March 18: UF in the News 3/15/21-3/18/21

Why public school enrollment matters to district bottom lines — The Christian Science Monitor, 3/15/21 
Scores of students have not shown up to class since the pandemic started. The enrollment drop is viewed as a looming public school funding crisis. But fixed costs are difficult to cut, said R. Craig Wood, professor of educational administration at UF. “It’s very difficult for school districts to cut at the margins,” says Dr. Wood.

Scientists Find New Invasive Mosquito Species In Florida — NPR, 3/16/21
Aedes scapularis, a new species of mosquito that likes going indoors and feeding on both birds and people, is spreading throughout Florida, said Lawrence Reeves, an entomologist and research scientist with UF/IFAS to NPR. That’s particularly concerning, because aedes scapularis can carry yellow fever.

Why lost sense of smell from COVID-19 is a serious threat to patients' quality of life — USA Today, 3/17/21 
Dr. Steven Munger, director of the University of Florida Center for Smell and Taste and co-director of the UF Health Smell Disorders Program, discusses how anosmia, the inability to smell, disconnects you from the world, and from other people, in profound ways. Anosmia is one of the most common symptoms of COVID-19. 

UF researcher finds leprosy drug could be used in fight against COVID-19 variant — Fox13 Tampa Bay, 3/17/21
UF Associate Professor of Pathology David Ostrov discusses his findings on a leprosy drug that could be used in the fight against COVID-19 variants. Florida is leading the country when it comes to United Kingdom variant cases of COVID-19.

More than 430 manatees have perished in 2021. Why are they dying? — National Geographic, 3/17/21
Water pollution in Florida’s springs is leading to a dearth of seagrass, a source of food for manatees. Mike Walsh, co-director of aquatic animal health at the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine, weighs in on how manatees need to consume as much as 10% of their body weight daily in seagrass or other aquatic plants. The lack of vegetation is causing many of them to starve to death in the winter.