Study: Identifying Optimal Points of Intervention to Address Racial and Ethnic Disparities in COVID-19 Fatality Rates in New York State

Results from a new COVID-19 epidemiological study have been released from the University at Albany in partnership with the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH); the findings were published today in the peer-reviewed journal, Annals of Epidemiology.

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Widespread facemask use could shrink the ‘R’ number and prevent a second COVID-19 wave – study

• Cambridge-led modelling looks at population-level facemask use.
• The more people use facemasks in public, the smaller the ‘R’.
• Even basic homemade masks significantly reduce transmission at a population level.
• Researchers call for information campaigns – “my mask protects you, your mask protects me” – that encourage the making and wearing of facemasks.

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‘With This Ring,’ Scientists Hope to Predict COVID-19 in Healthcare Workers

A three-pronged approach will help to predict COVID-19 infection in healthcare workers. At the center of it all – a ring, which tracks vitals such as heart rate and temperature and alerts the user that they might be getting sick without even realizing it. The study also will determine if participants go on to develop an acute COVID-19 infection and the prevalence rate in that population. Researchers hope to better identify patterns that could predict the emergence and recovery from novel infections to prevent and contain future pandemics.

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Racial Inequalities in Liver Cancer Deaths Soared After Launch of Hepatitis C Drugs

A study explored racial inequalities in death from liver cancer before and after the introduction of lifesaving drugs for hepatitis C. Results showed that from 1979 to 1998, racial inequalities in mortality from liver cancer in the U.S. were declining. But, from 1998 to 2016, of the 16,770 deaths from liver cancer among blacks, the excess relative to whites increased from 27.8 percent to 45.4 percent. Concurrently, racial inequalities in death decreased for major risk factors for liver cancer, such as alcohol and diabetes.

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New Algorithm Tracks Pediatric Sepsis Epidemiology Using Clinical Data

Researchers at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) have developed a novel computational algorithm to track the epidemiology of pediatric sepsis, allowing for the collection of more accurate data about outcomes and incidence of the condition over time, which is essential to the improvement of care.

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The Nose Knows: Study Establishes Airborne Exposure to Harmful Algal Blooms’ Toxins

There are no limits specific to airborne concentrations of microcystins (blue-green algae) or inhalation guidelines. Little is known about recreational and occupational exposure to these toxins. New research provides evidence of aerosol exposure to microcystins in coastal residents. Researchers detected microcystin in the nasal passages of 95 percent of the participants; some who reported no direct contact with impacted water. Results also showed higher concentrations among occupationally exposed individuals and demonstrated a relationship between nasal and water microcystin concentrations.

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