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Center for Infectious Disease Dynamics

CIDD embraces all scales and components of infectious disease biology. Our interdisciplinary approach, coupled with a dynamic viewpoint, provides insight into how to prevent or reduce infections.


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We answer a new question Monday through Friday at our COVID-19 FAQ page and provide a new video answer each Monday via YouTube. Subscribe here.

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The Center for Infectious Disease Dynamics (CIDD) at Penn State University is comprised of more than 50 faculty experts in infectious disease.

Below is a list of questions submitted by the public and answered by CIDD faculty members.

You can subscribe to our YouTube playlist here.

Previous AskCIDD Videos:

How do steroids work against COVID?

Should I get a flu shot this year?

Is SARS-CoV-2 airborne?

What is Herd Immunity?

Can I take my mask off when I sneeze?

What do disease models tell us?

Can the virus be transmitted during sex?

Why is rapid turnaround on testing important?

Are gyms safe?

Why should masks cover your nose?

Should I send my kids back to school? How to decide.

Is air pollution related to COVID-19?

Is wearing a face shield the same as wearing a mask?

How can universities function in the fall?

Does Remdesivir work for COVID-19?

What are quarantine "pods" or "bubbles?"

What is the Data 4 Action project?

Do I need to wear a mask outside, alone?

Can pooling samples speed up testing?

Why did SARS and MERS disappear quicker?

Why do symptoms vary so much between people?

What do we know about pregnancy and COVID-19?

What is the "clean hand, dirty hand" technique?

Are my pets at risk?

How can I vote safely during COVID-19?

When do the infected become infectious?

Should I be wearing gloves?

How safe is restaurant takeout food?

Is it safe to go swimming?

What should I do if restrictions lift?

Does virus transmission have anything to do with 5G?

When and why should I wear a cloth mask?

Should I wipe down my groceries?

Can supplements boost my immunity?

Should I keep my child's vaccine appointments?

Can I spread the virus on my shoes?

What's the safest way to pay for things?

What about errors in antibody testing?

How do coronavirus tests work?

How does alcohol kill this virus?

What are case fatality rates?

Can coronavirus be transmitted by mosquitoes?

When can a sick family member rejoin the household?

Is SARS-CoV-2 present in fecal matter?

Will this virus mutate?

How do plasma transfers for COVID-19 work?

What are COVID-19's long-term health effects?

How can I exercise outside responsibly?

How did zoo cats get infected?

What does it mean for a virus to peak?

How is COVID-19 different from the flu?

How does hand-washing affect the virus?

What do we know about drug treatments?

Can I find out if I already had COVID-19?

Is it safe to go for a walk outside?

Is it safe to do my own shopping?

Can I get coronavirus from someone breathing on me?

What should I do if someone in my home is infected?

How long will this shutdown last?

Can I get coronavirus from a package?

Series Introduction

Explore CIDD Research

CIDD People

We’ve found many viruses that are beneficial for plant hosts. I think that acute viruses that make their host sick are actually an exception.

Maliheh Safari
PhD Student

At CIDD, we study infections from the perspective of the parasitic agent. Our faculty and research span human, animal, and plant systems to determine the unique demands of the parasitic lifestyle, the responses of the hosts and how the environment affects these interactions.

This approach yields novel insights into the biological processes that drive the biology and evolution of infectious agents, and the processes that can be used to limit their harm to individual and population health.