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Epidemics and pandemics, what is to come?

I’m really delighted about a new project I am working on to promote a medical/scientific conference called Infection 2009 which is being held in Birmingham imagenext month.

It might not sound a very sexy subject, but the topics which its world leading experts will speak about could have a considerable impact on our lives. The very distinguished Sir Richard Sykes is conference president, (chairman of NHS London), indicating how prestigious this major event is.

The programme includes:

· Epidemic and Pandemic Planning

· Swine flu

· Animal infections and human health

· Medical Tourism

· Predicting the next pandemic

· Clostridium difficile in an ageing population

….and so much more which I will write about later. The full programme can be read here and includes a Question Time chaired by Fiona Godlee, Editor of the British Medical Journal, who will also speak about improving the patients’ experience. The media is very welcome to attend this session which will have a very high profile panel.

imageI believe we live in unprecedented times and are potentially at risk from many different infections. The resistance to antibiotics will be a recurring theme at the conference. We  need to think twice about asking for them from our GP.

Infection 2009 is the largest scientific conference to be held in the UK. The Department of Health is one of a number of high profile partners and will host a session “Design Bugs Out – the role of hospital design in infection control”. 

I shall be very interested in the sessions on epidemics and pandemics, which includes speaker Dr Frank Rijsberman, who is responsible for the global public health initiative Predict and Prevent at Goorgle.org, and whose presentation title is “Can we predict and prevent the next pandemic?” We would all like to know his answer to this.

And Prof Neil Ferguson, who advises the UK, US and Chinese governments and the World Health Organisation on the management of the swine flu pandemic, will give his analysis on this very worrying subject which has caused so much fear.

I certainly feel very humble next to these very clever people.


3 Comments

  1. Thanks for posting this, Ellee, I will be most interested to read your update on the conference.

    Such an important post. I wish I could go to the Question Time.

    I don’t think prescrition antibiotics is the whole or main problem. As a visiting professional I was shown a pig farm that feeds the piglets antibiotics in their drinking water. Such farming methods introduces antibiotics into the food chain.

  2. Philip Lee may have a view

  3. THat should be an excellent conference.

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