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Postponed! - The Importance of doing research during outbreaks caused by emerging infections

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As Chairman of the UK Health Protection Agency, Professor Heymann oversees UK preparations for new and emerging health threats. He was previously Assistant Director General for Health Security for WHO . His distinguished career as a medical epidemiologist has included leading research in the WHO Global Programme on AIDS , eradicating smallpox in India in 1978, and working at the forefront of international effort in the SARS epidemic. In a joint talk with Medsin Cambridge, Professor Heymann will discuss the current Ebola outbreak. As one of the investigators of the first Ebola outbreak in 1976 in Zaire, he is in a unique position to share his insights into the lessons learnt in managing Ebola and the outlook for ending the epidemic.

Through meticulous reconstruction of the events that led to the first outbreak of Ebola in Yambuku, DRC (then Zaire) in 1976, and from continued research during and between successive outbreaks after 1976 until the present outbreaks in West Africa, a clear understanding of the epidemiology of Ebola has been gained. From this understanding, and from successful containment of all pervious outbreaks while they remained in rural areas, three containment strategies have been shown to be effective: rapid diagnosis and isolation of patients where infection control is able to prevent further spread

This talk is part of the SciSoc – Cambridge University Scientific Society series.

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