Quoted: Omar Poler wants people to recognize that and to remember the people who lost their battle with COVID-19.
‘We never take the time to stop and reflect on the loss we’re all experiencing,’” “A friend said to me, ‘We never take the time to stop and reflect on the loss we’re all experiencing,’” Poler said. “At the same time, a newspaper article came out that said no collective mourning had emerged within the United States.”
Poler is UW-Madison’s Indigenous education coordinator. He wanted to change the way America looks at coronavirus-related deaths. He wanted people to spend a moment grieving.
“What we do is I spend some time before Thursday trying to learn about specific people,” Poler said. “I look through obituaries and try to come up with a way to remember them.”
Noted: “Determined” tells the story of three women participating in the Wisconsin Registry for Alzheimer’s Prevention, or WRAP, the world’s largest family history study of Alzheimer’s disease. The University of Wisconsin-Madison research group that began in 2001 is made up of primarily middle-aged adults with a deceased or living parent with Alzheimer’s, a factor that makes them 2½ times more likely to get the disease than those without a family history.
Quoted: Then there are antioxidants that aren’t exactly considered essential nutrients, but still have effects on cells and tissues, Bradley Bolling, Ph.D., an assistant professor of food science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, tells SELF. You can find these in plant, animal, and other dietary sources.
Many of these non-essential antioxidants are being studied for their potential effects on optimizing health, preventing chronic disease, promoting longevity, and reducing inflammation, says Dr. Bolling. “There are varying grades of evidence for the effectiveness of these non-nutritive antioxidants,” he says.
Noted: Jonathan L. Temte, associate dean for public health and community engagement at the University of Wisconsin and a liaison to to the covid-19 work group that helped the CDC advisory panel issue its guidelines, called the result a “free-for-all.” The decisions could become even more torturous when a third vaccine made by Johnson & Johnson — which is expected to gain regulatory approval this weekend — joins the mix, though with only a trickle of supply at first.
UW Health is recognizing the efforts of medical staff who have run nearly 200,000 COVID-19 tests since March 19, 2020.
Quoted: “Indoor settings with prolonged exposure present the greatest risk for transmission, hence why universal masking is particularly important – even if the individuals are immunized,” said Jim Conway, an infectious diseases expert at the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Global Health Institute.
Patrick Remington, former epidemiologist for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and director of the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s preventive medicine residency program, said if lawmakers who choose to go maskless are vaccinated against COVID-19, then the risk is lower.
“One obvious question for people not wearing masks is whether they have been vaccinated. If they have, then it seems to be a reasonable thing to do,” Remington said. “That is, the vaccine provides sufficient protection to significantly reduce the risk of becoming sick or getting others sick.”
The University of Wisconsin – Madison’s University Health Services has a team of about 100 contact tracers, roughly double that of last semester, according to registered nurse Carlotta Soeder.
Noted: According to the announcement, the clinics will collaborate with AMI Expeditionary Healthcare, the University of Wisconsin System, local public health departments and other local partners.
Perhaps not since 9/11 – when droves of young people followed the career footsteps of first responders, soldiers, and firefighters – have current events shaped the area of work people pursue, says Mary McSweeney, assistant dean for admissions at the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s School of Medicine and Public Health.
In September, Wisconsin had one of the highest per capita rates of COVID-19 in the country. The University of Wisconsin–Madison was at the center of concern: Hundreds of students tested positive when campus opened in late August. Some students on campus gathered in large groups without masks despite university restrictions, according to the Badger Herald, a student newspaper. At the peak of the outbreak in early September, 911 students and staff tested positive in a single week.
Quoted: Benjamin Baird, a sleep researcher at the University of Wisconsin–Madison who wasn’t involved in this study, told Scientific American the findings “challenge our ideas about what sleep is.” SciAm has more: Sleep has classically been defined as unresponsiveness to external environmental stimuli—and that feature is still typically part of the definition today, Baird explains. “This work pushes us to think carefully—rethink, maybe—about some of those fundamental definitions about the nature of sleep itself, and what’s possible in sleep.”
Dr. Aurora Pop-Vicas is working to crack the case. She explained she’s seen similar outcomes with other respiratory viruses, but Covid presents unique challenges.“We are increasingly aware of how common this is because covid-19 is on the forefront of our efforts,” Pop-Vicas, UW-Madison school of medicine and public health infectious disease assistant professor said.
“What we need to do is modify the vaccines to specifically target the variant that is causing trouble and the good news there is the ability to modify the vaccines is a little bit easier,” Dr. Jeff Pothoff, UW-Health’s chief quality officer said.
“One of the things pediatricians will commonly tell you is that kids are not just little adults,” said Dr. Matt Anderson, a Senior Medical Director for UW Health. “They have different things going on in their bodies that need to be studied.”
As we approach a full year of this pandemic and attempt to survive sub-zero Wisconsin winter, many of us are tired; physically, emotionally, and spiritually. I teach at UW-Madison and the beginning of the semester is always an intense energetic marathon for me so I find myself having to be extra mindful about resting. So this month’s piece isn’t about food, but about rest as a political practice of resistance.
Quoted: These findings “challenge our ideas about what sleep is,” says Benjamin Baird, a postdoctoral researcher who studies dreams at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and was not involved in this study. Sleep has classically been defined as unresponsiveness to external environmental stimuli—and that feature is still typically part of the definition today, Baird explains. “This work pushes us to think carefully—rethink, maybe—about some of those fundamental definitions about the nature of sleep itself, and what’s possible in sleep.”
Quoted: “This work challenges the foundational definitions of sleep,” says cognitive neuroscientist Benjamin Baird of the University of Wisconsin, Madison, who studies sleep and dreams but was not part of the study. Traditionally, he says, sleep has been defined as a state in which the brain is disconnected and unaware of the outside world.
Quoted: “That would be a really interesting future direction of this methodology,” Benjamin Baird tells Inverse. Baird is a cognitive neuroscientist at the University of Wisconsin, Madison who studies lucid dreams, but was not involved in this study. He also has lucid dreams himself.
Like so many great scientific discoveries, Tom Brock started the research that would go on to revolutionize the field of biology — and pave the road to the development of the gold-standard COVID-19 tests used to fight a pandemic — with a question.
To bring surgical and cloth masks up to par with N95s and KN95s, you can opt for a mask brace, which is an even better solution than double masking, says David Rothamer, a professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison who has conducted work evaluating mask braces.”It’s kind of interesting that it’s taken awhile for mask fitters or braces to have more visibility,” Rothamer tells Popular Mechanics. “The whole double masking thing is really trying to do the same thing as a mask fitter or a brace, but in a more indirect way. My main concern with double masking is that it’s going to depend on the combination of the two masks.”
“At some point we’re just going to have to start to realize that old COVID probably isn’t going to be around as much,” said Jeff Pothof, UW Health’s chief quality officer. “As some of these strains are more contagious, they’ll become the dominant strains.”
“If they have the opportunity to be vaccinated somewhere else, we would definitely embrace them doing so, and then just ask that they let us know,” said Matt Anderson, UW Health’s Senior Medical Director for Primary Care.
Yoshihiro Kawaoka, DVM, PhD, Professor, University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine and University of Tokyo
The Milwaukee Public Health Department, University of Wisconsin-Madison, and Gundersen Health System are also processing virus samples. Together, the four labs are sequencing an estimated 400 to 600 samples per week, Bateman said, adding he would like to see capacity increase.
Dr. Sheryl Henderson is an Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Infectious diseases at UW-Madsion’s School of Public Health. She encourages all people get vaccinated when it’s their turn but also understands why some people of color may be hesitant.
Dehdashti is one of many students who were immediately interested in the global health major when it was first offered this past fall. According to Susan Paskewitz, director of undergraduate global health programs in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, the foundational class for the major immediately filled up, meeting its 150 student capacity.
A new college program at the University of Wisconsin is challenging curiosity and preparing students for the future; aimed at giving young students exposure and pushing them to their potential during the coronavirus pandemic.
Quoted: Two researchers at UW-Madison began sequencing SARS-CoV-2 samples in February 2020. Virology professor Tom Friedrich and pathology professor Madison Dave O’Connor have a background in HIV research, and began sequencing SARS-CoV-2 samples from around Dane County as soon as local spread began.
“The sort of architecture of how the virus looks at the genetic level is a little different,” O’Connor said. “But the basic principles are the same as for HIV, and flu and other viruses.”
Quoted: When studying the impact of mask mandates, it’s important to consider whether people follow them and if they’re enforced, said Ajay Sethi, an epidemiologist and associate professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He said it can be difficult to assess mandates individually when they’re issued with other public health guidelines, but he believes the Kansas study offered compelling data on the matter.
“You could argue that with or without a mandate, people might wear a mask because that’s what they do and the mandate is just confirming what they do,” he said. “At the end of the day, an entire county had fewer cases.”
Meanwhile, UW Health early this week canceled more than 2,400 vaccination appointments set for this week after it received about half the vaccine supply expected from the state, said Dr. Matt Anderson, senior medical director of primary care. The appointments have been rescheduled for the next couple of weeks, he said.
The CDC put out a new recommendation Wednesday, encouraging the use of mask fitters. This may be a new term to many people, but a team of UW Madison engineers and researchers, cited in the CDC’S guidance, have been encouraging the public to use them for months.
Quoted: Those data show that “it’s mask fit that really matters, and there are bunch of different ways to improve mask fit,” says David Rothamer, a mechanical engineer at the University of Wisconsin–Madison College of Engineering.
Noted: A 2012 study led by Leslie Seltzer at the University of Wisconsin, for instance, found that phone calls can approximate in-person interactions in reducing cortisol (the stress hormone) and stimulating oxytocin (a neuropeptide associated with bonding and affection).
Noted: The Badger Seal is a DIY mask fitter designed at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. It takes a few minutes’ time and work to assemble, but materials only run $1 per mask. You can download the instructions here.
As we approached the start of flu season, health officials prepared for the possibility of a “twin pandemic” with COVID-19 and influenza. UW Health has seen virtually no local flu cases this year.
Doctors at UW Health are seeing historically low flu numbers for the 2020-2021 season. On this day last year, UW Health had seen more than 1,000 positive influenza tests in the 2019-2020 season. On Wednesday, health officials from UW reported only one for this season.
“We needed to scuff all the tumors up a little bit so we enhance their recognition by the immune cells,” said Dr. Jamey Weichert, a lead researcher and assistant professor of radiology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health who designs molecules to target tumors.
“We can have a fair degree of confidence that if there was a significant number of the variants that first caused concern in the United Kingdom or in South Africa, we would have seen it by now,” UW School of Medicine and Public Health Professor David O’Connor said in a UW report posted Monday. “And the fact that we haven’t means that if these viruses are here, they’re here in low enough levels that we don’t have to worry too much — yet.”
The founder of American Girl donated $10 million Tuesday toward a new transplant clinic at University Hospital, and UW Health noted this donation may be one of her most personal yet.
With tens of thousands of people already scheduled to receive their first dose of the coronavirus vaccine at UW Health, the number of those doses the hospital has on hand had dwindled into the dozens.
UW Health announced Tuesday a generous donation of $10 million for a new Transplant Clinic at University Hospital from local philanthropist, Pleasant Rowland. Rowland is a local educator, entrepreneur, philanthropist and best known as the founder of the Middleton-based Pleasant Company, now American Girl.
Vaccination efforts throughout Wisconsin will soon get an extra boost thanks to a grant that will partner the UW School of Medicine and Public Health with the UW-Madison School of Nursing and four other UW System to support vaccination efforts around the state.
On Tuesday morning, UW Health’s vaccine dashboard showed the health organization only had 93 first doses available and 22,353 people scheduled to get the shot. “It’s really apparent that there’s just not enough vaccine and there’s really a big mismatch,” said Dr. Matt Anderson, Senior Medical Director of Primary Care at UW Health.
Construction of UW Health’s new transplant clinic is getting a big boost today thanks to a generous donation from a local entrepreneur and philanthropist.
Column by Dr. Dipesh Navsaria, an associate professor of pediatrics at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health.
They’re also useful. “Júlio [Bicca-Marques] likes to say that monkeys are like the canary in the coal mine,” says Karen Strier, anthropology professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a career-long researcher of primates in Brazil. “They’re a good warning that you have to worry about yellow fever” – and other diseases, too.
After more than 2,000 students were quarantined in two high-rise dormitories as the virus raged through its campus last fall, the University of Wisconsin-Madison beefed up its testing regimen, with plans to administer up to 80,000 tests a week this spring.
At the University of Wisconsin – Madison, students are forced to take COVID tests every four days. If they don’t, they lose access to university buildings. Their testing catalogue is counted on the Safer Badgers App, which students are required to download and many believe is an invasion of privacy.
It takes a tremendous effort from the staff, University of Wisconsin students sent from the School of Pharmacy, and even volunteers from the community.
UW Health is launching a new online tool to track their current vaccination progress. The COVID-19 vaccination dashboard shows up-to-date information on where vaccination efforts stand as eligibility expands across Wisconsin.
With fewer than 3,700 COVID-19 vaccines on hand and nearly 30,000 patients already scheduled to receive a dose, the UW Health announces it will need to start rescheduling appointments to allow time to restock its shelves. Sr. Medical Director Dr. Matt Anderson explained the hospital’s capacity for delivering the coronavirus vaccine is growing, however its staff is being hamstrung by supply issues.
Just because you have been vaccinated, does not mean you can cease taking precautions, UW Health said. Doctors ask that you continue to wear a mask, social distance, and avoid large gatherings.”We’ll need to do this until most people have been vaccinated,” UW Health said in a release.
“It’s really complicated to go from zero to 100 mph and be writing the rules as you go,”— Patrick Remington, director of the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s preventive medicine residency program, on vaccine rollout, Jan. 25, 2021
“The vaccine’s on the horizon, there’s going to be an end date to this pandemic. It’s really easy to start thinking it’s over, let’s celebrate. It’s just not, quite yet.”— Dr. Jeff Pothof, UW Health Chief Quality and Safety Officer, Jan. 27, 2021
In a novel initiative to address a series of challenges on Wisconsin campuses — projections of declining enrollment, recruiting and supporting students of color and the damage of COVID-19 — five universities are putting counselors in targeted high schools to help guide students to higher education.