June 7, 2005

What: The University of North Texas will present the 11th International Medical Geography Symposium in Fort Worth.

Why: Scientists will meet at the forum to combat worldwide spread of infectious disease.

Theme: In recent years, medicine and geography have combined forces for a one-two punch against the spread of infectious diseases such as SARS, AIDS/HIV and pandemic flu.

When: July 5 â?? 9 (Tuesday â?? Saturday)

Where: Pre-conference workshop: July 5 (Tuesday) at the UNT Health Sciences Center in Fort Worth at 3500 Camp Bowie Boulevard. Symposium: July 6 â?? 9 (Wednesday â?? Saturday) at the Fort Worth Plaza Hotel at 1701 Commerce Street.

Focus of pre-conference workshop: Geographical information systems â?? computer systems that help scientists discover why a disease is located where it is by connecting data about locations of diseases with information such as environmental factors.

Features of conference: Keynote address by Ronald Blanck, Doctor of Osteopathy and president of the UNT Health Science Center. Symposium sessions include: “A Respiratory Risk-Scape for Children in Texas;” “Neighborhood differences in perception of place and health in the region of Quebec;” and “Migration and Geographic Clusters of Tuberculosis Strains in Tarrant County, TX.”

Story ideas and camera visuals related to the symposium: Medical geography could provide information about where degenerative diseases like Parkinson are likely to exist. Reporters and photographers can obtain information and visuals at the UNT Health Science Center’s Institute for Aging and Alzheimer’s Disease Research. Texas Academy of Math and Science students from the UNT Denton campus conduct research. Medical geographers consider how infectious diseases can spread due to lack of vaccination. Vaccinations alone are not effective unless administered to everyone. Illegal immigrants and religious objectors who forgo this preventive measure could contribute to the spread of infectious diseases. Reporters and photographers will be able to obtain visuals of children being vaccinated at Fort Worth Fire Station #15 from 1 â?? 4 p.m., July 3. (Sunday). The fire station is located at 3100 Azle Avenue.

For more information about the conference and/or registration and fees, Contact the University of North Texas Geography Department at (940) 565-2091 or e-mail


Contact: Kay Colley 817-735-2553, cell 817-980-5090, e-mail; Cathy Cashio 940-565-4644, e-mail

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