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Public health officials to speak on coronavirus at KU forum

Thursday, February 13, 2020

LAWRENCE — A panel of state, county and University of Kansas health officials will share information about the coronavirus at a public forum from 2-3 p.m. Friday, Feb. 14, in the Forum at Marvin Hall.

Kansas Department of Health and Environment Secretary Lee Norman will be among the panelists. "Coronavirus: Fact vs. Fiction" will be an opportunity to learn more about the respiratory illness that began in Wuhan, China, late last year and has spread to a growing number of international locations, including the United States.

“We want to counter the misinformation that is out there about the coronavirus,” said John Kennedy, director of the KU Center for East Asian Studies, which is sponsoring the event along with KU International Affairs. “The forum is an opportunity to get the facts from health officials rather than from rumors or differing reports in the media.”

Norman will speak about his work with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other federal agencies and how the United States and Kansas are preparing for the risk of the coronavirus.

Linda Craig, clinical services director of Lawrence-Douglas County Public Health, will also speak. In disease outbreaks, the local public health organization investigates to keep the outbreak from spreading and to protect the public. It also helps identify those who are potentially exposed and might need to be notified.

Panelists representing KU will include Pavika Saripalli, chief of staff for Watkins Health Services; Patty Quinlan, infection prevention nurse at Watkins; Charles Bankart, associate vice provost for International Affairs; Sheree Willis, with the School of Education; and Kennedy.

For more information contact KU International Affairs at 785-864-6161 or intlaffairs@ku.edu.

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