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Expanded save the date: ASTMH Annual Meeting

November 13, 2008

Nearly 2,900 physicians and scientists from institutions around the world such as the World Health Organization, the Centers for Disease Control and the National Institutes of Health will meet at the 57th American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene's Annual Meeting Dec. 7-11, in New Orleans to discuss the latest research on infectious and emerging diseases and global health threats.

Meeting highlights include:

"Airport Malaria" - Cause for Concern in the U.S.: "Airport malaria" is a term coined by researchers to explain the more recent spread of malaria to areas such as the United States and Europe. Due to warmer climate changes, scientists believe that mosquitoes are able to flourish in new territories, which were previously not as welcoming. Airport malaria is transmitted when a mosquito infected with the disease bites a human within the vicinity (usually one mile or less) of an international airport. As major U.S. cities with a large presence of international air traffic, such as New York and Los Angeles, encounter warmer climate changes they create a more welcoming environment where these infected mosquitoes can survive. It is estimated that malaria affects 300-500 million people per year. Presenter: James H. Diaz, M.D., program director for Environmental and Occupational Health at Louisiana State University.

Applying Traditional "Supply and Demand" Business Principles to Treat Infectious Diseases Worldwide: Treating infectious diseases while facing escalating costs continues to pose worldwide challenges, with one of the main issues being the ability to provide an adequate supply of drugs to treat infectious diseases. While this may sound simple, ensuring a sufficient supply of effective drugs to each country that needs them remains a challenge until the demand for those drugs is accurately predicted and understood. A new and improved scientific method to forecast the demand for a key anti-malarial treatment may be the key for how science and economics can and should intersect to maintain low-cost, high-quality drugs to combat infectious diseases. Presenter: Justin Cohen, M.P.H., Ph.D., epidemiologist at the Clinton Foundation.

Forgotten, but not Gone - Leprosy Still Present in the U.S.: Long believed to be a disease of biblical times, leprosy, also known as Hansen's disease, continues to be seen in the United States. Because many of the population in the U.S. affected by leprosy are immigrants in poor communities who primarily seek treatment in free clinics or emergency rooms, the National Hansen's Disease Program says that many of those physicians are not familiar with the disease to make an accurate diagnosis. Therefore, many physicians mistake the skin lesions of leprosy for a fungus or ringworm and treat it with a topical cream. As leprosy moves toward internal regions of the U.S., it becomes more urgent to reach those physicians to let them know about the symptoms of this disease. Because leprosy is a slow-progressing disease, it can take months, before the doctor or patient realizes the treatment isn't working - giving the disease enough time to start destroying the nervous system. Presenter: James Krahenbuhl, Ph.D., director of the Health Resources Service Administration's National Hansen's Disease Program in Baton Rouge, LA.

Is Traveling Internationally with Children as Easy as Celebrities Make it Seem?: High profile celebrities such as Angelina Jolie and Madonna are often photographed traveling internationally, sometimes to underdeveloped countries with their young children in tow. While they make traveling with children seem safe and easy, there are real dangers to consider when traveling to the underdeveloped and tropical regions of the world with young children. In addition to preventative vaccines, there are a variety of precautionary measures parents can take to protect their children while traveling. Presenter: Andrea Summer, M.D., associate professor of pediatrics at Medical University of South Carolina.

Other presentation topics during the ASTMH meeting will address new findings, research results and theories related to tuberculosis, West Nile Virus, Ebola virus, Dengue fever and mosquito, tick and animal-transmitted diseases.
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ALL PRESS MUST BE PRE-REGISTERED AND PROVIDE PRESS CREDENTIALS TO ATTEND THIS MEETING. For more information on meeting registration, contact Jennifer Bender at jbender@environics-usa.com or (203) 325-8772 x18.

American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene

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