Learning opportunities abound at North American conference

Published on February 15, 2006
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Attendees learned the latest news on avian and canine influenzas, how to market veterinary practices, and more during the North American Veterinary Conference held in Orlando, Fla., Jan. 7-11. More than 14,500 people attended the event, including 5,665 veterinarians, 1,658 veterinary technicians, 740 students, and 3,099 exhibitors.

During a panel on influenzas, Dr. Cynda Crawford from the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine spoke about the recent identification of canine influenza. She discussed the severity of the disease and emphasized confining suspected infected patients. She also talked about veterinarians' questionable use of the antiviral drug Tamiflu, a flu medicine for humans, to prevent or treat canine influenza (see page).

Members of the 2006 NAVC board of directors

Dr. Crawford was joined by Dr. Ruben Donis, chief of the molecular genetics section at the Influenza Branch of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Dr. Donis collaborated with Dr. Crawford on the canine influenza study that was published in Science magazine. Dr. Donis' presentation was focused on an increasingly global topic, avian influenza. He talked about the modes of transmission of H5N1 avian influenza virus and the role of migratory birds in spreading the disease.

Other conference highlights included sessions on how veterinarians could better market their practice, a half-day session on managing microbes, seminars on animal welfare in food animal production systems, and a half-day symposium on strategies for treating heartworm disease and other parasitic infections.

New this year was the James A. Jarrett Lecture, sponsored by the NAVC. The lecture is a tribute to Dr. Jarrett, a production medicine pioneer and longtime NAVC board member and past president. He was executive vice president of the American Association of Bovine Practitioners when he died in 2005. The lecture featured speaker Dr. Jenks Britt, who gave an overview of the progression of food animal medicine since its inception.

The Mark L. Morris Sr. Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Dr. Alfred M. Legendre (see page).

Also of note, the conference's number of international attendees has increased. "While visa restrictions again prevented some registrants from attending, we have finally rebounded to pre-9/11 numbers, with more than 1,000 registrants from 72 countries," said Dr. Colin Burrows, NAVC executive director.

Newly elected officers for 2006-2007 are Dr. Phillipe Moreau, Limoges, France, who became the first NAVC president from a foreign country; Dr. Don J. Harris, Miami, president-elect; Dr. Jorge Guerrero, Pennington, N.J., vice president; and Dr. Earl H. Rippie Jr., Pennsauken, N.J., secretary-treasurer. Dr. Richard M. DeBowes, Pullman, Wash., serves as immediate past president. Newly elected board members are Drs. Ronald Bright, Loveland, Colo., and Aine McCarthy, Evergreen, Colo.