Conversation: Edge of Disaster–Vaccines and Epidemics
Thursday, January 21st, 6:30PM
W. Henry Boom, MD, Prof. & Vice Chair for Research, Dept. of Medicine, Director, Tuberculosis Research Unit -and- Andrew Heffron, RN, Cuyahoga County Board of Health
Where: Baker Nord Center for the Humanities, Clark Hall 206
The recent outbreak of Ebola in parts of Africa–and the frightened posts and live-tweets that accompanied two infected health workers as they returned to the US–give us a glimpse not only of an epidemic’s power but of our private terrors. Self-preservation, fear of the unknown, and a desire to protect the boundaries of nations, persons, bodies and cells brings out the best and worst in us. History History provides both sides; the uninfected locked up with the infected in 14th century plague houses, left to starve and suffer in the dark–or doctors like Cleveland’s Horace Ackley, who personally combated and contained an outbreak of Asiatic cholera in Sandusky in 1849. What finally stopped deadly scourges like smallpox, which brought Cleveland to its knees in 1903, or Diphtheria, once a death sentence for young children, or even Polio, the great crippler? Vaccines. And yet, vaccines remain a hotly debated topic even today. What motivates people to vaccinate–or not? How prepared are we for the next “disaster”? And what can history tell us about the fight to end outbreak?
Join us for the 15 minute talk, the mini-discussion with Dr. Henry Boom, and a public round-table discussion about epidemics and vaccines, past and present!