MEDIA ADVISORY: UNT HEALTH SCIENCE CENTER PRESIDENT COMMENTS ON AVIAN INFLUENZA

November 2, 2005

President George Bush announced today (Nov. 1) in a speech at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md. a plan for funding early detection, containment and treatment of a possible avian flu outbreak. This strategy of investing in technology for greater vaccine production calls for the creation of new flu vaccines and stockpiling antiviral drugs.

Ronald Blanck, DO, president of UNT Health Science Center at Fort Worth, can comment on President Bushâ??s plan to fight avian influenza. Dr. Blanck served as the Armyâ??s Surgeon General and commander of the U.S. Army Medical Command. He is a world-renowned expert in the spread of infectious diseases and is currently consulting to put together an avian influenza response plan. He can speak about vaccinations and how the United States is preparing for the possible spread of the avian flu.

Dr. Blanck says that planning for worst case scenarios is important, but that people shouldnâ??t overreact to the possibility of an epidemic.

â??Even if this strain of influenza reaches epidemic proportions, we have far more tools to deal with it than existed in 1918-1919,â? Dr. Blanck said. â??We certainly need to plan and have measures in place to deal with the worst case, but we should not overreact.â?

Dr. Blanck emphasizes the use of simple precautions to help alleviate spread of the avian virus.

â??Simple measures, such as handwashing and avoiding large crowds need to be emphasized as well as using vaccines, personal protection such as masks and anti-viral agents.â?

Dr. Blanck continues to be consulted as an advisor on bioterrorism issues and an expert in preparing the medical community to respond to mass casualty incidents or those involving weapons of mass destruction. In addition to his many speaking engagements and advisory positions, he now chairs task forces on bioterrorism for both the Texas Medical Association and the American Osteopathic Association.

Dr. Blanck has appeared in various media as an expert on the spread of infectious diseases and medical preparedness.

###

Contact: Kay Colley 817-735-2553, cell 817-980-5090, e-mail kacolley@hsc.unt.edu.

Rita Fc
Women’s networking group started by TCOM leader earns national award

By Steven Bartolotta In 2007, TCOM’s Dr. Rita Patterson and Dr. Jennifer Wayne, a professor at Virginia Tech, recognized the need for women in the field of bioengineering to meet together, network, mentor and increase the representation of women in the field. Thus the ASME Bioengineering...Read more

Jun 23, 2021

Dr. Sid O'Bryant
Early findings of innovative study of Alzheimer’s among diverse populations available to dementia researchers

  A growing trove of data to help scientists understand the biology of Alzheimer’s disease among diverse populations within the context of sociocultural, behavioral and environmental factors is now available through the Institute for Translational Research at The University of North Te...Read more

Jun 22, 2021

Vic Holmes, Mpas, Edd, Pa C Assistant Professor
HSC Pride: Increased pronoun use is an emerging trend among health professionals

By Diane Smith-Pinckney The embroidery on Vic Holmes’ black scrubs identify him as a physician assistant and an ally to LGBTQ+ patients. The words, stitched under a rainbow-colored Caduceus pin and near his heart, read: “Vic Holmes, PA-C, He/Him/His, Family Medicine.” Pronouns are...Read more

Jun 21, 2021

Hsc Katie Pelch
Public health scientist lends expertise to national database addressing safer use of chemicals in our environment

By Sally Crocker Katie Pelch, PhD, wants you to know what’s in our environment and how the chemicals we’re exposed to every day may affect our health. Dr. Pelch is a part-time Assistant Professor, Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, in the HSC School of Public Health (SPH), where...Read more

Jun 21, 2021