A prominent expert on epidemics and contagious diseases is set to visit Oakland University for a presentation as coronavirus continues to spread and make headlines.
Medical expert to present ‘When Germs Travel’ at Oakland University
Howard Markel horizontal
“When Germs Travel: Coronavirus, Quarantines, and Contagious Crises” will be presented by Howard Markel, M.D., Ph.D., on Feb. 17 at Oakland University’s Oakland Center (Founders Ballroom A).

A prominent expert on epidemics and contagious diseases is set to visit Oakland University for a presentation as coronavirus continues to spread and make headlines.

“When Germs Travel: Coronavirus, Quarantines, and Contagious Crises” will be presented by Howard Markel, M.D., Ph.D., on Feb. 17 at Oakland University’s Oakland Center (Founders Ballroom A).

Markel, the George E. Wantz Distinguished Professor of the History of Medicine, and director of the Center for the History of Medicine at the University of Michigan, has been invited to share his expertise in light of the coronavirus outbreak.

His books include Quarantine!, and When Germs Travel. His articles have appeared in The New York Times, The Journal of the American Medical Association, and The New England Journal of Medicine.

Among other things, Markel is set to talk about contagious diseases and how epidemics can spread because of concealment efforts, misuses of public health tools, and rapid travel.

“We are in the midst of a huge coronavirus epidemic in China, which threatens to spread widely into a pandemic — this is what germs do — travel, widely and quickly through our global village,” Markel said. “We are dealing with viral spread, the resurgence of quarantine on a level never before seen and the reality that information about this disease was concealed for over a month. This crisis makes my lecture especially well-timed.”

As of Tuesday, Feb. 11, more than 1,000 people globally have been killed by coronavirus, according to authorities. More than 43,000 are infected worldwide. 

To cope, organizations are ramping up education and prevention activities related to the disease.

Illness Prevention GraphicAt Oakland University, for example, any campus community member who believes they may have been exposed to coronavirus within the last 14 days must contact the school’s Graham Health Center for a health evaluation. They should not take part in any other campus activities until they are cleared by Graham Health Center to do so.

Additionally, any campus community member who is currently exhibiting flu-like symptoms (fever and either cough or sore throat) has been asked to seek medical attention at Graham Health Center, a primary care provider, or an urgent care center. Those diagnosed with a viral infection should self-isolate until fever-free for 24 hours.

Last, all forms of university-sponsored travel for students, faculty and staff to and from mainland China are prohibited until further notice.

Oakland University President Ora Pescovitz, M.D., said in a message to the school community that everyone should “do all in our power to support each other and to maintain a healthy, safe, and productive work and learning environment.”

Pescovitz is sponsoring Markel’s appearance, along with Oakland University’s Provost, OUWB, Oakland University School of Nursing, Oakland University School of Health Sciences, the Department of History, the Center for Civic Engagement and the Department of Political Science.

Markel said the event is for anyone with an interest “in pandemics, the spread of infectious diseases, and the history of medicine." RSVP for the event by clicking on this link.

For more information, contact Andrew Dietderich, marketing writer, OUWB, at adietderich@oakland.edu

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