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University of Iowa News Release

Oct. 5, 2005

Bird Flu Program Set For Oct. 19 In Council Bluffs

International outbreaks of bird flu, or avian influenza, have been increasingly associated with reports of human infection. Since 2003, 57 people have died during bird flu outbreaks in Asia, and the virus is spreading: tests confirm that the H5N1 virus has recently infected poultry in Russia and Kazakhstan.

To help explain how this disease impacts the United States and Iowa, the University of Iowa College of Public Health and UI Alumni Association are co-sponsoring an educational program for the general public titled, "Bird Flu and Human Health: Why the Concern?" Additional program sponsors include Iowa Western Community College, Alegent Health Mercy Hospital, Council Bluffs Department of Health and Pottawattamie County Health Department.

The free program will be held Wednesday, Oct. 19, in Looft Hall Auditorium at Iowa Western Community College, 2700 College Road, in Council Bluffs, Iowa. A reception and registration will begin at 3:30 p.m., followed by the 4 p.m. program. Continuing education credit is available for selected health professions.

The program will feature Gregory Gray, M.D., director of the Center for Emerging Infectious Diseases and UI professor of epidemiology. Gray will review the nature of influenza infections, describe the recent avian influenza outbreaks, discuss the concerns of public health officials and detail what the United States is doing to protect its citizens from large influenza epidemics.

Individuals interested in attending the program are asked to register in advance by calling 319-384-5485.

The statewide UI College of Public Health Educational Outreach Series is funded, in part, by a grant from Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Iowa. More information about the educational outreach programs and continuing education credit can be found at

STORY SOURCE: The University of Iowa College of Public Health, Office of Communications, 4257 Westlawn, Iowa City, Iowa 52242.

CONTACTS: Media: Debra Venzke, 319-335-9647,; Program: Diana Baculis, 319-384-5485,