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Inside the Outbreaks—A Look Inside the Epidemic Intelligence Service

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With support from: Lowell Institute
Date and time
Tuesday, April 06, 2021
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Emmy Award-winning medical journalist and CNN analyst Dr. Seema Yasmin joins BPL President David Leonard to discuss what happens at the epicenter of an epidemic. How do disease detectives track down patient zero, find the source of contagion, and stop the spread of disease? As an officer in the Epidemic Intelligence Service, Dr. Yasmin was tasked with hunting diseases and chasing epidemics. Inside prisons, across border towns, and within the walls of hospitals and workplaces, she traced microbes and worked to protect communities. Pulling back the curtain on the inner workings of epidemic investigations, Dr. Yasmin tells stories from the front lines of global public health to demonstrate how humans are increasingly connected and epidemics may become the new normal. This talk is part of both the Lowell Lecture Series, sponsored by the Lowell Institute, and part of the Repairing America Initiative, the Boston Public Library's pledge to focus its 2021 programming and services on bridging the gaps that divide America. By prioritizing economic recovery, civic engagement, COVID-19 recovery, racial equity, workforce development, and youth engagement, the BPL is working to help Americans rise above the challenges they face. Image: Boston Public Library

Dr. Seema Yasmin was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in breaking news reporting in 2017 for her reporting on a mass shooting. As a former officer in the Epidemic Intelligence Service at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, she was deployed as strategic advisor to foreign governments, won awards from the United States Public Health Service for leading epidemic investigations, and was principal investigator for scientific studies on disease outbreaks and their long-term consequences. Yasmin trained in medicine at the University of Cambridge and in journalism at the University of Toronto. She practiced medicine in the UK’s National Health Service, completed a fellowship in mathematical modeling at UCLA, and conducted disease modeling research in sub-Saharan Africa. She is author of two published books and three forthcoming books: The Impatient Dr. Lange: One Man’s Fight to End a Global HIV Epidemic, Muslim Women Are Everything: Stereotype-Shattering Stories of Courage, Inspiration and Adventure, and the forthcoming If God Is A Virus (2021), Debunked! Medical Myths and Why They Spread (2021), and The Essential Handbook on Science and Medical Journalism (2022).

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