum at Columbia University.
Partially Effective Flu Vaccine Better Than Nothing, experts say, UPI, January 16
"Most flu vaccines are not as effective as we'd like, especially in older adults, who are at greatest risk for more severe disease," Stephen S. Morse, a professor of epidemiology at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health, told UPI. "We still have a lot to learn, but, I'm hopeful that we can do better. Given the unpredictability of flu, and the risk of pandemics, we have to."
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What The 2020s Have In Store For Aging Boomers, Kaiser Health News, January 16
Helping older adults remain connected to other people is a common theme. “There is a growing understanding of the need to design our environments and social infrastructure in a way that designs out loneliness” and social isolation, said Dr. Linda Fried, dean of Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health.
Dr. John Rowe, a professor of health policy and aging at Columbia University, observed that “low savings rates, increasing out-of-pocket health expenditures and continued increases in life expectancy” put 41% of Americans at risk of running out of money in retirement.
How Palliative Care Remade End-of-Life Care at New York Hospitals, HealthDay, January 16
Providing palliative care in hospitals led to a 10% reduction in intensive care unit use by dying patients, a new study finds…Researchers say that ICU use at the end of life is considered an indicator of poor quality of care. The study's findings suggest that "implementing palliative care programs may be a way to improve the quality of end-of-life care for some patients who die in the hospital," said study lead author Dr. May Hua, an assistant professor of anesthesiology at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health.
Sound and the City, Curbed, January 15
Joan Casey, assistant professor of environmental health sciences at Columbia University, has done several studies on the demographics of noise pollution in the U.S. “We saw there was on average high levels of noise exposure in communities of color, primarily in African-American communities,” says Casey…“We should start monitoring noise more broadly across the country so that we actually understand what the levels are,” says Casey. “Then we could do more detailed health studies, with the aim to inform policymakers to set noise guidelines.” … “Although we did find that in some cities, both the poorest and richest neighborhoods had the highest levels of noise exposure,” says Casey, “due to [the latter] wanting to live close to transit hubs.”
HIV-Infected Newborns Can Wait Awhile for Treatment: Study, HealthDay, January 15
"The results of our trial suggest that very early treatment in newborns may not have to mean within hours of birth," said study author Louise Kuhn, a professor of epidemiology at Columbia Mailman School of Public Health in New York City. "While we certainly do not want to introduce undue delay, starting ART within the first two weeks of life led to similar outcomes to starting within the first two days of life," Kuhn said.
Also covered by Healio
Sept. 11 Responders May Be at Heightened Risk of Developing Leukemia, TIME, January 14
Steven Stellman, a professor of clinical epidemiology at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, was not involved in the new paper, but knows most of its authors professionally. He says there’s not a perfectly clear reason why this study showed an increase in leukemia while others didn’t, but notes that all 9/11 research is logistically difficult because it’s impossible to precisely measure what each individual’s exposure level was to various toxins in the aftermath of the attacks. Some of the increases in cancer may also point to more active monitoring by 9/11 survivors and their doctors, meaning more cancers get caught.
This Sex Ed Teacher Lets Students’ Questions Guide Learning, THE ATLANTIC, January 13
Most research has found that sex education for adolescents in the United States has declined in the past 20 years. Like art and music, the subject is typically not included on state standardized exams and, as the saying goes, “what gets tested gets taught.” In the case of sex education, waning fear about the spread of HIV and AIDS among heterosexual youths has contributed to the decline in instruction, says John Santelli, a professor at Columbia’s Mailman School of Public Health.
US Fertility Rate Falls to Record Low: What Women Should Know About Trend, ABC NEWS ONLINE, January 10
"The bottom line is the size of the American family has changed a lot over time, for historical reasons and societal factors," Dr. John Santelli, professor of population and family health at Columbia Mailman School of Public Health, told "Good Morning America." "Parents have to have two kids to replace themselves in the next generation."
Electric Scooter Injuries Rising, One-Third Involve the Head, REUTERS, January 10
Injuries and hospital admissions involving sharable two-wheeled electric scooters are on the rise in the U.S., a new study finds. … The new report highlights the need for more research on new technologies, said Dr. Guohua Li, a professor of epidemiology at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health in New York City. Just as there is a global network of experts working on infectious diseases, there needs to be “a similar program devoted to the surveillance and prevention of injuries caused by emerging technologies, products and lifestyles, such as e-scooters, e-sports, combat sports liquid nicotine products, THC-infused alcoholic beverages, etc.,” Li said in an email.
Health Insurance Companies Can Charge People Who Vape Up to 50% More, VICE, January 9
"If you have any belief, even given all the uncertainties, that vaping can be a form of harm reduction, from a public-health and ethical standpoint, the answer to this question is obvious," said Ronald Bayer, a professor of sociomedical sciences at Columbia.
Common 'Safe' Pesticides May Kill More Than Insects, MedPage Today, January 7
A recent study has concluded that exposure to a common pesticide increases the risk of all-cause mortality and cardiovascular mortality. The study appears alongside an invited commentary by Steven D. Stellman, Ph.D., and Jeanne Mager Stellman, Ph.D., both of whom are from the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. The authors discuss certain limitations. For instance, the average age of the participants at the end of the study was 57, which is young for assessing pyrethroid's impact on cardiovascular mortality. However, they explain, "Other than cigarette smoking, few, if any, chemical exposures are known to trigger a [threefold] increase in the risk of death from heart disease, especially in [people] younger than 60 years."
Among participants in the National Health and Nutrition Examination ... and Jeanne Mager Stellman, PhD, both of Columbia University in New York
More Than a Third of US Healthcare Costs Go to Bureaucracy, REUTERS, January 6
“Some folks estimate that the U.S. would save $628 billion if administrative costs were as low as they are in Canada,” said Jamie Daw, an assistant professor of health policy and management at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. “That’s a staggering amount,” Daw said in an email. “It’s more than enough to pay for all of Medicaid spending or nearly enough to cover all out-of-pocket and prescription drug spending by Americans.”
Now is the Time to Slap a Ban on Smoking Outdoors, UK Mirror, January 5
“Outdoor bans have more to do with the denormalization of smoking than with the protection of bystanders from side stream smoke,” says Ronald Bayer, professor of Public Health at Columbia University, USA. “To the extent that there are public health benefits, they are related to making quitting more likely.”
Researchers Found What Consent Looks Like Isn't Always Straightforward on College Campuses, Teen Vogue, January 3
In Sexual Citizens: A Landmark Study of Sex, Power, and Assault on Campus, researchers Jennifer S. Hirsch and Shamus Khan collected the findings of years of research on the sexual realities of college students. They found that college students often take factors that have nothing to do with consent to mean permission to have sex. In this excerpt of the book, researchers explore how heavily consent weighs on students' minds.
Pyrethroid Exposure Increases Risk of All-Cause, Cancer, and Cardiovascular Death, MD Magazine, January 3
In an invited commentary published in JAMA Internal Medicine, Steven Stellman, PhD, MPH, and Jeanne Mager Stellman, PhD, both of Columbia University, wrote the results of the current study suggest it may be time to further study the impact of pyrethroid insecticides and weigh the risk versus benefit of its use. “This study challenges the assumption that such exposures are safe. The unusually large hazard ratios observed deserve immediate further exploration, which would contribute to more evidence-based options in weighing risks and benefits of essential insect control programs,” the duo wrote.
Pyrethroid Exposure Increases Risk for Death, Medscape, December 31
Pyrethroid pesticides are a large family of synthetic analogues of naturally occurring pyrethrins that are also widely used in numerous consumer products. Collectively, they are the second most–used insecticides in the world, totaling thousands of kilograms and billions of dollars in U.S. sales. According to Steven Stellman, PhD, professor pf Epidemiology, and Jeanne Stellman, PhD, professor of Health Policy and Management, this unexpected finding of increased risk of death from exposure to such a commonly used agent merits urgent follow-up.
Ocean climate patterns linked to diarrhea epidemic outbreaks: Study, Times of India, December 31
"In Southern Africa, precipitation is projected to decrease, said Jeffrey Shaman, study co-author from Columbia University. “This change…may amplify the public health threat of waterborne illness. For this reason, there is an urgent need to develop the water sector in ways that can withstand the extremes of climate change,” Shaman explained.
La Niña climate phenomenon sparks a 30% jump in diarrhoea cases in Africa 'because the ..., Daily Mail, December 31
Jeffrey Shaman, co-author and professor of environmental health sciences at Columbia said: 'In Southern Africa, precipitation [rainfall] is projected to decrease. 'This change, in a hydrologically dynamic region where both wildlife and humans exploit the same surface water resources, may amplify the public health threat of waterborne illness. 'For this reason, there is an urgent need to develop the water sector in ways that can withstand the extremes of climate change.'
'Tough year' for measles and other infectious diseases in US, Washington Post, December 27
“There may have been a real surge of optimism after the eradication of smallpox in 1980,” but then a few years later AIDS came in, said Stephen Morse, a Columbia University expert on the spread of diseases.Today’s growing resistance to vaccines and other prevention efforts is a “very worrisome trend,” he said.
Cannabis use rising faster among depressed Americans, REUTERS, December 26
“This perception of risk is decreasing more rapidly among those with depression,” said Renee Goodwin of Columbia University in New York City, the study’s senior author. “Those with depression who perceive little or no risk associated with use have a much higher prevalence of cannabis use, relative to those who perceive higher associated risks,” Goodwin said.
The Decade In Global Health: New Drugs, Faster Trials, Social Media To The Rescue, NPR, December 24
Early treatments for the drug-resistant disease required injections over many months, and the side effects, such as hearing loss, kidney failure, depression or psychosis, can be worse than the disease, says Dr. Wafaa El-Sadr, director of ICAP at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health. But in the past decade, two drugs, bedaquiline and delaminid, have emerged to treat drug-resistant TB. "They're taken by mouth and are well-tolerated," she says. As the simpler, safer treatments become available, she says, they could be game changers for patients in the developing world.”
… In the 2010s, big data has been shown to have huge potential to save lives, says Dr. Ian Lipkin, director of the Center for Infection and Immunity at the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University. “Combining disease information from huge data sets, including Facebook, Twitter and digital news sites, through which researchers and health officials can spot outbreaks of disease, determine vulnerability of different populations and track the spread of disease. The earlier you detect an outbreak, the more likely it is that you can prevent its spread," he says.
Boys born to obese mothers 'have worse motor skills and at age 3 and lower IQ at age 7 because ..., Daily Mail, December 24
Researchers at UT Austin and Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health studied the children, from New York City, at two points - three and seven years of age. At age three, the researchers measured the children's motor skills, which would include coordination, dexterity, movement and speed. Girls had higher scores compared to boys - an average of 102.3 compared with 97.2.
A nuclear attack would most likely target 1 of 6 US cities. Simulated images show how a Hiroshima ..., Business Insider, December 23
"There isn't a single jurisdiction in America that has anything approaching an adequate plan to deal with a nuclear detonation," Irwin Redlener, a public-health expert at Columbia University who specializes in disaster preparedness. The US Federal Emergency Management Agency has some simple advice for those catastrophic circumstances: Get inside, stay inside, and stay tuned. But Redlener said the overall federal guidelines weren't enough.
A new chance to end New York’s plague of ‘zombie homes’, NEW YORK POST, December 19
A report recently published by the Manhattan Institute, from University of Pennsylvania’s John MacDonald and Columbia’s Charles Branas, shows how cleaning and greening a handful of blighted lots lead to large drops in an area’s shootings, armed assaults and nuisance crimes, and without displacing such criminal behavior to elsewhere in a city. For neighborhoods below the poverty line, the effect was even greater: a 29 percent reduction in gun assaults and a 28 percent fall in crimes such as illegal dumping and public drinking.
US Prefers Mass Hysteria to Sound Policy on Vaping, Yahoo Finance, December 19
Important voices who believe e-cigarettes can save lives are finally pushing back. In its latest issue, Science magazine published an important essay by five public health heavyweights…including Ronald Bayer, a professor at the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University.
Teen Marijuana Vaping Soars, Displacing Other Habits, New York Times, December 18
…When it comes to vaping, young people may have gotten the wrong message: that it is not harmful. Silvia Martins, an associate professor of epidemiology at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, noted that marijuana is increasingly marketed in states where it is legal to suggest the drug may have widespread health benefits, claims that are not backed up by science. The rise of marijuana vaping among young people, she said, “could be related to the fact it is seen as less harmful and less risky.” Dr. Martins and other experts said that the changes in teenage drug use may have a curious influence: technology.
But technology may also be partly responsible for the decline in the use of some other drugs, Dr. Martins and Dr. Volkow, among others, have hypothesized. The theory is that some teenagers are partying less because they are spending time stimulated by their devices, and communicating with one another over social media, rather than in gatherings where they might have encountered alcohol or drugs. Dr. Martins is in the middle of research to test that hypothesis.
How trillions of microbes affect every stage of our life—from birth to old age, National Geographic, December 17
One of the scientists involved in the study, W. Ian Lipkin of the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, cautions researchers against rushing to explain diseases—whether diabetes or any other—by differences in the microbiome alone. “This is still largely a descriptive science,” he says; all that’s known for sure is that certain microbes are associated with certain conditions.
Even with this caveat, Lipkin is excited about where microbiome science might lead. He expects that in five or 10 years, scientists will understand the mechanisms of how the microbiome affects the body and will have begun clinical trials on human subjects to demonstrate the health impact of altering it. Once microbiome science “becomes mechanistic and testable,” he says, “then it will become real.”
People With Depression Turning to Pot for Relief, U.S. News & World Report, December 17
"Cannabis use has increased rapidly among persons with depression, and this increase has been more rapid than among those without depression," said senior researcher Renee Goodwin. She's an adjunct associate professor of epidemiology at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health, in New York City. "With increasing legalization in the U.S., previous studies have shown that perception of risk associated with use is declining overall," she said. "The results of this study show that this decline is even more rapid among this vulnerable population."
Also in WebMD
Many Women With Little Desire To Avoid Pregnancy Still Use Contraception, PsychCentral, December 17
We found that women across all ranges of desire to avoid pregnancy used a diversity of contraceptive methods, said Goleen Samari, Ph.D., Columbia Mailman School assistant professor of population and family health. The finding tells us that women use contraception for all sorts of reasons, and contraceptive counseling shouldn’t be guided by pregnancy preferences alone. Even for women with strong preferences to avoid pregnancy, overemphasizing effectiveness in contraceptive counseling may not lead to contraceptive uptake and satisfaction if other contraceptive features are not addressed.
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Congress agrees on historic deal to fund $25 million in gun violence research, ABC NEWS ONLINE, December 16
Congress has reached a spending agreement that includes $25 million for gun violence research, the first funding in more than 20 years to study a problem that kills 40,000 people annually. … While the new research dollars are important, the symbolism of the funding is also crucial, including for the people who work at the CDC, explained Ted Alcorn, an associate at the Mailman School ofPublic Health at Columbia University, who authored the JAMA Internal Medicine analysis. "For too long researchers have learned to assume that the CDC does not support gun violence research," he said.
Choking Haze Is Turning Sydney Into the World’s Laboratory, BLOOMBERG NEWS, December 14
We know that wildfire fine-particulate matter differs from that produced, for example, from coal combustion, said Joan Casey, an assistant professor of environmental health sciences at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health in New York. “What’s more interesting is how these extreme air pollution episodes in regions with relatively little air pollution at baseline may lead to both short- and long-term health consequences.”
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Vaping – The Riskiness of E-Cigarattes, Globo TV News, December 12
Ana Navas-Acien, professor of environmental health, Columbia University was interviewed on e-cigarettes and vaping. “There is evidence that the oily substance that is used in e-cigarettes can be highly damaging and the liquid that you are inhaling contains metals that are highly toxic. I recommend that anyone who doesn’t smoke would be crazy to ever try e-cigarettes.
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Scientists Tell Everyone to Take Several Seats Over Vaping Panic, VICE, December 13
A group of prominent public-health experts on the vape crisis had a message to share in one of the country's leading academic journals: Don't panic. Ronald Bayer of Columbia and his colleagues write that"restricting access and appeal among less harmful vaping products out of an abundance of caution," would be a massive setback for public health globally. Instead they advocate a harm-reduction approach. "In public health, there are always trade-offs," Bayer said. "You have to weigh both the risks and benefits.” But, as Bayer emphasized, the crucial conclusions and recommendations they make are for taxing vaping products—enough to keep them out of the hands of teenagers, but lower than those on combustible cigarettes so as not to discourage current smokers to switch.”
Policy Forum: Evidence, Alarm and the Debate Over E-Cigarettes (co-author, Ronald Bayer), SCIENCE Magazine, December 12
We suggest that the evidence warns against prohibitionist measures. Restricting access and appeal among less harmful vaping products out of an abundance of caution while leaving deadly combustible products on the market does not protect public health. It threatens to derail a trend that could hasten the demise of cigarettes, poised to take a billion lives this century.
Will vaping bans do more harm than good? Some public health experts say yes., NBC NEWS ONLINE, December 12
In an editorial published Thursday in the journal Science, the group writes that such "prohibitionist measures" may thwart earnest efforts of adult smokers trying to quit regular cigarettes by turning to electronic cigarettes. The group includes public health experts from major institutions, including Columbia University (Ron Bayer is a co-author), Emory University, New York University and Ohio State University.
You Could Die Today. Here’s How to Reduce That Risk., THE NEW YORK TIMES, December 12
Small steps have a big impact. Merely wearing a seatbelt will “substantially reduce your risk of sustaining serious injuries and double your chance of survival in a crash.” said Guohua Li, a professor and director of the Center for Injury Science and Prevention at Columbia University.
People with depression twice as likely to use cannabis, Healio, December 12
“Screening for cannabis use among people seeking treatment for depression may be increasingly important as the risks of cannabis use for persons with depression are not known,” Renee D. Goodwin, PhD, of Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, told Healio Psychiatry. “If depression is treated with either medicine or therapy, cannabis use is generally likely not to be indicated or helpful toward recovery. Medicinal cannabis is not approved to treat depression.”
'Vicious circle' of bullying poses harm to mental health, Breitbart, December 12
Even though many studies have shown that being bullied can leave mental scars, “no studies to date” have tested the notion that mental health issues might also help drive bullying, explained study author Marine Azevedo Da Silva. She’s a postdoctoral researcher in Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, in New York City.
'Vicious circle' of bullying poses harm to mental health, UPI.com, December 11
According to study senior author Dr. Silvia Martins, the findings suggest that efforts to stem bullying "should consider how to take into account and handle negative feelings and mental health problems" of young perpetrators. Martins directs the Substance Abuse Epidemiology Unit at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, in New York City.
Bullying's 'Vicious Circle' Harms Mental Health, HealthDay, December 10
Even though many studies have shown that being bullied can leave mental scars, "no studies to date" have tested the notion that mental health issues might also help drive bullying, explained study author Marine Azevedo Da Silva. She's a postdoctoral researcher in Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health, in New York City.
The Latest on Vaping Risks, Columbia Magazine, Winter 2019
A team of researchers led by Markus Hilpert and Norman Kleiman of Columbia’s Mailman School of Public Health are investigating whether potentially toxic metals found in e-cigarettes component parts might be contributing to reported lung injuries. “We suspect that these metals could be interacting in dangerous ways with Vitamin E oil, which I soften added to e-liquids and possible other chemical contaminants,” says Kleiman.
New Study Links Bullying with Internalized Problems for US Adolescents, MD Magazine, December 6
A team of investigators, led by Marine Azevedo Da Silva, PhD, Department of Epidemiology, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, examined the bidirectional association between the bullying perpetration and internalized problems amongst adolescents in the US.
Create uproar over lack of clean air to breathe: experts, The Hindu, December 4
“It has been shown that PAH is a compound associated with increased breast cancer risk,” said Dr. Jasmine McDonald, an associate professor of epidemiology at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health and co-director of the Continuing Umbrella of Research Experiences at Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center.
A pill a day can keep HIV away..., Independent Online, December 1
BYLINE: Salim S Abdool Karim and Quarraisha Abdool Karim
In our country, adolescent girls and young women tend to acquire HIV infection at a much earlier age than their male peers. This age-sex disparity in infection rates is a consequence of girls partnering with men about 10 years older than them, and who may have recently acquired HIV or who are already living with HIV but are not on treatment with antiretroviral medicines.
Salim S Abdool Karim is director of the Centre for the Aids Programme of Research in South Africa (Caprisa) and Caprisa Professor of Global Health at the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University. Quarraisha Abdool Karim is associate scientific director of Caprisa, and Professor in Clinical Epidemiology at the Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia.
Listen to Karim’s November 29th PODCAST: Wider attention must be paid to PrEP for HIV/Aids prevention - professor
Women, mothers lead increases in U.S. binge drinking rates, UPI, November 26
Researchers from the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health in New York, in a study published online Tuesday in PLOS Medicine, report that, for the most part, levels of binge drinking are up. Only men with children saw declines in the rate of their drinking or binge drinking. … "Moms are often subject to increased scrutiny regarding their own health, and how their decisions impact the health of their children," study co-author Sarah McKetta, a doctoral candidate at Columbia, said in a statement.
Moms are binge drinking more, but so are all women, study finds, NBC NEWS ONLINE, November 26
Moms are binge drinking more, but they’re not the only ones: According to a study released Tuesday, binge drinking rates are on the rise for nearly all groups of Americans, whether they have children or not. “There had been a lot of media attention on the ‘mommy drinking phenomenon,’” said the study's lead author Sarah McKetta, a medical student and doctoral candidate at Columbia University.
'Mummy drinking' is on the upswing - but women without children still booze more, Mirror (UK), November 26
Lead author Sarah McKetta, an epidemiologist at Columbia University , New York, said: "Although heavy drinking has either decreased or stabilised for most groups, binge drinking is still common and is becoming even more prevalent… Ms McKetta, a PhD student in public health, said: "The largest increases in binge drinking were reported among women aged 30 to 44 without children - from 21 percent in 2006 to 42 percent in 2018.” Senior author Professor Katherine Keyes, also of Columbia, said: "Our study demonstrated that trends in binge and heavy drinking over time were not differentiated by parenting status for women; rather, declines and increases over time were mainly attributable to sex and age.
'Problem' marijuana use has declined in the U.S., UPI, November 26
There are fewer problem "potheads" today than before the wave of marijuana legalization that's swept the United States, a new analysis of federal survey data shows … "The number of people with problems, instead of increasing as predicted, has decreased," said senior researcher Dr. Silvia Martins. She is director of the substance use epidemiology unit at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health, in New York City.
Fewer Americans Now Struggle With 'Problem' Pot Use, U.S. News & World Report (HealthDay News), November 26
"The number of people with problems, instead of increasing as predicted, has decreased," said senior researcher Dr. Silvia Martins. She is director of the substance use epidemiology unit at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health, in New York City… A lot of these frequent users could be people who come home and smoke one joint a day," she said."Usually there are many people using a legal substance and it's only a small portion of people that end up developing the disorder," Martins added. "The people who need treatment are the tip of the iceberg."
In another study published recently, Martins and her colleagues found that cannabis use disorder had increased in the first four states to legalize marijuana: Colorado, Washington, Alaska and Oregon…Once marijuana becomes more normative, we're going to see a huge increase in people with cannabis use disorder," Martins said.
US life expectancy declining due to more deaths in middle age, REUTERS, November 26
The new findings (fall off in life expectancy) highlight some distressing trends, said Dr. John Rowe, a professor in Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health in New York City. "It is depressing," Rowe said, "but I don't think it's much of a surprise. We knew the opioid epidemic was taking a major toll with 250,000 who have overdosed and died… This is really evidence that mortality rates are increasing only in middle age while they're continuing to decline in children, adolescents and people over 65," Rowe said, noting that it's occurring as mortality rates from cancer and stroke are declining.
'Deaths Of Despair': U.S. Life Expectancy Has Been Falling Since 2014, With Biggest Impacts In Rust Belt And Ohio Valley, NEWSWEEK, November 26
Peter Muennig, professor of health policy and management at Columbia University, told Newsweek the research provides detail on a problem that was largely already known. However, he was taken aback by the breadth of the problem. "We have long considered Asians and Hispanics to be holding the torch for all Americans. Those two groups have long been considered the healthiest," said Muennig. "But mortality rates appear to be flat for those groups rather than getting better. This is particularly surprising because Asians have been considered untouched by the opiate crisis," he said.
Marijuana: can its consumption really cause other more serious addictions?, BBC NEWS, November 26
Denise Kandel of the Mailman School of Public Health, belonging to Columbia University in New York, says that animal research shows changes in the way their brains respond to cocaine after being exposed to alcohol, marijuana or nicotine. “It is not possible to establish a clear connection between the use of marijuana and other drugs because there are so many contributing factors that cannot be controlled in the investigations," Kandel said.
The New Deal Wasn't Intrinsically Racist, The New Republic, November 26
A central focus on group-level disparities can lead to mistaken diagnoses of the sources and character of the manifest inequalities it identifies. And those mistaken diagnoses, in turn, can reflect damaging class and ideological biases that ultimately undercut the struggle for social justice and equality. In this column and later ones, I will examine facets of this problem and its entailments. A key point of departure here is the study I published in 2012 with Columbia University public health Professor Merlin Chowkwanyun, explicating how what we call the “disparitarian perspective” has distorted discussion of the impact of the New Deal on black Americans.
You're Black and Pregnant. What Should Your Birth Plan Actually Look Like?, SELF, November 23
In an effort to research the disrespect and abuse that can happen in maternity care, along with her colleagues, Shanon McNab, M.P.H., M.I.A., with the Averting Maternal Death and Disability program at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health held 16 focus groups for women of color who had given birth in New York City hospitals…“What we found was this deep sense of mistrust on both sides,” McNab tells SELF. “[A lot of women talked about] deeply [mistrusting] the medical institution and not really having a reason to trust why this provider is telling me that I don’t know my body or that I need this intervention. On the other hand, the clinicians are saying, ‘I know nothing about this woman. I don’t know how many prenatal visits she went to. I maybe don’t have all of her records. I have no reason to trust what she’s saying when my clinical instinct is telling me something different.’”
Immigration raids tied to worse mental health among Hispanic Americans, REUTERS, November 21
“Given that immigration policy continues to be a deeply contested topic, ensuring that the health and social consequences of aggressive enforcement are identified and acknowledged within national debates is a key priority,” study authors Emilie Bruzelius of the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University in New York City and Aaron Baum of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City write.
Poverty affects access to health care. These women are trying to change that., Philadelphia Tribune, November 21
If people’s housing is unhealthy they will be too. To explore the disparity in care, the New York Times spoke to Diana Hernandez, assistant professor of Sociomedical Sciences one of five women focused on exploring the health of people with low income.
Vitamin B Diminishes Effects of Air Pollution-induced Cardiovascular Disease Camfil USA, Yahoo Finance, November 21
While ambient air quality across much of the United States has steadily improved over the years, homes and buildings should still be outfitted with air filters to ensure indoor air is healthy. A growing body of literature suggests that air filters may not be the only preventative measure we can take; a study conducted at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health found that healthy non-smoking individuals who took vitamin B supplements almost reversed any harmful effects of exposure to polluted air on their immune and cardiovascular function.
Seasonal severity, vaccine effectiveness not associated with flu vaccination rates, Healio, November 21
“We as clinicians often think to ourselves that we can ‘predict’ influenza vaccine uptake based on the severity of influenza, particularly in the previous season, or reports of vaccine effectiveness,” Melissa S. Stockwell, MD MPH, associate professor of pediatrics and population and family health at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, told Infectious Diseases in Children. “We were surprised to see that, at least nationally, that did not seem to be a case.”
Making Cities Safer One Vacant Lot at a Time, The American Health Podcast, November 20
In September 2019, the American Public Health Association and the Bloomberg American Health Initiative co-hosted a forum called Policies That Work to Reduce Gun Violence, featuring leading experts discussing the most up-to-date evidence on gun violence prevention. At the forum, Dr. Charles Branas, Chair of Columbia University’s Department of Epidemiology, spoke about how reducing blight in urban areas can significantly reduce firearm violence.
Poverty Impacts Access to Health Care. These Women Are Trying to Change That., The New York Times, November 19
This article is part of our Women and Leadership special section, which focuses on approaches taken by women, minorities or other disadvantaged groups challenging traditional ways of thinking.
Diana Hernández, 37, a public health researcher and New York native, sees housing as the centerpiece of a healthy life. When Dr. Hernández was growing up in federally subsidized housing in the Bronx, she and her family grew vegetables in a community garden. “There was something about working with the land and doing that as a family and as neighbors, and then sharing,” Dr. Hernández said. “It wasn’t just about us as a family, it was also about the community that was built around the garden.” That idea of pairing community-building and healthy activities stuck with her. Now an assistant professor of sociomedical sciences at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, she sees health care as part of a larger picture: If people’s housing is unhealthy, they will be, too.
World Toilet Day Spotlights Those Who Have None, China Global TV, November 18
“The main diarrheal killer is a rotavirus – that was the case in 1980 and that’s the same problem today. It’s the same pathogens we encountered 10, 20, 50 years ago. It takes education and changing cultural values to make hygiene and toilets to become a norm. if a world community doesn’t want to use toilets it is very hard for outsiders to make them use toilets,” said Les Roberts, Professor of Population and Family Health, Columbia University.
What Early-Career Income Volatility Means for Your Middle-Aged Brain, City Lab, November 16
As Adina Zeki Al Hazzouri, study author and an assistant professor of epidemiology at Columbia University, told CityLab via email: “Cognitive impairment, decline, and ultimately dementia are public health priorities with tremendous health care costs.” And income volatility is likely to get worse as a quarter of American jobs will face high exposure to automation in the coming decades, according to a recent Brookings Institution report.
Our Country Is Already Seeing the Impact of Climate Change, The Hill, Byline Article: Dean Linda P. Fried, November 15
The United States’ decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement is an unjust endangerment of current and future generations’ basic right to health, now and in the future… Climate change will dramatically harm human health in innumerable, tragic ways. We know enough scientifically to prevent the impacts of these changes on health— let’s get going and enact what we know is needed. It is not too late to still work towards the Paris agreement.
Cannabis Use Disorder is Rising in US States Where Weed is Legal, Newsweek, November 13
Senior author Dr. Silvia S. Martins, associate professor of epidemiology at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, commented: "Cannabis use disorder in adolescence is associated with long-term adverse health, economic and social consequences.” Given our findings on problematic use across age groups, legalization efforts should coincide with prevention and treatment. The general public should be informed about both benefits and potential harms of marijuana products to make informed decisions."
'Cannabis Use Disorder' Up in States That Legalized Recreational Pot, US NEWS & WORLD REPORT, November 13
According to study senior author Dr. Silvia Martins, "Cannabis use disorder in adolescence is associated with long-term adverse health, economic and social consequences." She is an associate professor of epidemiology at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. "Given our findings on problematic use across age groups, legalization efforts should coincide with prevention and treatment. The general public should be informed about both benefits and potential harms of marijuana products to make informed decisions."
Also covered in HealthDay
After Legalization, Marijuana Addiction Is on the Rise, HealthLine, November 13
The study was conducted by a team at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health and NYU Grossman School of Medicine, and published in JAMA Psychiatry. CUD can be linked to long-term adverse health and economic and social impacts, said Dr. Silvia S. Martins, an associate professor at Columbia University and report senior author. Martins’s team looked at data from 505,796 people from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health. They compared data from the first four states to legalize marijuana for recreational use — against data from states that have not legalized marijuana for recreational use.
Information is lacking on whether certain groups of people are more likely to develop CUD in response to changing marijuana laws, noted Deborah Hasin, PhD, a professor at Columbia University.
Wait, What Is In a Tampon?, MEDIUM, November 13
The other concern regarding chemical exposure through tampons is that both cotton and rayon come from highly absorbent plants, meaning they can soak up pesticides and heavy metals present in the soil where they’re grown. “Cotton is one of the most heavily pesticized crops in the United States,” says Marianthi-Anna Kioumourtzoglou, an assistant professor of environmental health sciences at Columbia University…Concerned about potential heavy-metal exposure, Kioumourtzoglou tested 255 women to see whether those who used tampons had higher levels of cadmium, lead, and mercury in their blood than women who used another type of menstrual product. (Study)
Flu vaccination rates in children, teens remain low, UPI, November 11
"We do know from our own, as well as other people's research, that there remain widespread misperceptions about influenza and the vaccine," study co-author Melissa Stockwell, associate professor of pediatrics and population and family health at Columbia University Irving Medical Center, told UPI.
Was shutting Japan’s reactors deadlier than the Fukushima disaster?, THE ECONOMIST, November 7
The precautionary principle—taking dramatic action to prevent a worst-case scenario—resulted in poor policymaking in this instance, concludes Matthew Neidell of Columbia University, one of the paper’s authors. “Our estimated increase in mortality from higher electricity prices significantly outweighs the mortality from the accident itself.”
Violence Is in the Air, THE NATION, November 6
Research on workers on farms and in manufacturing and call-center workplaces indicates a clear link between air pollution at a work site and performance on the job. Conversely, researchers concluded, limiting air pollution through regulation could boost productivity; a reduction in the ozone standard by 10 parts per billion would save $700 million in labor costs in the farming sector, according to research by Columbia professor Matthew Neidell (of Mailman School of Public Health).
Flu Season Update: Where the Virus Is Hitting and What Shots Are in Short Supply, HealthLine, November 5
“If a senior can’t find the high-dosage vaccine, they should take the regular vaccine now. ‘Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good,’ as the old saying goes,” Stephen Morse, PhD, an expert in influenza and infectious diseases at Columbia University in New York, told Healthline. “We know the immune system usually doesn’t respond as strongly in the elderly as in young adults, so they often don’t fight off the infection as well,” he said. “Seniors living in nursing homes or wherever there’s a high density of older people are at higher risk,” Morse said.
The prognosis is poor for stopping the spread of sexually transmitted diseases, The Hill, Byline Article: Samantha Garbers, PhD, associate professor at Heilbrunn Department of Population and Family Health, Columbia Mailman School of Public Health, November 3
“As prevention and treatment services diminish under the Title X restrictions, this country can expect higher rates of STDs, increased transmission, and deteriorating sexual health…Although these STDs are preventable and treatable, inadequate funding and hostile regulation leaves us on track to see rates further skyrocket in the coming years. We must work to make health care resources and access top priorities in order to stop the spread of STDs.”
Measles weakens immune system against other diseases: Scientists, The Straits Times, November 3
"These elegant studies provide insights into immunological deficits following measles infections that have intrigued scientists for over 100 years," said Dr. W. Ian Lipkin, director of the Centre for Infection and Immunity at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health. "I agree that the findings also enhance the strength of the argument for vaccination." But he added: "I don't think it's going to change vaccination rates because those decisions are irrational.”
Measles Can Cause 'Immune Amnesia,' Increasing Risk of Other Infections, New York Times, November 1
“These elegant studies provide insights into immunological deficits following measles infections that have intrigued scientists for over 100 years,” said Dr. Ian W. Lipkin, director of the Center for Infection and Immunity at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. “I agree that the findings also enhance the strength of the argument for vaccination,” he said but added, “I don’t think it’s going to change vaccination rates, because those decisions are irrational.”
Cannabis Use Disorder is Falling For Teens and Young Adults, Consumer Affairs, November 1
Researchers from the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health found that the number of teens and young adults affected by cannabis use disorder declined between 2002 and 2016. “Contrary to expectations, the frequency of cannabis use disorder among people reporting daily/almost daily use decreased significantly between 2002 and 2016,” said researcher Dr. Silvia Martins. “The findings contradict the predominating hypothesis that the prevalence of DSM-IV CUD would be stable, or increase, among those using with regularity.”
Genomic Data Maps Spread of Deadly Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis Strain, MedicalResearch.com, October 31
In a Q and A with the editor, Barun Mathema said, “We are losing the general fight against drug resistant pathogens. We suggest a major reason is that the processes that make a drug resistant pathogen epidemic is multifactorial and importantly occurs months to years prior to when they are first detected by public health.
Mathema is Assistant Professor, Epidemiology, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University
Vaping is Blamed for Mounting Deaths, Lung Injuries. Here’s What it’s Doing to Kids’ Brains, PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, October 29
Meanwhile, a landmark study by Columbia University medical school researchers viewed as the closest to biological proof of the gateway theory found that mice given nicotine in their water over a period of time showed addiction-related gene changes and increased vulnerability to cocaine dependence. Denise Kandel, a professor of sociomedical sciences in psychiatry and a lead author on the study, said she and her colleagues have also found in subsequent research that alcohol and cannabinoids seem to have gateway-like relationships to cocaine use in mouse studies.
FDA Approves Medicines360's LILETTA® (levonorgestrel-releasing intrauterine system) to Prevent Pregnancy for up to Six Years, the Longest Approved Duration of Use of Any Hormonal IUDs, Yahoo! Finance, October 28
I hear all the time from women that they want a reliable and long-term option for birth control that is reversible," said Carolyn Westhoff, M.D., MSC, chief of the Division of Family Planning, Sarah Billinghurst Solomon Professor of Reproductive Health, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Professor of Population and Family Health and Epidemiology, Columbia University, and investigator in the ACCESS IUS study. "This groundbreaking trial has given healthcare providers the ability to confidently offer women the option of pregnancy prevention for up to six years."
Five Myths About Vaping, Washington Post, Perspective: Daniel Giovenco, October 17
“It is true that most smokers who try e-cigarettes continue to smoke, but that does not mean that e-cigarettes are an ineffective cessation aid: Most smokers who try FDA-approved nicotine replacement therapies also continue to smoke, but such products are still officially deemed effective. We are still learning about the product features and behavioral factors that may contribute to successfully quitting with e-cigarettes…Make no mistake, though: E-cigarettes do not seem to be leading large numbers of youth into smoking, but the strikingly high rates of teenage vaping alone are alarming.”
Daniel Giovenco is an assistant professor at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health. His research focuses on tobacco control policies and patterns of tobacco product use.
Getting the Dirt on Hamilton Beach, Queens Chronicle, October 17
A Columbia University public health professor is preparing to study homes in Hamilton Beach to see what kind of lasting effect the persistent flooding has on families. Dr. Pam Factor-Litvak, a professor of epidemiology at Columbia’s School of Public Health, is scheduled to appear tonight, Oct. 17, at the civic association’s monthly meeting to pitch residents and find volunteers for the study. She is “one of the leads on a research project looking at flooding and how it impacts the home and health,” a Facebook post said.
Doctors Urge Americans to Get Flu Shots Amid Fears Over Deadly Flu Strain, THE WALL STREET JOURNAL, October 16
Doctors are urging Americans to get their flu shots right away after a bad flu season in Australia has raised concerns about the coming season in the U.S. … “For many people, even if it’s not perfect, it will probably give them some protection or modify the course of the disease if they become infected,” says Stephen Morse, a professor of epidemiology at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health.
Opinion: Letters: “How to Close Rikers Island”, The New York Times, Oct 16
The research could not be clearer. Incarceration is inherently harmful to human health. There is simply no such thing as a therapeutic jail or a humane cage. The best empirical evidence suggests that incarceration does not prevent or deter future crime or arrests. The mayor’s plan guarantees that incarceration will continue to be the expected outcome for people experiencing the daily problems of living without adequate material resources and public investments.
Dr. Seth J. Prins and Dr. Ana Tergas are, respectively, an epidemiologist and an obstetrician-gynecologist at Columbia University.
Air Pollution Linked to 'Missed' Miscarriages in China: Study, Straits Times, October 16
The study's findings are "consistent with other studies of air pollution and pregnancy loss, and also with other studies documenting significant associations between air pollutants and preterm birth", Frederica Perera, a professor of public health at Columbia University who was not involved in the study, told AFP.
Food Stamps Cuts Pose Hardship for Home Health Care Workers, The Bronx Ink, October 12
“Many families are living on the edge financially and they really do need that benefit in order to make ends meet and to make sure that their family is fed,” said Sara Abiola, Professor of Health Policy & Management at Columbia University. ..“People are concerned that this new cut would threaten a lot of households in the state have not being able to afford to meet their food needs,” said Abiola. New York State has been able to provide food stamps to families using broad-based categories…“If you are able to determine that you are eligible based on one assessment, then you don’t have to go back and re-apply,” Abiola said, “or can determine your eligibility multiple times in multiple different ways.”
To Build a Better Vaccine, PROTO, October 7
VirCapSeq-VERT is a custom sequencing system developed by W. Ian Lipkin, a professor of epidemiology, pathology and neurology at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health and Vagelos College of Physicians & Surgeons. It works as a universal virus detector, which means that clinicians can take a sample of a person’s blood and detect the genetic signature of virtually any virus known to infect humans and other vertebrates. Now Lipkin is working on tools that…will be able to provide a report within hours of obtaining a sample, helping researchers “recognize a threat and appreciate it in its full complexity.”
Aspirin Could Cut Air Pollution Harms in Half, Study Claims, FOX NEWS ONLINE, October 5
Researchers from Columbia, Harvard and Boston Universities analyzed a subset of data collected from 2,280 male veterans from the greater Boston area who were given tests to determine their lung function. Participants' average age was 73. … "Our findings suggest that aspirin and other NSAIDs may protect the lungs from short-term spikes in air pollution," first and corresponding author Xu Gao, a post-doctoral research scientist in the Department of Environmental Health Sciences at the Columbia Mailman School, said in press statement. "Of course, it is still important to minimize our exposure to air pollution, which is linked to a host of adverse health effects from cancer to cardiovascular disease."
Aspirin May Lessen Adverse Effects of Air Pollution Exposure, Science Times, October 5
Environmental policies have significantly reduced air pollution, along with the efforts of organizations all over the world, yet the short-term spikes of high pollution rates are still commonplace. "It is for this reason that studies to minimize those harms must continue," said Andrea Baccarelli, MD, PhD, chair of the Department of Environmental Health Sciences at the Columbia Mailman School, and senior author of the study.
New York -- Uber, A Taxi in the Air, Channel 2 France, October 4
Darby Jack, professor in Environmental Health Sciences at Columbia University was interviewed about the launch of different helicopter services between Manhattan and JFK and the environmental aspect of these services on the quality of air and health compared to a car.
How to Reduce Exposure to Air Pollution, The New York Times, August 13
When walking, running or biking, “the things you can vary are, where do you go and when do you go,” said Darby Jack, an associate professor of environmental health at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. “With both of those, some relatively small changes in behavior can result in meaningful changes in exposure.” Limiting exposure is particularly important during exercise, when we take in more air.
Opinion: Environmental Advocates Should Take Another Look at Biofuels, The Hill, August 14
Frederica Perera, head of the Columbia Center for Children's Environmental Health, has shown through more than a decade of research that the worst emissions from those chemicals – polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, or PAHs – have effects on pregnant women and small children comparable to airborne lead: low birth weight, diminished IQ and cognitive and behavioral disorders.
U.N. Warns Climate Change Could Trigger Global Food Crisis, MSNBC, August 9
Reporter Ali Velshi speaks to former Department of Agriculture researcher Lewis Ziska (currently at the Mailman School of Public Health), who quit the Trump administration when his research was repressed, about what we can do to mitigate disaster.