JHU convenes meeting on influenza pandemic
With the very real possibility of an influenza pandemic
looming in the background, Johns Hopkins this week is
convening what is thought to be the world's first meeting
of international experts to examine how poor and
disadvantaged populations would fare under a number of mass
Ruth Faden, executive director of the
R. Berman Bioethics Institute, and Ruth Karron,
professor of international
health and a member of the
Immunization Research at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg
School of Public Health, are convening the July 24-28
conference in Bellagio, Italy.
Hosted by the Rockefeller Foundation, the meeting will
bring together experts to discuss global and national
policies and practices on biosecurity, food security, human
disease surveillance and disease containment strategies. In
preparation for the first-of-its-kind meeting, a number of
countries have submitted existing pandemic response plans
for analysis. To help lower the potential for unjust
responses in the face of a mass outbreak, the group plans
to closely examine existing public policy and pandemic
planning efforts, and to make recommendations.
Public health officials and experts from U.S.
universities, CARE International, Human Rights Watch, the
World Bank and the World Health Organization are among the
participants, who include attendees from the United States,
Australia, China, Indonesia, Italy, Malawi, Nigeria,
Thailand, Vietnam and the United Nations.
In the event of an influenza pandemic, the world's
poor and disadvantaged populations-particularly children in
developing countries-are thought most likely to be hardest
Scientists use satellite images to predict hantavirus
Scientists from the Johns Hopkins
Bloomberg School of Public
Health and the University of New Mexico predict that
the Four Corners region of the United States (where
Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado and Utah meet) will be at
greater risk for hantavirus infection this year than in
2005. In addition, they also warned that parts of southern
Colorado and north-central New Mexico, previously at low
risk for hantavirus compared to the Four Corners region,
will be at increased risk in 2006. The forecast is based on
an analysis of satellite imagery and is published in the
July 12 edition of the journal Occasional Papers of the
Museum of Texas Tech University. The study is among the
first to forecast the locations and extent of infectious
Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome is a rare but deadly
respiratory disease caused by exposure to a variety of
hantaviruses. People contract the virus through contact
with rodents and rodent droppings. In 2005, the Four
Corners region recorded four cases of hantavirus. The
researchers forecast the hantavirus risk in 2006 to be
"moderate," similar in severity to the six and eight cases
recorded in the region in 1998 and 1999, respectively.
"The conditions in the Four Corners region tell us
that there is a greater risk for hantavirus this year
compared to last year," said Gregory E. Glass, the study's
lead author and a professor in the W. Harry Feinstone
Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology at
the Bloomberg School. "Our study demonstrates that
satellite imagery can be used to identify the location and
extent of infectious diseases spread by animals."
Coeus software training begins for federal grant
Coeus, the new software that faculty and staff will use to
prepare and submit grant proposals electronically, makes
its official Johns Hopkins debut this week.
Starting today, about 110 people from various
departmental offices will begin learning how to use the new
software. After the one-day class, they can immediately
begin using Coeus to prepare and directly submit grants
through Grants.gov, the federal government's portal for
By the end of 2007, Grants.gov should be the single
grant-submission portal for all 26 federal funding
agencies, representing more than $450 billion in annual
Eventually, ongoing Coeus training will involve
thousands of faculty and researchers, with most training
occurring online. Most faculty will be trained in Coeus 4.2
in the fall.
Coeus will also tie in with SAP, the new business
systems software that Johns Hopkins is installing through
HopkinsOne project. That software is scheduled to
launch in January 2007.
R.I. Sen. Jack Reed to speak at SAIS about future of
Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., will give a talk titled "Iraq: The
Road Ahead" on Monday, July 31, at SAIS. The forum, which
begins at 6 p.m., is hosted by the Philip Merrill Center
for Strategic Studies at SAIS.
Reed, a former paratrooper and a member of the Senate
Armed Services Committee, recently returned from his eighth
visit to Iraq. His two-day fact-finding mission included
stops in Basra, Baghdad and Fallujah and meetings with
America's top generals and Iraqi civilian leaders.
During his speech, the senator will address the
progress made in Iraq and what must be done to stabilize
the country, protect American interests and allow U.S.
troops to redeploy in a safe and timely manner.
John McLaughlin, Merrill Center senior fellow and
former acting director of the CIA, will introduce the
senator and moderate the discussion.
The event will be held in the Nitze Building's Kenney
Auditorium. Non-SAIS affiliates should RSVP to
firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-663-5648.
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