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2020

 
Life on Lockdown in China, THE NEW YORKER, March 30 
 
The coverup gave the virus more time to spread unabated. But, in early January, once Chinese health officials grasped the seriousness of the situation, they moved quickly. “Within three days, they had scientists who were able to sequence and characterize the structure of the virus, which is unheard of,” Wafaa El-Sadr, the director of ICAP, a global-health center at Columbia University, told me.
 
 
Scientists behind a new study, published earlier this month in the journal Science, have found that for every confirmed case there are likely five to ten more people in the community with an undetected infection. This will likely remain the case. “The testing is not near adequate,” one of the study’s authors, Jeffrey Shaman, an environmental-health sciences professor at Columbia University, said. Comments from emergency-room doctors have been circulating on social media like S.O.S. flares. One, from Daniele Macchini, a doctor in Bergamo, north of Milan, described the situation as a “tsunami that has overwhelmed us.”
 
 
The stars of the 2011 virus thriller “Contagion” — a prescient film these days — have reunited for a series of public service announcements to warn about COVID-19. Matt Damon, Laurence Fishburne, Kate Winslet and Jennifer Ehle have teamed up with scientists from Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health to offer four individual homemade videos with advice and a message of unity.
 
 
For the millions of Americans living under some form of lockdown to curb the spread of the coronavirus, not knowing when the restrictions will end is a major source of anxiety. Will life events — weddings, funerals, even just simple nights out with friends — be delayed for a few weeks, a few months or much longer?  …. “We can’t simply wait inside for two years for a COVID-19 vaccine" to be developed, said Stephen Morse, a disease researcher at Columbia University. “We have to find some way to return to normal life.” Decisions on how and when to lift restrictions, he added, should be based on information about infection rates that can only be learned by increasing testing. That will allow policymakers to tailor restrictions to fit the outbreak in different areas. 
 
 
Testing only the sickest impedes public health priorities like prevention, says Gary Miller, vice dean for research strategy and innovation at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. “We don’t want people to end up in the ICU, or to be on ventilators,” he said.
 
 
Four types of mild coronaviruses that cause the common cold, also follow the same pattern. 'They phase like influenza, peaking in Jan/Feb and disappearing in summer," said Jeffrey Shaman, director of the climate and health program at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health, said.
 
 
On one hand, buildings, roads and utilities need regular maintenance and upgrades, and millions of blue-collar workers need those jobs to support families, construction union leaders said. At the same time, those close-knit worksites and, sometimes, unsanitary work conditions are ripe for exposure to the virus, according to Jeanne Stellman, a professor at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, who specializes in workers safety issues. "The question is, 'What jobs can be done safely?'" she told ABC News. "This is a time when those generally poor standards [at construction sites] need to be addressed."
 
 
“That means probable, suspected and then confirmed” cases of covid-19 — as well as deaths, said Charles Branas, the chair of the epidemiology department at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. That call is then to be followed, within a day, with the submission of an electronic form, Branas said.
 
 
Susan Michaels-Strasser, an assistant professor of epidemiology at Columbia University with over 25 years of experience in nursing and public health, agrees that it’s an “appropriate” measure at this stage. “It behooves us to use all the human resources” we can, she says, “we’re really all in this together.” Data shows hospitals and health centers are reaching their maximum capacity, she explains. “Not only do we have more patients, we have more critically ill patients so it requires a higher level of care,” Michaels-Strasser says.
 
 
BYLINE: JENNIFER HIRSCH
In counting the heroes and zeroes of the pandemic, our deepest scorn should be for those governors, mayors and other officials who have been slow to take state action. They seem not to grasp the urgency of sacrifice for our shared well-being. Some business organizations have been similarly selfish; the Michigan Chamber of Commerce, for example, wrote to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on March 20, asking her to avoid issuing a "shelter-in-place" order for the state because the brunt of the problem is -- at the moment -- concentrated elsewhere. … Jennifer S. Hirsch is professor of sociomedical sciences at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health. 
 
 
It’s also part of a long tradition of blaming immigrants and racial minorities for the spread of diseases, which has been used as a rationale for exclusionary and discriminatory policies, said Merlin Chowkwanyun, an assistant professor of sociomedical sciences at Columbia University. Irish immigrants were blamed for cholera and Italians for polio, he said, while Chinese, Japanese and Mexicans were scapegoated for tuberculosis and small pox outbreaks. During the HIV/AIDS crisis, Haitians were demonized and denied entry to the U.S. “I’ve always viewed disease as a mirror for society,” he said.
 
 
Dr. Saito said that part of Japan’s seeming resistance to infection may result from measures common in the culture, including frequent hand-washing and bowing instead of shaking hands. People are also much more likely to wear masks on trains and in public spaces. “It’s a kind of social distancing,” Dr. Saito said. … But Jeffrey Shaman, an epidemiologist at Columbia University and the senior author of a report that projected five to 10 undetected cases for every confirmed infection of the coronavirus based on data from China, said Japan’s approach was a “gamble.” “The risk is that things may be brewing underneath the surface that you don’t recognize until it’s also a little bit too late,” Dr. Shaman said.
 
 
Jeffrey Shaman, the director of the climate and health program at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, said laboratory studies that investigate how the virus behaves in different environments will provide more meaningful insights into covid-19, compared to the statistical studies looking at temperatures and virus spread.
 
 
“ACE2 is definitely not the only factor that determines susceptibility” to infection, says Angela Rasmussen, a virologist and associate research scientist at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. “It takes a perfect combination of all the needed host factors to allow the virus to replicate. And since we don't even know what most of those are, it is really hard to make the assumption that because one is up- or down-regulated on a given cell type, that will determine whether a virus can replicate more or make disease worse.”
 
 
The esteemed medical adviser behind the pandemic movie "Contagion," Dr. Ian Lipkin, has revealed he has contracted the coronavirus. Lipkin, director of the Center for Infection and Immunity at Columbia University, who advised director Steven Soderbergh on the realistic 2011 movie, revealed his condition after discussing the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on Fox's "Lou Dobbs Tonight" on Tuesday. A few minutes after giving a dry cough during the remote segment, Lipkin said, "I would like to say on this show tonight, this has become very personal to me, too.
 
Can You Catch COVID-19 From a Cardboard Box?, WNYC RADIO, The Brian Lehrer Show, March 25
 
Stephen Morse, professor of epidemiology at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, explains what we know in terms of how long COVD-19 lives on various surfaces, and best practices to stay safe.
 
 
BYLINE: LOUIS KLAREVAS, SONALI RAJAN, CHARLES BRANAS and KATHERINE KEYES
Speaking at a White House coronavirus event on Tuesday, President Trump issued a stark prediction that if the country does not “open by Easter,” we run the risk of a costly “recession or depression.” He was measuring the anticipated toll not just in terms of dollars, but lives as well: “You’re going to have suicides by the thousands.” … Suicide is a subject-matter that merits strict caution and the utmost seriousness. Like the novel coronavirus, it can spread throughout society too. Klarevas and Rajan are professors at Teachers College, Columbia University, and Branas and Keyes are professors at the Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University.
  
 
“[Delivery robots] may in fact help with reducing some amount of risk,” says Barun Mathema, an infectious disease epidemiologist at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. He suggests that any measure to limit contact between an infected person and a susceptible person is worthwhile. But he also notes a recent study in the New England Journal of Medicine that suggests that the virus can live on cardboard for up to 24 hours and plastic for up to two to three days. Even when taking human interaction at the door out of the equation, a person is still involved with the packaging.
 
 
As hours pass (presumably this is still happening, even though time seems to no longer make sense), new questions are likely popping into your head. Maybe you are replaying a grocery delivery interaction, wondering if you messed up a critical safety step and now have the virus. Maybe you aren't sure if you can open a window anymore. Or if that jogger who just darted by you exhaled the virus into your nasal passage. Everything about how we live is being questioned, as we attempt to shield ourselves from COVID-19. We reached out to Stephen Morse, Professor of Epidemiology at the Columbia Mailman School of Public Health.
 
 
“There is no evidence that SARS-CoV-2 can be transmitted by eating food. I imagine that if this is possible, the risk is extremely low,” said Angela L. Rasmussen, PhD, a virologist in the faculty of the Center for Infection and Immunity at the Columbia Mailman School of Public Health, adding that she is not aware of any human coronaviruses that can be transmitted through food. … “High acidity, low pH environments such as the stomach can both disrupt the envelope and degrade viral proteins and RNA that are other key components of the virus particle,” said Rasmussen.
  
How Are You Staying Healthy and Fit?, THE NEW YORK TIMES, March 25
 
“We don’t have any data about how long the virus remains infectious on water fountains,” says Angela Rasmussen, a virologist with the Center for Infection and Immunity at Columbia University. “But, given their proximity to other people’s mouths and noses, I would say you should not.”
 
 
“We are trying to practice social distancing, and it’s already very hard on the subways to keep that six-foot distance. But the more crowded it is, the more likely it is that people will be spreading” the virus more, said Dr. Stephen S. Morse, an epidemiology professor at the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University.
 
 
Stephen S. Morse, a professor of epidemiology at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, said there was still not enough data to say what effect the pandemic would have on youth. He said, however, that even in an ordinary flu pandemic, some young, otherwise healthy people get very sick or die. “Unfortunately, we won’t know if this is that sort of rare tragic event, or a trend, until we have more data,” Dr. Morse said. “This one has been unusual in that it doesn’t seem to hit young people in the way that other flu pandemics have.”
 
 
Ian Lipkin, an infectious disease expert at Columbia University who visited China in January and has been advising health officials there, says the U.S. should immediately implement a nationwide stay-at-home policy and then move to a “stratified isolation system” until a vaccine is ready. “We must isolate separately those with disease who need immediate medical attention, those known to be infected who have no or only mild disease, those who are suspected to be infected based on exposure history, and those who have no known exposure and are well,” he said.
 
 
The medical consultant on the hit pandemic thriller “Contagion” has tested positive for coronavirus.Ian Lipkin, the consultant who also leads Columbia University’s Center for Infection and Immunity, revealed his diagnosis Tuesday along with a grim warning while appearing on Fox Business from his home. “If it can hit me, it can hit anybody,” Lipkin said, adding that the virus is “miserable.”
 
 
The U.S., with its large population and decentralized government, will require a far greater effort, but it's not impossible, says Jeffrey Shaman, a professor of environmental health sciences at Columbia University."They were doing [tens of thousands] a day in South Korea," he says. "So why the hell can't we do 10 times that?"
 
 
Mild cases are about half as infectious as those with more severe symptoms, said senior researcher Jeffrey Shaman, a professor of environmental health sciences at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. But because there are so many more mild cases, they "are driving the spread and growth of the outbreak," Shaman said. "The virus thrives off the ability for people to mingle and meet each other," Shaman said. "Coming into contact unnecessarily at this point is something that people should really consider restricting."
 
 
The Games going ahead, according to Steve Morse, an epidemiologist at Columbia University, “would depend greatly on both seeing the circulation abated and the susceptible population” — those who can become infected, as opposed to the immune — “below a critical threshold.”
 
 
Adam Sacarny of the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, who conducted the research, and other experts caution that the number of ICU beds is only one of many factors used to gauge a region’s health-care infrastructure and the readiness of its hospitals to respond to the coronavirus. “This level of variation might seem weird,” Sacarny said, “but it’s pretty standard to see big differences in health-care use across areas.” He notes that the map shows patterns similar to those seen in measures of health-care utilization, such as hospital admissions and Medicare reimbursements per enrollee.
 
 
“First you get the one big pandemic wave, and then it will start to settle in,” said infectious-disease ecologist Micaela Martinez at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health.  “Even if we get a seasonal decline [this summer] in the transmission rate, it could get swamped because there are so many susceptible people.”
 
 
Here’s what Jeffrey Shaman of Columbia University, one of the authors of that paper, said about that in a news briefing last week: “These undocumented infections were … about half as infectious per person as a documented case who has more severe symptoms and maybe shedding more. Because, however, there are many more of these undocumented cases, it’s the undocumented infections that are driving the spread and growth of the outbreak.”
 
 
“At multiple levels we have epidemic preparedness in place,” said Salim Abdool Karim, director of the Centre for the AIDS Program of Research in South Africa and a professor of Global Health at New York’s Columbia University. “We are quite well placed as a country to take this on.” The country has as many as 7.8 million people infected with HIV, including 2.5 million who aren’t taking anti-retroviral treatment and about half a million with very weak immune systems, said Karim, whose organization is funded by the European Union and the U.S. and South African governments.
 
 
ProMED (it stands for “Program for Monitoring Emerging Diseases”) began in 1994, the personal project of John Payne Woodall, an entomologist and virologist who died in 2016. Its cofounders were Stephen Morse, a professor of epidemiology at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, and Barbara Hatch Rosenberg, a biological weapons expert and former professor of microbiology at SUNY Purchase.  
 
 
“That’s what’s really driving the spread of this virus, all this silent or stealth transmission,” said Jeffrey Shaman, professor of environmental sciences at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. … Likewise, the number of cases in the U.S. is also likely to be higher than the official toll, said Dr. Shamanand other experts. How much higher won’t be known, however, unless public-health authorities expand testing, including to people who don’t show any symptoms.
 
 
“There’s no question that she was a role model, a leader, for all people doing maternal health,” said Lynn Freedman, a population and family health expert at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. “She treated women who had fistula with a kind of compassion, and a respect for the wholeness of their lives as human beings, that was extraordinary.”
 
 
Dr. Jessica Justman, an infectious disease expert at Columbia University, said the sheer amount of information online about the coronavirus pandemic can quickly become overwhelming. That’s one reason she encourages people to check the websites of the CDC and the WHO. “It’s not just misinformation, it’s also a lack of good information,” Justman said. “There’s so much information out there that many people are just saying ‘I can’t read it, it makes me too anxious.’”
 
 
The novel coronavirus may have seemed to appear out of nowhere. But epidemiologists, like Columbia University’s Dr. Stephen Morse, have been tracking what he calls “emerging viruses” for decades. Morse said that he and his colleagues have been on high alert since the SARS outbreak in 2003, which infected more than 8,000 people in 26 countries before being effectively stopped. Epidemiologists went to China to test horseshoe bats, which they believed carried the virus, and found they carry numerous coronaviruses related to SARS.
 
 
"What civil libertarians will argue is that things like police presence and national guard presence is unnecessary, because if you explain to people adequately the need for measures to protect the public health, they will voluntarily act in the best interest of the community," said James Colgrove, a professor of sociomedical sciences at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health.
 
 
Stephen Morse, infectious disease epidemiologist at Columbia University, told Gothamist that even when outdoors, there is still reason to be extra careful. "We’re still learning as we go," he told us earlier this week. "I can readily understand the temptation to go out, especially when the weather is good. For now, I’d say same precautions apply as elsewhere: six-foot distance from others not in your household, same 'respiratory etiquette' (cover coughs and sneezes) and 'hand hygiene' (after touching surfaces, clean hands before touching face)."
 
 
"What is going on in Italy could be a tragic signal of what to expect in the U.S., especially with respect to medical system vulnerabilities. Hospital critical care planning, as part of the larger U.S. public health system, has simply not been adequately attended to over the decades in terms of our disaster response capabilities," said Charles Branas, chairman of Columbia University's Department of Epidemiology in the Mailman School of Public Health, in an email to Newsweek Saturday.
 
 
"You should be testing as much as possible," Columbia University researcher Jeffrey Shaman told Brumfiel. "Because that informs people to stay home. If they are themselves infected and they're mild symptomatic, you tell them, 'You're staying home for the next 14 days or 21 days — and just do it.' "
 
 
The team from Columbia University drew on a database of known cases and linked it to traveling patterns, the paper reported. People who do not have symptoms or are only displaying mild symptoms are most likely to pass it on, with each infected person giving it to an average of 2.2 other people.The study found that there could be up to 11 times more COVID-19 cases than reported ones, with Jeffrey Shaman, who led the research telling the paper, "We're looking at something that's catastrophic on a level that we have not seen for an infectious disease since 1918."
 
 
BYLINE: DR. ASHWIN VASAN
As the world finds itself in the crosshairs of the novel coronavirus, New Yorkers have a novel opportunity. While the virus is an equal opportunity invader, its impact is hardly going to be equally shared, and the most vulnerable among us will be the most at risk. New York has one of the world’s greatest public health departments and can lead the way in meeting the mission of a true public health system, which is to ensure the health of all. In this instance, it is both a moral and practical imperative. Vasan, M.D., Ph.D is an assistant professor at Mailman School of Public Health and Vagelos College of Physicians & Surgeons at Columbia University.
 
 
Stein, who co-founded a private equity firm before starting Chicago-based Cresset in 2017, spoke with Bloomberg shortly before a scheduled call with clients and Ian Lipkin, director of the Center for Infection and Immunity at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health.
 
 
The Columbia University infectious diseases researcher and study lead for the new report, Jeffrey Shaman, called this phenomenon “stealth transmission” and said it was a “major driver” of the spread of COVID-19. He added that this mode of transmission has remained “substantially undetected, and it’s flying below the radar.” Shaman’s study simulated a transmission landscape that represented 375 cities in China 
 
 
"I think everyone should be paying attention to this," Stephen Morse, a professor of epidemiology at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health, told The New York Times. "It's not just going to be the elderly. There will be people age 20 and up. They do have to be careful, even if they think that they're young and healthy."
 
 
“If someone comes in, many other people will be out sick,” said Stephen Morse, professor of epidemiology at Columbia University Medical Center. “The cost of giving generous sick leave is far less than the cost of many workers getting sick and not being able to contribute.”
 
 
“I think everyone should be paying attention to this,” said Dr. Stephen S. Morse, a professor of epidemiology at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, told The New York Times. “It’s not just going to be the elderly. There will be people age 20 and up. They do have to be careful, even if they think that they’re young and healthy.”
 
 
 This week, guest host John Dankosky speaks with two scientists who can help fact-check your news feed. Angela Rasmussen, assistant research scientist and virologist at Columbia Mailman School of Public Health, and Akiko Iwasaki, professor of immunology at the Yale University School of Medicine give us a clearer picture of the coronavirus news this week.
 
 
“People are using different terms somewhat interchangeably,” said Dr. Irwin Redlener, an expert on disaster preparedness and public health at Columbia University. The tug-of-war over terminology echoes the patchwork of measures that state and local governments have taken, he said.
 
 
BYLINE: JENNIFER S. HIRSCH AND SHAMUS KHAN 
Many of the men we spoke with expressed a fear of being falsely accused of assault (a fear vastly out of proportion to the actual risk of that happening)… But: Black students experience campus sexual violence in significantly different ways from white students. Black women reported higher rates of unwanted sexual touching than white women did; black men were far likelier than their white counterparts to worry that consensual sexual encounters with white women would lead to unfounded accusations. … Carl was one of more than 150 students we interviewed for our book “Sexual Citizens,” which emerged out of a broader project supported by Columbia University: the Sexual Health Initiative to Foster Transformation (SHIFT). … Jennifer S. Hirsch, professor of sociomedical sciences at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health and Shamus Khan, the chair of the sociology department at Columbia University.
 
 
“We need more experiments like this, in particular, extending the experimental sampling time for aerosolized virus beyond three hours and testing survival under different temperature and humidity conditions,” said Dr. Jeffrey Shaman, an environmental health sciences expert at Columbia University.
 
 
“Epidemic diseases have always been social levellers,” said David Rosner, a public health historian at Columbia University. “In some sense, no one escapes.” … At the moment, Mr. Rosner said, wealthy New Yorkers — crammed into apartment buildings and sharing elevators — were engaging in a sort of “magical thinking” about who posed a threat, and who did not.
 
Are We 'Socially Distancing' Enough Yet?, MSNBC, WNYC RADIO, The Brian Lehrer Show, March 18
 
As residents in New York City and the surrounding areas hunker down in order to self quarantine and socially distance themselves from others, Jessica Justman, senior technical director at ICAP at Columbia, a global health center at the Mailman School of Public Health, associate professor of Medicine in Epidemiology at Columbia University and an attending physician in the Division of Infectious Diseases at the Columbia University Irving Medical Center, talks about whether we're doing enough yet to stop the spread of COVID-19.
 
 
To find out more about how the change of seasons might affect the spread of the virus, CBS News spoke with Dr. Jeffrey Shaman, an expert on infectious disease transmission and director of the Climate and Health Program at Columbia University. The following is an abbreviated version of the conversation.
 
 
"The explosion of COVID-19 cases in China was largely driven by individuals with mild, limited, or no symptoms who went undetected," study co-author Jeffrey Shaman, a professor of environmental health sciences at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, said. "Undetected cases can expose a far greater portion of the population to [the] virus than would otherwise occur. … These 'stealth transmissions' will continue to present a major challenge to the containment of this outbreak going forward," Shaman said.
 
Coronavirus: Fact or Myth, NY City Lens, March 18
 
Most masks that you’ve seen people walking down the street wearing —the blue disposable ones—won’t protect you against viruses, according to Susan Michaels-Strasser, an assistant professor of epidemiology at the Columbia University Medical Center. Particles, she said,  will still be able to enter because the masks are loose on the sides and on top. If you do decide to wear a mask, it needs to be a tight fitting N95 mask.  
 
 
Are there ways to reduce the risk to both customers and couriers?
Dr Stephen Morse, epidemiologist: It’s impersonal, and perhaps seems extreme, but a food delivery could be left in front of the door (and a tip left similarly for the delivery person), much as we do with other packages, so there’s no need for face-to-face contact. There may be transmission through inanimate objects, which we can try to minimize with good hand hygiene.
 
 
Jeffrey Shaman, an epidemiologist at Columbia University, and one of the authors of new report on spreading of coronavirus joins Morning Joe to discuss the number of undetected infections.
 
 
“What you are looking at is just the tip of the iceberg, and the question is: how much of the iceberg is submerged?” said Jeffrey Shaman, a Columbia University environmental sciences professor who coauthored a new study on the scale of undetected cases of COVID-19.
 
 
In the letter, a research team (Kristian G. Andersen from The Scripps Research Institute, Andrew Rambaut from the University of Edinburgh, W. Ian Lipkin from the Mailman School of Public Health of Columbia University, Edward C. Holmes from The University of Sydney and Robert F. Garry from Tulane University) described how they had analyzed the genetic sequences that code for the protein spikes on the surface of SARS-CoV2.
 
 
“Epidemic diseases have always been social levelers,” said David Rosner, a public health historian at Columbia University. “In some sense, no one escapes.” A 1832 cholera outbreak led to the establishment of New York’s Greenwich Village, as those with means fled downtown ports for safer ground. From those days on, there has been a stubborn belief that sickness is unnatural to America, and brought to its shores by outsiders — be they Irish or Jews or Haitians or Chinese. At the moment, Mr. Rosner said, wealthy New Yorkers — crammed into apartment buildings and sharing elevators — were engaging in a sort of “magical thinking” about who posed a threat, and who did not.
 
Continual Insurance Key for Maternal Health, U.S. News & World Report, March 17
 
“We know that the first step in getting access to high-quality care is being insured,” says Jamie Daw, the study’s lead author and an assistant professor of health policy and management at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. Pregnant women and new mothers “need to access the health system at really high frequency relative to other people, so these gaps can really be important.”
 
 
“If we have 3,500 confirmed cases in the U.S., you might be looking at 35,000 in reality,” said Jeffrey Shaman, an epidemiologist at Columbia University and the senior author of the new report, which was posted by the journal Science. The report is among the first to address two of the most pressing questions about the pandemic: How many people are walking around with unrecognized infections, and how infectious are they?
 
 
The new effort to ascertain the role of infected people with few or no symptoms offers some insight into how quickly the coronavirus would spread through a population given free rein. “Stealth transmission” is not only real but a “major driver” of the epidemic, said Columbia University infectious diseases researcher Jeffrey Shaman, who led the study published Monday in the journal Science. Its contribution to the virus’ spread “is substantially undetected, and it’s flying below the radar.”
 
 
People who experienced mild, limited or no symptoms were not detected but spread the virus anyway. “Per person, these undocumented infections were 55% as contagious as the documented infections. About half as infectious per person as a documented case who has more severe symptoms and maybe shedding more,” Prof. Jeffrey Shaman of Columbia University, New York, and one of the corresponding authors of the paper, said during a press briefing.
 
 
Dr. Ian Lipkin, director of the Center for Infection and Immunity at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health, talks with Rachel Maddow about the effectiveness of social distancing, shelter-in-place, and other policies to control the spread of the novel coronavirus.
 
 
Jeffrey Shaman, a professor of environmental health sciences at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health, addresses school closings in New York 
 
 
Is it safe to have friends over? Dr Jessica Justman, [a professor and attending physician in the Division of Infectious Diseases at the Columbia University Irving Medical Center] “If gatherings are small, I am still going to say it’s generally OK, depending on who the individuals are. The CDC guidelines for people living in the New Rochelle containment area specifically talk about older individuals with chronic health conditions trying to limit themselves to social gatherings with fewer than 10 people.”
 
 
The rapid spread of the COVID-19 outbreak in China can largely be explained by undetected "stealth transmissions"—or cases in which symptoms were not severe, according to a study. Scientists from Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health used advanced computer simulations to mathematically model the spread of the novel coronavirus for a paper published in the journal Science.
  
Coronavirus Is Hiding in Plain Sight, New York Times, March 16
 
“If we have 3,500 confirmed cases in the U.S., you might be looking at 35,000 in reality,” said Jeffrey Shaman, an epidemiologist at Columbia University and the senior author of the new report, which was posted by the journal Science.
 
Shelter-in-place starts in S.F. but could become nation policy, MSNBC – The Rachel Maddow Show, March 16
 
Dr. Ian Lipkin, director of the Center for Infection and Immunity at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health, talks with Rachel Maddow about the effectiveness of social distancing, shelter-in-place, and other policies to control the spread of the novel coronavirus.
 
 
Public health scientists at Columbia University used a mathematical model, packed with travel data and the latest information on the incubation period.
 
 
“There are multiple assumptions that are made with that hypothesis that can’t be made without being tested,” Angela Rasmussen, a research scientist at Columbia University’s Center for Infection and Immunity, told Vox. “To my knowledge there’s no evidence that ibuprofen makes [Covid-19] worse.”
 
The High Line Has Closed, THE GOTHAMIST, March 16
 
Are parks safe, though? Stephen Morse, infectious disease epidemiologist and Professor of Epidemiology at the Columbia Mailman School of Public Health, told Gothamist this morning that even when oustdoors, people should be careful. "We’re still learning as we go.  I can readily understand the temptation to go out, especially when the weather is good.  For now, I’d say same precautions apply as elsewhere: 6-ft distance from others not in your household, same 'respiratory etiquette' (cover coughs and sneezes) and 'hand hygiene' (after touching surfaces, clean hands before touching face)." 
 
 
Dr. Ian Lipkin, director for the Center for Infection and Immunity at Columbia University, traveled to China to study the coronavirus outbreak.
 
 
Dr. W. Ian Lipkin, director for the Center for Infection and Immunity at the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University joins ‘America’s Newsroom.’
 
 
Instead, they were paid volunteers in a study led by infectious disease ecologist Micaela Martinez of Columbia University to investigate a phenomenon ...
 
 
Dr. Jessica Justman was interviewed on how the elderly and ill need be careful, but even they can socialize in small groups, rather than completely cloister themselves — “and that's a lesson for everyone else, too. Keep it intimate and keep washing hands, but most people need not go into isolation.”
 
 
Testing: “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.
 
 
Columbia University Center for Infection and Immunity’s Dr. W. Ian Lipkin, known as the ‘Virus Hunter,’ discusses a new potential coronavirus treatment that could be available in four weeks.

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 campaign announces new coronavirus committee to provide counsel as pandemic fears escalate, CNBC ONLINE, March 11 

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. 

Trump Proposes Payroll Tax Cut to Offset Coronavirus Economic Damage, MSNBC, March 9 

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. 

Is There One More Coronavirus Strain And Is One More Dangerous Than the Other?, Fox News, March 8 

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.” 

Why Asians in masks should not be the “face” of the coronavirus, VOX, March 6 

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. 

Also in WebMD 

Local Residents Complain Over Plans For Coronavirus Motel at Epicenter of Seattle Outbreak, TIME ONLINE, March 6 

“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.”

Fake Facts Are Flying About Coronavirus. Now There’s A Plan To Debunk Them, NPR, February 21

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

How Travelers Around the World Are Dealing With 'Voluntary' Home Quarantines, To Help Slow ..., TIME, February 17

“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.

The Memory of SARS Looms Over the Wuhan Virus. Here's How the Outbreaks Compare, CNN, January 30

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

CNN International
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."
 Also covered by Breitbart
 
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

Also covered by Medical News Today and News-Medical Net

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.

2019

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.
 
Also in News-Medical Net
 
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.”
 Also in Yahoo Finance
 
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.
Log in: semfronteirasvideo@gmail.com
Password:  globonews 

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.