Public Health – UROP Summer Symposium 2021

Public Health

Using Wastewater-based Epidemiology to Measure SARS-CoV-2 Burden

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a tremendous influence on our daily life over the last year, creating significant issues. Clinical testing was initially unavailable and then quite limited, which limited our capacity to interpret the full scale of the pandemic. Wastewater-based epidemiology, which can surveil viral burden of communities through wastewater treatment plants, emerged as a viable option to identify the SARS-CoV-2 burden in a given community. Our team is a member of a research consortium that samples more than 100 sites across the state of Michigan to understand COVID-19 transmission dynamics.

Binge Drinking Behaviors Among Sexual Minority Youth

Sexual minority youth (SMY), defined as youth who are not heterosexual or cis gendered, disproportionately engage in alcohol use behaviors, namely binge drinking, current alcohol use, and younger age of first consumption. Despite these disparities, research focused on alcohol use behaviors among SMY is limited. Because alcohol consumption is linked to sexual and other risk behaviors, there is a critical need to expand on this body of research to inform the development of interventions to decrease alcohol use behaviors among SMY. The purpose of this study was to explore whether SMY are more likely to report binge drinking than sexual majority groups in Michigan.

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