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Highlights from the ASM Satellite Sessions

Gredia Huerta-Montanez, MD presents on Zika and a full house in the Grand Ballroom

Satellite I. Epidemic of Addiction: Prescription Opioids, Heroin & Fentanyl

Andrew Kolodny, MD, shared data on the booming number of opioid related overdose deaths in the US, especially in last 20 years. He displayed addiction and overdose demographics across the US by age, sex, ethnicity, geographic area, and mortality. By sharing industry-funded messages (safe and effective for chronic pain and rarity of addiction) and ballooning advertising budgets, Dr. Kolodny demonstrated how the opioid crisis evolved over time to more than 52,000 drug overdose deaths in 2015. Updated CDC and VA/DOD guidelines for prescribing opioids were also presented. These guidelines include acute pain dosage and reject so-called risk assessment tools. Dr. Kolodny concluded with a three-pronged approach to controlling the epidemic:

  • prevent new cases of addiction
  • ensure access to treatment for those already addicted
  • reduce supply from pill mills and black market 

Dr. Kolodny is one of the nation's leading experts on the prescription opioid and heroin crisis devastating families and communities across the country. He is Co-Director of the Opioid Policy Research Collaborative at the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University. He is also the executive director of Physicians for Responsible Opioid Prescribing.

Satellite II. Zika Overview: A 360⁰ Look at the Epidemic

Beginning with a “Zika Overview Introduction” by ACMT President Charles McKay, MD, FACMT, and Board Member Ziad Kazzi, MD, FACMT, the satellite session was packed with information including presenters who work in Puerto Rico.

In “Clinical Manifestations of Zika Virus Infection,” Jennifer Read, MD, shared WHO data on Zika around the world, modes of virus transmission and epidemiology and pathogenesis. Dr. Read also included congenital Zika Syndrome, diagnosis, treatment, prevention and the future direction of Zika.

In “Mosquito Control Methods,” Gredia Huerta-Montanez, MD, noted there have been nearly 40,000 confirmed cases of Zika across Puerto Rico, including nearly 3,200 among pregnant women. She shared how the Puerto Rico Vector Control Unit has integrated mosquito control and monitoring and used community engagement to raise awareness.

In “Emergency Dept. Assessment of Potential Zika Infection,” David Farcy, MD, focused on symptoms, Zika infection during pregnancy, how it spreads, and Zika in Miami in 2016.

“Spraying Pesticides vs. Exposure to the Zika Virus: How do you Balance Your Concerns?” In this thorough presentation, S. Eliza Dunn, MD, FACMT, discussed the dilemma of infectious diseases in areas previously protected, pesticide development and history, the implications of pesticide bans, the long-term chronic exposure to pesticides, agricultural health studies and cancer rates, and pesticide residue on foods and vaccines.