Science Express @ Te Papa: Swine flu – what’s all the fuss about? 

Thursday 3 September 2009,  6.30pm–8pm
Level 4 Espresso
Free entry

Join Dr Lance Jennings, one of New Zealand’s leading virologists, as he discusses swine flu.

Download   Download the MP3   38MB, 83min (Click here if you need help)

There is a perception that swine flu is a mild illness that most people will end up getting.

  • So why have New Zealand health authorities responded in the way they have?
  • How does this virus differ from other seasonal viruses?
  • Why bother to try and keep it out?

Dr Jennings will look at how New Zealand is handling the pandemic. He’ll discuss how successful we’ve been at:

  • communicating risk 
  • implementing strategies to distribute the burden of disease within the primary health care sector.

Lance C Jennings QSO, PhD 

Lance Jennings is Clinical Virologist to the Canterbury District Health Board, Director of the World Health Organisation (WHO) National Measles Laboratory, and Clinical Associate Professor in the Pathology Department, University of Otago.

His principal research interests include the epidemiology, diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of influenza and other respiratory viral infections. He has been instrumental in developing influenza control strategies for New Zealand. These strategies have included introducing the free influenza vaccine, establishing influenza awareness education (NISG), and pandemic planning.

Dr Jennings co-established, and is the chair of, the Asia Pacific Advisory Committee on Influenza (APACI). He has held WHO short-term consultancies on measles and influenza in Asia and Europe. He has also been a member of WHO/WPRO Avian Influenza Outbreak Response (2004) and Expert Influenza (2005) teams in Asia.

Dr Jennings serves on several Ministry of Health and Ministry of Agriculture advisory committees, and on advisory boards for vaccine and diagnostics companies. He is an expert reviewer for research funding agencies. He is on the editorial boards of the Journal of Influenza and Other Respiratory Viruses and Journal of the Formosan Medical Association, and of the periodicals Advances in Vaccinology and Influenza: Asian Focus.

In 2006, his service to virology in New Zealand and worldwide was recognised with the award of the Queen’s Service Order.

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