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Launch of the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History exhibition

Today, the OIE welcomes the launch of the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History exhibition, “Outbreak: Epidemics in a Connected World”, to open on Friday, 18 May 2018 in Washington DC, United States.


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Washington – 17 May 2018:   This major exhibition is an important component in the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History's Outbreak Initiative, developed in collaboration with the OIE and other global partners to raise awareness of the human, animal, and environmental factors that contribute to infectious disease epidemics.

In a globalised and connected world, with ever-increasing growth in travel and trade, infectious agents move freely between borders and continents, potentially impacting human and animal health, and economies.   

The OIE is a key resource for the dissemination of information about the current global animal disease situation, enabling countries throughout the world to take necessary preventive action. Immediate or periodic reports also include information about animal diseases that are transmissible to humans, and about any intentional introduction of pathogens. Real-time data is disseminated mainly through the OIE’s World Animal Health Information System Interface (WAHIS Interface).

The Outbreak: Epidemics in a Connected World exhibition is composed of 15 graphic panels that are freely available to reproduce on demand.  These graphics can be customised to a local context, enabling any interested stakeholder to mount the exhibition locally. The Outbreak exhibition is divided into four themes:

  1. Outbreak origins. Visitors learn how diseases are transmitted from animals to humans, and how environmental factors contribute to disease spread.
  2.  Stopping the spread. This highlights factors that can decrease the risk of disease outbreaks.
  3.  Detection, response and containment.  An introduction to the variety and interaction of those working in many different fields of activity to identify and control the spread of potentially dangerous diseases.
  4. Disease profiles.   Visitors can learn about the occurrence, ways of spreading, treatment and prevention of important zoonoses such as Ebola, tuberculosis and influenza.

The OIE has produced a leaflet on the Outbreak exhibition that will be distributed to participants of the 86th General Session of the World Assembly of National Delegates of the OIE from 20 to 25 May in Paris, France.

For further information on the exhibition, and how it may be freely reproduced by interested parties, contact Audrey Chang: ChangA@si.edu or +1 (202) 633-7526.

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