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Office of News and Information
Johns Hopkins University / 3400 N. Charles Street
Baltimore, Maryland 21218-2692
Phone: (410) 516-7160 / Fax (410) 516-5251

February 28, 1997
CONTACT: Phil Sneiderman

Media Advisory: Climate Change Conference

The Story: Could climate changes trigger wider outbreaks of disease? A conference in Bethesda will explore the potential threat to public health.

Background: Occupational and environmental health experts from The Johns Hopkins University and other leading research centers will meet to discuss how climate change and ozone depletion could affect the spread of disease and lead to greater contamination of food and water supplies. Warmer weather, for example, could cause more mosquito activity and more cases of malaria. Changes in rainfall could cause flooding and more illness carried by water- borne microbes. Participants will learn about the latest research results and talk about ways to monitor and respond to these health risks.

The Event: The annual conference of the Society for Occupational and Environmental Health will be held Thursday and Friday, March 6 and 7, in the Natcher Conference Center, National Institutes of Health Campus, 45 Center Drive, Bethesda, Md.

News Coverage: Reporters will be admitted free to the conference. To register and obtain a schedule of presentations, please contact Marge Degnon at the society's office: (703) 556-9222.

Related Research: Two Johns Hopkins researchers are directing a $3 million study, funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, to examine the public health risks posed by climate changes in the United States. Scientists from 12 universities and government agencies will evaluate the threats and suggest ways for key policy-makers to respond. Principal investigators are Jonathan Patz, director of the Program on Health Effects of Global Environmental Change, Division of Occupational and Environmental Health, at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health; and Hugh Ellis, professor and chair of the Department of Geography and Environmental Engineering in Hopkins' Whiting School of Engineering. Patz and Ellis will be among the speakers at the Bethesda conference and are available for interviews on their research. To interview Patz, contact Sharon Rippey at (410) 955-6878. To interview Ellis, contact Phil Sneiderman at (410) 516-7907.

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