Updated – 5/6/2020
SPH News and media mentions and information from our experts.
School of Public Health in the News
Gov. John Bel Edwards is expected to announce on Monday whether Louisiana has made enough progress suppressing the spread of the coronavirus to further loosen restrictions on businesses and gatherings. But should the state move into Phase 2 of its reopening at the end of the week, it will likely do so without a full understanding of whether the relaxed restrictions that have been in place since the middle of May have allowed the virus to spread at an increased rate. And, perhaps critically, the state will already be days into a regime of looser restrictions before it is known whether parties or travel during the Memorial Day weekend resulted in new infections that could seed a new surge, epidemiologists and some health officials said.
The limited reopening, however, came with the risk that more activity could reverse the improving trajectory the state has been on. Though there’s no evidence of that yet, experts say the relatively short amount of time that has passed and the relatively long time it takes for those infected to start showing symptoms means it’s still too early to have a sense of whether that happened.“It’s only two weeks at that point, and looking at the data, I do not know how the governor decides at that point,” said Dr. Susanne Straif-Bourgeois, an associate professor at the LSU Health Sciences School of Public Health and an expert in pandemics who has been consulting with the Edwards’ team.
The public health system is a critical firewall to reduce community spread of COVID-19 and to relieve the unsustainable pressure the US health care system is experiencing as a result of the pandemic. Community health workers (CHWs)—frontline public health staff who conduct outreach and build trust with vulnerable populations in federally qualified health centers (FQHCs), hospitals, public health agencies, and through community-based organizations—have a particularly important role to play.
4/24/2020 – The Water Professional’s Guide to COVID-19
A new coronavirus was identified as the cause of an outbreak of respiratory illness, referred to as COVID-19. It was first detected in Wuhan, China, on Dec. 12, 2019. Because this disease has spread worldwide, it is important that water sector professionals keep informed on the attributions of the virus and any measures needed to protect both workers and public health, in general.
Extent of the COVID-19 Outbreak
Based on the sharp increase in number of COVID-19 infections, on Jan. 30, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the current outbreak to be a public health emergency of international concern.
Dr. Chapple designed a multi-armed Bayesian group sequential clinical trial based on ordinal patient outcomes that makes interim decisions to drop ineffective treatment arms – while adequately controlling the type I error probability and adjusting for patient risk factors. Ordinal outcomes describing discharge – with or without oxygen – and hospital ventilation status – on oxygen, high-low oxygen or ventilator – provide more information on treatment differences than examining discharge or death status alone. The hope is that if either of these treatments show significant improvement in patient outcomes, that the placebo arm will be stopped after 200 patients are enrolled and more patients thereafter will be randomized to the hydroxychloroquine and hydroxychloroquine + azithromycin arms until either treatment demonstrates superiority. READ MORE>