Aug. 12, 2004 – The outbreak and spread of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, or SARS, in relation to plumbing and heating, ventilation, air-conditioning and refrigeration systems will be explored at a one-day international symposium to be held on St. Thomas on Aug. 20.
The gathering is being hosted by the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials and its V.I. chapter, the World Plumbing Council, and the V.I. chapter of the Refrigeration Service Engineers Society. It will take place at Marriott Frenchman's Reef Beach Resort.
Euston David, president of the V.I. chapter of the IAPMO, said "We are very pleased to be a part of the leadership of this important world meeting."
Jeff L. Chandler, president of the local RSES chapter, said that without the protections afforded by installation codes and standards, the SARS outbreak could be repeated in the Caribbean." Industry, health-care and government leaders from throughout the region are being invited to attend the symposium to "learn now SARS happened and the relatively simple steps that can be taken to make sure that it is not repeated here," he said.
According to "Roots" Beloise, secretary-treasurer of the local IAPMO chapter, the organization "has been involved in resolving these issues ever since the first days this new disease received worldwide attention." The aim of the symposium, he said, is to help ensure "that SARS does not become a problem here."
At the symposium, which will run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., industry professionals, scientists, engineers and health-care personnel will share information on SARS, discussing in particular how its spread through plumbing and ventilation systems can be prevented.
According to a release from the IAPMO, the program will include:
– A presentation on the Hong Kong Health Department report which linked the outbreak of SARS there in February 2003 to a sanitary system and ventilation in an apartment complex.
– Discussion of a World Health Organization meeting on SARS held in Rome last September, led by an attendee.
– Presentation of papers examining other outbreaks of SARS.
– Presentation of solutions and strategies for avoiding outbreaks of SARS and other diseases.
Reservations to attend the symposium must be received by Aug. 18. Registration is $25, payable the day of the meeting. To reserve space, send an e-mail to the IAPMO or call Catalina at (800) 451-5978.
Publisher's note : Like the St. Thomas Source now? Find out how you can love us twice as much — and show your support for the islands' free and independent news voice … click here.