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UC Davis Media Sources for Warm-Weather Safety; People and Pets

By Karen Nikos-Rose on May 23, 2019 in Human & Animal Health

As temperatures reach at or near the century mark, the University of California, Davis, has sources for media seeking information on summer safety including protection from the sun and mosquitoes, safety in the water, keeping cool in general, and food-preparation practices. There are also pet-safety sources here. This information was updated July 26, 2019.

Food safety, inside and outside the home

Linda Harris is a cooperative extension specialist, food safety microbiologist and chair of the UC Davis Department of Food Science and Technology. She can discuss general food safety issues including those related to home, food service or the food industry and related regulatory issues. Her laboratory conducts research on foodborne pathogens such as Salmonella and Listeria monocytogenes and their control in fresh fruits, vegetables and tree nuts. Contact: ljharris@ucdavis.edu; 530-754-9485

Mosquitoes and repellent

Mosquitoes that can transmit multiple viruses including dengue, yellow fever, Zika and West Nile, smell and taste DEET, a leading repellent, with their nose (antennae) and feet when they approach and land on human skin. DEET is shorthand for the chemical N,N-diethyl-meta-toluamide, the active ingredient in many insect repellents that make mosquitoes stay away.

UC Davis entomologist Walter Leal has done pioneering work on insects’ sense of smell (olfaction). Leal’s group has identified and characterized many of the genes and proteins involved in detecting odors in antennae. His team identified the exact chemical receptor for DEET odor as well as some possible new candidate repellents. More information in the UC Davis Egghead blog here. He can discuss his mosquito research with the media. He appeared in a recent public radio story. Contact: wsleal@ucdavis.edu; 530-752-7755

Skin cancer

Amanda Kirane, a fellowship-trained complex general surgical oncologist, can talk about melanoma and other skin cancers. She passionately believes in personalized medicine using evidence-based best practice to tailor treatment to each individual patient. Kirane’s academic interests include basic and translational science research in melanoma and sarcoma with specific interest in mechanisms of evasive resistance, tumor microenvironment signaling and immune response. Contact: Dorsey Griffith, senior public information office, UC Davis Health, dgriffith@ucdavis.edu; 916-734-9118 

Water safety

Water safety, life jacket fittings, drowning prevention and other issues can be addressed by Misael Chavarin, community education specialist with the UC Davis Trauma Prevention and Outreach Department. Contact: mchavarin@ucdavis.edu

Sports and physical rehabilitation

Brandee Waite is a UC Davis Health physician who specializes in sports and physical rehabilitation medicine. In her clinic, she helps a wide range of athletes — from weekend warriors to professional and college competitors — achieve their performance goals while avoiding injuries. She guides each of her patients on adjustments they need to make to their plans in times of high heat. By taking adequate precautions and knowing the danger signs of heat-related illnesses, everyone can still exercise safely during summer. Contact: Karen Finney,  klfinney@ucdavis.edu; 916-734-9064

Heat dangers and the elderly

Physician Calvin Hirsch specializes in geriatrics because of his desire to improve the quality of care for elderly patients. His clinic and research focus on optimizing functional status and preventing functional decline with age. Heat is a particular health concern for the elderly. With increased maturity comes reduced ability to notice physiological changes, making conditions like heat stroke more likely. Dr. Hirsch can address ways to recognize and reduce those risks. Contact: Karen Finney, klfinney@ucdavis.edu; 916-734-9064

Animal behavior: fireworks, visitors, traveling  

Melissa Bain is a professor with the Behavior Service at the UC Davis veterinary hospital. She is available to discuss nearly any aspect of animal behavior such as traveling in cars, fear of fireworks, introducing animals to new people and surroundings, and much more. Her published research includes subjects such as behavioral changes associated with age and canine dementia. She is double board certified by the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists and the American College of Animal Welfare. Bain is one of the foremost authorities on animal behavior in the country and is the recipient of the 2016 Veterinarian of the Year Award from the American Veterinary Medical Association. Contact: mjbain@ucdavis.edu; 530-752-6226

Pets and the dangers of overheating, foxtails and other summer injuries

Karl Jandrey is the associate dean of student programs with the School of Veterinary Medicine’s Dean’s Office and an associate professor with the Emergency & Critical Care Service at the UC Davis veterinary hospital. Having served in emergency rooms for more than 20 years, he can discuss critical conditions in pets such as heat stroke, drug overdosing, overheating, and cardiac arrest, as well as an array of diseases and injuries. Dr. Jandrey is also well versed in discussing cannabis products and marijuana intoxication in pets. He is board certified by the American College of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care. Contact: kejandrey@ucdavis.edu; 530-574-7691

Jamie Burkitt is an assistant professor with the Emergency & Critical Care Service at the UC Davis veterinary hospital. Having served in emergency rooms for nearly 20 years, she can discuss critical conditions in pets such as heat stroke, foxtail invasion, overheating, and cardiac arrest, as well as an array of diseases and injuries. She is board certified by the American College of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care. Contact: jmburkitt@ucdavis.edu; 530-752-1393

Media contact(s)

Karen Nikos-Rose, News and Media Relations, UC Davis, 530-219-5472, kmnikos@ucdavis.edu

Amy Quinton, News and Media Relations, 530-752-9843, cell 530-601-8077, amquinton@ucdavis.edu

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