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Dr. Wong from CDC at JPHCOPH

Dr. Karen Wong from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), had delivered an inspiring lecture to the students of Jiann-Ping Hsu College of Public Health, Georgia Southern University, on Thursday, September 20, 2013.

Titled “Experiences with the Epidemic Intelligence Service in outbreak investigation and modeling”, Dr. Wong gave a lecture of her field investigation of the outbreak in influenza A(H3N2)v in an agricultural fair in Pennsylvania in 2011 and her subsequent use of mathematical modeling to estimate the probability of swine-to-human influenza transmission among the fair attendees.

Dr. Wong also introduced the Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) and other career opportunities in CDC to Georgia Southern students.

Students who attended this event were excited to listen to a former EIS officer and they asked many questions about the outbreak investigation and the mathematical model. They were also eager to learn about career opportunities in CDC.

“Dr. Wong is a very brilliant, humble and humorous speaker. She was very patient to answer our questions and gave us some detailed explanations. I learned a lot from her,” said Yi Hao, a 1st year DrPH Biostatistics student.

“I thought Dr. Wong was connected to the material presented and that made it easy for the audience to understand”, Marie Denis-Luque, MSPH, MPH, Instructor in the Department of Epidemiology, who encouraged all her students to attend this special lecture.

Even mathematicians came to Dr. Wong’s lecture. “The lecture was wonderful, indeed,” said Dr. Alex Stokolos of the Department of Mathematics, who visited JPHCOPH especially for this lecture.

“Dr. Wong had given an amazingly good talk,” said Dr. Isaac Chun-Hai Fung, our new assistant professor of epidemiology who invited Dr. Wong to visit Georgia Southern. “Her talk captured all the essential elements that I wanted to teach my students: principles of outbreak investigation, study design, surveillance, and mathematical modeling, illustrated with a single example. I am very glad that Dr. Wong came.”

Prior to Georgia Southern, Dr. Fung had worked for 2 years in CDC as a Prevention Effectiveness Fellow, and he had collaborated with Dr. Wong in CDC’s emergency response to the 2013 H7N9 outbreak. They have recently submitted a paper to a journal together.

Around 55 students and 3 faculty members attended Dr. Wong’s lecture. The lecture was part of the EPID 7135 Epidemiology of Infectious Diseases course, taught by Dr. Fung, every Thursday evening in Fall 2013.

“Thank you for bringing Dr. Wong to come and speak,” wrote Zachary McGalliard, a 2nd year MPH Epidemiology student who attended Dr. Fung’s infectious disease epidemiology course. “It was a very great experience for me and other students, I am sure.”

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Posted in JPHCOPH