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Putting Coronavirus in Context: Faculty Play an Important Role in Educating the Public on Emerging Disease

Want to Better Understand the Coronavirus? Just Ask an Epidemiologist.

A search for the term coronavirus reveals more than 500 million results from a wide range of sources, making it difficult for most people to interpret, understand, and take practical, useful steps. No one is an expert on the new coronavirus yet -- it is too new -- but experts in how infectious diseases spread, such as epidemiologists, are vital sources for helping educate the public with facts on the coronavirus disease, how agencies are responding to the current outbreak, and lessons learned from previous infectious disease events.  While putting the current risk of contracting coronavirus in perspective, experts can also provide simple preventive tips for staying healthy. 

College of Health and Human Services Faculty in the Media


  • CGTN American (video) - In an interview on coronavirus, Dr. Kathryn Jacobsen breaks down what a WHO Public Health Emergency of International Concern means, how the response to SARS is informing prevention efforts, and public health and vaccine options.
  • CGTN America (video)- Dr. Kathryn Jacobsen provides additional context on the Wuhan coronavirus. 
  • Senior Planet - Dr. Amira Roess suggests those in the United States be more concerned about influenza than coronavirus and have an up-to-date flu shot.
  • AARP - Dr. Amira Roess discusses the importance of preventative measures such as hand washing before you eat, after you use the bathroom, and after leaving a crowded place as well as getting plenty of rest.
  • Forbes - Includes quote by Dr. Amira Roess on the low risk of getting coronavirus in the United States.
  • CGTN America - Dr. Kathryn Jacobsen is interviewed on the global containment of coronavirus.
  • Business Insider - Dr. Amira Roess comments on the spread of fear of the unknown in the early stages of an infectious disease outbreak. 

“When we think about our risk here in the United States for coronavirus, it’s important to realize that it’s actually quite low. The cases of coronavirus that we’ve seen so far have had travel history to parts of China that are affected by the virus, or they’ve come into contact with individuals who have the coronavirus. So, for the average American, your risk is actually quite low.”

Dr. Amira Roess

Topics: College of Health and Human Services, Research, Epidemiology, Public Health and Emergency Preparedness and Response, Public Health