01-1026.htmlTEXTGoMk+wwmBIN URI to host forum on bio-terrorism Nov. 1 Event to address diseases and public
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Department of Communications/
News Bureau
22 Davis Hall, 10 Lippitt Road, Kingston, RI 0288
Phone: 401-874-2116 Fax: 401-874-7872

URI to host forum on bio-terrorism Nov. 1
Event to address diseases and public health issues

KINGSTON, R.I. -- October 26, 2001 -- The University of Rhode Island will host a forum on bio-terrorism on Nov. 1 at 5 p.m. in an effort to educate the public about the ongoing anthrax cases and address the risk to public health. The event will be held in Room 271 of the Chafee Social Science Center on the Kingston Campus. It is free and open to the public.


"The current outbreaks of anthrax represent bio-terrorism," said David Nelson, professor of microbiology in the Department of Cell and Molecular Biology at URI, who will serve as the moderator for the forum. "People are being targeted by anonymous letters with various mail-handlers exposed to the bacteria. A small number of people become ill and an even smaller number of people die. The purpose is to terrorize the public by turning our mail into objects that are potential instruments of disease and death."

"People have been frightened by the news about anthrax and the projections and worries about smallpox. We want to educate the public about their risks. People need to understand that the present risk from bio-terrorism is tiny, especially when compared to a number of other diseases, like the flu, that sicken and kill far more people in the U.S. and which occur just as randomly in the population." The flu killed 20,000 people in the U.S. last year.


Speakers at the forum will include:

- Andrew Artenstein, M.D., infectious disease specialist at Memorial Hospital in Pawtucket and formerly on staff at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, who will discuss treatment and transmission of various diseases;

- Helen Drew from the Office of Public Health Affairs at the Rhode Island Department of Health, on the role of public health in responding to bio-terrorism;

- Jay Sperry, chairman and professor in the URI Department of Cell and Molecular Biology, discussing the scientific characteristics and detection of the diseases.

The forum is sponsored by the URI Department of Cell and Molecular Biology and the URI College of the Environment and Life Sciences.

For additional information about the forum, call David Nelson at 874-5902.
For Information: David Nelson 874-5902, Todd McLeish 874-7892

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File last updated: Friday, October 26, 2001

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