VALLETTA, Malta, September 13 /PRNewswire/ -- The sponsors of the world's largest influenza conference are delighted to announce that Dr Nancy J Cox, Chief of the Influenza Branch at Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will Chair the Options for the Control of Influenza VI International Conference in Toronto, Canada, June 17-23, 2007. Dr Cox, who is also Director of the World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Center for Epidemiology and Control of Influenza, notes that influenza presents formidable challenges for global healthcare and research: "Influenza exacts an enormous toll in terms of its morbidity, mortality, and economic burden." The Options VI meeting will provide state-of-the-art scientific information on prevention, control and treatment of influenza, including seasonal and pandemic planning. The Options VI meeting will be sponsored by the newly formed International Society for Influenza and other Respiratory Virus Diseases (isirv). This important new society, founded at The Second European Influenza Conference on September 11, 2005, is the first scientifically independent professional body to represent the full spectrum of activity in its field, from basic science to healthcare policy. It will work for the prevention, detection, treatment and control of influenza and other respiratory viral diseases throughout the world. Membership will be open to scientists, clinicians, public health experts and others with a professional interest in respiratory viruses. The launch of isirv is welcomed by offices of the WHO, the WHO Collaborating Centres for Reference and Research on Influenza, and an international group of individual scientists, clinicians and public health experts. It comes at a crucial point in time as recent outbreaks of a highly virulent avian influenza virus combined with evidence of transmission from poultry to man are increasing concerns regarding a potential influenza pandemic. For many countries, preparing for the next influenza pandemic is a major priority. However isirv is also interested in other significant respiratory viruses such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), pneumoviruses and others. Chair of isirv, Dr Geoffrey C Schild, states that one of isirv's aims is to promote international collaboration between scientists and public health specialists against viral respiratory diseases. The Options VI influenza meeting will help meet this objective by providing a forum for global scientists to exchange and disseminate information to combat this perennially challenging adversary. Editor's note - Additional information: www.optionsviconference.com and www.isirv.org.
SOURCE Secretariat, Options for the Control of Influenza VI