The Emerging Scholars Seminar Series offers free weekly seminars on various topics of interest to undergraduate student researchers at Mines. There are no limits on attendance.
At this ESSS Kevin Josey, Ph.D., will speak about his research and his person experience as postdoctoral fellow in biostatistics at the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health in Boston, MA. Join us as he discusses the “Excess of COVID-19 Cases and Deaths due to Fine Particulate Matter Exposure During the 2020 Wildfires in the United States”.
Abstract: The year 2020 brought unimaginable challenges in public health, with the convergence of the COVID-19 pandemic and wildfires across the western United States. Wildfires produce high levels of fine particulate matter (PM2.5). Recent studies reported that short-term exposure to PM2.5 is associated with increased risk of COVID-19 cases and deaths. We acquired and linked publicly available daily data on PM2.5, the number of COVID-19 cases and deaths, and other confounders for 92 western U.S. counties that were affected by the 2020 wildfires. We estimated the association between short-term exposure to PM2.5 during the wildfires and the epidemiological dynamics of COVID-19 cases and deaths. We adjusted for several time-varying confounding factors (e.g., weather, seasonality, long-term trends, mobility, and population size). We found strong evidence that wildfires amplified the effect of short-term exposure to PM2.5 on COVID-19 cases and deaths.