Tip Sheet https://www.gmu.edu/ en New bivalent vaccine is a consequential next step to preemptively address colder month COVID peaks https://www.gmu.edu/news/2022-11/new-bivalent-vaccine-consequential-next-step-preemptively-address-colder-month-covid <span>New bivalent vaccine is a consequential next step to preemptively address colder month COVID peaks </span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/1391" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Taylor Thomas</span></span> <span>Fri, 11/04/2022 - 09:10</span> <div class="layout layout--gmu layout--twocol-section layout--twocol-section--30-70"> <div class="layout__region region-first"> <div data-block-plugin-id="field_block:node:news_release:field_associated_people" class="block block-layout-builder block-field-blocknodenews-releasefield-associated-people"> <h2>In This Story</h2> <div class="field field--name-field-associated-people field--type-entity-reference field--label-visually_hidden"> <div class="field__label visually-hidden">People Mentioned in This Story</div> <div class='field__items'> <div class="field__item"><a href="/profiles/aroess" hreflang="und">Amira Roess, PhD, MPH</a></div> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="layout__region region-second"> <div data-block-plugin-id="field_block:node:news_release:body" class="block block-layout-builder block-field-blocknodenews-releasebody"> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-visually_hidden"> <div class="field__label visually-hidden">Body</div> <div class="field__item"><h4><span><span><em><span><span>Professor of public health Dr. Amira Roess shares why it is imperative we all get the latest COVID vaccine </span></span></em></span></span></h4> <p class="x"><span><span><span><span>The decreasing temperatures usher in our third fall and winter with the addition of COVID to cold and flu season. Despite feelings of normalcy returning, health professionals are still wary and continue to stress the crucial nature of preventative measures to protect against the illnesses that rise during this time of year. In addition, the country has seen a spike in RSV cases and the region is reporting a strain on the local pediatric hospitals, with several reporting they are nearing capacity.</span></span></span></span></p> <p class="x"><span><span><a href="https://chhs.gmu.edu/profiles/aroess"><span>Amira Roess</span></a><span><span>, epidemiologist and professor in the Department of Global and Community Health, recently shared all the </span></span><a href="https://chhs.gmu.edu/news/2022-09/what-know-about-new-covid-booster"><span>need to knows regarding the bivalent vaccine</span></a><span><span>. Currently, only </span></span><a href="https://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#vaccinations_vacc-people-booster-percent-pop5"><span>about seven percent of individuals ages five years and older are vaccinated with the updated booster</span></a><span class="MsoHyperlink"><span><span>, and </span></span></span><span><span>she was quoted in </span></span><a href="https://www.teenvogue.com/story/is-the-pandemic-over"><span>Teen Vogue</span></a><span><span> and </span></span><a href="https://www.afar.com/magazine/things-i-wish-id-known-before-i-caught-covid-on-a-cruise"><span>AFAR Magazine</span></a><span><span> to provide her expertise and comment about the importance of COVID-19 vaccination. </span></span></span></span></p> <p class="x"><span><span><span><span>As Dr. Roess remains a foremost expert on infectious diseases, she provides further detail about the importance of remaining updated on vaccinations and is available for further comment. </span></span></span></span></p> <p class="x"><span><span><strong><span><span>How is the bivalent booster different from other COVID vaccines?</span></span></strong></span></span></p> <p class="x"><span><span><span><span>The new bivalent booster is expected to be even better at reducing the chance of infection and, if you do get infected, reducing the duration and severity of COVID-19. Bivalent refers to the booster having an mRNA component from the original strain of COVID in addition to the omicron variant BA.4 and BA.5. These are two of the variants currently circulating as well as one of the older variants. The new booster is anticipated to provide greater protection against variants that are closely related to those that the booster is formulated from and protect against future strains. </span></span></span></span></p> <p class="x"><span><span><strong><span><span>Why should those who are eligible get the new booster? </span></span></strong></span></span></p> <p class="x"><span><span><span><span>COVID-19 vaccines have consistently shown that they reduce the chance of severe infection and death. We now have a vaccine that is tailored to target the newer variants. Stay up to date on your vaccines. Vaccinated individuals have a much lower chance of severe illness. Once you are eligible to get the new booster then get it. Getting the booster will give your body a chance to develop antibodies and increase your protection against infection and severe disease.</span></span></span></span></p> <p class="x"><span><span><span><span>The </span></span><a href="https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/covid-19/clinical-considerations/interim-considerations-us.html"><span>FDA has also recently approved the booster vaccine for people five years and older</span></a><span><span>. Those who are eligible are recommended to receive one bivalent mRNA booster dose after completion of any FDA-approved or FDA-authorized monovalent primary series or previously received monovalent booster dose(s).</span></span></span></span></p> <p class="x"><span><span><span><span>For this year, our models cannot adequately predict when the peaks of COVID will be or how bad they will be, but the last two and a half years have shown us that we should expect peaks.</span></span></span></span></p> <p class="x"><span><span><span><span>If we wish to avoid severe rises in cases, it is imperative for more people to receive the newest dose.  </span></span></span></span></p> <p class="x"><span><span><strong><span><span>Should we still mask even if we are vaccinated with the booster?</span></span></strong></span></span></p> <p class="x"><span><span><span><span>It is a good idea to wear a mask when you are in crowded indoor settings with people you don't know, especially if you are vulnerable to severe infection. During periods of high transmission in your community consider wearing a mask when you're in crowded areas. And if you are symptomatic wear a mask and limit your interaction with others while you are infected, especially members of your community who are immune compromised or elderly. Wear the best quality mask that you have access to. The more effective masks are the <span>N-95 or K-95 (or equivalents).</span></span></span></span></span></p> <p class="x"><span><span><strong><span><span>Is COVID still considered worse than the flu?</span></span></strong></span></span></p> <p class="x"><span><span><span><span>Overall, more than four times as many individuals are infected with the COVID-19 virus than with the flu virus. Flu did not disrupt life, businesses, health care, school, and other aspects of life the way COVID-19 does. The sheer number of individuals who test positive for COVID-19 and have to isolate is many times more than that due to flu. I think these are reasons why it's hard to say that the pandemic is over. It's still infecting and killing more people than other infectious diseases in this country.</span></span></span></span></p> <p class="x"><span><span><span><span>The disparities in health care access are also still very troubling and will continue to lead to higher rates of severe illness and death among minoritized and low-income populations. Effective treatments will continue to be out of reach for poor individuals and those who are ignored by the medical system furthering the difference in severe illness and mortality rates.</span></span></span></span></p> <p class="x"><span><span><strong><span><span>Is the pandemic over?</span></span></strong></span></span></p> <p class="x"><span><span><span><span>For segments of our population the pandemic is over. For healthy young adults and healthy children, the pandemic has been over for quite some time. They have the lowest COVID-19 disease severity and death rates compared to other groups.  </span></span></span></span></p> <p class="x"><span><span><span><span>For others, </span></span><span><span>the pandemic is still disrupting day-to-day life. Older individuals and people with underlying conditions remain the most vulnerable to COVID-19 and to them the pandemic will never be over. For those who live with vulnerable individuals the pandemic is still very real. We are continuing to see about 400 COVID-19 deaths per day. We are continuing to have at least 50,000 cases a day, and we know we are severely undercounting cases.</span></span></span></span></p> <p class="x"><span><span><span><span>The end of the pandemic would mean that we would evenly distribute therapeutics and high-quality health care to infected individuals no matter what their race or ethnicity or income level. The end of the pandemic would mean that we would have a functioning public health infrastructure that has resources uniformly distributed across the country, across the world, regardless of the income status of the population it serves. That had never been our past. It's certainly not our present, but I do hope it becomes our future.</span></span></span></span></p> <p class="x"><span><span><span><span>## </span></span></span></span></p> <p class="x"><span><span><a href="https://publichealth.gmu.edu/profiles/aroess"><span>Dr. Amira Roess</span></a><span><span> specializes in infectious diseases, especially reducing the transmission of diseases that spread between animals and humans, including coronaviruses like MERS-CoV and SAR-CoV-2, the latter of which causes COVID-19. She has expertise in emerging zoonotic infectious diseases and interventions to reduce the transmission and impact of infectious diseases.</span></span></span></span></p> <p class="x"><span><span><span><span>She is a professor of Global Health and Epidemiology at George Mason University's College of Public Health Department of Global and Community Health. Prior to joining academia, Dr. Roess served as the Science Director for the Pew Commission on Industrial Food Animal Production at Johns Hopkins and was an Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) officer at the CDC. She has served as a consultant for the United States Agency for International Development, the World Bank, and Westat Inc. </span></span></span></span></p> <p class="x"><span><span><span><span>For more information, contact Michelle Thompson at 703-993-3485 or mthomp7@gmu.edu. </span></span></span></span></p> <p class="x"><span><span><strong><span><span>About Mason </span></span></strong></span></span></p> <p class="x"><span><span><span><span>George Mason University, Virginia’s largest public research university, enrolls 39,000 students from 130 countries and all 50 states. Located near Washington, D.C., Mason has grown rapidly over the last half-century and is recognized for its innovation and entrepreneurship, remarkable diversity, and commitment to accessibility. In 2022, Mason celebrates 50 years as an independent institution. Learn more at </span></span><a href="http://www.gmu.edu/"><span>http://www.gmu.edu</span></a><span><span>. </span></span></span></span></p> <p class="x"><span><span><strong><span><span>About College of Public Health at George Mason University</span></span></strong></span></span></p> <p class="x"><span><span><span><span>The </span></span><a href="https://publichealth.gmu.edu/"><span>College of Public Health at George Mason University</span></a><span><span> is the first and only College of Public Health in Virginia combining public health transdisciplinary research, education, and practice in the Commonwealth as a national exemplar. The College enrolls more than 1,900 undergraduate and 1,300 graduate students in our nationally recognized programs, including six undergraduate degrees, eight master’s degrees, five doctoral degrees, and six professional certificate programs. The College is comprised of the School of Nursing and the Departments of Global and Community Health, Health Administration and Policy, Nutrition and Food Studies, and Social Work.</span></span></span></span></p> </div> </div> </div> <div data-block-plugin-id="field_block:node:news_release:field_content_topics" class="block block-layout-builder block-field-blocknodenews-releasefield-content-topics"> <h2>Topics</h2> <div class="field field--name-field-content-topics field--type-entity-reference field--label-visually_hidden"> <div class="field__label visually-hidden">Topics</div> <div class='field__items'> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/4711" hreflang="en">COV-19</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/4361" hreflang="en">Vaccines</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/361" hreflang="en">Tip Sheet</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/6816" hreflang="en">GCH Faculty</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/2336" hreflang="en">Infectious Disease</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/5501" hreflang="en">CHHS</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/6776" hreflang="en">CHHS Faculty</a></div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> Fri, 04 Nov 2022 13:10:35 +0000 Taylor Thomas 102991 at https://www.gmu.edu The truth about breast cancer myths https://www.gmu.edu/news/2022-09/truth-about-breast-cancer-myths <span>The truth about breast cancer myths</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/1221" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Mary Cunningham</span></span> <span>Mon, 09/26/2022 - 11:52</span> <div class="layout layout--gmu layout--twocol-section layout--twocol-section--30-70"> <div class="layout__region region-first"> <div data-block-plugin-id="field_block:node:news_release:field_associated_people" class="block block-layout-builder block-field-blocknodenews-releasefield-associated-people"> <h2>In This Story</h2> <div class="field field--name-field-associated-people field--type-entity-reference field--label-visually_hidden"> <div class="field__label visually-hidden">People Mentioned in This Story</div> <div class='field__items'> <div class="field__item"><a href="/profiles/mwill29" hreflang="und">Michelle Williams, PhD, MSPH</a></div> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="layout__region region-second"> <div data-block-plugin-id="field_block:node:news_release:body" class="block block-layout-builder block-field-blocknodenews-releasebody"> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-visually_hidden"> <div class="field__label visually-hidden">Body</div> <div class="field__item"><h4>Michelle S. Williams, assistant professor in the Department of Global and Community Health, shares important facts about breast cancer that are often misconstrued or misunderstood.</h4> <p><span><span><span>Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer among women in the United States. Each year in the United States, approximately 264,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer and about 42,000 women die each year from breast cancer. Men can also develop breast cancer, although it is not as common. </span></span></span></p> <figure role="group" class="align-right"><article><div class="field field--name-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <img src="/sites/g/files/yyqcgq291/files/styles/small_content_image/public/2021-05/Michelle%20Williams%20.jpeg?itok=uoYgPGs3" width="200" height="280" alt="Michelle S. Williams" loading="lazy" typeof="foaf:Image" /></div> </article><figcaption>Michelle S. Williams, assistant professor in the Department of Global and Community Health,</figcaption></figure><p><span><span><span>During Breast Cancer Awareness Month (October), <a href="https://publichealth.gmu.edu/profiles/mwill29">Michelle S. Williams</a>, assistant professor in the Department of Global and Community Health, shares important facts about breast cancer that are often misconstrued or misunderstood. Williams’ research focuses on developing culturally appropriate health behavior interventions for cancer prevention and control that will lead to a reduction in cancer disparities. She is available for further comment on breast cancer prevention and early detection.</span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>“Based on my research, many women are misinformed about breast cancer risk factors. Many women also have fears and misconceptions about mammograms,” says Williams. “Understanding your individual risks for breast cancer, obtaining age- and risk-appropriate breast cancer screenings regularly, and maintaining healthy lifestyle behaviors can lead to reductions in breast cancer mortality.”</span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><strong>Myth: A mammogram can cause or spread breast cancer.</strong><br /><strong>Truth: Mammograms do not cause or spread breast cancer. Annual mammograms are a powerful tool to detect breast cancer early. </strong>Women with an average risk for breast cancer should get a mammogram annually starting at age 40. A health care provider may recommend them earlier if other factors make a woman’s risk for breast cancer higher than average. All women should exam their breasts monthly and report any <span>breast changes their health care provider.</span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><strong>Myth: You can only get breast cancer if you have a family history of breast cancer.</strong><br /><strong>Truth: Any women can develop breast cancer, regardless of family history</strong>. In fact, only about 10% of women who are diagnosed with breast cancer have a family history. An individual’s risk for breast cancer may be higher if they have a first-degree family member (female or male) who developed breast or ovarian cancer. Knowing your family history of breast cancer is important. Women with a family history of breast cancer may seek genetic counseling to assess their risk.</span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><strong>Myth: Breast cancer only affects women; Men don’t get breast cancer.</strong><br /><strong>Truth: Men can also get breast cancer.</strong> In the U.S., approximately 2,400 men are diagnosed with breast cancer each year, and about 500 men die from breast cancer each year.</span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><strong>Myth: Breast cancer only affects post-menopausal women.</strong><br /><strong>Truth: Breast cancer can affect women of any age. </strong>It is important to note that, the risk of breast cancer increases as a woman gets older.</span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><strong>Myth: If I have breast cancer, I will be able to feel a lump in my breast.</strong><br /><strong>Truth: A lump in the breast is just one of the many signs and symptoms of breast cancer. Breast cancer signs and symptom can vary for each individual</strong>. Swelling of the breast, irritation of the breast skin, redness of breast or nipple, nipple discharge, change in size or shape, or pain in the breast are additional breast cancer signs and symptoms.  Women should see a health care provider they feel or see any change in their breasts.</span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><strong>Myth: There’s nothing I can do to prevent breast cancer.</strong><br /><strong>Truth: There are ways you can decrease your risk for breast cancer. </strong>Making healthy lifestyle choices including not smoking, limiting alcohol consumption, and exercising regularly can help to reduce the risk of developing breast cancer. </span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>##</span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><a href="https://publichealth.gmu.edu/profiles/mwill29">Dr. Michelle S. Williams</a> is an assistant professor in the Department of Global and Community Health at George Mason University. Williams’ research is focused on developing culturally appropriate health behavior interventions for cancer prevention and control that will lead to a reduction in cancer disparities. Her research interests include cancer prevention behaviors, Community-Based Participatory Research, qualitative research, and the design and conduct of mixed method studies. Currently, she is conducting studies aimed at developing and evaluating mhealth (mobile health) to reduce cancer disparities in the Deep South region of the United States and in low- and middle-income countries.</span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span>For media inquiries about Mason’s faculty experts in cancer research and prevention, contact Michelle Thompson at 703-993-3485 or </span><a href="mailto:mthomp7@gmu.edu">mthomp7@gmu.edu</a><span>.</span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><strong><span>About Mason</span></strong></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span>George Mason University, Virginia’s largest public research university, enrolls 39,000 students from 130 countries and all 50 states. Located near Washington, D.C., Mason has grown rapidly over the last half-century and is recognized for its innovation and entrepreneurship, remarkable diversity, and commitment to accessibility. In 2022, Mason celebrates 50 years as an independent institution. Learn more at </span><a href="https://nam11.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.gmu.edu%2F&amp;data=04%7C01%7Cmcunni7%40gmu.edu%7C4d9015af9f904c5a0abd08da08347ccc%7C9e857255df574c47a0c00546460380cb%7C0%7C0%7C637831318764879510%7CUnknown%7CTWFpbGZsb3d8eyJWIjoiMC4wLjAwMDAiLCJQIjoiV2luMzIiLCJBTiI6Ik1haWwiLCJXVCI6Mn0%3D%7C3000&amp;sdata=dSr8fCc5MRpUEYxzm2scXhG68DQSayzdraKTWD14JcA%3D&amp;reserved=0">http://www.gmu.edu</a><span>.</span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><strong><span>About the College of Health and Human Services</span></strong></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span>The College of Health and Human Services prepares students to become leaders and to shape the public's health through academic excellence, research of consequence, community outreach, and interprofessional clinical practice. The College enrolls more than 1,900 undergraduate and 1,300 graduate students in its nationally-recognized offerings, including 6 undergraduate degrees, 13 graduate degrees, and 6 certificate programs. The college is transitioning to a college of public health in the near future. For more information, visit </span><a href="https://chhs.gmu.edu/">https://chhs.gmu.edu/</a><span>.</span> </span></span></span></p> <p> </p> <h6><span><span><span><span>Thumbnail p</span></span></span></span>hoto by <a href="https://www.pexels.com/photo/close-up-shot-of-a-pink-ribbon-on-a-calendar-7805653/">Olya Kobruseva</a> via pexels.</h6> </div> </div> </div> <div data-block-plugin-id="field_block:node:news_release:field_content_topics" class="block block-layout-builder block-field-blocknodenews-releasefield-content-topics"> <h2>Topics</h2> <div class="field field--name-field-content-topics field--type-entity-reference field--label-visually_hidden"> <div class="field__label visually-hidden">Topics</div> <div class='field__items'> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/8031" hreflang="en">Breast Cancer</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/6816" hreflang="en">GCH Faculty</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/6631" hreflang="en">CHHS Research</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/5501" hreflang="en">CHHS</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/6776" hreflang="en">CHHS Faculty</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/361" hreflang="en">Tip Sheet</a></div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> Mon, 26 Sep 2022 15:52:48 +0000 Mary Cunningham 98421 at https://www.gmu.edu What to look for: warning signs of suicidal thoughts  https://www.gmu.edu/news/2022-09/what-look-warning-signs-suicidal-thoughts <span>What to look for: warning signs of suicidal thoughts </span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/1221" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Mary Cunningham</span></span> <span>Mon, 09/12/2022 - 09:15</span> <div class="layout layout--gmu layout--twocol-section layout--twocol-section--30-70"> <div class="layout__region region-first"> <div data-block-plugin-id="field_block:node:news_release:field_associated_people" class="block block-layout-builder block-field-blocknodenews-releasefield-associated-people"> <h2>In This Story</h2> <div class="field field--name-field-associated-people field--type-entity-reference field--label-visually_hidden"> <div class="field__label visually-hidden">People Mentioned in This Story</div> <div class='field__items'> <div class="field__item"><a href="/profiles/keklou" hreflang="en">K. Pierre Eklou, DNP</a></div> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="layout__region region-second"> <div data-block-plugin-id="field_block:node:news_release:body" class="block block-layout-builder block-field-blocknodenews-releasebody"> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-visually_hidden"> <div class="field__label visually-hidden">Body</div> <div class="field__item"><h4>K. Pierre Eklou, assistant professor in the School of Nursing, shares expertise on what behaviors may be signs of suicidal thoughts and how to help. </h4> <p>The pandemic has increased general awareness and promotion of mental health; however, roughly <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/suicide/facts/index.html" target="_blank">46,000 Americans die by suicide each year</a>, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This translates to about one death every 11 minutes. Suicide is the second leading cause of death among people ages 10-14 and 25-34.  </p> <p>During Suicide Prevention Awareness Month (September), <a href="https://nursing.gmu.edu/profiles/keklou" target="_blank">K. Pierre Eklou</a>, assistant professor in the Department of Nursing, shines light on this often-stigmatized topic and promotes suicide prevention. </p> <p>“Suicide does not occur in a vacuum. There are always warning signs; knowing those can help prevent suicide,” said Eklou, who is a Board-Certified Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) and runs Mason’s PMHNP program. “Suicidal thoughts can manifest differently in each person, so there’s a range of behaviors to watch for. If you are worried about someone, seek help. If you are worried about yourself, seek help. You are not alone.”  </p> <p><strong>Warning Signs of Suicidal Thoughts </strong></p> <ul> <li> <p>Thoughts or discussion of wanting to die or having no reason to live </p> </li> <li> <p>Thoughts of being a burden to others </p> </li> <li> <p>Feeling isolated or withdrawn </p> </li> <li> <p>Engaging in risky or reckless behavior </p> </li> <li> <p>Exhibiting mood swings </p> </li> </ul> <ul> <li> <p>Lack of interest in future plans </p> </li> <li> <p>Increasing use of alcohol or other illicit substances </p> </li> <li> <p>Acting anxious or agitated  </p> </li> <li> <p>Sleeping too much or too little </p> </li> <li> <p>Giving away possessions </p> </li> </ul> <ul> <li> <p>Saying “goodbye” to family, friends, or loved ones </p> </li> <li> <p>Looking for ways to kill oneself </p> </li> </ul> <p><strong>What should you do if you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts? </strong></p> <p>If you are having suicidal thoughts, know that you are not alone, and help is available. If you know someone who is exhibiting suicidal warning signs, reach out to them and a professional for help. <a href="https://caps.gmu.edu/resources-and-self-help/suicide-prevention/" target="_blank">View Mason’s list of suicide prevention resources here.</a> </p> <p>Anyone in the United States can call or text 988, the National Suicide &amp; Crisis Lifeline, to be connected to trained counselors who will listen, understand how someone’s problems are affecting them, provide support, and connect them to resources if necessary. The National Suicide &amp; Crisis Lifeline is working to change the conversation from “suicide” to “suicide prevention” to promote help and healing and to give hope. </p> <p>If you are in crisis or having suicidal thoughts, contact 988 the National Suicide &amp; Crisis Lifeline. </p> <p>## </p> <p><a href="https://nursing.gmu.edu/profiles/keklou" target="_blank">Dr. Kossi Pierre Eklou</a> is an assistant professor for the School of Nursing at George Mason University. He is a Board-Certified Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) and is Mason’s PMHNP program coordinator. Eklou’s education and research interests include psychiatric/mental health nursing, substance use disorders, and population health with a focus on the underserved. Born in Togo (West Africa), Eklou has a particular interest in the mental health care and education of those living in Sub-Saharan Africa. </p> <p>For media inquiries about Mason’s mental and behavioral health faculty experts, contact Michelle Thompson at 703-993-3485 or mthomp7@gmu.edu. </p> <p> </p> <p><strong>About Mason </strong></p> <p>George Mason University, Virginia’s largest public research university, enrolls 39,000 students from 130 countries and all 50 states. Located near Washington, D.C., Mason has grown rapidly over the last half-century and is recognized for its innovation and entrepreneurship, remarkable diversity, and commitment to accessibility. In 2022, Mason celebrates 50 years as an independent institution. Learn more at <a href="https://nam11.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.gmu.edu%2F&amp;data=04%7C01%7Cmcunni7%40gmu.edu%7C4d9015af9f904c5a0abd08da08347ccc%7C9e857255df574c47a0c00546460380cb%7C0%7C0%7C637831318764879510%7CUnknown%7CTWFpbGZsb3d8eyJWIjoiMC4wLjAwMDAiLCJQIjoiV2luMzIiLCJBTiI6Ik1haWwiLCJXVCI6Mn0%3D%7C3000&amp;sdata=dSr8fCc5MRpUEYxzm2scXhG68DQSayzdraKTWD14JcA%3D&amp;reserved=0" target="_blank">http://www.gmu.edu</a>. </p> <p><strong>About the College of Health and Human Services </strong></p> <p>The College of Health and Human Services prepares students to become leaders and to shape the public's health through academic excellence, research of consequence, community outreach, and interprofessional clinical practice. The College enrolls more than 1,900 undergraduate and 1,300 graduate students in its nationally-recognized offerings, including 6 undergraduate degrees, 13 graduate degrees, and 6 certificate programs. The college is transitioning to a college of public health in the near future. For more information, visit <a href="https://chhs.gmu.edu/" target="_blank">https://chhs.gmu.edu/</a>. </p> <p> </p> <h6><em>Thumbnail photo by Nik Shuliahin on Unsplash.</em></h6> </div> </div> </div> <div data-block-plugin-id="field_block:node:news_release:field_content_topics" class="block block-layout-builder block-field-blocknodenews-releasefield-content-topics"> <h2>Topics</h2> <div class="field field--name-field-content-topics field--type-entity-reference field--label-visually_hidden"> <div class="field__label visually-hidden">Topics</div> <div class='field__items'> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/9066" hreflang="en">Suicide Prevention</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/13176" hreflang="en">PMHNP</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/5166" hreflang="en">Mental Health</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/5501" hreflang="en">CHHS</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/6776" hreflang="en">CHHS Faculty</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/3021" hreflang="en">Nursing</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/7166" hreflang="en">Nursing Faculty</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/361" hreflang="en">Tip Sheet</a></div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> Mon, 12 Sep 2022 13:15:48 +0000 Mary Cunningham 95021 at https://www.gmu.edu What to know about the new COVID booster  https://www.gmu.edu/news/2022-09/what-know-about-new-covid-booster <span>What to know about the new COVID booster </span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/1221" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Mary Cunningham</span></span> <span>Thu, 09/08/2022 - 13:08</span> <div class="layout layout--gmu layout--twocol-section layout--twocol-section--30-70"> <div class="layout__region region-first"> <div data-block-plugin-id="field_block:node:news_release:field_associated_people" class="block block-layout-builder block-field-blocknodenews-releasefield-associated-people"> <h2>In This Story</h2> <div class="field field--name-field-associated-people field--type-entity-reference field--label-visually_hidden"> <div class="field__label visually-hidden">People Mentioned in This Story</div> <div class='field__items'> <div class="field__item"><a href="/profiles/aroess" hreflang="und">Amira Roess, PhD, MPH</a></div> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="layout__region region-second"> <div data-block-plugin-id="field_block:node:news_release:body" class="block block-layout-builder block-field-blocknodenews-releasebody"> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-visually_hidden"> <div class="field__label visually-hidden">Body</div> <div class="field__item"><h4 lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US">Epidemiologist and Professor Amira Roess answers frequently asked questions about the newest COVID booster shot. </h4> <p lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US">In the United States, a new COVID-19 booster shot has been <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2022/s0901-covid-19-booster.html" target="_blank">approved and recommended</a> for people aged 12 and older. This new booster, called a “bivalent” booster, was created to combat the original COVID strain and to protect against the newest omicron variants (BA.4 and BA.5).  </p> <p lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US">Epidemiologist and Professor at George Mason University <a href="https://chhs.gmu.edu/profiles/aroess" target="_blank">Dr. Amira Roess</a> specializes in infectious diseases and answers frequently asked questions about the new COVID-19 booster shot. She is available for further comment. </p> <p lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US"><strong>Who should get the COVID-19 new booster?</strong> </p> <p lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US">Those aged 12 years and older who are eligible are encouraged to get the new bivalent booster. Eligibility is defined as being at least 2 months out from their last booster dose or from the initial primary series. FDA has authorized two new boosters, one from Moderna and one from Pfizer. <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/stay-up-to-date.html" title="CDC Covid Booster">Visit the Centers for Disease Control website to find out if you are eligible.</a></p> <p lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US"><strong>The numbers are down, and less people seem to be getting COVID, so why should I get the new booster vaccine? </strong></p> <p lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US">Disease modelers have been forecasting a surge in cases this fall and winter, in part due to the fact that we are moving into colder months when we will be indoors more and exposed to more viruses. In addition, many individuals are losing their immunity against the virus. People were vaccinated or boosted many months ago, and many were in the spring or the summer. This means that soon they will be at risk for (re)infection. Getting the new booster can help decrease your chance of getting infected and can dramatically decrease your chance of a severe infection if you are infected.  </p> <p lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US">Another important note here is that we are significantly undercounting cases. Many of us are using home-based kits, and we are not reporting results to public health agencies.  </p> <p lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US"><strong>Is now a good time to get boosted? </strong></p> <p lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US">If you are eligible, yes. Now is a good time, and you should consider getting the new booster. We are hearing reports of children getting infected at school and infecting their household members. We will likely see more cases in the coming weeks. Eligible individuals who get the new booster can expect to have a lower chance of getting COVID-19, and if they do become infected, they will likely have a very mild case and shorter duration of illness. This will cut down the chance of passing on the virus to others. </p> <p lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US"><strong>How soon after infection can I get the new booster? </strong></p> <p lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US"><a href="http://in%20addition%2C%20people%20who%20recently%20had%20sars-cov-2%20infection%20may%20consider%20delaying%20a%20primary%20series%20dose%20or%20booster%20dose%20by%203%20months%20from%20symptom%20onset%20or%20positive%20test%20%28if%20infection%20was%20asymptomatic%29./" target="_blank">General CDC guidance</a> suggests you wait at least 3 months from the onset of symptoms or positive test. We can expect the CDC and White House to release guidance on this related to the booster in the coming weeks.  </p> <p lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US"><strong>Why don't we know more about the currently circulating COVID-19 variant? </strong></p> <p lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US">The data, while preliminary, indicate that the currently circulating variant, BA.5, is the most immune evasive one that we have dealt with to date. Individuals are getting reinfected with this variant at a greater rate compared to previously circulating variants. In addition, we are seeing a segment of the population getting reinfected within 2 months of infection. Because BA.5 became dominant over the summer, there is still quite a bit that we don't know. </p> <p lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US">The data do suggest that overall, among healthy individuals, severe illness, hospitalization, and death continue to be significantly lower following infection with this variant. </p> <p lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US"><strong>How do we deal with this moving forward?</strong> </p> <p lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US">First, if you are eligible for the new booster, consider getting it. </p> <p lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US">Next, try to stay home if you have symptoms, even if your rapid test is negative. We want to avoid infecting others, particularly those who are immune compromised or elderly.  </p> <p lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US">If you test positive, isolate at home to the best of your ability. The CDC <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/your-health/isolation.html">updated its guidelines</a> to shorten the duration of isolation and quarantine. Once you are out of isolation, continue to wear your mask when you are around others to further protect them. </p> <p lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US">The good news is that most healthy adults are not getting very sick. However, we do want to keep in mind that there are many immune-compromised individuals in our community who are at risk for severe illness should they get infected.  </p> <p lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US"> </p> </div> </div> </div> <div data-block-plugin-id="field_block:node:news_release:field_content_topics" class="block block-layout-builder block-field-blocknodenews-releasefield-content-topics"> <h2>Topics</h2> <div class="field field--name-field-content-topics field--type-entity-reference field--label-visually_hidden"> <div class="field__label visually-hidden">Topics</div> <div class='field__items'> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/376" hreflang="en">Covid-19</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/801" hreflang="en">coronavirus</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/4361" hreflang="en">Vaccines</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/361" hreflang="en">Tip Sheet</a></div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> Thu, 08 Sep 2022 17:08:32 +0000 Mary Cunningham 92681 at https://www.gmu.edu Two years into the pandemic, K-12 students need socioemotional support, Mason experts say https://www.gmu.edu/news/2022-07/two-years-pandemic-k-12-students-need-socioemotional-support-mason-experts-say <span>Two years into the pandemic, K-12 students need socioemotional support, Mason experts say</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/231" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Colleen Rich</span></span> <span>Mon, 07/25/2022 - 08:28</span> <div class="layout layout--gmu layout--twocol-section layout--twocol-section--30-70"> <div class="layout__region region-first"> </div> <div class="layout__region region-second"> <div data-block-plugin-id="field_block:node:news_release:body" class="block block-layout-builder block-field-blocknodenews-releasebody"> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-visually_hidden"> <div class="field__label visually-hidden">Body</div> <div class="field__item"><p><span><span><span><span>Students in K–12 schools, while struggling with their academics, are suffering most in the areas of socioemotional development, according to </span></span>George Mason University<span><span> education experts.</span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><a href="https://cehd.gmu.edu/people/faculty/cbaker"><span>Courtney K. Baker</span></a><span><span> and </span></span><a href="https://cehd.gmu.edu/people/faculty/kzenkov/"><span>Kristien Zenkov</span></a><span><span>, K–12 education professors in Mason’s </span></span><a href="https://cehd.gmu.edu/"><span>College of Education and Human Development</span></a><span><span>, emphasized in recent interviews that schools need to address students’ long-term trauma so they can then focus on learning.</span></span></span></span></p> <figure role="group" class="align-right"><article><div class="field field--name-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <img src="/sites/g/files/yyqcgq291/files/2021-09/141002780_pp.jpg" width="250" height="300" alt="Courtney Baker headshot" loading="lazy" typeof="foaf:Image" /></div> </article><figcaption>Courtney Baker. Photo by Creative Services</figcaption></figure><p><span><span><strong><span><span>What are the most pressing issues facing K–12 students returning to school this year?</span></span></strong></span></span></p> <p><span><span><strong><span><span>Zenkov</span></span></strong><span><span>: It is absolutely reasonable to say that every student returning to school has experienced some sort of long-term trauma from life in the past two years, and they need support to help them process what happened. We all failed and are still failing students by pretending that things are normal when they aren’t. Kids know that we have not been honest with them, and the sooner we acknowledge that, the sooner we can all start healing.</span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><strong><span><span>Baker</span></span></strong><span><span>: As students return to school this year, we need to adjust our expectations and meet them where they are. While many are focusing on “learning loss” and student “deficits” in mathematics and literacy, it is important to remember that not only has every student, no matter their age, had two years of unprecedented educational disruptions but also that the impacts of the pandemic are still being felt by adults and our economy. To think that last year or this year is “normal” is a detriment to their educational experiences. We still need to address students’ social and emotional needs first, because students need to feel safe and valued to learn.</span></span></span></span></p> <figure role="group" class="align-right"><article><div class="field field--name-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <img src="/sites/g/files/yyqcgq291/files/2021-09/150915066.jpg" width="250" height="310" alt="Zenkov headshot" loading="lazy" typeof="foaf:Image" /></div> </article><figcaption>Kristien Zenkov. Photo by Creative Services</figcaption></figure><p><span><span><strong><span><span>There’s been a lot of talk over the pandemic about “learning loss,” the idea that students aren’t meeting the usual academic metrics. What are your thoughts on the idea of learning loss?</span></span></strong></span></span></p> <p><span><span><strong><span><span>Baker: </span></span></strong><span><span>So much emphasis is being placed on this idea of “learning loss,” which is determined by how students do on standardized assessments at the state or district levels. Our reliance on standardized assessments to determine learning and the value we place on them has always been problematic and is more problematic now, as students have had different than normal experiences over the past two years. </span></span><span><span>There is also not a lot of evidence that these high-stakes assessments predict student success. These assessments can be culturally biased and do not necessarily reflect what students can do. </span></span><span><span>We need to rely on other forms of assessment, such as formative assessments, to measure student learning and success, rather than pushing our teachers to teach even more to standardized assessments. </span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><strong><span><span>Zenkov:</span></span></strong><span><span> There’s a very real disparity between students in wealthier communities, where parents could hire tutors or work remotely and guide them, and students who were not able to get that support. The idea of learning loss, while something of a media construction, lays bare the educational disparity we have in our schools. Any consideration of “learning loss” should begin with an analysis of that disparity.</span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><strong><span><span>We are hearing about teachers leaving the profession. Why is that?</span></span></strong></span></span></p> <p><span><span><strong><span><span>Zenkov:</span></span></strong><span><span> Teachers were already exhausted before the pandemic and became even more exhausted by having to find so many new ways to teach during the pandemic. Add to that the newly emboldened public attacking teachers on social media and in-person, suggesting to teachers that their expertise in content and pedagogy isn’t respected. Of course, teacher morale is down. In addition, teachers often don’t feel supported by their administrators, so they are leaving the profession. </span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><strong><span><span>Baker</span></span></strong><span><span>: Instead of us learning from the pandemic that we need to alter the status quo of education and rely less on high-stakes standardized assessments, I worry there will be a greater reliance on these forms of measures. A reliance on standardized assessments puts unnecessary pressure on teachers to limit authentic, rich learning experiences so that they can teach to tests via memorization and excessive repetition. The devaluing of teachers’ professional decision-making, combined with the public attitude about teachers, may understandably make educators more inclined to leave the profession.</span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span>Baker is an assistant professor in education and academic program coordinator Mason’s </span></span><a href="https://education.gmu.edu/math-education-leadership/"><span>Mathematics Education Leadership</span></a><span><span>. Baker’s research focuses on online learning, development of mathematics specialists and STEM integration.</span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span>Zenkov is a professor of education, academic program coordinator, and director of the Elementary, Literacy, and Secondary Education Division of Mason’s </span></span><a href="https://education.gmu.edu/secondary-education/"><span>Secondary Education Program</span></a><span><span>.  Zenkov’s research focuses on literacy, urban teacher education and social justice.</span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span>For more information, contact Anna Stolley Persky at </span></span><a href="mailto:apersky@gmu.edu"><span>apersky@gmu.edu</span></a></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span>To reach Baker directly, contact her at </span></span><a href="mailto:cbaker@gmu.edu"><span>cbaker@gmu.edu</span></a></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span>To reach Zenkov directly, contact him at </span></span><a href="mailto:kzenkov@gmu.edu"><span>kzenkov@gmu.edu</span></a></span></span></p> <p><span><span><strong><span><span>About George Mason University</span></span></strong></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span>George Mason University is Virginia’s largest public research university. Located near Washington, D.C., Mason enrolls 39,000 students from 130 countries and all 50 states. Mason has grown rapidly over the past half-century and is recognized for its innovation and entrepreneurship, remarkable diversity and commitment to accessibility. In 2022, Mason celebrates 50 years as an independent institution. Learn more at </span></span><a href="https://gmu.edu" target="_blank"><span><span>gmu.edu</span></span></a><span><span>.</span></span></span></span></p> </div> </div> </div> <div data-block-plugin-id="field_block:node:news_release:field_content_topics" class="block block-layout-builder block-field-blocknodenews-releasefield-content-topics"> <h2>Topics</h2> <div class="field field--name-field-content-topics field--type-entity-reference field--label-visually_hidden"> <div class="field__label visually-hidden">Topics</div> <div class='field__items'> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/361" hreflang="en">Tip Sheet</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/191" hreflang="en">College of Education and Human Development</a></div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> Mon, 25 Jul 2022 12:28:21 +0000 Colleen Rich 73156 at https://www.gmu.edu To reach the public, highlight health implications of climate change, Mason professor says https://www.gmu.edu/news/2022-07/reach-public-highlight-health-implications-climate-change-mason-professor-says <span>To reach the public, highlight health implications of climate change, Mason professor says</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/231" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Colleen Rich</span></span> <span>Wed, 07/06/2022 - 10:17</span> <div class="layout layout--gmu layout--twocol-section layout--twocol-section--30-70"> <div class="layout__region region-first"> </div> <div class="layout__region region-second"> <div data-block-plugin-id="field_block:node:news_release:body" class="block block-layout-builder block-field-blocknodenews-releasebody"> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-visually_hidden"> <div class="field__label visually-hidden">Body</div> <div class="field__item"><p> </p> <figure role="group" class="align-right"><article><div class="field field--name-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <img src="/sites/g/files/yyqcgq291/files/2022-07/kotcher_B_W_for_web.jpg" width="150" height="196" alt="bw photo of professor" loading="lazy" typeof="foaf:Image" /></div> </article><figcaption>Kotcher</figcaption></figure><p><span><span><a href="https://communication.gmu.edu/people/jkotcher"><span>John Kotcher</span></a><span>, research assistant professor at </span>George Mason University’s <a href="https://www.climatechangecommunication.org/"><span>Center for Climate Change Communication</span></a><span>, says that emphasizing the health implications of climate change is one of best ways to engage the public to fight for better policies. Kotcher recently spoke about how to communicate about climate change:</span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><strong><span>What is climate change, and what are the ways it is already affecting our lives?</span></strong></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>Simply put, climate change refers to long-term changes in temperature, precipitation, and associated weather patterns. These changes can occur naturally, but since the 1800s, human activities have been the primary influence on climate change mainly through the burning of fossil fuels like coal, oil, and natural gas. </span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>Climate change is already affecting us in a variety of different ways. For example, it's increasing the frequency and severity of extreme weather events such as major storms, floods, and droughts. It's also leading to greater humidity and longer, hotter and more frequent heat waves. Climate change also affects air quality by increasing smog, smoke from more wildfires, pollen, and mold from higher humidity and flooding.</span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><strong><span>What are the public health implications of climate change?</span></strong></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>Increases in extreme heat can lead to more heat-related illness and death from heat stroke and dehydration. Poor air quality can cause more lung infections, asthma and allergy attacks, bronchitis, and deaths. Rising temperatures can also increase the geographic range of disease-carrying insects and animals, resulting in faster and wider spread of diseases like Zika virus. Rising temperatures and extreme weather conditions make it easier for food and water to become contaminated by bacteria, viruses, parasites, and other toxins. </span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><strong><span>How can we effectively engage the public to respond to climate change?</span></strong></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>I think step number one is to recognize that the majority of Americans are already worried about climate change and want to see more done to address it. For example, we find that people who are alarmed about climate change and strongly support action outnumber those who are dismissive of it and oppose action </span><a href="https://www.climatechangecommunication.org/all/global-warming-six-americas-2021/"><span>by more than 3 to 1</span></a><span>.</span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>There are many different ways to talk about the issue, but perhaps not surprisingly a promising one that we've identified is to highlight the public health implications. </span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>It's also important to have the right messengers who can speak to this issue in a credible way that resonates with a variety of audiences. Medical professionals are highly trusted generally speaking, but in particular Republicans tend to rate their primary care doctor as one of the sources they most trust when it comes to climate change. At the Center for Climate Change Communication, we have a program called the </span><a href="https://www.climatechangecommunication.org/programclimatehealth/"><span>Medical Society Consortium on Climate Change and Health</span></a><span> to help train and support health professionals in voicing their concerns about climate change. </span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>When it comes to conservatives, it's also important for them to hear about issue from other conservatives. Our center has another program called </span><a href="https://www.climatechangecommunication.org/republicen/"><span>RepublicEn</span></a><span> to help foster the community of conservatives who care about climate change and speak up about the issue. </span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span>John Kotcher’s research focuses on how to effectively communicate about the public health implications of climate change and how civic organizations can most effectively recruit, organize, and mobilize citizens, including political conservatives, to demand action on climate change.</span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span>Kotcher can be reached at </span></span><a href="mailto:jkotcher@gmu.edu"><span>jkotcher@gmu.edu</span></a></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span>For more information, please contact Anna Stolley Persky at </span></span><a href="mailto:apersky@gmu.edu"><span>apersky@gmu.edu</span></a></span></span></p> <p><span><span><strong><span><span>About George Mason</span></span></strong></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span>George Mason University is Virginia’s largest public research university. Located near Washington, D.C., Mason enrolls 39,000 students from 130 countries and all 50 states. Mason has grown rapidly over the past half-century and is recognized for its innovation and entrepreneurship, remarkable diversity and commitment to accessibility. In 2022, Mason celebrates 50 years as an independent institution. Learn more at </span></span><a href="https://gmu.edu" target="_blank"><span><span>gmu.edu</span></span></a><span><span>.</span></span></span></span></p> </div> </div> </div> <div data-block-plugin-id="field_block:node:news_release:field_content_topics" class="block block-layout-builder block-field-blocknodenews-releasefield-content-topics"> <h2>Topics</h2> <div class="field field--name-field-content-topics field--type-entity-reference field--label-visually_hidden"> <div class="field__label visually-hidden">Topics</div> <div class='field__items'> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/361" hreflang="en">Tip Sheet</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/561" hreflang="en">Institute for a Sustainable Earth (ISE)</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/396" hreflang="en">Center for Climate Change Communication</a></div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> Wed, 06 Jul 2022 14:17:36 +0000 Colleen Rich 72056 at https://www.gmu.edu Yes, we are in a rocky bear market. Now is not the time to sell stocks, Mason professor says https://www.gmu.edu/news/2022-06/yes-we-are-rocky-bear-market-now-not-time-sell-stocks-mason-professor-says <span>Yes, we are in a rocky bear market. Now is not the time to sell stocks, Mason professor says</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/231" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Colleen Rich</span></span> <span>Wed, 06/22/2022 - 10:34</span> <div class="layout layout--gmu layout--twocol-section layout--twocol-section--30-70"> <div class="layout__region region-first"> </div> <div class="layout__region region-second"> <div data-block-plugin-id="field_block:node:news_release:body" class="block block-layout-builder block-field-blocknodenews-releasebody"> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-visually_hidden"> <div class="field__label visually-hidden">Body</div> <div class="field__item"><figure role="group" class="align-right"><article><div class="field field--name-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <img src="/sites/g/files/yyqcgq291/files/2021-11/derek-horstmeyer.jpg" width="350" height="440" alt="man with glasses and white shirt outside" loading="lazy" typeof="foaf:Image" /></div> </article><figcaption>Derek Horstmeyer. Photo by Creative Services</figcaption></figure><p class="x"><span><span>George Mason University <a href="https://business.gmu.edu/"><span><span>School of Business</span></span></a><span><span><span> finance professor </span></span></span><a href="https://business.gmu.edu/profiles/dhorstme"><span><span>Derek Horstmeyer</span></span></a><span><span><span> said in a recent interview that investors should avoid selling stocks in a bear market like now. Here’s his perspective.</span></span></span></span></span></p> <p class="x"><span><span><span><span><span><strong>What is happening with inflation and the stock market right now?</strong></span></span></span></span></span></p> <p class="x"><span><span><span><span><span>We have what can be described as a double whammy right now: supply and demand issues simultaneously. We have major supply issues because of events in the world, like the war in Ukraine. At the same time, people are emerging from the pandemic and have pent-up demand from two years of staying home. Inflation goes up when supply gets contracted or when demand goes up, so having both at the same time means there will be high inflation.</span></span></span></span></span></p> <p class="x"><span><span><span><span><span>In addition, we’re officially in a bear market. When the stock market is down 20% from its highs, that’s a bear market. The tech sector is doing even worse than that. It’s down around 30 to 35%. This is all due to rising interest rates. As interest rates go up, the present value of stocks will go down.</span></span></span></span></span></p> <p class="x"><span><span><strong><span><span><span>What can the government do to address inflation? </span></span></span></strong></span></span></p> <p class="x"><span><span><span><span><span>The main responsibility here is going to be with the Federal Reserve. Congress and the president can’t really do that much. They can address supply bottlenecks, but not much more than that. The Federal Reserve controls interest rates, and right now it is raising interest rates to cool off the economy and try to stop inflation. By cooling off the economy, people don’t spend as much or take on as much debt. At least, that’s the hope, but it can be difficult to cool off the economy without putting us in a recession. That’s what everyone is worried about right now. They are worried that the Fed will raise rates too quickly and put us in a recession.  </span></span></span></span></span></p> <p class="x"><span><span><strong><span><span><span>What should investors be doing in this current market? </span></span></span></strong></span></span></p> <p class="x"><span><span><span><span><span>It’s been a rocky four or five months to start the year. The Fed’s policy has thrown things in disarray, and we should expect another four months or so of a choppy market. Fundamentally, though, investors should not freak out and sell. You don’t want to sell when your stocks are down.</span></span></span></span></span></p> <p class="x"><span><span><span><span><span>As for buying stocks, energy and materials companies have done well, but that may have run its course. With the market expecting a recession, people might want to go to defensive areas of the economy, like utilities or consumer staples, such as anything you can get in a supermarket or a dollar store. Walmart does well in a recession.</span></span></span></span></span></p> <p class="x"><span><span><span><span><span>In fact, while everyone else is freaking out is generally a good time to buy many types of stocks at a discount. There’s an old adage, when there’s fire in the streets, that’s when you should buy real estate. I’m not sure how much lower the stock market can go, so in that sense, I’m feeling optimistic that after a few months, things will even themselves out.</span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>Horstmeyer writes a monthly column for the Wall Street Journal on ETF and mutual fund performance. His research focuses on corporate finance and hedge fund activism issues. </span></span></span></p> <p class="x"><span><span><span><span><span>He can be reached at </span></span></span><a href="mailto:dhorstme@gmu.edu"><span><span>dhorstme@gmu.edu</span></span></a></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>For more information, please contact Anna Stolley Persky at </span><a href="mailto:apersky@gmu.edu">apersky@gmu.edu</a></span></span></p> <p><span><span><strong><span>About George Mason</span></strong></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>George Mason University is Virginia’s largest public research university. Located near Washington, D.C., Mason enrolls 39,000 students from 130 countries and all 50 states. Mason has grown rapidly over the past half-century and is recognized for its innovation and entrepreneurship, remarkable diversity and commitment to accessibility. In 2022, Mason celebrates 50 years as an independent institution. Learn more at </span><a href="https://gmu.edu" target="_blank"><span>gmu.edu</span></a><span>.</span></span></span></p> </div> </div> </div> <div data-block-plugin-id="field_block:node:news_release:field_content_topics" class="block block-layout-builder block-field-blocknodenews-releasefield-content-topics"> <h2>Topics</h2> <div class="field field--name-field-content-topics field--type-entity-reference field--label-visually_hidden"> <div class="field__label visually-hidden">Topics</div> <div class='field__items'> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/361" hreflang="en">Tip Sheet</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/12501" hreflang="en">School of Business News</a></div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> Wed, 22 Jun 2022 14:34:10 +0000 Colleen Rich 71571 at https://www.gmu.edu Foreign-born athletes have opportunity to help foster acceptance, understanding https://www.gmu.edu/news/2022-06/foreign-born-athletes-have-opportunity-help-foster-acceptance-understanding <span>Foreign-born athletes have opportunity to help foster acceptance, understanding </span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/251" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">John Hollis</span></span> <span>Mon, 06/13/2022 - 14:43</span> <div class="layout layout--gmu layout--twocol-section layout--twocol-section--30-70"> <div class="layout__region region-first"> </div> <div class="layout__region region-second"> <div data-block-plugin-id="field_block:node:news_release:body" class="block block-layout-builder block-field-blocknodenews-releasebody"> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-visually_hidden"> <div class="field__label visually-hidden">Body</div> <div class="field__item"><p>Foreign-born professional athletes in the United States can potentially serve as agents of inclusiveness and equality at the intersection of sports, immigration and inclusion. </p> <p>“We believe that sports can provide an excellent opportunity,” said <a href="https://iir.gmu.edu/people/mkiss" target="_blank">Marissa Kiss</a>, a research assistant in George Mason University’s <a href="https://iir.gmu.edu/" target="_blank">Institute for Immigrant Research</a> during a recent “Immigrants, Athletes and Inclusion” webinar. </p> <p>The webinar also featured <a href="https://iir.gmu.edu/people/jwitte" target="_blank">James Witte</a>, IIR director; <a href="https://iir.gmu.edu/people/mwaslin" target="_blank">Michele Waslin</a>, IIR program coordinator; and former Mason professor Earl Smith, who is now at the University of Delaware. </p> <p>Today, 14% of the U.S. population is foreign-born, although immigrant representation is far greater in many professional sports, according to IIR figures. In 2019, more than 25% of Major League Baseball players and Women’s National Basketball Association players, 21% of National Basketball Association and more than 50% of Major League Soccer players were born outside the United States. </p> <p>Their high visibility helps foster greater acceptance and understanding of immigrants and their contributions to America, the panelists said. </p> <p>“These athletes came to the U.S. in all the same ways as other immigrants and faced the same challenges of starting a new life in a new city, and often a new language,” Kiss said. </p> <p>Witte noted that the National Football League has never comprised more than 5% of foreign-born players, although those numbers could rise as the league expands its presence abroad, including four scheduled games in Europe for this fall.</p> <p>Go <a href="https://coursemedia.gmu.edu/media/Immigrants%2C+Athletes%2C+and+Inclusion/1_iu8jm4mx">here</a> to listen to the webinar.</p> <p>Go <a href="https://iir.gmu.edu/publications/immigrants-athletes-and-inclusion" target="_blank">here</a> for more about the IIR’s Immigrants, Athletes and Inclusion Initiative. </p> <p><strong>James Witte</strong> can be reached at <a href="mailto:jwitte@gmu.edu" target="_blank">jwitte@gmu.edu</a>. </p> <p>For more information, contact <strong>John Hollis</strong> at <a href="mailto:jhollis2@gmu.edu" target="_blank">jhollis2@gmu.edu</a>. </p> <p><strong>About George Mason </strong></p> <p>George Mason University is Virginia’s largest public research university. Located near Washington, D.C., Mason enrolls nearly 40,000 students from 130 countries and all 50 states. Mason has grown rapidly over the past half-century and is recognized for its innovation and entrepreneurship, remarkable diversity and commitment to accessibility. In 2022, Mason celebrates 50 years as an independent institution. Learn more at <a href="http://www.gmu.edu/" target="_blank">www.gmu.edu</a>.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div data-block-plugin-id="field_block:node:news_release:field_content_topics" class="block block-layout-builder block-field-blocknodenews-releasefield-content-topics"> <h2>Topics</h2> <div class="field field--name-field-content-topics field--type-entity-reference field--label-visually_hidden"> <div class="field__label visually-hidden">Topics</div> <div class='field__items'> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/361" hreflang="en">Tip Sheet</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/1391" hreflang="en">Institute for Immigration Research (IIR)</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/11906" hreflang="en">Immigration</a></div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> Mon, 13 Jun 2022 18:43:25 +0000 John Hollis 71296 at https://www.gmu.edu Monkeypox Background: Origins, Globalization, and Public Health  https://www.gmu.edu/news/2022-06/monkeypox-background-origins-globalization-and-public-health <span>Monkeypox Background: Origins, Globalization, and Public Health </span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/1221" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Mary Cunningham</span></span> <span>Mon, 06/06/2022 - 09:18</span> <div class="layout layout--gmu layout--twocol-section layout--twocol-section--30-70"> <div class="layout__region region-first"> <div data-block-plugin-id="field_block:node:news_release:field_associated_people" class="block block-layout-builder block-field-blocknodenews-releasefield-associated-people"> <h2>In This Story</h2> <div class="field field--name-field-associated-people field--type-entity-reference field--label-visually_hidden"> <div class="field__label visually-hidden">People Mentioned in This Story</div> <div class='field__items'> <div class="field__item"><a href="/profiles/aroess" hreflang="und">Amira Roess, PhD, MPH</a></div> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="layout__region region-second"> <div data-block-plugin-id="field_block:node:news_release:body" class="block block-layout-builder block-field-blocknodenews-releasebody"> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-visually_hidden"> <div class="field__label visually-hidden">Body</div> <div class="field__item"><h4>Dr. Amira Roess shares some background on the disease, how globalization contributes to its spread, and the important role of public health in its containment and prevention. </h4> <figure role="group" class="align-right"><article><div class="field field--name-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <img src="/sites/g/files/yyqcgq291/files/styles/small_content_image/public/2021-03/Amira%20Roess_High%20Res_3.jpg?itok=Cuat5fbA" width="300" height="347" alt="Amira Roess" loading="lazy" typeof="foaf:Image" /></div> </article><figcaption>Dr. Amira Roess specializes in infectious diseases like COVID-19 and monkeypox, especially reducing the transmission of diseases that originate through animal-human contact.</figcaption></figure><p>Monkeypox may seem like it came out of nowhere, but it has been around for more than 70 years. Globalization <span><span><span>—</span></span></span> how technology and transportation have made people, countries, and companies around the world more connected <span><span><span>— </span></span></span>has increased the likelihood that any disease may spread around the world faster. Epidemiologist and Professor at George Mason University <a href="https://chhs.gmu.edu/profiles/aroess" target="_blank">Dr. Amira Roess</a> shares some background on monkeypox, how globalization contributes to its spread, and the important role of public health in its containment and prevention. </p> <p>Roess specializes in infectious diseases like COVID-19 and monkeypox, especially reducing the transmission of diseases that originate through animal-human contact. Roess investigated and responded to monkeypox infections in 2008 while serving as an Epidemic Intelligence Service officer at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). </p> <p><strong>Where did monkeypox come from?  </strong></p> <p>We have more than 70 years of evidence that monkeypox is a naturally occurring virus, first recognized in the late 1950s. It circulates among rodents and when humans handle infected rodents or other infected animals or objects humans are then infected. The reality is that there are many viruses circulating among wildlife that periodically spillover into human populations. We cannot predict what triggers these events, but we do know that our growing encroachment on wildlife coupled with the increase in urbanization and globalization has meant that spillover events are more widely felt. </p> <p>Monkeypox outbreaks have historically occurred in central and west African countries, but is still relatively rare compared to other viruses.  </p> <p><strong>How has urbanization and globalization increased the spread of diseases? </strong></p> <p>The first monkeypox virus outbreaks were localized in remote areas in Central Africa and did not lead to cases outside of the outbreak area. Subsequent outbreaks spread from remote areas to larger cities but rarely outside of the affected country. As urbanization increased, the outbreaks became larger because more individuals came into close contact with infected individuals but the outbreaks still rarely were felt outside of the affected country.  </p> <p lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US">With the increase in both urbanization and globalization, we will feel outbreaks from a zoonotic, or animal, origin more acutely throughout the world. It's not just monkeypox or Ebola, but also mosquito-borne viruses like dengue, that have spread further than ever because of our introduction and reintroduction of the mosquito that carries it throughout the world. There are many examples of these viruses that live in nature and that spillover in part due to human behavior and then are transmitted directly because of our behaviors. The expectation among a lot of us is that with globalization there would be global cooperation in public health and surveillance.    </p> <p><strong>How can public health departments and vaccines help with this outbreak? </strong></p> <p>In many countries the benefits of public works and public health infrastructure are felt far and wide. In many places people know the impact of infectious diseases. For example, they know someone who had polio and lives with physical limitations from it. They know people who have lost infants due to tetanus or measles. What these diseases have in common is that they are preventable with vaccines. As we have gotten better at providing vaccines and reducing mortality from infectious diseases, we also seem to forget that these pathogens and many more are lurking in the background. They are real. Public health departments can help the public understand the potential threat from monkeypox and any disease and promote the importance of vaccines. </p> <p>In theory, the smallpox vaccine can protect individuals against monkeypox. In practice, a very limited number of individuals have received a smallpox vaccine because people stopped receiving the vaccine in the early 1970s once the disease was eradicated. So more and more of our population is susceptible to Orthopoxviruses such as monkeypox. </p> <p>See Dr. Roess’s other tip sheets for information about monkeypox: </p> <ul><li> <p><a href="https://chhs.gmu.edu/news/2022-05/what-know-about-monkeypox-and-potential-outbreak-us" target="_blank">What to Know About Monkeypox and the Potential for an Outbreak in the U.S.</a>  </p> </li> <li> <p><a href="https://chhs.gmu.edu/news/2022-06/monkeypox-next-pandemic" title="Is Monkeypox the Next Pandemic?">Is Monkeypox the Next Pandemic? </a></p> </li> </ul><p lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US">## </p> <p><a href="https://chhs.gmu.edu/profiles/aroess" target="_blank">Dr. Amira Roess</a> specializes in infectious diseases, especially reducing the transmission of diseases that spread between animals and humans, including coronaviruses like MERS-CoV and SAR-CoV-2, the latter of which causes COVID-19. She worked on monkeypox and other viruses when she served as an Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer at the CDC’s Poxvirus and Rabies Branch.  </p> <p>She is a professor of Global Health and Epidemiology at George Mason University's College of Health and Human Services, Department of Global and Community Health. Prior to joining academia, Dr. Roess served as the Science Director for the Pew Commission on Industrial Food Animal Production at Johns Hopkins, and was an Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) officer at the CDC. She has served as consultant for the United States Agency for International Development, the World Bank, and Westat Inc. </p> <p> </p> <p>For more information, contact Michelle Thompson at 703-993-3485 or <a href="mailto:mthomp7@gmu.edu" target="_blank">mthomp7@gmu.edu</a>. </p> <p><strong>About Mason <br />  </strong><br /> George Mason University, Virginia’s largest public research university, enrolls 39,000 students from 130 countries and all 50 states. Located near Washington, D.C., Mason has grown rapidly over the last half-century and is recognized for its innovation and entrepreneurship, remarkable diversity, and commitment to accessibility. In 2022, Mason celebrates 50 years as an independent institution. Learn more at <a href="https://nam11.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.gmu.edu%2F&amp;data=04%7C01%7Cmcunni7%40gmu.edu%7C4d9015af9f904c5a0abd08da08347ccc%7C9e857255df574c47a0c00546460380cb%7C0%7C0%7C637831318764879510%7CUnknown%7CTWFpbGZsb3d8eyJWIjoiMC4wLjAwMDAiLCJQIjoiV2luMzIiLCJBTiI6Ik1haWwiLCJXVCI6Mn0%3D%7C3000&amp;sdata=dSr8fCc5MRpUEYxzm2scXhG68DQSayzdraKTWD14JcA%3D&amp;reserved=0" target="_blank">http://www.gmu.edu</a>. </p> <p><strong>About the College of Health and Human Services </strong></p> <p>The College of Health and Human Services prepares students to become leaders and to shape the public's health through academic excellence, research of consequence, community outreach, and interprofessional clinical practice. The College enrolls more than 1,900 undergraduate and 1,300 graduate students in its nationally-recognized offerings, including 6 undergraduate degrees, 13 graduate degrees, and 6 certificate programs. The college is transitioning to a college of public health in the near future. For more information, visit <a href="https://chhs.gmu.edu/" target="_blank">https://chhs.gmu.edu/</a>. </p> <p> </p> </div> </div> </div> <div data-block-plugin-id="field_block:node:news_release:field_content_topics" class="block block-layout-builder block-field-blocknodenews-releasefield-content-topics"> <h2>Topics</h2> <div class="field field--name-field-content-topics field--type-entity-reference field--label-visually_hidden"> <div class="field__label visually-hidden">Topics</div> <div class='field__items'> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/5501" hreflang="en">CHHS</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/8736" hreflang="en">CHHS News</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/361" hreflang="en">Tip Sheet</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/3206" hreflang="en">Public Health</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/2336" hreflang="en">Infectious Disease</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/6816" hreflang="en">GCH Faculty</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/6631" hreflang="en">CHHS Research</a></div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> Mon, 06 Jun 2022 13:18:03 +0000 Mary Cunningham 71051 at https://www.gmu.edu Is Monkeypox the Next Pandemic?  https://www.gmu.edu/news/2022-06/monkeypox-next-pandemic <span>Is Monkeypox the Next Pandemic? </span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/1221" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Mary Cunningham</span></span> <span>Fri, 06/03/2022 - 17:01</span> <div class="layout layout--gmu layout--twocol-section layout--twocol-section--30-70"> <div class="layout__region region-first"> <div data-block-plugin-id="field_block:node:news_release:field_associated_people" class="block block-layout-builder block-field-blocknodenews-releasefield-associated-people"> <h2>In This Story</h2> <div class="field field--name-field-associated-people field--type-entity-reference field--label-visually_hidden"> <div class="field__label visually-hidden">People Mentioned in This Story</div> <div class='field__items'> <div class="field__item"><a href="/profiles/aroess" hreflang="und">Amira Roess, PhD, MPH</a></div> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="layout__region region-second"> <div data-block-plugin-id="field_block:node:news_release:body" class="block block-layout-builder block-field-blocknodenews-releasebody"> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-visually_hidden"> <div class="field__label visually-hidden">Body</div> <div class="field__item"><p>As more monkeypox infections are identified throughout the U.S. and the world, the public is more curious about the disease, especially because we are still in a global pandemic. Epidemiologist and professor at George Mason University <a href="https://chhs.gmu.edu/profiles/aroess" target="_blank">Dr. Amira Roess</a> answers more questions about monkeypox’s transmissibility, similarities to COVID-19, why it’s spreading now, and other questions the public should know. </p> <p>Roess specializes in infectious diseases like COVID-19 and monkeypox, especially reducing the transmission of diseases that originate through animal-human contact. Roess investigated and responded to poxviruses infections, including monkeypox, in 2008 while serving as an Epidemic Intelligence Service officer at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). </p> <p>See the previous tip sheet from Dr. Roess: “<a href="https://chhs.gmu.edu/news/2022-05/what-know-about-monkeypox-and-potential-outbreak-us" target="_blank">What to Know About Monkeypox and the Potential for an Outbreak in the U.S.</a>,” to learn more about how the disease spreads and how to prevent it. </p> <p><strong>Is monkeypox the next pandemic? </strong></p> <p>This outbreak, while global, may not evolve to a pandemic at the same magnitude as COVID-19 given a few key things. First, it is not as transmissible as COVID-19. Transmission is really limited to close physical contact during the infectious period. Many infected individuals end up with a rash and this makes it easier for individuals to realize that they have it and seek care. Health care workers and health departments across the world are now aware of monkeypox and what needs to be done if there is a suspected case. This means that there is a chance to stop transmission. For as long as the virus remains this way and health care workers and health departments have the resources to respond, we have a chance of controlling this and preventing a large-scale pandemic. If we lose momentum to contain the viral spread then we could see more cases.   </p> <p><strong>Is monkeypox as easily transmitted as COVID-19? </strong></p> <p>Our previous experience with monkeypox has demonstrated that it is less transmissible than the current variants of the COVID-19 virus circulating. Like COVID-19, monkeypox is transmissible through close contact with infected individuals, especially close physical contact, which means we will see more close contacts and health care workers and their close contacts infected before the outbreak is behind us. </p> <p><strong>Will monkeypox turn into the next COVID-19? Will a shutdown be necessary to prevent spread? </strong></p> <p>The COVID-19 virus is a novel one, meaning we had not seen it previously and thus had no scientific or medical experience with it. We relied on our knowledge and experience with other coronaviruses and respiratory pathogens to guide early decision making. We know more about the monkeypox virus, although a lot less than we would like to know.  </p> <p>Governments and global leaders are well aware of the global pandemic fatigue and are hesitant to impose similar measures to control monkeypox as they did the COVID-19 virus. Our previous experience suggests that because monkeypox is less transmissible than COVID-19 it will not be necessary to impose stay-at-home orders or restrict movement at the scale that we have seen. Recommendations and precautions could evolve, if for example, the virus evolves, or changes, and we end up with into a more transmissible strain or a more virulent strain of monkeypox, then we will have to change strategies. But this seems improbable given the current epidemiologic situation. </p> <p>Objective and factual information from a reputable source like the World Health Organization, the CDC, or a local health department is really all that most of us need. Knowing what is happening locally is very important. For example, if there is a local case of monkeypox in your town, the health department will conduct contact tracing as quickly as possible to make sure that individuals are notified, can quarantine, and receive care as quickly as possible.  </p> <p><strong>Is monkeypox a sexually transmitted disease? </strong></p> <p>A large number of individuals involved in the current outbreak were exposed to sexual partners who were infected. This does not mean that it is a sexually transmitted infection in the strict sense. For an infection to be sexually transmitted we expect that infectious virus would be transmitted through semen and vaginal fluids. So far, we have not detected virus in these fluids, but this requires much more study.  </p> <p>When we saw outbreaks in west and central Africa and in the US in 2003, what often happened was that an individual became exposed to monkeypox from handling an infected animal and then became infected themselves. The infected individual then went on to infect household members through close contact and even health care workers who were caring for them. We are seeing something similar now in many countries. </p> <p><strong>Why is monkeypox spreading more now than before? </strong></p> <p>We've dealt with numerous monkeypox outbreaks over the last few decades, since monkeypox virus was first identified in the late 1950s. Monkeypox outbreaks tend to burn themselves out, and historically that was due to the limited chain of transmission from the point of the spillover event to the close contacts of the first human case. However, increased encroachment into wildlife areas, combined with rapid urbanization and globalization means that we will see elongated chains of transmission. </p> <p>The patients identified in Europe and elsewhere were misdiagnosed in some cases as having syphilis or herpes and given treatments that would not work against monkeypox. Health care workers outside of Africa, rarely, if ever, think about monkeypox; and why would they when most have never seen it and most were trained by doctors who also had never seen it. This all meant that the current outbreak went undetected for a while and, unfortunately, we will see more close contacts and health care workers and their close contacts infected before the outbreak is behind us. </p> <p>In addition, the immunity many people had as a result of the smallpox vaccination campaign has waned considerably because the last case was more than 40 years ago and global smallpox vaccination was discontinued following the successful eradication smallpox.   </p> <p>Looking for even more information about monkeypox? Read “<a href="https://chhs.gmu.edu/news/2022-06/monkeypox-background-origins-globalization-and-public-health">Monkeypox Background: Origins, Globalization, and Public Health</a>,” where Roess answers additional questions about the disease.   </p> <p>## </p> <p><a href="https://chhs.gmu.edu/profiles/aroess" target="_blank">Dr. Amira Roess</a> specializes in infectious diseases, especially reducing the transmission of diseases that spread between animals and humans, including coronaviruses like MERS-CoV and SAR-CoV-2, the latter of which causes COVID-19. She worked on monkeypox and other viruses when she served as an Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer at the CDC’s Poxvirus and Rabies Branch.  </p> <p>She is a professor of Global Health and Epidemiology at George Mason University's College of Health and Human Services, Department of Global and Community Health. Prior to joining academia, Dr. Roess served as the Science Director for the Pew Commission on Industrial Food Animal Production at Johns Hopkins, and was an Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) officer at the CDC. She has served as consultant for the United States Agency for International Development, the World Bank, and Westat Inc. </p> <p lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US"><strong>Additional articles on poxviruses co-authored by Dr. Roess: </strong></p> <ul> <li lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US"><a href="https://journals.plos.org/plosntds/article?id=10.1371/journal.pntd.0001356">Assessing the Effectiveness of a Community Intervention for Monkeypox Prevention in the Congo Basin </a></li> <li lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US"><a href="https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/microscopy-and-microanalysis/article/emergence-of-previously-unknown-poxviruses/4DACC195AF5970C1787504A898ACDBC1/share/c213f9eb715e973180acf2fac530fabdbc5ebbd8">Emergence of Previously Unknown Poxviruses</a> </li> <li lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US"><a href="https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1007407 ">Novel Deer-Associated Parapoxvirus Infection in Deer Hunters</a> </li> </ul> <p lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US">For more information, contact Michelle Thompson at 703-993-3485 or <a href="mailto:mthomp7@gmu.edu" target="_blank">mthomp7@gmu.edu</a>. </p> <p><strong>About Mason </strong><br />  <br /> George Mason University, Virginia’s largest public research university, enrolls 39,000 students from 130 countries and all 50 states. Located near Washington, D.C., Mason has grown rapidly over the last half-century and is recognized for its innovation and entrepreneurship, remarkable diversity, and commitment to accessibility. In 2022, Mason celebrates 50 years as an independent institution. Learn more at <a href="https://nam11.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.gmu.edu%2F&amp;data=04%7C01%7Cmcunni7%40gmu.edu%7C4d9015af9f904c5a0abd08da08347ccc%7C9e857255df574c47a0c00546460380cb%7C0%7C0%7C637831318764879510%7CUnknown%7CTWFpbGZsb3d8eyJWIjoiMC4wLjAwMDAiLCJQIjoiV2luMzIiLCJBTiI6Ik1haWwiLCJXVCI6Mn0%3D%7C3000&amp;sdata=dSr8fCc5MRpUEYxzm2scXhG68DQSayzdraKTWD14JcA%3D&amp;reserved=0" target="_blank">http://www.gmu.edu</a>. </p> <p><strong>About the College of Health and Human Services </strong></p> <p>The College of Health and Human Services prepares students to become leaders and to shape the public's health through academic excellence, research of consequence, community outreach, and interprofessional clinical practice. The College enrolls more than 1,900 undergraduate and 1,300 graduate students in its nationally-recognized offerings, including 6 undergraduate degrees, 13 graduate degrees, and 6 certificate programs. The college is transitioning to a college of public health in the near future. For more information, visit <a href="https://chhs.gmu.edu/" target="_blank">https://chhs.gmu.edu/</a>. </p> </div> </div> </div> <div data-block-plugin-id="field_block:node:news_release:field_content_topics" class="block block-layout-builder block-field-blocknodenews-releasefield-content-topics"> <h2>Topics</h2> <div class="field field--name-field-content-topics field--type-entity-reference field--label-visually_hidden"> <div class="field__label visually-hidden">Topics</div> <div class='field__items'> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/5501" hreflang="en">CHHS</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/8736" hreflang="en">CHHS News</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/361" hreflang="en">Tip Sheet</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/2336" hreflang="en">Infectious Disease</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/3206" hreflang="en">Public Health</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/6816" hreflang="en">GCH Faculty</a></div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> Fri, 03 Jun 2022 21:01:18 +0000 Mary Cunningham 71031 at https://www.gmu.edu