UCI News

Orange County Register, April 30, 2020
The actual spread of coronavirus in Orange County is still a mystery
Orange County health officials and UC Irvine researchers are among many groups planning to conduct similar antibody tests. … “That will give us if you will a quick and dirty sense of what the prevalence of COVID-19 looks like (in Orange County),” said Bernadette Boden-Albala, dean of UCI’s public health program and expert in social epidemiology. … While the antibody study could reveal a chilling reality, UCI researchers have also seen some positive signs that COVID-19’s rapid initial growth has subsided, Boden-Albala said. [Subscription required, you can request an electronic copy of the article by sending an email to communications@uci.edu.]

The Guardian, April 30, 2020
California closes Orange County beaches over COVID-19 fears – but how risky is a beach day?
Andrew Noymer, public health professor at the University of California, Irvine advises people who are medically vulnerable or elderly not to go. Sitting on the sand, however, does not carry risks of catching the virus, he said, if groups station their towels and umbrellas more than 6ft apart. The risks are much greater if people end up waiting in lines to buy food or use the bathroom ….  Michael Buchmeier, UC Irvine professor of medicine and infectious disease expert said the main concern is that asymptomatic carriers could be at the beach spreading the virus …. The risk of a beach visit, Buchmeier said, is somewhat comparable to a trip to the grocery store.

Orange County Business Journal, April 30, 2020
UCI Health a Gilead Site for COVID-19 Drug Trials
UCI Health’s medical complex in Orange will be the site of a therapeutic clinical trial for a drug that can treat the coronavirus. San Dimas-based Gilead Sciences this week said early studies indicate its drug remdesivir showed promise for this purpose; the U.S. FDA could authorize the drug’s use for coronavirus treatment if further clinical tries show effects on recovery time. … UCI’s trial is a double-blind study seeking 572 subjects. [Subscription required, you can request an electronic copy of the article by sending an email to communications@uci.edu.]

California Healthline, April 30, 2020
California To Widen Pipeline Of Psychiatric Nurse Practitioners
The need for more mental health nurses is about to be bigger than ever, said E. Alison Holman, a health psychologist at UC-Irvine who studies emotional responses to collective trauma. “We now have 30 million Americans who have lost their jobs, who have no income — and how are they going to pay rent? How are they going to buy food?” Holman said. “And then you have to stay home. This event is rolling out like a long, chronic stressor.”

Medium Elemental, April 30, 2020
Kids Are Staring at Screens All Day. Is This Really a Problem?
“A large observational study from Canada just found that early mental health problems for girls predicts later social media usage,” says Candice Odgers, PhD, a professor of psychological science at the University of California, Irvine. … Odgers says that there is “a small association between depression symptoms and social media use, and you see it pop up more consistently for girls.” But she says the biggest predictors of depression among young people remain a family history of mental disorder, socioeconomic hardship, and other factors that have nothing to do with technology.

Previously “In the News”