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University of Iowa News Release


March 21, 2007

Poxvirus Expert To Speak March 29

Inger K. Damon, M.D., Ph.D., acting chief of the Poxvirus and Rabies Branch of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, will present "The Emerging Pathogen and Bioterrorism Threats of Poxviruses" from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. Thursday, March 29, in Room 2117 of the Medical Education and Research Facility on the University of Iowa campus.

Both humans and animals are susceptible to infections caused by the poxvirus family of viruses. Smallpox (variola), monkeypox, vaccinia and cowpox are examples of orthopoxviruses. Following an aggressive global vaccination program, naturally occurring smallpox was eradicated worldwide in the late 1970s. However, smallpox remains a concern as a potential agent of bioterrorism since it is highly contagious, a large proportion of the population has no immunity and there is little available vaccine. Emerging infections such as monkeypox also pose a threat to human health.

Damon, an internationally recognized expert in the field of poxvirology, will address these and other emerging pathogen and bioterrorism threats of poxviruses in her presentation. The program is free and open to the public, and also will be broadcast via streaming video on the Web.

This program is part of the spring 2007 Grand Rounds series sponsored by the Upper Midwest Center for Public Health Preparedness (UMCPHP). Advanced registration is requested and may be completed online at Links to the live Web broadcast, as well as archives of past presentations, are available on the center's site.

In addition, UI Television (UITV) also will be showing the archived presentation. More information about the UITV service area and program schedule can be found on the UITV Web site,

The presentation is sponsored by the Upper Midwest Center for Public Health Preparedness, Institute for Public Health Practice, UI College of Public Health, Iowa Association of Local Public Health Agencies, Iowa Department of Public Health, Iowa Hospital Association and Iowa Medical Society. UMCPHP is funded by a grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

For more information on the Grand Rounds series, contact Angela Harding, program assistant in the Upper Midwest Center for Public Health Preparedness, at 319-335-8451 or by e-mail at

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

MEDIA CONTACT: Debra Venzke, 319-335-9647,