PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE - After a man in Rockland County, New York, became the first patient to contract polio in the U.S. in nearly a decade, experts such as IDM’s Peter Salk — whose late father, Jonas, developed a vaccine for the disease — said the public shouldn’t be alarmed but warned that children unvaccinated for polio could be at risk. “Polio is only a plane flight away,” Salk said. “Here is a circumstance that demonstrated that.”
U.S. NEWS AND WORLD REPORT - A groundbreaking analysis of decades-old stool and blood samples from the early AIDS epidemic suggests that men who had high levels of inflammation-causing bacteria in their intestinal tract may have had a greater risk for contracting HIV. "A healthy gut microbiome is essential for many bodily functions…" said IDM’s Yue Chen, lead author. “Scientists are increasingly learning that it has other wide-ranging impacts.
US NEWS AND WORLD REPORT – IDM’s Peter Salk struggles to make sense of COVID denialism. “It’s not mind-blowing — it’s mind-bending and heartbreaking to see this,” he says. “How many people are dying, and how many are suffering loss in their families, because of not being tuned in to the reality of what’s taking place?” When Salk’s father encountered people who had misgivings about his polio vaccine, he patiently reasoned with them.
PITTSBURGH POST GAZETTE - The jab also appears to have a slight reduction in effectiveness against the delta variant compared to prior dominant virus strains, said EPI and IDM's Lee Harrison. But it should still protect people from severe disease if they do become infected. "I think what it tells us most clearly is, if we can get the rest of the population vaccinated, it will turn COVID into more of a nuisance than a major cause of hospitalizati...
From social stigma to the high prevalence of concurrent chronic diseases, people living with HIV (PLWH) are faced with a multitude of challenges. Two National Institute of Health grants recently awarded to researchers at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health will provide valuable data to better intervene on their behalf.
THE CONVERSATION – The rise of coronavirus variants globally has highlighted the huge influence evolutionary biology has on daily life. But how mutations, random chance, and natural selection produce variants is a complicated process. What EPI and IDM’s Lee Harrison and a Pitt Medicine colleague have learned over the past 18 months of following how the coronavirus has acquired different mutations around the world.
PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE REVIEW - "What they're aiming for is starting September 20, eight months after the second dose. I'm hoping the rollout will go smoothly starting on that date. The process is authorization by FDA for a booster dose, and then ACIP makes the recommendation about the booster dose." said EPI's Lee Harrison.
NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC - For instance, says IDM's Amy Hartman, studies have shown that some recovered patients can mount effective defenses against COVID-19, but antibody levels dropped rapidly in others who were infected. Scientists are still gathering data and racing to answer this key question and others, such as how long immunity lasts from vaccines or from natural infection.
Velpandi Ayyavoo would tell any incoming student one of the most remarkable things about Pitt Public Health as a community is its resilience and ingenuity after this past year of pandemic. When viewing her career, it’s very easy to say the same thing about our interim chair for the Department of Behavioral and Community Health Sciences. Following her passion for science at a young age, Ayyavoo has poured over 30 years into her HIV-1 research and...
WESA-FM - "[That's] a big loophole there in terms of potentially not having people covered who are sick," said board chair IDM and EPI's Lee Harrison.
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL - Studies show that variants including Delta can partially evade immune response from infection and vaccination. "Give the virus time and opportunity, we don't know what will arise," said IDM's John Mellors chief of infectious diseases at UPMC.
RESCORP - Research Corporation for Science Advancement will bring together a multidisciplinary group of early-career researchers to address the global threat to human health from animal-borne infectious diseases as part of its new Scialog initiative, Mitigating Zoonotic Threats. IDM's Amy Hartman with the Center for Vaccine Research has been selecteed as one of the 2021 fellows. Congratulations!
Jessie Burke wears many hats at Pitt Public Health, one being the interim chair for the Department of Infectious Diseases and Microbiology . Her passion for scholarship and public health is only matched by her appetite for her homemade chili (which she got pretty good at making courtesy of COVID-19).
HEALIO - IDM and EPI's Jean Nachega and colleagues published a perspective in The New England Journal of Medicine that said concerns about access to COVID-19 vaccines in Africa resemble concerns regarding access to ART for HIV in the mid-1990s and early 2000s, when it was more accessible in high-income countries than African countries – “a disparity that resulted in many preventable deaths in these high-burden settings,” they wrote.