JMSC Research Seminar: The Flu Pandemic

Thomas Abraham, Director of Public Health Media Project & Assistant Professor at the JMSC, will present his research in a talk titled Constructing the pandemic: How influenza became seen as a threat to global health security, on Friday 17 September in the Shum Wai Yau Reading Room, Eliot Hall.

Professor Thomas Abraham

For decades, influenza had occupied the “dull but worthy” category of infectious diseases.  Though flu specialists emphasised the lives lost through influenza every year, and the millions of lives that had been lost in the 1918 pandemic, flu was not seen as a major public health threat.

However, in the last decade, the perception of pandemic influenza grew from being seen a modest public health threat to a threat to global health security.

Abraham’s research examines the political and social processes through which influenza was elevated from the realm of public health to the “high politics” of national and global security.

Thomas Abraham heads the public health communication programme at JMSC and worked at the WHO last year during the influenza pandemic. He is a former editor of the South China Morning Post and author of Twenty-First Century Plague: The Story of SARS (HKU Press, 2004).
The talk is the first of a series of research seminars the JMSC will host this semester. Watch this space for upcoming seminars.

Time: 12-1pm (corrected)
Enquiries: Kylie Chan at 22194416 or email kyliec@hku.hk