Bats — hear from the experts

Across Queensland the debate about bats continues - do they pose a threat to human health, and can colonies be moved on?

Locally, the focus is on the colony that roosts near the Cairns library.

James Cook University will host a public forum on this contentious issue this Saturday

(7 September), with a panel of experts in the fields of infectious diseases and rainforest ecology.


Led by JCU's Professor John McBride, the expert panel will include infections diseases physician Dr Trent Yarwood and rainforest ecologist Dr David Westcott.

"We will be presenting a discussion that is based on good evidence," Dr Yarwood said. "We'll be looking at what we know about the viruses bats carry, and where and how exposure to bats occurs."

The public forum will take place from 5.30pm to 7.00pm on Saturday 7 September at the Pullman Cairns International Hotel.

Admission is free but those planning to attend are asked to book online at

This event is part of the annual conference for the Queensland Tropical Health Alliance (QTHA) and Australasian College of Tropical Medicine (ACTM) being held 7-8 September 2013 in Cairns. 

The theme of the conference is Tropical Health - Local Labs: Global Impact.   

The conference will explore the global impact of current research in health and tropical medicine.

It will feature scientists, clinicians and health and medical professionals from Queensland and across Australia, in addition to international presenters.

The broad topics include: Indigenous health; public health; health and translation; global burden of disease and demography; and environmental determinants of infectious disease.

The conference will focus on diseases that affect people who live in tropical areas including HIV, dengue, Hendra virus, leptospirosis, lymphatic filariasis, and tuberculosis.



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