IU in the News

A daily digest of media coverage about Indiana University

March 19, 2020
IU in the News is a daily review of the important news stories relating to Indiana University. It is not intended to be an all-inclusive gathering of news, and no editorial revisions are made to the content, which is presented as it was initially published or broadcast.

IU Voices in the News


AUDIO: The new normal

Efforts are underway to try to contain the Coronavirus pandemic in Indiana. Bars and restaurants are closed, schools are online, and many people are working from home, if they can. How are you adjusting? How is the pandemic affecting your life? We hear from listeners about how COVID-19 has affected their lives, and a panel of psychologists and medical experts weigh in on how to cope. Guests include Shandy Dearth, director of undergraduate epidemiology education, IU Fairbanks School of Public Health; and William Graham Carlos, associate professor of clinical medicine at Indiana University School of Medicine.

The Indianapolis Star

Indiana coronavirus updates: Simon temporarily closes malls, outlets

A release from Citizens Energy yesterday afternoon reminded customers that drinking water is safe and does not transmit COVID-19. Customers have expressed concern that the drinking water could contain the virus, a spokesperson from Citizens Energy said, and online rumors circulating have some stocking up on bottled water. Thomas Duszynski, director of epidemiology education at IUPUI's Fairbanks School of Public Health, said one can't contract the virus, also known as SARS-CoV-2, by drinking water. When asked if it's in our water, he said: "No, it's not. It's a respiratory disease. You can't get it from drinking water."

Foreign Policy

Can India avert a health apocalypse?

Written by Sumit Ganguly, a distinguished professor of political science and the Rabindranath Tagore chair in Indian cultures and civilizations at Indiana University, Bloomington. As India braces for the rapid spread of the coronavirus, its health care system offers limited comfort. The country spends only 3.66 percent of its GDP on public health, while some of its smaller neighbors such as Nepal (6.29 percent) spend a much higher proportion. Advanced economies are even further ahead: The United States, for example, spends about 17 percent of its GDP on health care; Germany and the United Kingdom spend 11.14 percent and 9.76 percent, respectively. ... There is ample reason to fear that if the coronavirus disperses rapidly through a country as densely populated as India -- it may already have done so -- it could overwhelm the country's medical infrastructure.

The Conversation

10 misconceptions about the 1918 flu, the 'greatest pandemic in history'

Written by Richard Gunderman, Chancellor's Professor of Medicine, Liberal Arts, and Philanthropy, Indiana University. Pandemic: It's a scary word. But the world has seen pandemics before, and worse ones, too. Consider the influenza pandemic of 1918, often referred to erroneously as the "Spanish flu." Misconceptions about it may be fueling unfounded fears about COVID-19, and now is an especially good time to correct them.

Indiana Public Media

Automotive manufacturers idle Indiana plants in response to COVID-19

Several auto manufacturers announced Wednesday temporary shutdowns at facilities in response to the novel coronavirus. In Indiana, those include General Motors, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and Honda plants, including the one in Greensburg. The closures will last up to two weeks. Toyota also plans to idle production for two days. Indiana University Kelley School of Business assistant professor Andrew Butters says some closures are in response to positive COVID-19 tests of employees at plants. "Whereas others have preemptively halted production in some plants because of well anticipated likely drops in demand for automobiles," says Butters. "This in particular is going to have impacts for Indiana's economy as a good proportion of these plants reside in the state of Indiana."

The Indianapolis Star

Supplies still limit coronavirus testing, which could give incomplete picture of outbreak

Prioritizing those at greatest risk and advising those with mild disease to forego the test makes sense at this point, said Thomas Duszynski, director of epidemiology education at the Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis Fairbanks School of Public Health. "In a real pandemic, which is where we are now, we don't need to test everybody," he said. "We want to test those that need to be tested that may represent a more serious condition for them. ... In a pandemic, that's what you do. People that have those symptoms, we're just going to assume that you have it." ... Indianapolis' Regenstrief Institute is working with local and state health departments trying to model what could happen here based on data from other countries such as South Korea, said Brian Dixon, a Regenstrief director of public health informatics. Widespread testing could have given health officials a better sense of how quickly the disease is spreading through the population. Yet testing has been limited. "In hindsight that probably was not the best strategy," said Dixon, also an associate professor of epidemiology at the Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health at IUPUI. "The general agreement in public health is the more testing we do, the better."

The Indianapolis Star

Can I visit friends? Can I go outside? Here's what's left to do during the pandemic

Yes, you can go to a family dinner or have friends over. But public health expert Shandy Dearth says you really shouldn't. Dearth, the director of undergraduate epidemiology education at the Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health at IUPUI, said she's encouraging people to avoid being around anyone they don't have to be around. "I really encourage people to delay those family gatherings if at all possible," she said. Dearth said she realizes the loss in human interaction will be tough, but it won't be forever. It's more important, she said, to reduce the risk of spread now. If you have to attend a small gathering, Dearth said to avoid hugs and kisses and try to keep six feet apart. She also advised washing or sanitizing hands often. If someone is sick or high-risk, they shouldn't attend. 


Experts share reasons for fear, hope as part of News 8 health spotlight on coronavirus

For almost an hour, News 8 took an in-depth look at the coronavirus pandemic and how to stop its spread. It was a wide-ranging discussion involving medical professionals, school administrators and government employees who shared reasons for fear and reasons for hope as they explored a number of facets about COVID-19. ... "We know that there's some vulnerable people in our city and it is our job as a community to look out for them," said Dr. Graham Carlos, (an IU School of Medicine professor and) the chief of medicine and pulmonary critical care at Eskenazi Health. ... The experts said while 20% of cases so far seem to involve someone touching a surface with the virus on it, 80% come directly from people in the form of respiratory droplets like coughs or sneezes. "If you've had a flu test or coronavirus negative test, doesn't mean 2-3 days later you can't go in contact one of them with the virus so don't get complacent," said Dr. Carlos.


Taking care of mental health during the COVID-19 crisis

Jacek Kolacz of the Indiana University Kinsey Institute studies the impact of life experience on psychological well-being over time, focusing on traumatic stress research. He says the long-term impacts of COVID-19 on society's emotional health are unknown. "However, those who have gone through traumatic experiences in the past or those who have PTSD, anxiety or depression may be more at risk for stronger symptoms during the pandemic," Kolacz explained. But he stressed that "it's likely that many people will not experience any long-term problems," while noting that unpredictable and uncontrollable situations can increase reactions such as vigilance, disrupted sleep or racing thoughts.


Can an old drug used to fight malaria save us from coronavirus and COVID-19?

Written by Bill Sullivan, Indiana University School of Medicine researcher. As COVID-19 ravages the world, scientists are desperately trying to develop a medication to stop the virus (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, or SARS-CoV-2). Dozens of drugs and vaccine candidates are in various stages of development and testing. Among these is chloroquine, a seemingly strange choice as it has been widely used to treat malaria since the 1940s. Not only is chloroquine effective in treating malaria, it is inexpensive to make and remarkably well-tolerated by most patients. It was such a good drug that it was overused, facilitating the emergence of malaria parasites that are resistant to it.


Whose voices are not heard in climate change journalism in China, India, Thailand and Singapore?

Given that climate change disproportionately affects the most vulnerable populations around the world, the crowding out of voices who could provide alternative viewpoints from public discourse could have major implications, said the researchers from Indiana University in the United States and Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in Singapore. "We can't always trust government voices to represent issues fairly. When it comes to environmental issues, for example, there can be a conflict between what the government or large corporations want and what local people will experience (on the ground)," one of the researchers, Assistant Professor Suzannah Evans Comfort of Indiana University's Media School, told Eco-Business. "Regular people are relatively disempowered in these conflicts, and the news media doesn't help when it won't even include them in news stories that affect their communities."

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