Friday, May 30, 2003 at 1:39 PM
Dr. Julie Gerberding is director of the centers for Disease Control in Atlanta. Her agency has been on the front line of many recent public health issues, among them SARS and West Nile Virus. The South Dakota native studied medicine at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, graduating magna cum laude before moving to California to complete her residency. Last year, her husband contracted West Nile. He's fine now, but that experience gave her a finer appreciation of the challenge of dealing with infectious disease. Dr. Gerberding was in Canton yesterday speaking to a packed audience of students, professors and health officials at the Stark County campus of Kent State University. She says the outlook for West Nile this summer is hard to predict, but 13 states have already reported dead birds killed by the virus. ideastream's Karen Schaefer spoke with Dr. Gerberding. She asked about the scientific evidence that spraying pesticides can reduce people's risk of infection from West Nile.