Tracing the start of COVID-19 in GA

At a time when COVID-19 appears to be receding in much of Georgia, it’s worth revisiting the start of the pandemic in early 2020. Emory virologist Anne Piantadosi and colleagues have a paper in Viral Evolution on the earliest SARS-CoV-2 genetic sequences detected in Georgia. Analyzing relationships between those virus sequences and samples from other states and countries can give us an idea about where the first COVID-19 infections in Georgia came from. We can draw Read more

Reddit as window into opioid withdrawal strategies

Drug abuse researchers are using the social media site Reddit as a window into the experiences of people living with opioid addiction. Abeed Sarker in Emory's Department of Biomedical Informatics has a paper in Clinical Toxicology focusing on the phenomenon of “precipitated withdrawal,” in collaboration with emergency medicine specialists from Penn, Rutgers and Mt Sinai. Precipitated withdrawal is a more intense form of withdrawal that can occur when someone who was using opioids starts medication-assisted treatment Read more

CROI: HIV cure report and ongoing research

The big news out of CROI (Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections) was a report of a third person being cured of HIV infection, this time using umbilical cord blood for a hematopoetic stem cell transplant. Emory’s Carlos del Rio gave a nice overview of the achievement for NPR this morning. As del Rio explains, the field of HIV cure research took off over the last decade after Timothy Brown, known as “the Berlin patient,” Read more

Consortium of Universities for Global Health

Global health: from autism screening to neglected tropical diseases

A partnership of more than 40 universities, the Consortium of Universities for Global Health held its second annual meeting at the University of Washington in Seattle this week, with a wide range of presentations centered on the theme Transforming Global Health: The Interdisciplinary Power of Universities.  Emory Global Health Institute presentations ranged from neglected tropical diseases to autism in Chinese populations to changes in medical school curricula.

Carlos Franco-Paredes, MD

Emory’s Carlos Franco Paredes, MD, MPH, associate professor of medicine (infectious disease) talked about a troublesome global health issue—one that hits close to home—the effect of neglected tropical diseases in the immigrant and refugee communities living in Atlanta. Neglected tropical diseases are disabling, disfiguring, and deadly diseases impacting more than one billion people worldwide, says Paredes. Atlanta’s immigrant populations show a high prevalence of intestinal parasitic infections, schistosomiasis, strongyloidiasis, and hepatitis B.

Meanwhile, Joseph Cubells, MD, associate professor of human genetics at Emory, shared his experience with the Mandarin Chinese Autism Spectrum Screening Questionnaire in urban Mandarin Chinese-speaking communities. Cubells says large-scale, community-based studies of autism spectrum disorders require effective tools for screening potential cases. So, to meet the need for such tools in Chinese populations, he and his colleagues translated and back-translated The Autism Spectrum Screening Questionnaire, a 27-item parental checklist originally published in English.

And what about incorporating global health education into the medical curriculum as a way of transforming universities’ role in advancing global health? Emory’s Henry Blumberg, MD, professor of infectious disease and his colleagues have done just that. Now, global health is a part of Emory’s innovative new medical curriculum, which was launched in 2007. After all, global health is becoming ever more important to the world at large, garnering more interest from future physicians.

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