Evidence and experts to help you understand today’s public health news—and what it means for tomorrow.
386 - What To Expect From This Year’s Flu Season
There was virtually no flu in the U.S. last year thanks to a confluence of factors including COVID-related mask wearing and social distancing. But, now that more and more of life is “back to normal,” what can we expect to see this year? Virologist Dr. Andy Pekosz explains why a resurgence of flu could complicate the COVID pandemic, how virologists can make predictions about flu when there was so little virus circulating last year, and why it’s more important than ever to get your flu shot.
385 - How COVID-19 Is Impacting Kids’ Vision
School closures and unprecedented screen time may be contributing to vision problems for kids. Pediatric ophthalmologist Dr. Megan Collins talks with Dr. Josh Sharfstein about a rise in near-sightedness in children, why vision problems are often missed without school screenings, potential health and learning effects, and how vision problems in kids can be addressed on the individual and national levels.
384 - COVID-19 Research Update: The Value of Masks & Testing in Schools
In this episode, Dr. Josh Sharfstein talks with researchers who break down two papers in the news. Dr. Nikolas Wada talks about a study led by researchers in Bangladesh and the U.S. which tested whether masks really help to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Dr. Kate Grabowski discusses a Lancet paper from the U.K. about “test to stay” programs in schools and whether the use of rapid tests is better than quarantining when a child tests positive.
383 - Molnupiravir: The Game-changing Oral Antiviral Pill for COVID-19?
This week, Merck applied for FDA Emergency Use Authorization for its COVID-19 oral antiviral drug, molnupiravir. Dr. Carl Dieffenbach, director of the Division of AIDS at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, talks about how the drug works to help people recover from COVID-19 quicker and the drug’s history starting a decade ago as an experimental treatment for Ebola. Dieffenbach talks about how the drug could complement pandemic response and why it’s not a substitute for vaccination
Bonus - Why COVID-19 Policy is About More Than Just “Following The Science”
Dr. Jay Varma, physician and advisor for New York Mayor Bill DeBlasio on the pandemic response authored an Atlantic called “Not Every Question Has a Scientific Answer.” In the article, Varma talks about the critical role of politicians in determining difficult COVID-19 policy questions. In this special bonus episode, Dr. Josh Sharfstein talks with Varma about the intersection of public values, politics, and science in responding to COVID-19.
382 - Indigenous Peoples’ Day: Un-Erasing America’s History
Monday, October 11 is Indigenous Peoples’ Day in the U.S.—a day previously recognized as Columbus Day that is now reserved for reflection, education, and untangling the false narrative of discovery. Dr. Sophie Neuner of the Center for American Indian Health and co-host of a new podcast, Indigenae, talks with Dr. Josh Sharfstein about how non-Indigenous people can think about this observance and how Indigenous people are leading on health practices and environmental revitalization.
Public Health Nurses
Enjoy show very much. Public health more often than not is specialty communities do not know much about. While I applaud the magnificent work done by my fellow public health professionals, the voices of public health nurses are not to be found on podcast (apologies if overlooked). I am a retired PHN with 30 years experience and witnessed the gradual cutbacks that severely impacted providing care to communities impacted by health disparities on so many levels. Covid-19 has really revealed such disparities and inequality. Please feature field PHNs and scholars who have a wealth of CD experience within public health. We have many stories and solutions to share.
This is in response to episode 228. Please just get the vaccine out. All of this social engineering is complicating things and wIll just result in more deaths. As far as I can tell based on the numbers, the elderly (of all races) are dying at the highest rate, yet they are being relegated to the back of the line. The answer is more vaccine and quickly. I want everyone to have it but this complexity is going to slow down the process causing more death.
This is in response to episode 346. The health commissioner was smug and self congratulatory. The most likely reason Vermont did so well is just as likely due to geographic reasons and the fact that Vermont has the second highest number of Democratic voters than the specific actions undertaken in Vermont that were likewise taken in many other states.
Baltimore Convention Center Field Hospital
Converting a convention center to a field hospital is a sign of FAILURE by our government. Trump knew about this virus 18 MONTHS AGO and STILL every day feels like it's March 13th.