can't see the images? view this message online.

Center for Policy Studies
Public Affairs Discussion Group

The Zika Virus: Threat and Responses

Ronald Blanton, M.D./M.Sc. - Professor of International Health at the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine
Friday September 9, 2016
12:30-1:30 p.m.

Alternate Location: Guilford House Parlor, 11112 Bellflower Road
Case Western Reserve University

Dear Colleagues:

The Zika virus was first identified in Uganda, in 1947. Transmission to humans was identified in 1952. Into the 1980s, it was tracked in mosquitoes through western Africa and occasional observations in Asia. But in spite of rare evidence of human exposure, illness was rare and disease was regarded, as WHO reports, as "benign."

In 2007 the first outbreak of identified zika-related disease occurred on the Pacific island of Yap. In 2008 sexual transmission was documented between a U.S. scientist, infected in Senegal, and his wife in Colorado. The first large outbreaks occurred in French Polynesia in 2013-14. In early 2015 Brazil reported an outbreak of skin rash disorders that would be traced to Zika. In November Brazilian studies suggested a link between Zika virus and microencephaly in infants. Subsequent research in Brazil and Polynesia has strengthened that link. By February of 2016, WHO reported that, "Human Zika virus infection appears to have changed in character while expanding its geographical range." By August Zika diseases were spreading in the United States, with at least 21 cases of birth defects, hundreds of infections among pregnant women, and the FDA ordered blood banks to screen for the virus. In February President Obama requested $1.9 billion in new funding for responses such as mosquito control, but Republicans have demanded that the money be redirected from other spending, or attached it to attacks on Planned Parenthood.

What the heck is going on? What do we know about the threat? How did it happen? What do we know about responses? Join us as Professor Blanton, an expert in mosquito-borne diseases whose field work focuses on Brazil, shares his perspectives.

All best regards,
Joe White
Luxenberg Family Professor of Public Policy and Director, Center for Policy Studies

About Our Guests

Dr. Ronald E. Blanton of CWRU's Center for Global Health and Diseases works to integrate basic bench research with fieldwork in tropical medicine. His research includes immunology, genetics and molecular biology. Much of his work involves a field component in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil - and so he was close to the scene when Zika burst into prominence last year. Two main lines of his research involve infection by and treatment of the diseases caused by Schistosoma parasites ("snail fever"), and similar issues regarding dengue fever, for which the main disease vector is the Aedes aegypti mosquito. Much of the Zika transmission has been by the same mosquito, and the paths and developments of Zika and the dengue fevers have sometimes been difficult to distinguish. His recent publications address issues such as the social factors that shape persistence of urban schistosomiasis, and the comorbidities that could increase risk that patients' dengue fevers could become dengue hemorrhagic fever. Dr. Blanton received his M.D. from CWRU in 1979 and his M.Sc. in Genetic Epidemiology from CWRU in 2003.

Where We Meet

The Friday Public Affairs Lunch convenes each Friday when classes are in session, from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. Our programs are open to all and no registration is required. This week we meet in Guilford House, the yellow building with a nice porch at 11112 Bellflower Road, just east of the Tinkham Veale University Center. The main entrance of Guilford faces east, towards the fountain that almost never is running, and the talk will be next to the entry hall. During most other weeks we will meet in the Dampeer Room of Kelvin Smith Library; the room will always be announced in these e-mails and on our website.

Parking Possibilities

Participants who wish can park in the lot underneath Severance Hall. From that lot they could take elevators to the surface either labeled "Thwing Center" or as entries to the Tinkham Veale University Center. They then could walk down the sidewalk with the University Center on their left and Thwing on their right. They will pass Mather Dance on the left and see Guilford ahead to their left. Some lucky persons may find parking on Bellflower Road. The lots at the Church of the Covenant and the Ford Garage are also fairly close to Guilford. From the Church lot, go down the stairs at the west side of the church; turn right on the walkway and follow that to Guilford. From the Ford Garage, walk out on Ford; turn left to walk up to Bellflower; turn left and you will soon see Guilford on your left.

Schedule of Friday Lunch Upcoming Topics and Speakers:

September 16: The Chinese Business System. With Steven Feldman, Professor of Design and Innovation, Weatherhead School of Management.

September 23: Politics, Economics, and International Trade. With Joe White, Luxenberg Family Professor of Public Policy.

September 30: What Next for the British Labour Party? With Luke Reader Ph.D., SAGES Lecturer.

October 7: The Lake Erie Wind Farm and the Future of Wind Energy. With David Matthiesen, Associate Professor of Materials Science and Engineering and Director, Wind Energy Research and Commercialization Center.

October 14: Living Black: Social Life in an African-American Neighborhood.. With Mark S. Fleisher, Research Professor, Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences. Alternate Location: Mather House Room 100.

October 21: The DARPA Robotics Challenge and the Future of Robotics. With Wyatt S. Newman, Professor of Electrical, Computer and Systems Engineering.

October 28: Macroeconomic Challenges for the Next Administration. With Mark S. Sniderman, Executive in Residence and Adjunct Professor of Economics, Weatherhead School of Management, and former Research Director, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland. November 4: Biennial Political Science Department Pre-Election Forecast Discussion.

November 11: The Unrealized Promise of Libertarianism. With Gus Dizerega, Ph.D., independent political theorist.

November 18: Can Democracy Meet the Challenge of Polarization? With Mark Chupp, Assistant Professor, Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Social Sciences.

November 25: Thanksgiving Break.

December 2: Putin's Russia. With Kelly M. McMann, Associate Professor of Political Science and Director, International Studies Program.

December 9: Health Care Report Cards – Time for Second Thoughts? With J.B. Silvers, John R. Mannix Medical Mutual of Ohio Professor of Health Care Finance.

September 6, 2016

If you would like to reply, submit items for inclusion, or not receive this weekly e-mail please send a notice to:

Upcoming Events

What Have We Learned About Culture, Disadvantage and Black Youth?

A discussion with Orlando Patterson, John Cowles Professor of Sociology at Harvard University, Wednesday September 14, 2016, 4:30 - 6:00 p.m., Harkness Chapel, 11200 Bellflower Road, Cleveland, OH 44106. Free and open to the public. Sponsored by the Baker-Nord Center for the Humanities.

A substantial minority of black youth suffer major disadvantages in America–racism; ghettoization; poverty; high drop-out, unemployment and incarceration rates; violence and policy brutality — yet are among the most culturally creative and influential groups in the nation. Social scientists have had only limited success in explaining their plight and their paradoxical role in America’s popular culture, largely due to the reluctance to consider cultural factors. In his talk, Orlando Patterson, John Cowles Professor of Sociology at Harvard and recipient of the 2016 Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards Lifetime Achievement Prize, will explain the reason for this reluctance and propose an interactive approach to an understanding of these problems, one that sees culture as a dynamic process that operates interactively with socio-economic and environmental forces in accounting for both negative and positive outcomes.

Orlando Patterson, a historical and cultural sociologist, is the John Cowles Professor of Sociology at Harvard University. He previously held faculty appointments at the University of the West Indies, his alma mater, and the London School of Economics where he received his PhD. He has written on the cultural sociology of sports, especially the game of cricket. Professor Patterson is the author of numerous academic papers and 6 major academic books including, Slavery and Social Death (1982), Freedom in the Making of Western Culture (1991), The Ordeal of Integration (1997), and The Cultural Matrix: Understanding Black Youth (2015).

Marijuana Legalization and Federalism

Join us for the annual CWRU Constitution Day program for a discussion with a CWRU student panel featuring speakers Jonathan H. Adler, J.D., Johan Verheij Memorial Professor, Case Western Reserve University School of Law and Brannon P. Denning, J.D., Associate Dean and Professor, Cumberland School of Law, Monday September 19, 2016, 4:00-5:30 p.m., Moot Courtroom CWRU School of Law, 11075 East Blvd., Cleveland, OH 44106-1769. This program is sponsored by the Office of the President, Office of Government and Community Relations, Department of Political Science, Center for Policy Studies, and the School of Law. A reception will follow at the law school.

The possession and use of marijuana have been illegal at the federal level since the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937. Many states initially followed suit with similar legislation. But over the past twenty years there has been an increasing number of challenges to marijuana prohibition.

Since 1996, when California legalized medical use of marijuana through Proposition 215, 23 other states have done the same despite federal law. Four of those states have legalized its recreational use as well. Opinion polls suggest a growing majority of Americans support legalizing marijuana for both medical and recreational use.

The Constitution Day Committee welcomes Brannon Denning and Jonathan Adler to discuss significant questions regarding marijuana legalization and pertinent federalism issues. In discussing the current controversy over marijuana legalization, the forum will address a long-standing debate in American history: states’ vs. federal powers.

September 2016






































Visit the Public Affairs Discussion Group Web Site.

Center for Policy Studies | Mather House 111 | 11201 Euclid Avenue | Cleveland, Ohio 44106-7109 | 
Phone: 216.368.6730 | Part of the: College of Arts and Sciences
© 2016 Case Western Reserve University | Cleveland, Ohio 44106 | 216.368.2000 | legal notice