Mosquito-borne diseases: Griffith expert joins live Q&A

Arboviruses are transmitted through vectors like mosquitoes.

A Griffith University academic will again offer insight into mosquito-borne diseases alongside a panel of other experts and special guests in an upcoming international symposium.

Professor Suresh Mahalingam from Griffith’s Institute for Glycomics will feature in a live Virtual Keystone Symposia Q&A panel Mosquito-Borne Diseases: From Long Time Foes to Emerging Threats.

The panel discussion will focus on diseases such as Chikungunya, Dengue and Zika, the prospect of vaccines for these viral diseases, and ways to improve clinical care. 

Prof Mahalingam said recent incidences and outbreaks of mosquito-borne diseases such as Zika prompted the need to discuss them in further detail within the panel, in which online viewers can submit questions to the experts. 

“Chikungunya, for example, is among a group of 16 diseases transmitted through mosquito, tick or flea bites that is of increasing public health concern worldwide,” Prof Mahalingam said.

Although few rheumatologists are likely to diagnose patients with the acute phase of the disease, they may encounter a handful of patients each year who complain of persistent, and often debilitating, arthritis months and even years after a one- to two-week bout of fever, rash and joint pain following travel to a Chikungunya-endemic country. 

“These details may be of high interest to those who are working or travel in Chikungunya-endemic areas. 

The panel was also filmed at Virtual Keystone Symposia’s October conference in Hong Kong on Framing the Response to Emerging Virus Infections’, co-organised by Prof Mahalingam. 

Participants can submit questions either when registering for the event, during the broadcast in the chat room, or via the Twitter hashtag #VKSmosquito. The live event will start at 2.30pm, February 27.