Mass. Medical Society, Mass. Department of Public Health collaborate on television program on mosquito and tick-borne diseases

Contact: Richard P. Gulla
Tel: 781-434-7101
Email:  rgulla@mms.org

Waltham, Mass. -- August 15, 2012 -- As residents of the Commonwealth face continued high threats from Eastern Equine Encephalitis, West Nile virus, and Lyme disease, the Massachusetts Medical Society (MMS), Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH), and Hopkinton Community Television (HCAM-TV) have collaborated in producing a special television report to raise awareness among residents about these mosquito and tick-borne diseases. 

Mosquito and Tick-Borne Diseases is a special episode of the Medical Society's monthly patient education show, Physician Focus, and is being distributed this week to public access television stations that reach more than 260 communities in the state.

The half-hour program features two experts from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health: Alfred DeMaria, M.D., Medical Director of the Bureau of Infectious Diseases, and Catherine Brown, D.V.M., M.Sc., M.P.H., State Public Health Veterinarian. Hosting the show is Bruce Karlin, M.D., a primary care physician in Worcester, Mass.

The program will examine how dangerous these threats are to humans, who is most at risk, environmental conditions that lead to these risks, control efforts by state and local public health officials, and what residents can do to protect against these infectious diseases. Residents should check the programming schedules of their local access station for broadcast times. The program is also available online at www.physicianfocus.org/mosquitotick 

DPH and MMS have collaborated on previous shows about infectious disease, but the increasing threats of Eastern Equine Encephalitis and West Nile virus in the state, along with the continued high incidence of Lyme disease, have prompted public health and medical society officials to produce another show. Mosquito and Tick-Borne Diseases is the sixth collaborative effort by MMS and DPH.

Physician Focus is a noncommercial production of the Massachusetts Medical Society and Hopkinton Community Access Television, HCAM-TV. Now entering its ninth year, the monthly half-hour program brings viewers health and medical information on timely topics from physicians and other healthcare experts.

The Massachusetts Medical Society, with more than 24,000 physicians and student members, is dedicated to educating and advocating for the patients and physicians of Massachusetts. The Society publishes the New England Journal of Medicine, a leading global medical journal and web site, and Journal Watch alerts and newsletters covering 13 specialties. The Society is also a leader in continuing medical education for health care professionals throughout Massachusetts, conducting a variety of medical education programs for physicians and health care professionals. Founded in 1781, MMS is the oldest continuously operating medical society in the country. For more information please visit www.massmed.org, www.nejm.org or www.jwatch.org.

HCAM-TV was founded April 1, 2004 by the Board of Selectmen of the Town of Hopkinton as a nonprofit corporation to manage local access to cable broadcast facilities. For information on HCAM, visit http://www.hcam.tv 

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