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Nevada Front Page

School of Medicine in the News

Rare COVID ‘breakthrough cases’ being tracked in Nevada

• Las Vegas Review Journal

While they aren’t perfect, the vaccines offer the best protection we have against COVID-19, said Dr. Mark Riddle, a professor of internal medicine at the University of Nevada, Reno. They should also be paired with other preventative measures, like washing your hands and wearing a face mask, while COVID-19 is still circulating in our communities. “We can’t predict that you’re going to have a bad outcome or a not-bad outcome,” Riddle said. “Given that unpredictability right now, you need to err on the side of caution.”

New RNA-Sequencing Method Opens a Pandora’s Box of Opportunity

• Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News

“PANDORA-seq has opened Pandora’s box of small RNAs,” said Tong Zhou, PhD, a bioinformatician at the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine and a co-corresponding author of the study. “We can now dance with these once invisible partners in the RNA ballroom.”

Unsure about the COVID vaccine? A new ad campaign might convince you.

• Las Vegas Review Journal

Nevada State Public Health Laboratory director Mark Pandori said he was concerned that the state’s campaign did not address the public’s concerns about the vaccines’ efficacy and safety.“A large part of the issue here is there’s a lot of people who don’t believe it will work, that it will harm them, or that the variants are rendering it useless,” he said. “If that’s the root problem, then I’m concerned the rest of this doesn’t function well as a solution.”

How many COVID variant cases are in Nevada now?

• Las Vegas Review Journal

In late February, the director of Nevada’s public health lab, Mark Pandori, said he wasn’t too worried about a new pair of coronavirus variants first detected in California. Not only are the strains already in both Northern and Southern Nevada, but they have been for several months and accounted for about one-quarter of positive cases genetically sequenced by the lab, Pandori said. He is director of the Nevada State Public Health Laboratory at the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine.

2nd case of COVID-19 variant found in the Quad County Region

• Nevada Appeal

Carson City Health and Human Services is reporting the second case of the B.1.1.7 COVID-19 variant in the Quad-County Region on Tuesday. The Nevada State Public Health Lab confirmed the detection of the variant in a Douglas County resident.

This year, National Doctors Day celebrates mental health awareness for those on the frontlines of the pandemic

• ABC News

Now, a new service call Physician Support Line seeks "to offer free and confidential peer support to American physicians and medical students by creating a safe space to discuss immediate life stressors with volunteer psychiatrist colleagues who are uniquely trained in mental wellness and also have similar shared experiences of the profession." The support line was founded by Dr. Mona Masood one year ago today -- at the height of the first wave in the U.S. pandemic. Masood and Dr. Allison Cotton, one of the first doctors to join Masood, both want their service to be part of the legacy of physician wellness.

UNR Med ranked in latest U.S. News & World Report 2022 list of best medical schools

• Carson Now

U.S. News & World Report has released the 2022 edition of Best Graduate Schools today, featuring new rankings of the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine. UNR Med’s rankings in U.S. News & World Report Best Graduate Schools 2022 reflect improvement in several areas, as well as strong performances in new categories.

Ongoing survey shows 73% of Nevada will get vaccine, minorities still hesitant

• FOX 5 News Las Vegas

More Nevadans are willing or likely to get the COVID-19 vaccine, but the statistics may not be enough for the state to achieve the "herd immunity" for protection. According to a survey from the University of Nevada, Reno, 73% of people are willing and more likely to get the vaccine, an increase of 9% from the latest results in January. The study is still ongoing, and participants across the state can weigh in by clicking here."So 73%. It's good, it's in the right direction. But it's not that 90% that we may need, up to 90% vaccinated population, to create that herd protection," said Professor Mark Riddle, who has been conducting the study.

FOX5 EXPERTS: Nevada health leader on ongoing importance of masks, distancing

• FOX5 News Las Vegas

Dr. Mark Pandori is director of the Nevada State Public Health Laboratory. He is part of the COVID-19 Task Force and is monitoring cases and variants across Nevada. He talked about the possibility of a spring break surge. He said he is cautiously optimistic of the situation we are in, and if there is an uptick it will be an environment where more people have immunity, either by illness or by vaccination, so the virus has fewer places to go.

Nevada could reach herd immunity in matter of months, expert says

• Las Vegas Sun

Nevada hasn’t achieved herd immunity against COVID-19, but it’s close enough to be characterized by one leading state public health official as “herd dulling.” Mark Pandori, director of the Nevada State Public Health Laboratory in Reno, estimated that about 30-40% of Nevadans are immune because they have naturally acquired antibodies, which become present by catching the virus. As vaccinations continue, that could bring the state to the ideal level of protection of about 70% within a couple of months, he said.

Dr. Riddle discusses the COVID-19 vaccine with KXNT News Radio 840

• KXNT NewsRadio 840 Las Vegas

We've seen plenty of miscommunication and misunderstanding about the coronavirus since the start of the COVID pandemic. KXNT is committed to bringing you the facts and the truth about the coronavirus. We know you have questions we want to help. So each morning, Vegas at 8 will take one of your questions and bring you an answer. This morning we're talking with Dr. Mark Riddle, professor of internal medicine, associate dean for clinical research at the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine.

Real-time wastewater testing can identify virus spikes early

• Las Vegas Review Journal

Mark Pandori, director of the Nevada State Public Health Laboratory in Reno, has said he thinks wastewater testing could be a “surrogate” for testing of humans, but it remains unclear how many people in a community need to be infected to register a positive test result from the sewage. “We believe the importance of wastewater testing will increase as people tend to stop seeking testing, because it might be our only canary in a coal mine that we’ll be able to use to know if this thing creeps back into our communities after we’ve beaten it down,” Pandori said this month. Pandori said the infrastructure for sewage testing exists, but officials need to apply for money from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to expand wastwater testing efforts.

Nevada making progress towards herd immunity, but experts say it's still months away

• KSNV 3 News Las Vegas

Every vaccine administered brings Nevada’s target of herd immunity a little closer. However, there are several other factors at play in helping achieve that goal. One good indicator, according to Dr. Mark Pandori, the Director of the Nevada State Public Health Lab, more Nevadans are also becoming positive for antibodies.

Nevada on track to reach ‘herd immunity,’ official says

• Las Vegas Review Journal

“It does appear that we are on a trajectory to achieve some of the low end of herd immunity in the next couple of months,” Mark Pandori, director of the Nevada State Public Health Laboratory, said during a COVID-19 briefing by state officials.

Nevada mental health resources would have to double just to be average

• Nevada Current

John Packham, Ph.D., the co-director of the Nevada Health Workforce Research Center at the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine, told lawmakers the specific focus on workforce is needed. “You can have an insurance card in your back pocket,” he said. “We can have reimbursement parity. We can see a reduction in the stigma of mental illness and getting that mental illness treated. But if we don’t have a workforce ready and able to provide those services, all of those efforts are moot.”

Match Day for UNR Med medical students

• KTVN Channel 2 News

A cool moment for University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine medical students, today, who learned where they will be spending their residencies. The Match Day tradition involves around 18,000 medical students across the country. Because of the pandemic, the medical students got their results vitually, this year.

UNR medical student coming home to begin residency in Las Vegas

• Fox 5 News Las Vegas

There's few fewer days more special for medical students than the third Friday in March, also known as match day. Its a day where students graduating from medical school learn where they will be completing their residency after school. Today, one University of Nevada Reno graduate, got the call she had been hoping for. Munachi Ndukwu will be completing her residency at the UNLV School of Medicine. Ndukwu was born and raised in Las Vegas, and is beyond excited to return to Southern Nevada.

Q&A: Could I sign up for a specific vaccine?

• Las Vegas Review Journal

“The longer we kind of allow infection to go on in the community, the more chance for these (coronavirus) variants to arise and to take hold,” said Dr. Mark Riddle, associate dean of clinical research at the School of Medicine at the University of Nevada, Reno, and a vaccine consultant to the World Health Organization and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. ”Nationally and locally, we ought to be trying to really vaccinate as quickly as possible as many people as possible, so that these variants don’t take hold,” Riddle said.

Nevada Increases Eligibility for COVID-19 Vaccines

• KTVN Channel 2 News

"The longer we allow infection to go on in the community, the more chance for these variants to rise and to take hold," Dr. Mark Riddle, Associate Chief of Staff for Research at the VA Sierra Nevada Health Care System said.

Vaccine expert joins COVID-19 weekly update, discusses reactions to doses

• KTNV ABC 13 Las Vegas

Today, Mark Riddle, M.D., Dr.P.H., Associate Dean of Clinical Research and Professor of Internal Medicine at the University of Nevada Reno, School of Medicine and Associate Chief of Staff for Research at the VA - Sierra Nevada Health Care System in Reno and, will join Caleb Cage, Nevada COVID-19 Response Director, on their call with the members of the media.

Experts: Avoid brand “shopping” for COVID-19 vaccine

• This is Reno

On Friday, Cage was joined by Dr. Mark Riddle, associate dean of clinical research at the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine, for a briefing with the media. Riddle is an active consultant to the World Health Organization and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation on enteric vaccines and the site principal investigator for the Janssen/J & J COVID-19 vaccine study at the VA Sierra Nevada Health Care System in Reno. Riddle joined Cage to discuss differences between the three emergency approved vaccines—Janssen, Pfizer and Moderna—explaining that each of them is effective. He also stressed, like other health experts, that people should accept whichever among the three is available when they become eligible to be vaccinated.