UCI News

Insider, May 1, 2021
Should the COVID-19 vaccine be mandated? Debate takes center stage, as hospitals, colleges and businesses start requiring the shot.
Andrew Noymer, an associate professor in population health and disease prevention at University of California, Irvine said groups should be doing more educational work to convince hesitant people. “I think mandates are for when you’ve exhausted all approaches that make people feel like stakeholders,” Noymer said. “It’s heavy-handed, and I think we need to exhaust all avenues of encouragement before we go to mandates.”

Healthline, April 29, 2021
Except for Sore Arm, 3 Out of 4 People Didn’t Report COVID-19 Vaccine Side Effects
Dr. Jose Mayorga, executive director of the UCI Health Family Health Centers and assistant clinical professor of family medicine with UCI School of Medicine, hopes the results of this study will help people who are hesitant about getting vaccinated. “Mild side effects should be expected if we receive a COVID-19 vaccine, just like other vaccines we receive,” he added. “These mild side effects are short-lived, for a COVID-19 vaccine that provides great gains — protection from an unpredictable virus that has caused so much devastation and loss.”

Gizmodo, May 4, 2021
Why Does Skin Itch?
Linda Doan, director of dermatopathology and assistant professor of dermatology at UC Irvine: “So what causes itch? Well, anything that affects the itch pathway can cause the sensation of itch—from the skin to the spinal cord to the brain itself. More practically, dermatologists broadly think of itch in two categories: “itch with rash” and “itch without rash.” The former is easier to identify and treat: These would be skin problems like hives, bug bites, eczema, psoriasis, etc. … In “itch without rash,” it can be more difficult to identify the underlying cause, and thus may also be more difficult to treat.”

Yahoo News (Independent), April 30, 2021
California hits near-record temperatures, sparking early fears for wildfire season
“CALFIRE data show that each new year of the 21st century has been a record breaker in terms of wildfire damage in California,” study co-author Tirtha Banerjee, UCI assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering, wrote. “We also have seen that about 80 percent of the total number of the state’s wildfires over the past few decades have been small, measuring less that 500 acres. But when fires get large, their deadliness greatly increases.”

Science, April 29, 2021
After revival, Iran’s great salt lake faces new peril
The shallow lake was at its most expansive in recent decades in the late 1990s …. But a 5-year dry spell that began in 1998 was coupled with increasing water diversion for irrigation. “We call it anthropogenic drought,” says Amir AghaKouchak, [professor of civil & environmental engineering], a hydrologist at the University of California (UC), Irvine, who first visited Urmia as a student in 1998. … In the past few years, such worries receded as ample precipitation helped boost lake levels by about 1.5 meters. “Nature has been kind,” says Soroosh Sorooshian, [Distinguished Professor, civil & environmental engineering], a water expert at UC Irvine.

Previously “In the News”