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Pandemics in the 21st century: how worried should we be? – University of Reading

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Pandemics in the 21st century: how worried should we be?

Release Date 16 February 2006

With more cases of bird flu occurring in different countries, the likelihood of a pandemic is a hot issue for many people. So the next lecture in the Reading Town Hall Lecture Series, organised by the University's School of Continuing Education, is timely as it will consider how worried we should be by the threat of pandemics. Dr Bill Hanage, who is a specialist in infectious disease epidemiology from Imperial College London, will give the lecture on Tuesday 21 February. "More people were killed by the 1918-19 flu pandemic than the First World War," he said. "Even the aggression of our own species is dwarfed by the death toll inflicted by our intimate neighbours: the micro-organisms that have evolved to parasitize us. "The richer part of humanity has been delivered into a safer world by medicine and hygiene. But the 21st century brings new threats, such as another flu pandemic, which are poised to unleash themselves on an ill-prepared world. How worried should we be? This lecture will describe where these threats come from, and what, if anything, we can do to stop them." Dr Hanage's lecture replaces the advertised lecture to be given by Dr Armand Leroi, who has had to pull out due to other commitments. The lecture begins at 7.30pm and tickets (£8) can be booked in advance through the Hexagon Box Office by calling 0118 960 6060, or bought at the door on the night. For further information, please contact Dr Nina Brooke in the University's School of Continuing Education on (tel) 0118 378 7453 or (email) n.m.brooke@rdg.ac.uk end

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