VMRCVM's Maryland Campus to present avian influenza program

BLACKSBURG, Va., June 3, 2005 – Avian influenza has always posed a serious threat to poultry producers in the Mid-Atlantic states and the Delmarva peninsula, home to some of the nation’s most prolific production centers.

And recently, both the World Heath Organization and the United States’ Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta have expressed serious concern about the possibility that an outbreak of avian influenza H5N1 currently affecting southeast Asia could mutate into a form that could jump species and present a global public health threat.

To help disseminate factual information about the disease as both a threat to agricultural productivity and human health and well-being, the Center for Public and Corporate Veterinary Medicine on the Maryland Campus of the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine will present an avian influenza informational symposium from 1 to 5 p.m. Tuesday, June 14, at the Avrum Gudelsky Veterinary Center on the University of Maryland campus.

“Just in time: Avian Influenza” will feature a number of state and federal experts and offer three continuing education credits for veterinarians.

The four-hour presentation will include an opening presentation on the symposium and the meeting by Katherine Feldman, assistant director of the Center for Public and Corporate Veterinary Medicine, Maryland Campus.

Daniel Perez, assistant professor, and a scientist considered one of the world’s leading experts on avian influenza, will present “Jumping influenza viruses from ducks to humans” at 1:15 p.m.

Nathaniel Tablante associate professor and extension specialist – poultry, will present “Clinical presentation and pathobiology of avian influenza” at 1:50 p.m.

Tracy DuVernoy, of the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) will present “USDA involvement and response to H5N1 highly pathogenic avian influenza in Asia” at 2:25 p.m.

Tom Jacobs of the Maryland Department of Agriculture will present “Avian influenza and emergency response in Maryland” at 3:15 p.m.

Dr. Jean Taylor of the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene will present “Pandemic influenza planning in Maryland” at 3:50 p.m.

A panel discussion featuring different presenters will conclude the afternoon presentation.

Registration is limited to 40 people and costs $25. For more information, contact Katherine Feldman at (301) 314-6820 or email her at kfeldman@umd.edu.