EVENT: What is the Ebola virus? How does it spread? What’s being done to stop the current epidemic? What are the chances of the virus spreading to the U.S. more than it has already? What will be the economic impact of Ebola on West Africa and the world? Are local hospitals ready for an imported case? A panel of experts in the fields of virology, disease ecology, epidemiology, health economics and infectious diseases will answer these questions and more during an event titled “Ebola: What You Should Know,” moderated by Andrew Noymer, UC Irvine associate professor of public health.

WHEN/WHERE: 6 p.m. Monday, Oct. 27, in the Pacific Ballroom at UCI’s Student Center (grid E8, bldg. 113 on campus map).

INFORMATION: Media planning to attend should contact Laura Rico at 949-824-9055 or lrico@uci.edu. Parking is complimentary for media who RSVP in advance.

BACKGROUND: The West African nations of Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia are currently in the throes of the largest outbreak of Ebola since the killer virus was identified in 1976. There have been about 10,000 cases to date, including the first-ever transmissions of the virus outside Africa, in cases involving healthcare workers in Spain and Texas. With a fatality rate higher than 50 percent and the three-country West African epidemic showing no immediate signs of abating, there are many issues to be addressed by the panel of experts. Members of the public are invited to hear their analyses and pose questions of their own after the discussion.

Scheduled speakers include Michael Buchmeier, UCI professor of infectious diseases; James Jones, biological anthropologist at Stanford University; Dr. George Rutherford, professor and head of the Division of Preventive Medicine & Public Health and vice chair of the Department of Epidemiology & Biostatistics at UC San Francisco; Victoria Fan, assistant professor of health policy & management at the University of Hawaii; and Dr. Shruti Gohil, associate medical director of epidemiology & infection prevention at UCI’s School of Medicine.

The event is sponsored by UCI’s Office of the Provost & Executive Vice Chancellor; Program in Public Health; Francisco J. Ayala School of Biological Sciences; Donald Bren School of Information & Computer Sciences; Henry Samueli School of Engineering; School of Medicine; School of Social Ecology; School of Social Sciences; Center for Research on Immigration, Population & Public Policy; Pacific Southwest Regional Center of Excellence; Institute for Clinical & Translational Science and Initiative for Data Science.