Worldwide media look to UC experts on coronavirus

University of Cincinnati researchers offer guidance on COVID-19, infectious diseases and more

As the spread of the coronavirus continues around the world, local, national and international media outlets are turning to experts from UC to help them cover the story.

Infectious disease expert on the spread of COVID-19

Professor Carl J. Fichtenbaum, MD shown here his in lab at MSB. UC/ Joseph Fuqua UC/Joseph Fuqua II

Dr. Carl Fichtenbaum studies infectious diseases at UC. photo/Colleen Kelley/UC Creative Services

International media such as the Huffington Post turned to Dr. Carl Fichtenbaum of UC's Division of Infectious Diseases to discuss how coronavirus is spread for a story about proper hand sanitation. Popular Mechanics Magazine turned to him to discuss the short supply of virus tests, while Men's Health and dozens of other outlets quoted him in stories about what to do if you live with someone who has coronavirus.

Fichtenbaum spoke to The Associated Press about why Venezuela's use of a blood antibody test instead of traditional nasal swabs to detect the virus could undercount infected patients.

“It does give you a snapshot of what is going on with the virus,” Fichtenbaum told the AP. “But it’s probably a bottom number.” 

WCPO interviewed Fichtenbaum about whether or not working from home might save lives.

The well-known online publication Healthline also interviewed Fichtenbaum about when we will know if the coronavirus is a global pandemic. Good Housekeeping shared tips from the doctor for decreasing your risk of exposure. And Prevention Magazine had questions about the use of Ibuprofen.

He was also interviewed by Cincinnati's WLWT as part of their story on how local agencies are responding to the coronavirus in the Tristate. And WVXU asked him about the local response to the virus.

In a story on people possibly having the coronavirus and not being aware of it, U.S. News & World Report asked Dr. Fichtenbaum about the impact of wearing masks during the pandemic. 

Additional media coverage:

Fight coronavirus fear and anxiety with information

Empty shelves of cleaning supplies are seen at a Publix Supermarket amid concern over the COVID-19 virus on Monday, March 9, 2020, in Pembroke Pines, Fla. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

The spread of coronavirus and COVID-19 is leading to another problem for some: anxiety. Caleb Adler is a professor of psychiatry at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine and says all the news about the virus and the disease can lead to feelings of helplessness and confusion.

He says to deal with that, educate yourself. "Learning about the risks, learning about what perhaps isn't risky, and learning about what we can do to minimize risk to ourselves and to our loved ones so that we can have a sense of greater control. That can go a long way towards alleviating much of that anxiety." Read the complete story on WVXU.

Kate Chard, also a professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience at UC and director of trauma and recovery at the Cincinnati Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, says technology could help people cope with the overwhelming feelings they may be experiencing during this pandemic.

She notes, during an interview aired on WVXU's Cincinnati Edition, that there is currently a shift in society for extroverts, who now are now acknowledging how difficult it may be for introverts to navigate a largely extraverted society.

"We just have to find a new normal," she says.

 N95 respirator face mask Sergey A. Grinshpun, PhD, lab at the University of Cincinnati Center for Health Related Aerolsol Studies.

A mannequin in the UC Center for Health Related Aerosol Studies is fitted with an N95 respirator. Photo by Colleen Kelley/UC Creative Services.

No need to stockpile masks

Sergey A. Grinshpun, PhD, professor of Environment Health, with a N95 respirator face mask  in his lab at the University of Cincinnati Center for Health Related Aerolsol Studies.

Sergey Grinshpun in his lab at the University of Cincinnati. photo/Colleen Kelley/UC Creative Services

The BBC turned to Sergey Grinshpun of the UC Department of Environmental and Public Health Sciences to learn more about the efficacy of surgical masks in warding off the coronavirus. Similarly, the BBC interviewed emeritus professor Dr. Richard Branson about availability of respirators, as did Forbes Magazine and The New York Times.

Grinshpun was also interviewed by Slate magazine on the same topic as well as local TV station WCPO and newspaper Dayton Daily News.

Learn more about Grinshpun's research


Epidemiolgists serve as 'medical detectives'

Florence Fulk

Florence Fulk, UC associate professor of environmental health. photo/Joseph Fuqua II/UC Creative Services

Florence Fulk, associate professor of environmental health at UC, spoke with Cincinnati’s radio station WVXU about the role epidemiologists are having during the latest outbreak. 

Fulk says epidemiologists are like medical detectives, as they have to determine who is at risk so those people can be on guard.

Fulk also spoke to WCPO about the increasing number of cases in area call centers.

Impact on the economy

UC's Michael Jones, associate professor of economics in the Carl H. Lindner College of Business, spoke with WLWT about the impact of coronavirus on the world economy.

Meanwhile, the Cincinnati Business Courier spoke with Christopher Nicak, co-director of research at the UC Economics Center, about the stability of the economy during this outbreak. Similarly, Local 12 TV interviewed Nicak about the same topic.


Hoxworth urging blood donations

Hoxworth blood vials

Officials at Hoxworth Blood Center, University of Cincinnati, are appealing to the tristate community for blood donations in order to maintain a stable blood supply amid concerns about the recent coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

“There is currently a critical shortage of blood products throughout the country,” says Alecia Lipton, spokesperson for Hoxworth Blood Center. “Hoxworth Blood Center has been contacted by blood banks in regions affected by the coronavirus outbreak for assistance in providing much needed blood products. We are appealing to the tristate community to donate blood to help patients not just in Cincinnati, but in other areas of the U.S. as well.”

Local 12 and WLWT covered the need for donors in recent stories.

Continue reading

Cancer and COVID-19

Syed Ahmad

Dr. Syed Ahmad, co-director of the UC Cancer Center. Photo/Colleen Kelley/UC Creative + Brand

For those facing a cancer diagnosis, the coronavirus pandemic can be an exceptionally scary time. “Based on data originating in China, patients with cancer are at higher risk of contracting the COVID-19 infection,” says Syed Ahmad, professor of surgery and chief of the division of surgical oncology at the UC College of Medicine, co-director at the University of Cincinnati Cancer Center and UC Health surgeon. 

He says patients undergoing treatment for cancer may be immunosuppressed and need to be extra cautious, like avoiding unnecessary person to person contact and staying home as much as possible. Ahmad adds that patients should try to maintain virutal support at this time. 

Read more at and Reuters Health

He was also interviewed by WLWT-TV, Channel 5

Find the latest details related to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website, and follow UC's latest information with regard to the virus.

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