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Medical Conference Sparks Ebola Concerns

As the nation grapples with containing the Ebola virus, thousands of medical experts are traveling to New Orleans next week to discuss the response. Louisiana health officials are asking anyone who has recently traveled to a region affected by Ebola to cancel their visit.

More than 3,500 people registered to attend the meeting of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. Organizers say they’re coming in from over 100 countries. They say the travel ban issued by state health officials this week is not expected to affect many participants, if any, and the conference will convene.

Dr. Christopher King is a professor of international health in medicine and pathology at Case Western Reserve University in Ohio. He says the conference will review many tropical diseases that seem to be spreading, but Ebola will get extra attention.

“One of the symposiums will just talk about some of the general biology and some of the treatments available and how they work," he said. "And another discussion is actually going to focus on how we’re going to roll out testing these studies, actually how do you test those things in the countries where it is endemic, particularly in West Africa.”  

Tulane University experts will be participating in the sessions.

Bill Gates is the keynote speaker, appearing as co-founder of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Eileen is a news reporter and producer for WWNO. She researches, reports and produces the local daily news items. Eileen relocated to New Orleans in 2008 after working as a writer and producer with the Associated Press in Washington, D.C. for seven years.

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