Infectious Diseases in Children Symposium – New York City, Nov. 21-22, 2009

Last week I attended the Twenty Second Annual Infectious Diseases in Children Symposium and it was a complete success. It took place in Manhattan last weekend and it brought together familiar names in the field of infectious diseases in children. These are authorities of international renown, authors of books and research papers all from this country.

Dr. Sarah Long was the keynote speaker, from St. Christopher’s Hospital in Philadelphia. She offers a life long dedication to research and teaching. She is the author of textbooks and has participated and led many of the research efforts in infectious diseases. She is now 65 years old and looking great.

Dr. Paul Offit, also from Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, has written books to guide parents in making decisions about immunizations; “What Every Parent Should Know About Vaccines” comes to mind. He also has years of research behind the advice he gives to parents.

It was a happy-sad experience. I was happy to be part of the experience and happy to learn from them all. And it was sad to think that so many parents out there disregard the efforts of these individuals and others and ignore what science and research has taught us over the years. I am talking about vaccines and the science behind them.

The United States spends more money that any other country in the world in research and technology. What is known today in the field of medicine and particularly in immunology and infectious diseases is available because very smart people put their heads together in a Herculean effort to help humanity. From the human genome to the space shuttle, from the development of new antibiotics to the treatment of cancer. Most of what we know, we owe to those men and women with enough passion to pursue and answer our questions.

From the symposium I learned about the latest in diagnoses and treatments which I plan to share over the coming weeks through this blog. I welcome your ideas and comments.

Marta Katalenas M.D.