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Scientists to explore global change-public health connection
Date:4/21/2008

Emerging infectious diseases, including malaria, dengue fever, and avian influenza, have been linked to a number of environmental factors and, more recently, to climate change. Research suggests that as temperatures increase, the animals that carry and ultimately transmit these diseases to humans will expand in range. As this occurs, these diseases may be introduced into areas where they currently do not pose a threat. Understanding the interactions that occur among climate, environment, and infectious disease is critical to informing public policy decisions and protecting public health, and will be the focus of the American Institute of Biological Sciences (AIBS) 61st Annual Meeting.

Scientists, educators, and policy makers will gather near Washington, DC, May 1213, 2008, at the Westin Arlington Gateway, Virginia, to discuss the timely and complex issues related to the meetings theme, Climate, Environment, and Infectious Diseases. The meeting will feature plenary presentations by internationally recognized researchers from academic, biotechnology, and government organizations.

With the increased interest in climate change, it is appropriate to focus on human health, especially infectious diseases that will be exacerbated or modified by climate events, said meeting organizer and 2008 AIBS President Dr. Rita Colwell. Seasonality is just now recognized as an important factor in the annual cycle of infectious diseases and this will be but one of many factors that influence the range, intensity, and length of time each year that given infectious diseases arise. The AIBS Annual Meeting will address this most timely health problem.

Keynote and plenary presentations include:

Monday, May 12

  • Terry Maple, Palm Beach Zoo: A Contract with the Earth

  • James Hansen, NASA: Global Warming: The Threat to Life

  • Durland Fish, Yale University: Environmental Determinants of Lyme Disease Risk

  • Howar
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Contact: Holly Menninger
hmenninger@aibs.org
202-628-1500 x229
American Institute of Biological Sciences
Source:Eurekalert

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