Catalyst Wrapped: Most-read stories of 2022

December 19, 2022
Pink pin on slip of paper that says top 10. It's on a blue background.
The top stories of 2022 ranged from COVID coverage to a report on a remarkable young College of Pharmacy graduate.

It has been a year of transition and tragedy – but also of remarkable achievements at MUSC. Here are the 10 most-read MUSC Catalyst News stories posted in 2022.

1.     COVID prediction: 'It's probably going to go up like a rocket and drop like a cannonball'

The most read story of 2022 was from July, when the fast-spreading Omicron subvariant BA.5 was making waves around the world. “BA.5 is distinguished mostly by its ability to reinfect, more so than any of the earlier variants,” said MUSC scientist Michael Sweat, Ph.D.

2.     MUSC Health works with DHEC to get word out about monkeypox and its vaccine

COVID wasn’t the only viral threat last summer. Monkeypox cases began to tick up in South Carolina. Doctors at MUSC Health worked with the Department of Health and Environmental Control to alert the public and let people at higher risk of getting the virus know they might qualify for a vaccine.

3.     COVID cases in Charleston area rose more than 730% in a week. What’s next, and when might this end?

The third most-read story of 2022 posted at the start of the year as the original Omicron variant was spreading like wildfire. “The weekly growth rate was sky-high,” said Sweat. “It’s stunning.”

4.     Pharmacy's youngest grad is ready to make a difference

Another stunning development – in this case, stunning in a good way – was highlighted in a widely read story about a young woman accepted to MUSC’s College of Pharmacy when she was just 16 years old. Kira Adkins, Pharm.D., graduated in May, to her peers’ admiration and her parents’ delight. “We know she’s going to do phenomenal things,” her father said.

5.     Death of former Miss USA, lawyer with SC ties, highlights importance of getting help

A heartbreaking event, the suicide of Cheslie Kryst, stunned people across the country. It also started conversations about how to talk about and help people facing mental health challenges. An instructor in MUSC’s Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences had some specific suggestions in the fifth most-read story of 2022.

6.     MUSC doctors first at academic medical center to perform ‘game-changing’ new heart failure device procedure

The sixth most-read story of 2022 showcased MUSC’s leadership in the use of a new, minimally invasive procedure to implant a heart failure treatment device. “I think that it opens up our opportunities to treat patients as individuals,” said vascular surgeon Jean Marie Ruddy, M.D.

7.     OTC hearing aids are OTW. Here’s what an audiologist wants you to tune into.

Hearing trouble affects an estimated 15% of American adults, so it’s no surprise that a report explaining an important development involving hearing aids was among the most-read stories of 2022.

8.     Could leaky blood vessels in the brain be a culprit in Alzheimer’s disease?

An MUSC research team made an important finding that could lead to a new approach to treating Alzheimer’s and other dementias. An article featuring that research was the eighth most-read story of 2022.

9.  New MUSC COVID data show rise of BA.2 subvariant and its offshoot, BA.2.12.1

The final two reports on the list of the most-read stories of 2022 covered the findings of MUSC’s COVID-19 sequencing experts. Sequencing involves checking the genetic makeup of COVID samples to see which variants and subvariants are spreading. This May report focused on two early Omicron subvariants.

10.  BA.4 and BA.5 now make up bulk of COVID cases tested at MUSC

By August, the Omicron offspring BA.4 and BA.5 were everywhere. Readers checked in as the MUSC sequencing team reported on its latest findings.

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