New Horizons in Science

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From Haiti to the Hajj: Real-time science to prevent pandemics

Topic: Emerging Diseases
Throngs of people on Hajj pilgrimage surrounding the Kaaba
Al Jazeera English
Sunday, November 3, 2013 -
9:30am to 10:30am
Century Ballroom A

As the annual Hajj pilgrimage approaches, world health officials are watching with concern a SARS-like coronavirus that has already caused dozens of deaths in Saudi Arabia this year. Glenn Morris and his collaborators at the Emerging Pathogens Institute at the University of Florida scramble to do the basic science necessary to fend off and combat pandemics. Areas of current activity include understanding the transmission of the Saudi Arabian virus from animals to humans. Morris is also studying how Haiti’s newly established and highly virulent cholera strain continues to evolve, both in the island’s waters and during transmission from one human host to another. The establishment of a single strain in a new environment has turned Haiti, tragically, into a laboratory for puzzling out the dynamics of Vibrio cholerae.

VIDEO AVAILABLE: Click here to view a video recording of this session. Included is a dialogue and Q&A with Maryn McKenna on the challenges emerging diseases pose for science writers and communicators.

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