Cholera in Lebanon: An Old Disease with a New Comeback

September 13, 2023
12:00 PM – 1:00 PM
Iowa City Public Library

The Public Policy Center is proud to support this lecture hosted by the Iowa City Foreign Relations Council (ICFRC).

Cholera has been a global public health problem that resulted in 7 pandemics since 1961. The first cholera case was reported in North Lebanon on October 4, 2022 in an informal settlement followed by spread across the country; this is the first cholera outbreak in the country since 1993. Despite the confinement of cases in North Lebanon early during the pandemic, the economic crisis in Lebanon and the weakened healthcare infrastructure exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic played a significant role in the emergence of the cholera outbreak. 

Dr. Nada M. Melhem is a tenured Professor of Infectious Diseases and Microbiology (Virology and Immunology) at the Faculty of Health Sciences, American University of Beirut. Melhem is currently the Director of the Division of Health Professions and the Chair of the Medical Laboratory Sciences Program at the Faculty of Health Sciences. 

With a unique background and training in virology, immunology and epidemiology, Melhem developed at AUB a transdisciplinary and translational research program focusing on viral immunopathogenesis and the epidemiology of viruses, and their impact on global human health. Melhem’s research program focuses on human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1), viral diarrheal diseases specifically noroviruses and COVID-19. Melhem is currently leading the SARS-CoV-2 National Surveillance Genomic Program for healthcare workers and hospitalized patients.

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