People have become more mobile in recent decades and so have the viruses that cause death and misery for humans.
Dr. Terry McNearney, a specialist in viruses at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, will discuss emerging pandemics from 3-5 p.m. today at the University of New Mexico Continuing Education Conference Center.
The speed with which infectious illnesses such as Zika virus spread today requires the public and health officials to remain vigilant about possible infections and seek immediate medical attention, McNearney said in an interview.
“For a long time, you just had infections in fixed pockets, because people weren’t very mobile,” she said. “It really is a global issue now, and we really have to have good surveillance.”
McNearney plans to discuss a variety of infectious illnesses, including Zika, influenza, and severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS, which swept through 37 nations in 2002-2003, causing 774 deaths in nine months.
She will also discuss common-sense ways that people can protect themselves from disease.