2 years ago

3 August, 2016

Theatre 2, 200 Berkeley St

Organised by:
Melbourne University Health Initiative


In light of the recent outbreak of Zombificus Australis, the Melbourne University Health Initiative (MUHI) will be holding a panel discussion centred on how we, as Melburnians, can effectively respond to an epidemic.

Our history has been ridden with oubreaks of infectious disease. The Black Death devastated Europe in the mid-14th century, resulting in death toll of around 75 to 200 million. More recently, the Ebola virus epidemic, which began in December 2013, caused over 11,000 deaths in West Africa. The Zika virus epidemic emerged April last year in Brazil, and has since spread throughout South America and to parts of North America. The outbreak has already raised concerns about the safety of athletes and spectators at the upcoming 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

As Melburnians, it is easy for us to fall under the false impression that such outbreaks only occur overseas in developing countries. Earlier this year, 2 distinct outbreaks of measles occurred in Victoria, one which started in Brunswick and has since spread to other suburbs, and another centred in Mooroolbark. To date, 25 Melburnians have contracted the disease. It is critical we are all aware of what to do when such outbreaks do occur so as to be able to limit the spread of infection, and reduce the impact of the epidemic.

The panel will consist of world-leading experts who have had experience with managing each stage of the response to the 2009 influenza pandemic:

Prof. Michael Richards, Director of the Victorian Infectious Diseases Service (VIDS).

Dr. Alan Hampson, former Deputy Director of the WHO Collaborating Centre for Reference and Research on Influenza and former Chairman of the Australian Influenza Specialist Group (ISG).

Prof. Jodie Mcvernon, Head of the Modelling and Simulation Group within the Centre for Epidemiology and Biostatics at the Melbourne School of Population and Global Health.

The evening will conclude with a brief presentation about the opportunities available at MUHI for you to deepen your understanding about global health issues and use your skills to improve health outcomes abroad.

Should you have any queries regarding the event, please do not hesitate to contact Joyce Chan, our Program Manager for Public Lectures, at jchan@muhi.org.au.