ITA, co-founded by a Gillings student, offers support to Spanish-speaking parents during COVID-19

May 12, 2020
The website papita.com is home to ITA, an artificial intelligence program that offers unique childcare tips to Spanish-speaking users based on their personal information. The site’s developers hope to promote healthy family habits while lowering parents’ stress — especially now that the COVID-19 pandemic has families on lock down at home.

Adults in Mexico are consuming fewer soft drinks three years into a sugary-beverage tax

May 6, 2020
“These results show that the tax is lowering the consumption of sugar-sweetened drinks among an adult cohort over the first three-years of the tax implementation,” says Dr. Shu Wen Ng. “In particular, it lowered the proportion of medium and high consumers of the beverages, while increasing the share of adults who were low-consumers and non-consumers.”

How important is therapy for expectant mothers with depression? Researchers found mental and financial benefits seven years later.

April 30, 2020
When pregnant women are depressed, how important is it that they receive therapy? A first-of-its-kind study found outsize positive effects on mothers’ mental health, financial status and parenting skills even seven years after the birth of their child — and the results could lead to big changes in global public policy. (Photo by Jake Brewer)

Remdesivir, developed through a UNC-Chapel Hill partnership, proves effective against COVID-19 in NIAID human clinical trials

April 29, 2020
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, reported that data from an international clinical trial testing the broad-spectrum antiviral drug remdesivir showed “quite good news” and should result in a new standard of care for COVID-19 patients. Remdesivir was co-developed by researchers in the Baric Lab at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health.

Human rights play a critical role in the development of COVID-19 health policies

April 29, 2020
Governments worldwide have implemented policies in an effort to mitigate the worst effects of the coronavirus pandemic, but the extent to which these policies constrain individual rights has been overlooked, according to Dr. Benjamin Mason Meier. This can have a detrimental impact on the world’s most vulnerable populations.

The Gillings Community Responds to COVID-19: Leveraging Technology to Address Needs

April 27, 2020
In a time when a pandemic has limited the resources available to meet critical health needs in-person, we have moved into the digital space to seek assistance. In health behavior, students, faculty and alumni are coming together to develop online tools that help health care workers get access to child care and provide mental health support to teens who are feeling increasingly vulnerable. Biostatistics alumnus Andrew Williams is helping to develop software that can assist health care providers in modeling the spread of COVID-19 in order to prepare resources accordingly.

Study estimates COVID-19 mortality rates in South Korea, shares modeling tool

April 21, 2020
In a pre-print study, researchers discuss the mortality burden of COVID-19 in South Korea — one of the first countries to report a case outside of China. They also share a mortality rate modeling approach that relies solely on publicly available data.

The Gillings Community Responds to COVID-19: Outreach to Vulnerable Communities

April 17, 2020
In Arizona, online MPH student Jeannie Hong is serving dual roles as a U.S. Public Health Service officer and a pharmacist for patients in a Native American and Alaska Native community. Nutrition graduate student Kayla Ferro and her peers are serving vulnerable homeless populations in the heart of Orange County. In Nevada, health behavior alumnus Peter Reed has collaborated on a statewide response plan to help older adults get the services they need while in isolation.

Should mothers with COVID-19 be separated from their newborns?

April 9, 2020
In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, questions have arisen about how to prevent the transmission of the virus to newborns from mothers who are suspected or confirmed to be infected. Dr. Alison Stuebe has written a commentary in Breastfeeding Medicine addressing the risks and benefits of temporary separation.

The Gillings Community Responds to COVID-19: Mental Health, Environmental Guidance and Health Education

April 9, 2020
Health behavior alumnae participated in a hackathon to design a web platform to help people cope with the stress of managing COVID-19 information streams. Environmental scientists Dr. Mark Sobsey and Dr. Lisa Casanova have contributed to WHO guidelines on water and sanitation. Alumna Dr. Jennifer Platt is leading a health education initiative for people with alpha-gal syndrome who have COVID-19 questions.

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