SPH in the News

Headlines featuring UW SPH people and research.

September 15, 2020
The Seattle Times
Border detention facilities, prisons and refugee camps have something in common with communal homeless shelters, University of Washington School of Medicine researchers say. Researchers found that of the 1,434 homeless shelter residents tested for COVID-19 across 14 shelters, 29 turned up positive. Twenty-one had no symptoms when they were tested, and 24 of them had slept in a communal shelter in the prior week, as opposed to a private or family room. Dr. Helen Chu, adjunct associate professor of epidemiology and global health, is quoted. The study was led by Julia H. Rogers, a PhD candidate in epidemiology.
September 15, 2020
KNKX
Since the onset of the pandemic, food insecurity rates have more than doubled in our state. That’s according to researchers at the University of Washington, who have just compiled the results from their first round of a statewide survey. Jennifer Otten, associate professor of environmental and occupational health sciences, is quoted.
September 14, 2020
KING 5
While many were hoping for some sort of relief from the smoke, that didn't happen Monday night. Air quality monitoring web site IQAir said Seattle and much of the state is experiencing 'unhealthy' or 'very unhealthy' air quality. Dr. Joel Kaufman, professor of environmental and occupational health sciences and of epidemiology, is quoted.
September 14, 2020
Oregon Public Broadcasting
Oregon Public Broadcasting put together a guide to some of the most common questions received about the health impacts of wildfire smoke, air quality, how to stay safe and how it all intersects with the coronavirus pandemic. Dr. Joel Kaufman, professor of environmental and occupational health sciences and of epidemiology, is quoted.
September 14, 2020
HealthDay News
Failure to "flatten the coronavirus curve" in the United States could lead to even more deaths than previously believed, a new study claims. The researchers concluded that every six additional intensive care unit beds or seven additional non-ICU beds filled by COVID-19 patients leads to one additional COVID-19 death over the following week. Anirban Basu, professor of health services, is quoted.
September 14, 2020
Crosscut
For the majority of the pandemic, dishwashers, cooks, bartenders, cafeteria workers and others in the food preparation and service industry have made up the largest percentage of Washington’s unemployed — even as Gov. Jay Inslee relaxed restrictions this summer, allowing dining rooms to reopen at reduced capacity. Marissa Baker, assistant professor of environmental and occupational health sciences, is quoted.
September 8, 2020
The Seattle Times
Harborview and more than 100 trauma centers across the country kicked off a two-year research project to collect extra data on gun injury patients, including detailed information about the circumstances surrounding a shooting to help identify risk factors. Dr. Fred Rivara, adjunct professor of epidemiology, is quoted.
September 5, 2020
NBC News
Christopher Nolan’s latest thriller would likely have been a summer blockbuster in any other year, but now it is the great hope for movie theater owners. Jennifer Balkus, assistant professor of epidemiology, is quoted.
September 10, 2020
The Daily Beast
As the National Football League races toward a resumption of football in America on Thursday, the league’s pandemic contact-tracing technology of choice is in for a trial by fire. Janet Baseman, associate dean at the UW School of Public Health and professor of epidemiology, is quoted.
September 11, 2020
The Seattle Times
With scores of wildfires burning across the Pacific Northwest and a gauzy pall hanging over much of Washington, air quality is reaching unhealthy levels. Unfortunately, the cloth and surgical face masks that block respiratory droplets and help slow the spread of the novel coronavirus don’t provide much protection against wildfire smoke. Dr. Cora Sack, assistant professor of environmental and occupational health sciences, is quoted.
September 8, 2020
Quartz
Last week, Google made public its data on search trends related to COVID-19 symptoms. This kind of data could be used to connect searches for COVID-19 symptoms to an uptick in cases, even before an outbreak has been detected. Steve Mooney, assistant professor of epidemiology, is quoted.
September 9, 2020
Vice
Blithely setting off for a fun group trip isn’t an option right now. But people are finding ways to be more deliberate — and exclusive — about how they get away together in a pandemic. Steve Mooney, assistant professor of epidemiology, is quoted.
September 8, 2020
KUOW
Several massive wildfires burning in Eastern Washington have led to extremely unhealthy air quality in the Puget Sound region. Right now, the air quality from Bellingham down to Seattle is considered unhealthy for everyone. Dr. Joel Kaufman, professor of environmental and occupational health sciences and of epidemiology, is interviewed.
September 8, 2020
SELF
Last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released new death certificate data suggesting that other conditions were present in the majority of COVID-19 deaths that could have made the disease worse. But that hasn’t stopped people from trying to twist the data around in harmful ways. Stephen Hawes, chair and professor of epidemiology, is quoted.
September 4, 2020
The Seattle Times
“Some workers are working remotely. Those who can do their job from home, like me, are most often working in higher-paid jobs in engineering, management and technology. Not only do our jobs minimize our exposure to COVID-19, but we are also less likely to be laid off, furloughed or have our hours reduced. We are among the most privileged workers this Labor Day,” writes Kim England, professor of geography and chair of the UW Harry Bridges Center for Labor Studies. Marissa Baker, assistant professor of environmental and occupational health sciences, is referenced.
August 31, 2020
The Stranger
Because the federal government still hasn’t legalized pot, there’s no national guidance on protecting the safety of employees, leading to a patchwork of protections from state to state and a rise in occupational hazards like falls and asthma. Christopher Simpson, professor of environmental and occupational health sciences, is quoted.
September 1, 2020
Grist
All seasons come with their perils, but we tend to look at warmer months through rose-colored glasses. Heat kills more people each year than any extreme weather. The emphasis on the merits of high temperatures could also have implications for climate change. After all, if warmer weather is good, what’s there to worry about? Kristie Ebi, professor of global health and of environmental and occupational health sciences, is quoted.
September 1, 2020
KUOW
As smoke blankets northern California and parts of Oregon and Idaho, firefighters also battle flames all over Washington. Plumes of smoke similar to what has been seen in past years haven’t descended on Seattle, but if they do, researchers fear worse health effects than in normal years — because of the pandemic. Joel Kaufman, professor of environmental and occupational health sciences and of epidemiology, is quoted.
September 26, 2020
Wallethub
Conditions are even harder for underprivileged children this year during the COVID-19 pandemic. To determine where children are most disadvantaged, WalletHub compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across 27 key indicators of neediness. It consulted a panel of experts, including Dr. Beth Ebel, adjunct professor of health services and epidemiology.
September 28, 2020
Buzzfeed News
Scientists launched clinical trials to see if a malaria drug could prevent COVID-19. What happened next shows how politicized and disorganized coronavirus research has become. Ruanne Barnabas, associate professor of global health, is quoted.
August 26, 2020
HuffPost
Experts weigh in on the risk of using clothing rental services like Rent the Runway and Stitch Fix amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Marilyn Roberts, professor of environmental and occupational health, is quoted.
August 27, 2020
The Guardian
With the coronavirus ravaging many parts of the U.S., how and if schools should reopen has been a debate across the country that has largely not seen any resolution. Dr. Dimitri Christakis, adjunct professor of health services, is quoted.
August 27, 2020
National Geographic
Half a year into the worst public health crisis in a century, experts across the U.S. say the country can mount a comeback if it embraces reality and taps into its ingenuity. Janet Baseman, assistant dean of the UW School of Public Health and professor of epidemiology; Hilary Godwin, dean of the UW School of Public Health; and Dr. Jared Baeten, vice dean of the UW School of Public Health, are quoted.
August 24, 2020
ABC World News Tonight/KOMO News
Dr. Theo Vos, professor of health metrics sciences at the UW Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, says he thinks that convalescent plasma could help, but he’s unsure how effective it will be. Dr. Anna Wald, professor of epidemiology, describes the mixed results she’s gotten using convalescent plasma.
August 21, 2020
KUOW
The UW School of Medicine announced it will co-lead a new study on gun injuries. Dr. Fred Rivara, adjunct professor of epidemiology, discusses how this will be one of the first national studies to focus on gun injuries. Other studies focus only on gun deaths.
August 24, 2020
KUOW
If we ever hope to get back to school and the movies and all the other things we want to do, we need to take steps now to slow COVID-19 transmission. Because flu season is coming. Judith Malmgren, affiliate assistant professor of epidemiology, explains what we need to know heading into the next few months.
August 24, 2020
ABC News
“New data acquired this week shows that a concerning number of Americans have died from overdoses since March. Over this same time frame, telehealth has been rapidly implemented and hailed as a solution to providing safe health care — so why isn’t it working for those with opioid addictions? Why are citizens still dying from opioid overdoses?” writes Dr. Heather Kagan of The Johns Hopkins Hospital. Caleb Banta-Green, affiliate associate professor of health services, is quoted.
August 23, 2020
The Seattle Times
Public transit — a system at its most efficient when buses and trains are full — has been remade by COVID-19. Ridership has plummeted and agencies have scrambled to keep drivers and passengers safe as tax revenues evaporate. Six months into the local outbreak, transit workers and riders wonder how they will be protected as the virus rages on and parts of the economy reopen. The UW’s Marissa Baker, assistant professor of environmental and occupational health sciences, and Gerard Cangelosi, professor of environmental and occupational health sciences, are quoted.
August 10, 2020
KUOW
Let’s say a vaccine was announced tomorrow. Would you be in line the day after that? Will you stop wearing a mask? Will we go back to work? Hilary Godwin, dean of the UW School of Public Health, says there are some things from this pandemic that will be with us for a long time – some good, some bad. [This is the first segment in the Aug. 10 episode of “The Record.”]
August 11, 2020
HuffPost
COVID-19 is settling into the cracks of American inequality. Over the last two months, coronavirus cases have surged in the most marginalized neighborhoods of the poorest states. For many epidemiologists, this pattern has a tragic precursor: HIV. Dr. Jared Baeten, vice dean of the UW School of Public Health and professor of global health and epidemiology, is quoted.
August 18, 2020
CNN
Without cuts to greenhouse gas emissions, major U.S. cities could see roughly 13 to 30 times more population-adjusted exposure to extreme heat by 2100 compared to the beginning of this century, the study found. Kristie Ebi, professor of global health and environmental and occupational health, is quoted.
August 11, 2020
KIRO 7
On Tuesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the country had granted regulatory approval for a COVID-19 vaccine. Little is known about the vaccine, dubbed Sputnik-5, but there are concerns that Russia skipped a critical testing phase — widespread human trials. Dr. Anna Wald, professor of epidemiology, is quoted.
August 13, 2020
Puget Sound Business Journal
Even if a COVID-19 vaccine comes out by early January 2021, the virus isn’t going anywhere for a couple of years. That’s what a panel of public health care officials said during the Recover Seattle virtual event held by the Puget Sound Business Journal last week. Hilary Godwin, dean of the UW School of Public Health, is quoted.
August 14, 2020
Newsweek
Herd immunity may be slowing the spread of COVID-19 in some parts of the U.S., scientists say, as a study finds that a population-wide infection rate of around 40% might be sufficient to achieve this form of community protection against the disease. Trevor Bedford, affiliate associate professor of epidemiology, is quoted.
August 13, 2020
The Hill
Dr. Tim McAfee, affiliate assistant professor of health services at the UW and former director and senior medical officer at the Office on Smoking and Health at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Chris Bostic of Action on Smoking and Health pen an opinion piece calling on the U.S. to pull from lessons learned from COVID-19 to end the tobacco epidemic once and for all.
July 29, 2020
Popsugar
Experts say the United States is still in the first wave of the novel coronavirus pandemic because, as of now, cases are spiking in some places across the country, especially in areas that were among the first to reopen. Janet Baseman, associate dean at the UW School of Public Health and professor of epidemiology, says until we all start thinking about COVID-19 from a community standpoint (“How can I protect myself and others?”) instead of a personal standpoint (“How can I protect myself?”), we aren’t going to see progress in decreasing community transmission.
July 27, 2020
Slate
An estimated half of U.S. children get braces, but some orthodontists question whether they’re medically necessary. Dr. Philippe Hujoel, professor of epidemiology, is quoted.
July 23, 2020
San Antonio Express-News
In the debate over when to reopen Texas school buildings, many advocates for resuming in-person classes have pointed to western Europe and eastern Asia, where several countries have started face-to-face instruction again and largely avoided surges of the novel coronavirus. The comparison, however, relies on a potentially dubious assumption: that Texas will get the same results as Denmark, France and Germany. Brandon Guthrie, assistant professor of global health and epidemiology, is quoted.
July 24, 2020
HuffPost
In the early days of the outbreak, differences between states had to do with the timing of the virus’ arrival in the U.S., and the speed with which various governors imposed quarantines. Now that governors have lifted their lockdown orders and reopened their economies, outbreaks are beginning to fall along political and economic lines. COVID-19 is increasingly becoming just another disease of inequality. Dr. Jared Baeten, vice dean of the UW School of Public Health and professor of global health and of epidemiology, is quoted.
July 24, 2020
HuffPost
In the early days of the outbreak, differences between states had to do with the timing of the virus’ arrival in the U.S., and the speed with which various governors imposed quarantines. Now that governors have lifted their lockdown orders and reopened their economies, outbreaks are beginning to fall along political and economic lines. COVID-19 is increasingly becoming just another disease of inequality. Dr. Jared Baeten, vice dean of the UW School of Public Health and professor of global health and of epidemiology, is quoted.
July 23, 2020
NBC News
Swabbing yourself at home for the coronavirus may be nearly as accurate as when the test is administered by health care workers, according to new UW research. Dr. Helen Chu, adjunct associate professor of epidemiology and of global health, is quoted.
July 25, 2020
Quartz
The collapse of the global birth rate should be encouraging for the fight against climate change: A new set of population projections published on July 14 by the UW Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation found that global population will peak in 2064, at 9.73 billion. The trouble is the timeline. The population isn’t shrinking fast enough to prevent a climate crisis. Kristie Ebi, professor of global health and of environmental and occupational health sciences, is quoted.
July 25, 2020
The Seattle Times
Across the board, there’s no consistency in how cafes, wine bars and eateries are dealing with cases of infected employees or coronavirus safety issues because, restaurateurs say, there’s been very little direction from the state, and often murky instructions from county health departments. Marissa Baker, assistant professor of environmental and occupational health sciences, is quoted.
July 24, 2020
Marketplace
In the age of social distancing and other efforts to limit the spread of COVID-19, cities are grappling with whether to encourage vulnerable populations to leave their homes during extreme heat and congregate under a communal air-conditioning system or stay home and hope that the summer heat doesn’t make them sick. Kristie Ebi, professor of global health, is quoted.
July 27, 2020
WIRED
As school officials try to figure out whether to open classrooms this fall, the science they need to make these tough choices is still evolving. A few things are clear: That most kids don’t become as seriously ill from COVID-19 as adults, and have much lower fatality rates. A study by the Department of Global Health and guidelines drafted by Dimitri Christakis are referenced.
July 22, 2020
NPR Morning Edition
COVID-19 cases are on the rise across the country, and that's prompting city leaders in some of the hardest hit places — Seattle, Chicago and Atlanta — to consider closing down again. Hilary Godwin, dean of the UW School of Public Health, is quoted.
July 14, 2020
United Press International
With little data on the effects of COVID-19 in children — and their role in virus transmission — decisions on whether to open schools in the fall should be based on spread of the disease in local areas, experts said July 14. A report by global health experts at the UW is referenced.
July 17, 2020
Lonely Planet
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention urges travelers to reconsider any non-essential travel. But if you do decide to hit the road this summer (should local laws allow it), there are a few things you can do to stay safe. Lonely Planet talked to a few experts, include Hilary Godwin, dean of the UW School of Public Health, to see what they had to say.
July 17, 2020
STAT News
For years, physicians and medical students, many of them Black, have warned that the most widely used kidney test — the results of which are based on race — is racist and dangerously inaccurate. Their appeals are gaining new traction, with a wave of petitions and papers calling renewed attention to the issue. Naomi Nkinsi, a recent MPH graduate student of the Department of Global Health, is quoted.
July 15, 2020
KUOW
The carefully followed death toll from COVID-19 may not fully capture the loss of life during the pandemic. Analysis of Washington state and federal statistics for deaths from all causes shows hundreds of additional deaths above normal levels this spring in the Pacific Northwest. Some or many of those may actually be missed COVID deaths. Anirban Basu, professor of health services, is quoted.
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