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Expert Sources on Avian Influenza

October 5, 2005

In light of today's announcement that the 1918 influenza virus has been reconstructed by researchers at the U.S. Armed Forces Institute of Pathology and New York's Mount Sinai School of Medicine, the following UC Davis faculty members are available for comment. With its research and clinical strengths in medicine, veterinary medicine and agriculture, the campus is taking a lead role in helping to prevent and prepare for a possible outbreak of avian influenza in California.

AVIAN INFLUENZA IN POULTRY -- Carol Cardona, a Cooperative Extension poultry veterinarian and associate professor, can provide an overview of the history of avian influenza in poultry worldwide and discuss the current threat of avian influenza to commercial and backyard poultry operations. Cardona is part of a network of researchers nationwide providing education about avian influenza. She works with large commercial poultry producers as well as small poultry operations to provide basic information on how to recognize and prevent spread of the disease. Her laboratory also conducts research on avian influenza viruses focusing on the disease caused in chickens and the response of the host to infections. Contact: Carol Cardona, School of Veterinary Medicine, (530) 754-5041, cjcardona@ucdavis.edu.

AVIAN INFLUENZA IN WILD BIRDS -- Walter Boyce and Jonna Mazet, co-directors of the Wildlife Health Center in the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, are experts in disease transmission among wild birds and other wild animals. Either can discuss the threat avian influenza virus poses to California wild birds, especially waterfowl, and their research programs to test wild birds for avian influenza viruses. Contact: Walter Boyce, Wildlife Health Center, (530) 752-1401, wmboyce@ucdavis.edu; Jonna Mazet, Wildlife Health Center, (530) 754-9035, jkmazet@ucdavis.edu.

INFECTIOUS DISEASE OUTBREAK PLANNING -- Christian Sandrock, a physician and an expert in infectious diseases, and pulmonary and critical care medicine at the UC Davis Medical Center, specializes in disaster preparedness, emerging infectious diseases, terrorism and other threats to public health. As medical director of the California Preparedness Education Network, he develops educational materials, primarily for providers in rural, border, inner-city and underserved areas of the state. He was medical director of the Hospital Bioterrorism Preparedness Program for the state of California and currently, as medical adviser to the state Emergency Medical Services Authority, he contributes his expertise to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Hospital Bioterrorism Preparedness Program, and many other Homeland Security projects. He is working with the California Department of Health Services and the Emergency Medical Services Authority in pandemic influenza and other infectious disease outbreak planning, disease surveillance and hospital infection-control preparedness. Contact: Christian Sandrock, UC Davis Medical Center, (916) 734-3564, cesandrock@ucdavis.edu.

THE BIOLOGY OF INFLUENZA VIRUSES -- Virginia Hinshaw, UC Davis provost and executive vice chancellor, is also a professor of virology in the university's Department of Internal Medicine, School of Medicine, and in the Department of Pathology, Microbiology and Immunology, School of Veterinary Medicine. She can discuss the biology of the influenza virus, including its characteristics and manner of transmission, and the threat that avian influenza poses to human health. For more than 25 years, she conducted research on viruses, primarily influenza, at different hospitals and universities, including Medical College of Virginia; University of California, Berkeley; St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital; Harvard Medical School; and the University of Wisconsin Madison. She worked internationally on the surveillance of influenza viruses in humans, lower mammals and birds. Her research contributed to increased understanding of various aspects of influenza viruses, including epidemiology and ecology, molecular basis of cell killing, immune recognition, host range and new approaches to vaccination. To reach Hinshaw, contact Pat Bailey, UC Davis News Service, (530) 752-9843, pjbailey@ucdavis.edu.

EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS FOR INFLUENZA PANDEMICS -- Warner Hudson, a clinical faculty member in family practice and occupational medicine at UC Davis Medical Center, is an expert on the public health aspects of emergency preparedness, particularly in the area of influenza pandemics and other threats from infectious diseases. He also is a member of the California Department of Health Services Joint Advisory Committee on Public Health Emergency Preparedness. He has been an adviser and panelist on public health aspects of emergency preparedness for both the Little Hoover Commission and RAND. Hudson also is a peer reviewer for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's national pandemic influenza preparedness plan, a member of the California influenza vaccine/antiviral prioritization task team, and a member of the California healthcare-associated infection task force. He chairs the California Medical Association's Council on Scientific Affairs Committee on Occupational Medicine. Contact: Warner Hudson, UC Davis Medical Center, (916) 939-5580, whudson@dstoutput.com.

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