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Center for Policy Studies
Public Affairs Discussion Group

Public Health Lessons From the Ebola Outbreak

Ronald Blanton, M.D., M.Sc. - Professor of International Health at the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine
Friday October 13, 2017
12:30-1:30 p.m.
Dampeer Room
Kelvin Smith Library
Case Western Reserve University

Dear Colleagues:

We usually talk about Ebola outbreaks, but the events that reached international attention in late Summer of 2014 were a true epidemic. Between December 2013 and April 2016, more than 28,000 cases and 11,000 deaths were counted – and counts were incomplete.

The epidemic raised traditional issues such as how to enforce quarantines, but on unprecedented scale, both because of the numbers of people involved and enforcing quarantines across national borders. Some issues had not been faced in the same way before – such as the effects of weaknesses within local and national health care systems, and how to cope with many providers becoming infected and dying. The response raised further questions about governance: such as the roles of WHO and national governments and the prospects for implementing better surveillance systems. And it raised issues about the course of the disease itself, as cases arose after the epidemic seemed to have died down in certain areas.

As the WHO's outbreak response team reported, "the risk of human infection from animals and Ebola survivors appears to be persistent, widespread, and locally unpredictable." So what may have been learned about how to respond? Did that help with the recent outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo? Join us as Professor Blanton, an eminent expert in infectious disease control, discusses the challenges of future control.

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

About Our Guest

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. We usually meet in the Dampeer Room of Kelvin Smith Library.

* Kelvin Smith Library requires all entrants to show identification when entering the building, unless they have a university i.d. that they can magnetically scan. We are sorry if that seems like a hassle, but it has been Library policy for a while in response to security concerns. Please do not complain to the library staff at the entrance, who are just doing their jobs.

The Dampeer Room is on the second floor of the library. If you get off the elevators, turn right, pass the first bank of tables, and turn right again. Occasionally we need to use a different room; that will always be announced in the weekly e-mails.

Parking Possibilities

The most convenient parking is the lot underneath Severance Hall. We regret that it is not free. From that lot there is an elevator up to street level (labeled as for the Thwing Center); it is less than 50 yards from that exit to the library entrance. You can get from the Severance garage to the library without going outside. Near the entry gates - just to the right if you were driving out - there is a door into a corridor. Walk down the corridor and there will be another door. Beyond that door you'll find the entrance to an elevator which goes up to an entrance right inside the doors to Kelvin Smith Library.

Schedule of Friday Lunch Upcoming Topics and Speakers:

October 20: Students, Stress, and Sickness: Are There More Problems and, If So, Why? With Judith Olson-Hammer MS, Director of Educational Services for Students, and Richard B. Pazol Psy.D., Director of Counseling and Coordinator of Assessment Services, University Health and Counseling Services.

October 27: Patenting Pot. With Craig A. Nard J.D., L.L. M., J.S.D., Galen A. Roush Professor of Law and Director, Spangenberg Center for Law, Technology and the Arts.

November 3: Cleveland's Muslim Community: History and Challenges. With Ramez Islambouli, Lecturer of Arabic and Islam; Adjunct Professor of Islamic Law; and President, Uqbah Mosque Foundation.

November 10: Lead Poisoning in Cleveland: Why, After All These Years? With Dorr Dearborn MD, Ph.D., Mary Ann Swetland Professor Emeritus and Department Chair Emeritus, Department of Environmental Health Sciences.

November 17: Digging Into Football and Voting With Data. With Andrew Healy Ph.D., Professor of Economics, Loyola Marymount University and Senior Strategist for Player Personnel, Cleveland Browns.

November 24: Thanksgiving Break

December 1: TBA

December 8: Environmental Policy in the Pruitt EPA. With Catherine J. LaCroix J.D., Adjunct Professor of Law.

October 9, 2017

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

Upcoming Events

America's Immigration Policy Fiasco

The Frank J. Battisti Memorial Lecture, with Douglas S. Massey, Henry G. Bryant Professor of Sociology and Public Affairs and Director of the Office of Population Research at Princeton University , Thursday, October 19, 2017, 4:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m., CWRU School of Law, Moot Courtroom (A59), 11075 East Blvd., Cleveland, Ohio 44106.

Much of the debate about immigration has ignored what actually happened. Professor Massey's research with colleagues, gathered from communities throughout Mexico since 1987, indicates that tighter, militarized enforcement at the U.S. - Mexico border backfired. A circular flow of male workers back and forth was transformed because the costs and risks of crossing the border rose. "Migrants naturally minimized border crossing," he explains, "not by remaining in Mexico but by staying in the United States" - and bringing their families. He will discuss the policy responses that make sense given both that pattern and demographic changes within Mexico.

Professor Massey is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and has served as president of the American Sociological Association and the Population Association of America.

October 2017







































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