Hear from Coronavirus Experts, Epidemiologists, Infectious Disease Historians at Panel Discussion

A depiction of the coronavirusNew facts about the coronavirus and its victims seem to be in the news every day. As a result, Pitt’s Asian Studies and Global Studies Centers are sponsoring a free information session on the topic, to be held today at 5:30 p.m. in Room 120 of David Lawrence Hall.

More from our experts on the coronavirus

Zhiyong Peng, a former fellow at the Pitt, heads the department of critical care medicine at Zhongnan Hospital of Wuhan University, which has seen 28,000 cases of coronavirus. He recalls his time at Pitt as formative for his leadership and management skills. Read more about Peng in Pittwire Health.

Snakes—the Chinese krait and the Chinese cobra—may be the original source of the newly discovered coronavirus that has triggered an outbreak of a deadly infectious respiratory illness in China this winter. Pitt virologists answer questions concerning coronavirus and how the recent outbreak started. Read what they said in Pittwire Health.

The assembled panel of experts will include Mari Webel, assistant professor of history; Amy Hartman, assistant professor of public health; Zhaojin Zeng, visiting assistant professor of history; Megan Freeman, pediatric infectious diseases senior fellow in the Department of Pediatrics in the School of Medicine; and Kristen Mertz, epidemiologist at the Allegheny County Health Department. The event is free and open to the public and after all of the panelists speak, the audience will have time to ask questions.

Global Studies Director Michael Goodhart, who will serve as session moderator, says the idea is to address an important matter of concern in a timely fashion.

“We hope to provide our audience with accurate, up-to-date information, to dispel rumors, and to place the outbreak—and the public reaction to it— in a wider global context, historically and socially,” said Goodhart.  He said this kind of knowledge helps to keep people safe and to dispel dangerous misinformation and misunderstandings.

The virus, which first surfaced in China, can infect both animals and people and can cause a range of respiratory illnesses. To date, it has claimed more than 1,000 lives in mainland China.

For more information about the information session, visit the University Center for International Studies’ website.