History of medicine lecture series continues: Beyond Bugs and Drugs: Infectious Disease Discovery and Epidemiology

Navajo Painting

The deer mouse, an important carrier of hantavirus disease, depicted in Navajo art. Photo by permission, Ben Muneta, M.D.

Hantavirus

Thursday, April 28, 12:00 noon to 1:00 p.m.

Howe Conference Room, Briscoe Library

In May of 1993, members of the Navajo Nation in the Fours Corners area of the United States were stricken by a deadly pneumonia of unknown cause.  In less than two months, investigators from the CDC determined the infection was due to a new virus related to the Hantaan virus of Asia.  The infection was spread to humans by exposure to rodent excreta. 

The Four Corners area had a population explosion of rodents in 1993 due to an El Nino climate event, which caused an abnormally high level of precipitation.  Subsequently, it was discovered that many other species of Hantaviruses were lurking in the rodents of the New World. 

The spring lecture series, Beyond Bugs and Drugs: Infectious Disease Discovery and Epidemiology, sponsored by the Friends of the P.I. Nixon Medical Historical Library and the Briscoe Library, continues on April 28.  In the third talk of the series Dr. Gregory Anstead of the School of Medicine, director of the Immunosuppression and Infectious Diseases clinics of the South Texas Veterans Healthcare System, will explore the rapid discovery of the etiology and reservoir ecology of Hantavirus as evidence of the power of epidemiology and molecular diagnostics. 

As always, the event is free and open to everyone.  Please bring your lunch and join us!

For more information about the spring lecture series, contact Pennie Borchers, Special Collections Librarian, at borchers@uthscsa.edu.

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