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James Roth, Center for Food Security and Public Health,
(515) 294-8459
Gayle Brown, Center for Food Security and Public Health,
(515) 294-7366
Radford Davis, Center for Food Security and Public Health,
(515) 294-8972
Teddi Barron, News Service, (515) 294-4778


AMES, Iowa -- On Friday, Jan. 17, 120 veterinarians from 45 states will learn how to train veterinarians in their states about detection and prevention of the spread of zoonotic diseases that could be used for bioterrorism.

A zoonotic disease affects both animals and humans. A majority of the biological agents designated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as potential instruments of bioterrorism are zoonotic. These include anthrax, botulism, plague and brucellosis, and toxins such as ricin.

Iowa State University's Center for Food Security and Public Health (CFSPH) will conduct the training, which includes a keynote address by Dr. Richard Carmona, United States Surgeon General.

The training, "Bioterrorism Awareness Education: Zoonotic Disease Training for Veterinarians," will be from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Orlando World Center Marriott, 8701 World Center Drive, Orlando, Fla.

The surgeon general's talk on the role of veterinarians in bioterrorism preparedness and the U.S. public health system will be at 7:30 p.m.

CFSPH is a federally funded center established to increase national preparedness for accidental or intentional introduction of disease agents that threaten food production or public health. The center integrates veterinary medicine and expertise in zoonotic diseases with ongoing activities and needs of CDC.

"A zoonotic disease outbreak could have a devastating impact on human health, animal health, food production and the U.S. economy," said Dr. James Roth. Roth is CFSPH director and a Clarence Hartley Covault Distinguished Professor in Veterinary Medicine at Iowa State.

"It's essential that veterinarians understand the important role they play in detecting and preventing the spread of zoonotic diseases," Roth said. "They need to be aware of the potential for animal diseases to be used as instruments of biological warfare."

Last August, CFSPH contacted veterinary medical associations in all 50 states and Puerto Rico, asking each to name two veterinarians to participate in the Jan. 17 training. Each participant agreed to give at least six presentations on zoonotic diseases and bioterrorism in 2003.

The 120 veterinarians in the "train the trainer" session will receive an overview of the biological agents and diseases that the CDC considers to be the greatest public health risk if used in bioterrorism attacks.

They also will learn about the systems in place to protect the U.S. from accidental or intentional introduction of these agents and diseases.

They will receive materials to deliver overview presentations on bioterrorism and zoonotic diseases to four types of audiences: food animal veterinarians, companion animal veterinarians, food animal producers and companion animal owners.

The participants also will receive a detailed, one-hour presentation and fact sheets on the 25 zoonotic diseases/agents. In the event of an attack, the trainers could use the materials to present a comprehensive presentation to veterinarians and others in their respective states, Roth said.

The training is being held the day before the North American Veterinary Conference in Orlando. The address by U.S. Surgeon General Carmona is open to conference participants.


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Ames, Iowa 50011, (515) 294-4111
Published by: University Relations,
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