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 FSPH In The News

FSPH In The News - for the week of April 4, 2021 - 12:00am

Week of: 
April 4, 2021 to April 10, 2021

FEATURES (COVID-19 broadcast)

COVID-19: Case Rates Look Good, but That Could Change Quickly

KPCC-FM (April 9) interviewed Dr. Kristen Choi, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health assistant professor of health policy and management, about the case rate in Los Angeles County. “Our cases are looking pretty good here in L.A. and I’m cautiously optimistic that we are going to continue making progress on vaccinations and potentially head off some of the outbreaks that we’re seeing,” Choi said. “That could change quickly; we know that these variant and unpredictable and spread in many ways.”

COVID-19: The Corrosive Health Effects of Decades of Anti-Asian Violence

WBUR-FM (April 9, NPR, Boston) interviewed Gilbert Gee, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of community health sciences, about the impact of anti-Asian violence on the physical and mental health of Asian Americans, and the resultant need to change public policy. “A lot of formal channels for reporting hate crimes, they’re not taking the reports seriously. A lot of the time, nothing comes out of the case,” Gee says. “There’s this presumption that it’s a bad apple, a bad apple having 'a bad day.' We should consider that maybe there’s rot throughout the entire system, and that means we need to change things structurally as well.”

COVID-19: Meeting the Rising Vaccine Demand

KNBC-TV (April 8) interviewed Dr. Anne Rimoin, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of epidemiology, about. “I think that we’re going to have vaccine available to everybody who wants a vaccine, in the coming weeks,” Rimoin said. “It’s important to make vaccines as easy as possible to access, that they’re going to be available whenever it’s convenient for somebody to get their vaccine.”

COVID-19: The Search for the Start of the Virus

ABC News (April 8) interviewed Dr. Anne Rimoin, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of epidemiology, about the origins of COVID-19, and the need for disease surveillance to prevent outbreaks. “It's critical to understand where this virus came from, so that we can understand how to stop future outbreaks going forward,” Rimoin said. “It's not about finger-pointing - it's just about understanding it, so we know how to do better in the future.” The story also ran on MSNKSYL-AM (LA), WQIO-FM and WFIN-AM (OH), and WBCH-FM (TN).

COVID-19: California Tracking at Least six Variants

KTTV-TV (April 8) interviewed Dr. Anne Rimoin, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of epidemiology, about the risks posed by new COVID-19 variants. “We're seeing increases in younger populations who are not vaccinated and out and about,” Rimoin said. “We've also seen a lot of travel from spring break so there is a lot of mixing of populations nationally and it's important to remember that an infection anywhere here in the United States is potentially an infection everywhere.”

COVID-19: California Sets Sights on Full Reopening in June

KPCC-FM (April 7) interviewed Dr. Timothy Brewer, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of epidemiology, on California’s state government plan to re-open fully by this summer, even with various variants being identified. “The early data coming out of the U.K. when this variant was first described last summer shows it’s about 50% more transmissible,” Brewer said. “Right now, the Centers for Disease Control is tracking five variants that they call variants of concern (either) they show increased transmissibility or increased seriousness of disease, but they have not yet been demonstrated to totally get around our vaccines.” It also ran on the LA Report.

COVID-19: The ‘Double Mutant’ COVID-19 Strain and Possible Fourth Surge

KTLA-TV (April 6) interviewed Dr. Anne Rimoin, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of epidemiology, about the new ‘double mutant’ COVID-19 strain and a possible fourth surge in the pandemic. “This new variant, this double mutant strain (is called that) because it carries two mutations that helps the virus attach to the cell and get into the cell,” Rimoin said. “An infection anywhere here in the United Stets is potentially an infection everywhere.”

COVID-19: “The Pandemic has Left no Community Untouched in California”

RadioBilingue (April 6, Spanish) presented an interview of Dr. David Hayes-Bautista, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of health policy and management, about the impact of the pandemic on California’s Latinos.


FEATURES (COVID-19 text and online)

COVID-19: Can I Go to a Bar After Being Fully Vaccinated?

Verywell Health (April 9) interviewed Dr. Timothy Brewer, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of epidemiology, about best practices in bars for those who have been vaccinated. “The closer you are to an infectious person, the more likely they are to transmit to you if you're susceptible,” Brewer said. "The longer you are together, the more likely transmission is to occur.”

COVID-19: California Latinos ‘Multiple’ Times More Likely to die Than Whites

USA Today (April 9) interviewed Dr. David Hayes-Bautista, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of health policy and management, about his research that found California Latinos were two to eight times more likely to die of COVID-19 than non-Hispanic whites. “What was astounding was that in every age group, the Latino death rate was multiple times higher than white – multiple,” Hayes-Bautista said. “Given that we see basically on both ends of the country – California and New York – fairly similar patterns, I would right now be very comfortable generalizing it out to the other areas as well, realizing there will be regional variation.”  It also ran on Yahoo.

COVID-19: Take me out to the Ballgame … on Second Thought

The Los Angeles Times (April 8) interviewed Dr. Anne Rimoin, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of epidemiology, about the risks inherent in opening day of the baseball season. “When you open up society, you provide more opportunities for the virus to spread,” Rimoin said. “We still have a lot of susceptible people in our community, and there are more-infectious variants spreading across the U.S. and in California. We should still be proceeding cautiously.” It also ran on YahooMSNBakersfield Californian, and the Raleigh (N.C.) News & Observer.

COVID-19: Can a Vaccine Improve Symptoms for People with Long COVID?

Healthline (April 8) interviewed  Dr. Joann Elmore, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of health policy and management, about whether vaccine relieves long COVID. “I’m seeing patients whose loss of sense of smell — anosmia — is still present 5 to 6 months later … that’s certainly a long-term effect,” Elmore said. “We’re asking people at the time of their COVID test what their prior medical issues are (and) then we’re going to follow people forward and see who develops new symptoms.”

COVID-19: How to Safely Protest Amid Pandemic

The Daily Bruin (April 7) ) interviewed Dr. David Eisenman, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of community health and director of the UCLA Center for Public Health and Disasters, about the risks of public demonstrations during the pandemic. “It was clearly a setup for the spread of COVID-19,” Eisenman said. “You have law enforcement exacerbating the situation and … law enforcement themselves were getting infected.”

COVID-19: How Can I Get a Vaccine Passport?

Afar (April 7) interviewed Dr. Shira Shafir, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health associate professor of epidemiology and community health sciences, about how to protect and preserve the physical vaccine certificate. “The most important thing is number one to take a photo (of the certificate),” Shafir said.

COVID-19: Face Mask Market to Decline Once Countries Remove Public Mask-Wearing Mandates

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (April 7) cited research by the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health found the transmission of the COVID-19 virus in 2020 was 7.5% higher in countries that did not have a face mask mandate, in a story about the mask manufacturing industry.

COVID-19: Vaccinated and Eager for Normal Life, Californians are Venturing out

The Los Angeles Times (April 6) interviewed Dr. Robert Kim-Farley, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of epidemiology and community health sciences, about California’s reopening strategy, which is more conservative than those in other states, where mask rules have been thrown out and cases are going up. “I am very cautiously optimistic that we are on the right course here in California, as compared to other states that may have dropped mask mandates,” Kim-Farley said. “If Californians continue to look to community guidance as we open up the economy, we should be able to stay on this same downward trend and avoid some of the resurgence of disease that we are seeing in other parts of the country.” It also ran in the Los Angeles Times en Espanol, the San Diego Union-Tribune, Bakersfield Californian, and Stars and Stripes.

COVID-19: Video About Vaccines, mRNA and Cytokine Storms is Hodgepodge of Disproven Claims

Lead Stories (April 6) cited Dr. Timothy Brewer, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of epidemiology, for a fact check on a video attacking the COVID-19 vaccination effort. “One of the advantages of mRNA vaccines is they do not integrate at all and they don't even get into the nucleus of the cell,” Brewer said. “All the action happens in the cytoplasm so there's no concern about any genetic modification.”

COVID-19: With Virus Rates Low, Californians Eager to Return to Events

The Associated Press (April 5) interviewed Dr. Christina RamirezUCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of biostatistics, about safety measures to take in crowded venues, like sporting events, even after vaccination. “The higher the number of people, the higher the probability that at least one of them is infected,” Ramirez said. ”The louder your voice is, the more respiratory droplets you emit, so cheering and singing are all riskier events.” It ran in more than 100 outlets, including U.S. News & World Report, the San Diego Union-TribuneSFGate, San Mateo (CA) Daily JournalSacramento BeeFresno BeeModesto BeeBakersfield Californian, Merced (CA) Sun-Star, the Napa Valley (CA) Register, Santa Rosa (CA) Press-Democrat, the Santa Maria (CA) Times, the Porterville (CA) Recorder, on KNBC-TVKTLA-TV, and KVEA-TV (Telemundo affiliate) in Los Angeles, KNTV-TV (San Francisco), KOVR-TV and KTXL-TV in Sacramento, Good Day SacramentoKTVN-TV (NV), St. Louis Post-DispatchFort Worth Star-Telegram, Raleigh (NC) News & Observer, and the Miami Herald.

COVID-19: UCLA Study Finds Homelessness Increases Mortality Rate

The Daily Bruin (April 5) interviewed Dr. Kathryn M. Leifheit, a postdoctoral researcher at UCLA’s Fielding School of Public Health, about her research that has found  people experiencing homelessness are 30% more likely to die from COVID-19 than the general population. “Your body does a better job fighting off an infection when you’re well-nourished and when you’re not stressed, things that people experiencing homelessness don’t have,” Leifheit said. “Bringing vaccines to a population that truly needs them the most … is very important in terms of (achieving) health equity.”



“I Never Meant to Be a ‘Homewrecker’ “

Medium (April 8) published a commentary on mental health that quoted Dr. Vickie Mays, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of health policy and management. “We know when people have a psychiatric disorder, it’s not good for any of us,” Mays said.

No Link to Midlife Exercise and Cognitive Outcomes?

Medscape (April 7) reported on a JAMA study co-authored by Dr. Dawn Upchurch, UCLA Fielding School professor and vice chair of the department of Community Health Sciences, that found no long-term link between physical activity and cognitive performance in three areas tested.

Blue Shield Launches two Grants for the Community

La Opinion (April 6, Spanish) cited research by the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health's UCLA Center for Health Policy Researchled by Ninez Ponceshowing the majority of California adults have prediabetes or diabetes, in a piece about Blue Shield California’s latest effort in diabetes treatment. A similar item ran in the Los Angeles Sentinel.

A Troubled Public Hospital Closed. This Doc is Leading Its Rebirth

Medscape (April 5) interviewed Dr. Elaine Batchlor, chief executive officer of MLK Community Healthcare in Los Angeles and an alumnus of the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health (MPH, ’90), about her service at MLKCH. FSPH is where Batchlor learned not just to “heal bodies but heal the systems and attitudes that make us sick," she said.

Long Work Hours Tied to Double the Risk for Recurrent MI

Medscape (April 5) referenced Dr. Jian Li, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of environmental health sciences, in a report on a study that found patients who returned to work after a myocardial infarction, or heart attack, and worked more than 55 hours per week had elevated risk for having a second cardiovascular event.

Study Cites Childhood Tumor Risk for Pesticide Exposure During Pregnancy

KNBC-TV (April 4) quoted Dr. Beate Ritz, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of epidemiology and environmental health sciences, about research that shows increased risk of brain tumors, estimated as much as twice to 2.5 times higher for some pesticides, even if the mother is not a farmworker. “Exposure to certain pesticides, simply through residential proximity to agricultural applications during pregnancy, may increase the risk of childhood central nervous system tumors,” Ritz said. “Policy interventions to reduce pesticide exposure in individuals residing near agricultural fields should be considered to protect the health of children.” Similar items ran on KVEA-TV (Telemundo affiliate, Los Angeles), KNSD-TV (NBC affiliate, San Diego), KNTV-TV (NBC affiliate, San Francisco), KXAS-TV (NBC affiliate, Dallas-Fort Worth), WBTS-TV (Boston), NECN-TVWNBC-TV (New York), WCAU-TV (Philadelphia), WRC-TV (Washington, D.C), WTVJ-TV (Miami), WMAQ-TV (Chicago), KNX-AM (Los Angeles), MyNewsLA, City News Service, Los Angeles Patch, the Antelope Valley TimesSan Fernando Valley SunNewsMedicalHealthNews DigestNoticias UltimasNoticias por el MundoNachtweltSciencenewsBeyond PesticidesDocwireEcowatch, and Medindia. Also quoted was Julia Heck, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health associate professor of epidemiology. “This study is the first, to our knowledge, to estimate effects for a large number of specific pesticides in relation to (brain) tumor subtypes,” Heck said. Also quoted was Shiraya Thompson, an epidemiology MS candidate at FSPH. “Many pesticides are neurotoxicants, and have even been found in cord blood, indicating placental transfer of these toxins to the developing fetus,” Thompson said. “This, in turn, suggests prenatal pesticide exposure may increase childhood brain cancer risk.”

University of California Health’s Schools Achieve High Marks in Latest National Rankings

India Education Diary (April 4) referenced the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health in a report on U.S. News & World Report’s 2021 list of the Best Public Health Schools. The Fielding School is in the top 10 list of U.S. schools, among 188 schools and programs of public health accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health. “To make progress toward health equity, we must have health care providers who reflect the diversity of our communities,” said Dr. Carrie L. Byington, the University of California’s associate vice president for health sciences. “As a system, we are committed to creating opportunities for all.”