Health & Wellness

Evidence reviews of masks, goggles and shoe covers suggest individual pieces of personal protective equipment aren’t enough by themselves to protect health workers.

21
May
2020

There is no evidence to suggest that simple surgical masks aren’t as effective as the reinforced yet scarce N95 respirator masks in protecting health-care staff during routine primary care, according to an international research team conducting literature reviews of personal protective equipment (PPE) in the context of COVID-19.

University of Alberta occupational medicine specialists Sebastian Straube and Quentin Durand-Moreau are collaborating with international colleagues on this and a number of other rapid evidence reviews just published by the University of Oxford’s Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine.

“These are reviews of a moving target, which means we will not have any evidence on the virus of COVID-19 exactly,” said Durand-Moreau.

“And while having no evidence does not mean there is no effect, our research has conclude...

Headlines

29
May
2020
| 14:00 America/Tegucigalpa

You likely won’t get COVID-19 from your pets—but you could give it to them

U of A veterinary disease expert offers tips to help protect pets and livestock from possible infection.

Worried about catching COVID-19 from your cat or dog? You shouldn’t be, says a University of Alberta expert. While COVID-19 is believed to have originated from some type of animal, the risk of
28
May
2020
| 17:00 America/Tegucigalpa

COMMENTARY || Four strategies to help avoid the next pandemic

U of A virus expert offers recommendations that would be easier to implement and enforce than other public health measures.

New viruses emerge every few years that threaten humanity: HIV, swine flu, SARS, Ebola, Zika, MERS, and now, COVID-19. Unfortunately, the only drugs that can combat a viral pandemic are antiviral
28
May
2020
| 14:00 America/Tegucigalpa

DIY diabetics create artificial pancreas, push health-care industry, regulators to develop better treatments

U of A PhD candidate studies and participates in grassroots movement to hack diabetes equipment.

People with Type 1 diabetes—including U of A graduate student Jonathan Garfinkel—are using free instructions from the internet to build an artificial pancreas. The patient-led movement is pushing
28
May
2020
| 13:45 America/Tegucigalpa

Two paths better than one for treating patients with heart stents, study shows

Rivaroxaban plus aspirin better than aspirin alone to reduce major adverse events and mortality rates in patients with chronic coronary disease who have had an angioplasty.

Pairing a blood-thinning drug with aspirin daily for patients who have an angioplasty with a stent can contribute to better health outcomes, including lower risk of death, than aspirin alone,
27
May
2020
| 17:00 America/Tegucigalpa

Student-built dashboard gives insight into global COVID-19 picture

U of A computing science grad students build interactive tool for displaying and interpreting ever-changing data as pandemic unfolds.

Three graduate students at the University of Alberta developed a new, interactive tool to help provide insight into the COVID-19 pandemic. “The goal is to transform the dynamic big data to charts
27
May
2020
| 14:00 America/Tegucigalpa

U of A spinoff company developing simple blood test to predict severity of COVID-19 in patients

Nanostics using diagnostic technology to help health professionals intervene more quickly and efficiently with patients who are likely to need hospital care.

A University of Alberta spinoff company focused on creating and commercializing non-invasive diagnostic tests is developing a simple blood test to predict the severity of COVID-19 in positive
27
May
2020
| 13:50 America/Tegucigalpa

Researchers aim to find out whether COVID-19 can spread through ventilation systems

U of A buildings to serve as “living lab” for study on whether HVAC systems can help viruses spread, and how to improve filtration to prevent it.

In the early days of the coronavirus outbreak, it was the Diamond Princess cruise ship, not a country, that trailed only China in the number confirmed COVID-19 cases. While the ill-fated trip dragged
26
May
2020
| 23:09 America/Tegucigalpa

App promises to improve pain management for dementia patients

Computing scientists aim to help health-care workers assess pain symptoms often mistaken for psychiatric problems.

University of Alberta computing scientists are developing an app to help health-care staff assess and manage pain in patients with dementia and other neurodegenerative diseases.  “The challenge
26
May
2020
| 14:00 America/Tegucigalpa

U of A researcher creates science-based guide to making your own protective mask

Textiles expert creates website with instructions to help people fashion homemade cloth masks based on best available evidence.

Ideas for do-it-yourself masks are everywhere, but how do you know which are the best?  There are no clear answers, but with that in mind, University of Alberta clothing and textiles professor
26
May
2020
| 13:55 America/Tegucigalpa

U of A researchers flag similarities between COVID-19 deaths and severe rheumatic illnesses

Medical researchers recommend rheumatic drugs, exercise to boost immune-regulating “natural killer” cells.

Rheumatologists at the University of Alberta are flagging similarities between the deaths of some COVID-19 patients and those with rheumatic illnesses, and are testing proven rheumatic treatments to
25
May
2020
| 14:00 America/Tegucigalpa

2018 Ebola outbreak in Congo provides public health lessons for COVID-19, say researchers

Mistrust, fear and rumours helped the virus spread, but training trusted local leaders helped stop it, U of A researchers find.

Multiple factors led people in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to resist public health messages during the 2018 outbreak of Ebola virus, and University of Alberta researchers fear the