Susanna Von Essen
Ebola, West Nile and More: What the Past 5 Years Have Taught Us about Zoonotic Diseases
Dr. Von Essen grew up on a farm in eastern Nebraska, where she saw firsthand the impact of farming practices on health. She is a graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Washington University School of Medicine (MD) and the University of Michigan (MPH, with a concentration in Occupational Health). She went on to complete her Internal Medicine residency and Pulmonary fellowship at the University of Nebraska Medical Center.
She is currently in her 27th year on the faculty of the University of Nebraska Medical Centre in the Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care, Sleep and Allergy, and also has an appointment and teaches in the College of Public Health. In her medical practice she specializes on rural health issues, including respiratory health and how exposure to organic dust from hogs, cattle, and grain affects pulmonary function. She identified the first Nebraska case of diacetyl exposure related lung disease, and published the first (and only) description of a farm worker who survived poisoning by tilmicosin (a veterinary antibiotic) after an unintentional injection.
Dr. Von Essen has more than 29 years of research experience in agricultural health, securing extramural funding from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and from NIOSH. She continues to own a farm; this combined with her role as a practicing physician gives her tremendous knowledge of farmers and their workplace exposures.
Dr. Van Essen’s keynote address, entitled: “Ebola, West Nile and More: What the Past 5 Years Have Taught Us about Zoonotic Diseases”, will enable audience members to understand and utilize lessons learned from treating Ebola patients in a North American university hospital. Her talk will demonstrate the principles, benefits, and application of OneHealth through a series of examples: 1) controlling the risk of West Nile virus infection in rural populations; 2) measures being taken to control risk of Salmonella infections related to food contamination on farms and in food processing facilities; 3) risk factors and treatment approaches for hantavirus pulmonary syndrome; and 4) applying One Health methods for rabies control.