John Teel to Discuss Shigella Bacteria at Austin College

By: Press Release
By: Press Release

SHERMAN, TEXAS—John Teel, director of health for the Grayson County Health Department, will make a presentation to Austin College science students at a Biology Seminar Thursday, February 20, at 4:30 p.m. in IDEA Center, Room 127, on campus. Teel will speak on “Grayson County Shigellosis Outbreak 2013-2014.” The seminar is free and open to the public.

According to Grayson County Health Department literature, Shigellosis is an infectious disease of the digestive system caused by a group of bacteria called Shigella. Most people who are infected with Shigella develop diarrhea, fever, and stomach cramps starting a day or two after they swallow the bacteria. Shigellosis usually goes away in 4 to 7 days, and in the U.S., those with Shigellosis rarely require hospitalization.

For Austin College science students, the presentation is timely on two fronts. One, Grayson County recorded one of the three worst outbreaks of the infection in the U.S. this winter, and two, because of the focus of Austin College faculty and students upon the viral spread of disease due to the upcoming campus visit by Dr. Nathan Wolfe.

Austin College has announced several weeks ago that Wolfe, who has been called the “Indiana Jones of virus hunting,” is the 2014 recipient of the College’s Posey Leadership Award in recognition of his service on behalf of global health. The pioneering epidemiologist works in the jungles of Africa and Southeast Asia, examining the transmission of deadly viruses such as HIV or SARS to help prevent such viral threats from emerging as the next pandemic.

Wolfe will speak at Austin College at 11 a.m. on Thursday, March 20, in Wynne Chapel. The event is free and open to the public.

Austin College is a leading national independent liberal arts college located north of Dallas in Sherman, Texas. Founded in 1849, making it the oldest institution of higher education in Texas operating under original charter and name, the College is related by covenant to the Presbyterian Church (USA). Recognized nationally for academic excellence in the areas of international education, pre-professional training, and leadership studies, Austin College is one of 40 schools profiled in Loren Pope’s influential book Colleges That Change Lives.

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