Month: September 2017

New UMD report casts doubt on role of sneezing and coughing in flu transmission

A preprint now available describes results from a study of 142 people from the UMD College Park campus community who were diagnosed with influenza in 2012-13. The average case shed about 38,000  viruses into airborne droplets every 30 minutes. Cases rarely sneezed and there was no association of sneezing with shedding virus. And, even though the more cases coughed the more virus they shed into very small droplets, cases who didn’t cough at all shed up to 1,000 viruses into airborne droplets in 30-min.

This earlier study paved the way for the C.A.T.C.H. – the virus study this year an last year’s Prometheus@UMD. These new studies will help us build a better understanding of how influenza and other respiratory viruses are transmitted, how to stay healthy, and how to build a healthier environment.

The full preprint is available from BioRxiv.


CATCH is Going Viral!

CATCH will be participating in the kick-off event of the UMD College Park Scholars 2017-2018 theme, “Going Viral” on Wednesday, September 27.

Event details:
Beyond the Snot Study: Pandemic Flu, Sustainability, and Social Responsibility
A Conversation with Dr. Don Milton and Col. Matthew Hepburn
Wednesday, September 27, 7:00 PM
1205 Cambridge Community Center

Dr. Don Milton, leader of the C.A.T.C.H. the Virus Study research team and professor of environmental health in the School of Public Health, along with Col. Matthew Hepburn, the program manager in the Biological Technologies Office at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, will be discussing their careers, their work on infectious diseases, and how the research happening on campus contributes to better ways to prevent the spread of respiratory infectious diseases.

They will also be providing more information about C.A.T.C.H. (Characterizing And Tracking College Health): The Virus Study, including a discussion of the larger social and scientific implications of the research.

All are invited to attend, and it should be a fascinating evening for anyone interested in a career in infectious disease, how we study them, or who has a general interest in the fields of virology, epidemiology and public health.


CATCH at the CC Block Party

We had a great turn out to learn about the CATCH – the virus study last week at the Cambridge Community Block Party!

Jake, Barbara, Rhonda, and Jennifer were on hand to answer questions and provide general information about the study as we gear up to recruitment later in the fall.  We were out giving away tasty treats to attract people to our table (who doesn’t love some free candy?!)

And we had lots of cool props, including some actual lab equipment and Giant Microbes. Here’s Jake demonstrating with the G2 cone:

Jake showing some interested students the G2 cone, used to collect respiratory exhalations.

Overall a great time, and hopefully lots of interested future participants! Stay tuned for more information!

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