Test, isolate, communicate: Keys to controlling a COVID-19 outbreak in a long-term care facility

Widespread COVID-19 testing may be an obvious way to control an outbreak in a long-term care facility. But communication among the facility’s staff, its residents and the residents’ family members is crucial, too. A new study led by Carl Shrader, a physician and researcher in the Department of Family Medicine in the West Virginia University School of Medicine, revealed the role that communication played in quashing a COVID-19 outbreak at Sundale, a long-term care facility in Morgantown.

Using artificial intelligence to predict genuine outcomes in COVID-19 patients

Artificial intelligence can do more than recommend a song or suggest what to write in an email. It might even be able to predict outcomes in COVID-19 patients. Larissa Casaburi—a researcher in the WVU School of Medicine—and her colleagues are using artificial intelligence to study how being a coal miner affects COVID-19 outcomes. She’s also investigating the ways smoking, vaping and having chronic lung disease influence how COVID-19 patients fare.

Ticked off: WVU researchers target Lyme disease vaccine with aid of $1.9M federal grant

The presence of ticks have increased in recent years, as Lyme disease cases have tripled in the U.S. since the late 1990s. A team of WVU researchers, with the aid of a $1.9 million grant from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, is developing a vaccine that may prevent humans from contracting the tick-borne illness.

Learning how one element—zinc—helps millions of nerve cells communicate

According to Charles Anderson—a researcher with the West Virginia University Rockefeller Neuroscience Institute—scientists have known for over half a century that charged zinc atoms have something to do with neuronal chatter. But with a new grant from the National Institutes of Health, Anderson will work to pinpoint exactly what zinc does, and how it does it.