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Health Sciences In The Media

  • To better protect those serving on the front lines of battlefields or dealing with an event like the COVID-19 health crisis or potential future pandemics, scientists at the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix are leading an effort to develop a device that could easily, quickly and accurately detect pathogens and biological threats.

  • Students at the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson share their experiences as they study medicine amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • University of Arizona President Robert C. Robbins confirmed that the fall semester will begin as scheduled on Aug. 24 with a mix of in-person and remote instruction. More than half of all classes will include an in-person component.

  • Preliminary data shows hardly anyone has immunity against COVID-19, but the University of Arizona is hoping to expand both testing and research on the subject.

  • PBS NewsHour - Jul. 21

    University of Arizona President Robert C. Robbins discusses the university's response to the COVID-19 pandemic in PBS NewsHour's "Rethinking College" series.


  • WIRED - Jul. 21

    Saskia Popescu, an infectious disease epidemiologist at the University of Arizona, is one of three authors of the color-coded COVID-19 Risk Index. Popescu simultaneously released it on Twitter, where it has been liked more than 2,300 times. "We wanted people to understand, as life opens up, that there is a range of possible risks, and there are things you can do to stay safe, and things you might want to avoid," Popescu said.

  • As schools try to figure out how to get kids back in the classroom safely, there’s a term you’re going to hear more of as a possible solution called cohorting. It means keeping students together to try and narrow children's exposure to COVID-19. And as many Valley parents are faced with deciding whether or not to send their kids back to school, pediatrician Dr. Gary Kirkilas from the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix is asked about child safety almost daily.

  • Several research groups, including teams in the United States, Canada and the Netherlands, are working on nasal coronavirus vaccines. The hope is that mucosal vaccines will do all that their intramuscular competitors can and more, mounting a multipronged attack on the coronavirus from the moment it tries to breach the body's barriers, said Deepta Bhattacharya, an immunologist at the University of Arizona.

  • Vox - Jul. 10

    A heat wave swept through much of the United States this week, with some of the highest temperatures forecasted in Southwestern states battling some of the most troubling coronavirus outbreaks in the country. "In the context of this escalating pandemic, weather is pretty far down on the list of things that influence spread," said Katherine Ellingson, an assistant professor of epidemiology at the University of Arizona.


  • CNET - Jul. 8

    Amanda Wilson, an environmental health sciences doctoral candidate in the Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, is lead author on a recent study published in the Journal of Hospital Infection that assessed the ability of a variety of nontraditional mask materials to protect a person from infection after 30 seconds and after 20 minutes of exposure in a highly contaminated environment.

  • Doctors say they are seeing a sharp increase in young patients with COVID-19, and health experts are urging young people to take the virus seriously. Some state and federal officials have put the rise in U.S. cases down to increased testing. But Katherine Ellingson, an infectious disease epidemiologist at the University of Arizona, said this is definitely not the case in Arizona, where she said "the rise in COVID testing has not kept pace with the rise in cases."

  • NPR - Jun. 30

    Dr. Frank LoVecchio, a professor of emergency medicine at the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix, works in multiple emergency rooms in the Phoenix metropolitan area. He shares a first-hand account of what he is seeing on the frontlines every day.

  • Many cities and counties in Arizona have moved quickly to mandate the use of masks in public to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Now debate is raging over whether Arizonans will comply, a sign of how deeply politicized the issue has become. “In Arizona, mask use in public spaces has increased recently, but it’s far from universal,” said Kate Ellingson, an epidemiologist at the University of Arizona. “We can do better, but it will take political will and logistical might to reverse these concerning trends.”

  • It began in mid-March. Every time Michael Johnson checked his email, the University of Arizona College of Medicine microbiologist would find a new batch of messages, all asking the same question: Will products made with copper keep the coronavirus at bay? “I was getting three to four emails about it a day,” Johnson said. Some asked if he recommended ingesting copper as a cure. Others wondered if it was a good idea to outfit their homes with it. While copper does have antimicrobial qualities, Johnson and other experts say you should think twice before buying into many of these products’ claims.

  • AZ Big Media - Jun. 18

    University of Arizona alumni Andrew and Kirsten Braccia, who live in the San Francisco Bay area with their four children, were inspired to make their gift after learning about University of Arizona President Robert C. Robbins’ plan to reopen campus in the fall using a “test, trace and treat” strategy. The $1.5 million gift will COVID-19 initiatives, students in the College of Nursing and student-athletes.

  • From the perspective of Arizona emergency room physician Dr. Murtaza Akhter, the COVID-19 pandemic here could be even worse than the state's numbers are showing. “I am taken aback. I walked into the hospital today, and I was like, ‘Oh my God’,” said Akhter, a clinical assistant professor at the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix, who works at both Florence Hospital and Valleywise Health Medical Center. "We are getting all sorts of patients who look quite sick.”

  • Forbes - Jun. 16

    With new daily coronavirus cases rising in at least two dozen states, an explosion of new infections in Arizona is stretching some hospitals and alarming public health experts who link the surge in cases to the state's lifting of a stay-at-home order close to a month ago. "Perhaps, Arizona will be a warning sign to other areas," said Katherine Ellingson, an epidemiologist at the Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health.

  • Continuing coverage: A team of University of Arizona researchers led by William “Scott” Killgore, psychiatry professor in the College of Medicine – Tucson, says loneliness and insomnia triggered by fears of COVID-19 may be driving an increase in thoughts of suicide.


  • Paloma Beamer, an associate professor of environmental health sciences at the University of Arizona Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, writes about ways to minimize risk of coronavirus infection in hotel rooms.

  • USA Today - Jun. 10

    Experts around the country and in Arizona are raising alarms about Arizona's COVID-19 situation because cases and hospitalizations have increased for the past two weeks. Kacey Ernst, an infectious disease epidemiologist and Dr. at the University of Arizona, said all signs seem to point to increasing transmission of the disease. Increased testing could explain increased cases, but not increased hospitalizations, she said. Arizona does appear to be increasing more than other states, she said.