Choosing which communities to target for additional vaccine outreach is just one of many steps including building relationships with community organizations, local leaders and talking to individuals, says Ajay Sethi, a University of Wisconsin-Madison epidemiologist and associate professor in the Department of Population Health Sciences.
The Wisconsin Department of Health Services has reported zero deaths from the seasonal flu among kids since October, and a massive reduction in flu cases. University of Wisconsin-Madison pediatric infectious disease specialist Dr. Greg Demuri said respiratory syncytial virus, a common illness in infants and toddlers that’s one of the leading causes of hospitalizations in children, has all but disappeared this year.
Noted: I opted for a design created by engineers at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. Called the “Badger Seal” after the school’s mascot, the design uses materials that are easy to order: vinyl tubing, cord locks, rubber twist ties, and elastic string. The instructional videos were easy to follow; while I didn’t time myself, I’d estimate it took about 20 minutes total to snip all the various pieces of tubing and ties, and put them together.
Quoted: And opening eligibility doesn’t necessarily mean administration is going efficiently, said Ajay Sethi, an associate professor of population health sciences at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health in Madison. In some cases, states are reaching the limits of vaccine acceptance.
For those still waiting to get it, he said, just knowing they’re eligible can make an emotional difference. “Sometimes people feel better standing in line than not having any line at all,” Sethi said Thursday. “Once a few states do it, other states decide to do it as well, especially if leaders are finding that they don’t want to hit the wall, they want to keep the momentum, they might as well open up the eligibility criteria.”
Quoted: “Telogen effluvium is commonly triggered by stress, and COVID-19 has definitely contributed to a lot of stress these days,” says Apple Bodemer, MD, Assistant Professor at the University of Wisconsin Department of Dermatology. “I am seeing a significant increase in this type of hair loss.”
With schools across Wisconsin returning to in-person learning, pediatricians at UW Health provide tips and reminders for families as their kids once again join friends and teachers in the classrooms.
UW-Madison’s University Health Services (UHS) opened a portal on Wednesday for the university community to sign up for COVID-19 vaccinations.
The University of Wisconsin recorded its lowest seven-day average for positive COVID tests last week, at 0.1% positivity.
Quoted: The clinical trials for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine were done later, when the virus may have been more widespread, and in different countries with different populations, said Ajay Sethi, an epidemiologist and an associate professor of population health sciences at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Graham said the same.
“People should not shun the J&J vaccine,” she said.
Quoted: Wisconsin’s slightly later move to Phase 1C doesn’t mean the state’s rollout is sluggish, though. It’s likely an indicator that demand has been high in Wisconsin among currently eligible groups, said Ajay Sethi, an epidemiologist and professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
“Some of the states have been opening up eligibility criteria earlier because I think in some ways they’ve hit a little bit of a wall,” Sethi said.
As COVID-19 cases continue to decline, the University of Wisconsin-Madison has lifted testing requirements for students and staff who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
Members of the University of Wisconsin-Madison community can now check their COVID-19 vaccine eligibility status and make appointments through an online portal, instead of waiting to receive an email invitation.
UW Health explained Tropp was preparing for surgery at the UW Carbone Cancer Center exactly one year ago from Wednesday. Her surgery was also just a few days after the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic.
UW-Madison announced Wednesday that all employees and students who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 will no longer be required to participate in on on-campus testing.
Quoted: “It’s just a very large number,” said Adeline Lo, an assistant professor of political science at UW-Madison who worked on the study. “Sometimes it’s even hard to think about what that actually means.”
University of Wisconsin students and employees can now access information about vaccine eligibility and appointment options using their MyUHS account portal.
UW-Madison spokesperson Meredith McGlone says she is encouraged to see the steady decline. “We think this is a terrific sign. We also want to make sure that folks don’t let their guard soon. We are in what I think we all hope will be the homestretch of the pandemic,” McGlone said.
There’s a group of frontline workers going into work with a positive outlook every day, even in the middle of the pandemic. The UW Health Med Flight team is showing us a different point of view, many of us will never get the chance to see.
The University of Wisconsin has announced new eligibility for university staff and students to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
Students are ready to take advantage of the warm spring weather and the CDC verified gathering outside as the notably safer option, but the risk of increasing COVID-19 cases is largely dependent on how students chose to gather. University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health Professor Oguzhan Alagoz spoke on students gathering outdoors. “Yes, people are going to spend more time outdoors, which is great. But are they going to wear masks or are they going to let their guard down?” Alagoz said. “And that’s where I think it’s a big unknown.”
The Wisconsin State Laboratory of Hygiene, based at UW-Madison, is getting $2.7 million in federal funds to expand the whole genome sequencing necessary to identify such variants, state officials said. The lab will be able to do sequencing on 400 to 500 samples a week, up from 250 to 300 before.
Quoted: “At some point, we are going hit a wall on vaccine rollout where we will not have as much acceptance,” said Ajay Sethi, an epidemiologist and professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Quoted: “We don’t know if we have to do it for the long-term, like with influenza, but it’s smart for vaccine companies to be gearing up,” said Kristen Bernard, a professor of virology at University of Wisconsin-Madison’s school of veterinary medicine.
Texas A&M University opted for a three-day weekend instead of a whole week off. The University of Alabama and the University of Wisconsin-Madison also did away with spring break but are giving students a day off later in the semester. University of Mississippi also canceled spring break but will end the semester a week early.
UW-Madison Epidemiologist Ajay Sethi and UW-Madison Economist Tiffany Green join the program to discuss lasting lessons from the pandemic.
Over the last week UW-Madison recorded its lowest ever seven-day COVID-19 student positivity average for tests administered on campus, marking a milestone for the university’s efforts to stop the spread of the virus.
Using stem cells from monkeys with a condition like Parkinson’s disease, UW-Madison researchers grew brain cells that produce a chemical depleted by the disease. When they injected the cells into the monkeys’ brains, the animals’ Parkinson’s-like rigid movements were replaced by more fluid walking and climbing.
UW Health’s Emergency Education Center has continued to train front line responders for all medical emergencies over the last year, including COVID-19.
Dr. Greg DeMuri, with the UW-Madison Department of Pediatrics, said some recent studies indicate three feet of distance is “likely as safe as six feet,” though six feet is still preferable when possible. He noted that guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control suggested six feet distancing “when feasible,” which gives “some flexibility.”
’We understand the eagerness of many students to get vaccinated and we share that eagerness,’ UW says.
As part of the coverage, we interviewed Dr. William Hartman with UW Health about vaccine safety and who should get the shots.
“Making sure, given the disproportionate impact, that those communities do actually get prioritized and receive the vaccine is really critical to protect them, because they clearly are at higher risk,” said UW Health’s Chief Diversity Officer Shiva Bidar-Sielaff.
Pharmacy Professor at the school, Mary Hayney, oversees the student vaccination effort.“Pharmacy students are ready to volunteer,” Hayney said. “For example, many of them, unlike other healthcare providers, or licensed healthcare providers, they don’t have patient care responsibilities. So, they’re available and ready to help.”
Dr. Apple Bodemer said she started seeing more cases of hair loss last summer, with an increase in the fall as COVID-19 surged in Dane County. “Prior to COVID-19, I was seeing two to four hair loss patients per month,” Bodemer said in a statement. “Recently, I have been seeing up to five or six a day.”
Quoted: People who live to be 75 to 79 in Wisconsin, on average are expected to live another 13 years, according to state data. That average includes people who are quite ill with health conditions, noted Pat Remington, an epidemiologist from the University of Wisconsin- Madison.
“It is amazing how long people can live with multiple chronic conditions,” Remington said. “Everyone thinks that is when people die, but at 77 they are just likely to live to 90 on average.”
Texas A&M University opted for a three-day weekend instead of a whole week off. The University of Alabama and the University of Wisconsin-Madison also did away with spring break but are giving students a day off later in the semester. The University of Mississippi, which canceled spring break, said it will end the semester a week early.
Texas A&M University opted for a three-day weekend instead of a whole week off. The University of Alabama and the University of Wisconsin-Madison also did away with spring break but are giving students a day off later in the semester.
The gravity of the pandemic hit Maria Hanson much earlier than most everyone else in Dane County. Hanson happened to be working the night shift in UW Hospital’s emergency room on Jan. 30 when a patient walked in and asked to be tested for the coronavirus.
19.4% of Dane County residents have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine.
Noted: Psychologist Richard Davidson, founder and director of the Center for Healthy Minds at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, believes the brain can be trained, and that exercises including short meditation practices will become routine, like running and weight lifting. Emotional well-being will be as important as physical well-being in the coming years, according to Dr. Davidson.
UW Health reported Thursday on its efforts to keep vaccine equity top of mind when prioritizing COVID-19 shots in the 65 and older population.
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.
Starting Monday, one visitor generally will be allowed for adult patients at UnityPoint Health—Meriter, UW Health and SSM Health hospitals and clinics. Two primary support people will be allowed for each pediatric patient.
In other pandemic-related developments Wednesday: UW-Madison Chancellor Rebecca Blank said in taped remarks for the Wisconsin Counties Association’s annual Legislative Exchange meeting that a normal fall semester hinges on the pace of vaccinations for faculty, staff and students. She said the university is an authorized vaccinator and hopes to vaccinate all faculty and staff by the end of the spring semester.
The UW-Madison Pharmacy school designed courses to train younger students how to vaccinate to accelerate COVID-19 vaccine distribution efforts. The School of Pharmacy class, Comprehensive Immunization Delivery — which includes training on vaccine administration — is now available for first-year PharmD students.
“It has been a little bit frustrating,” Hoernke said. “We’ve been needing to even cancel volunteers because they’re not getting enough vaccines. (Pharmacies) have had to cancel appointments for their patients to come get their first vaccine… For once, I’ve coordinated something that has more volunteers than we need.”
Quoted: “Most mutations that occur do not cause the virus to be more infectious or deadly, but some variants have mutations that are more concerning,” said Ajay Sethi, an associate professor at the University of Wisconsin–Madison.
As a scientist, Tracey Holloway has spent a lot of time thinking about how climate change is going to affect the world.
As a mother of two young boys, she spends a lot of time thinking about what the world will be like when her youngest son — now only 10 months — turns 30.
“It always seemed like 2050 was so far into the future, but now my baby’s going to be 30 in 2050, and that’s not that far away,” she said.
Holloway, a professor at the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, has been studying air quality and pollution for nearly 20 years. Now, she’s teaming up with other women scientists to help make understanding climate change accessible, forming a group called Science Moms.
As health guidelines continue to persist, students struggle to form strong, lasting relationships.
The University of Wisconsin released a statement Feb. 9 encouraging employees to take time off for well-being. The statement said employees were deferring time off because the pandemic prevented them from traveling, spending time with family and friends, or getting away from managing pandemic-related issues. UW Chief Human Resources Officer Mark Walters said employees are also busy triaging issues caused by the pandemic to help keep the campus safe.
The Centers for Disease Control approved a mask fitter designed by engineers at UW-Madison to combat the spread of COVID-19 last week.
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.
UW Health on Thursday moved back 4,000 COVID-19 vaccine appointments set for next week because of inadequate supply, as the state prepared to make educators and other groups eligible for shots Monday — adding some 700,000 residents to about 1.6 million eligible now.
The Badgers, who have been ranked No. 1 throughout the season, announced the season has been put on pause for two weeks because of multiple exposures to COVID-19.
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.