Seminar: "Emerging Infectious Diseases and the Impact of Behavior on Amplification and the Spread of Diseases during Outbreaks" by Dr. Richard Alan Cash
Individual or collective behaviors during an epidemic, especially of new and emerging infectious diseases, can have major implications on the amplification and the spread of disease; the availability and acceptance of preventive measures and treatment; the psychological distress that may lead to complex social problems; and the economic impact on the community. Examples include HIV/AIDS, Nipah, Ebola, Zika, influenza, and drug resistant bacteria. Customs/beliefs such as faith based healing, funeral and burial practices, and the stigmatization of the patients, survivors, and health care professionals affected outcomes during the 2014 Ebola outbreak in West Africa. In Indian, responses to recent outbreaks of Nipah, Zika, and leptospirosis (post flood in Kerala) are contemporary examples. Responses these and other outbreaks should be examined not just from the basic epidemiologic characteristics of the pathogen but the behavioral changes they evoke.
About the Speaker:
Richard Alan Cash, M.D., M.P.H. is a global health researcher, public health physician, who specializes in infectious diseases and research ethics. He is a Senior Lecturer in International Health and Director of the Program on Ethical Issues in International Health in the Department of Global Health & Population of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston. Dr. Cash began his international career over 50 years ago at the Cholera Research Laboratory (CRL) in Dhaka, Bangladesh (now the International Centre for Diarrheal Diseases Research, Bangladesh—ICDDR.B). He and his colleagues developed and conducted the first clinical trials of oral rehydration therapy (ORT) in adult and pediatric cholera patients and in patients with other infectious causes of diarrhea. At present, he has visiting faculty appointments at the AchuthaMenon Centre for Health Sciences Studies in Trivandrum, PHFI in Delhi and other campuses, and at the James P. Grant School of Public Health at BRAC University in Dhaka, F. and Sarah T. Fries Foundation Prize for Improving Health, also for his leadership in the development and dissemination of Oral Rehydration Therapy.