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DOS September Meeting: “What’s new with avian flu” by Joe Francis

September 20, 2023 @ 7:00 pm 9:00 pm EDT

Summary:  Avian influenza was identified as a viral disease of poultry and wildfowl over a century ago.  Researchers have tracked it among migratory bird populations in the Delaware Bay for decades.  But never has it had the public’s attention as in the last few years.  Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza has caused havoc on the commercial poultry industry and raised the specter of the next pandemic.  Threats to wild bird populations are further concerns.  How worried should Delaware birders be?  Come and hear the latest from scientific and public health studies about the impact of bird flu on wild birds, the likelihood of spread among humans and other mammals, and the critical role of ecosystem health in mitigating harm.  

Joe is a public health physician, a birder for over 40 years, and a frequent volunteer at the Ashland Hawk Watch. Joe earned his medical degree at Washington University in St Louis and completed his residency in Internal Medicine and Fellowship in Geriatrics at the University of Pittsburgh. There he obtained a master’s in public health in Chronic Disease Epidemiology and conducted NIH-funded research on delirium in older patients. He currently serves as the Executive Director for the Office of Analytics and Performance Integration in the Office of Quality and Patient Safety (QPS) for the Department of Veterans Affairs. Joe will be retiring next year and has graciously volunteered to be the next President of DOS starting in July 2024.