Thursday, August 16, 2012
Southern Maryland To Host Dr. Rita Colwell
Dr. Rita R. Colwell, global infectious disease specialist, will speak on Vibrio vulnificus, a flesh eating bacteria found in the Chesapeake Bay, estuaries, brackish ponds, or coastal waters. Learn the facts on Sunday, September 16 at 2:00 p.m. in the Calvert Marine Museum auditorium. Dr. Colwell received the Stockholm Water Prize in 2010 for her contributions to solving water-related public health problems and is a recipient of the National Medal of Science. FREE to the public.
Vibrio vulnificus causes infection that can incur after eating raw or undercooked seafood; the bacteria can also enter the body through open wounds when swimming or wading in infected waters. People with compromised immune systems are eighty times more susceptible to Vibrio vulnificus. Symptoms can include vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and a blistering dermatitis. Immediate treatment from 3rd Generation antibiotics is necessary for survival from a suspected case of Vibrio vulnificus; so awareness of symptoms is essential for those working around the water.
Roy Fedders, member of the St. Mary's County Health Advisory Committee became concerned about this problem when it affected two of his neighbors. He published an article in the Southern Maryland Newspaper on Friday, June 29, 2012 and coordinated the contact with Dr. Colwell. "People need to be aware of this often misdiagnosed bacterium that if not treated within 48 hours has the potential to lead to death." It is believed that there are quite a few cases nationally and locally that have gone unreported due to misdiagnosis".
Dr. Rita Colwell is Chairman of Canon US Life Sciences, Inc. and Distinguished University Professor at University of Maryland College Park and Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health. She served as the 11th Director of the National Science Foundation as has held many advisory positions in the U.S. Government, nonprofit science policy organizations, and private foundations, as well as in the international scientific research community. A nationally-respected scientist and educator, Dr. Colwell has authored or co-authored 17 books and more than 700 scientific publications. She produced the award-winning film "Invisible Seas."
Dr. Colwell has an undergraduate degree in bacteriology and an M.S. in genetics from Purdue University, and a Ph.D. in oceanography from the University of Washington. She did a post-doctoral fellowship at the National Research Council of Canada in Ottawa and has been awarded 48 honorary degrees from higher education institutions.
She served as President of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Society for Microbiology. She is a member of the (US) National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Philosophical Society, as well as the Royal Society of Canada and the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences (since 2003). As of 2008, she serves as President of the American Institute of Biological Sciences.
Calvert Marine Museum Society
P.O. Box 97
Solomons, MD 20688
410-326-2042, ext. 17