October 18, 2001
Infectious Disease Experts to Discuss Bioterrorism
- Biological warfare will be discussed by infectious disease
specialists in several late-breaking sessions at the 39th Annual Meeting of
the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA), Oct. 25-28, in San
Francisco. More than 3,000 experts are expected to attend. Topics will
include the infectious agents that might be used for bioterrorism, as well
as preparation for an attack. The sessions are open to media.
-- Two experts on bioterrorism - James W. Snyder, Ph.D., University of
Louisville School of Medicine, and Maj. Jon B. Woods, M.D., U.S. Air
Force/U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID)
-- are faculty for the "Meet the Professor" session on biological warfare at
7 a.m. Oct. 26. The session will be repeated at 7 a.m. Oct. 28.
-- John G. Bartlett, M.D., Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, will
give The Kass Lecture, "Infectious Diseases: What's Hot and What's Not," at
8:30 a.m. Oct. 26.
-- The Smadel Lecture, "Viral Hemorrhagic Fevers: Signposts on the Highway
to Andromeda?" will be given by Karl M. Johnson, M.D., University of New
Mexico, at 8:30 a.m. Oct. 27.
-- A late-breaker symposium will be given by Marci Layton, M.D., New York
City Department of Health, and Thomas Inglesby, M.D., Johns Hopkins Center
for Civilian Biodefense Studies, at 8:10 a.m. Oct. 28.
Spokespersons from IDSA are available for interview and are available to
-- Anthrax transmission, symptoms and treatments.
-- What precautions people should take handling suspicious packages?
-- How can we prepare for future outbreaks?
-- Mistaking colds and flu for anthrax poisoning; Are flu shots helpful?
-- Other biological agents that potentially could be used as weapons
including small pox and bubonic plague.
In addition, the current anthrax scares and terrorist activities have thrust
infectious disease experts into the spotlight. How are they coming together
as a professional community to share research and information? Is the U.S.
prepared for a widespread anthrax or other biologicaldisaster? What concerns
and questions are they getting from people back in their hometowns?