The Discovery of Yersinia Pestis: Hong Kong's Special Role in Medical Excellence

The Discovery of Yersinia Pestis: Hong Kong's Special Role in Medical Excellence

HONG KONG, June 20, 2014 — Hong Kong's journey to becoming a center of medical excellence has never been easy. As the intersection between China and the rest of the world, the history of Hong Kong has been marked with outbreaks of infectious diseases, including the infamous Black Death and more recently, SARS. In fact, the Yersinia pestis bacterium and H2N2 virus were first discovered in Hong Kong.

In partnership with the Consulate General of France in Hong Kong & Macau and the Consulate General of Switzerland in Hong Kong & Macao, Asia Society Hong Kong Center presented a documentary screening of Alexandre Yersin — It's not a life that doesn't move (Ce n'est pas une vie que de ne pas bouger), followed by a post-screening discussion where Professor Roberto Bruzzone and Professor Joseph Sriyal Malik Peiris talked about the role of Hong Kong in global infectious disease research, as well as the future problems faced by human civilization, including the rising obstacles of medical research and lower awareness towards infectious diseases.

It was mentioned that the geographical significance of Hong Kong has attracted global elites to conduct research, creating favorable conditions for Hong Kong to strive for medical advancement. Although the virology academia has nurtured numerous medical elites, we should still pay great attention to the potential threats, including the emergence of completely new infectious disease pathogens, and rapid globalization.

A special thanks to the Swiss and French treats and wine sponsored by the Consulate General of France in Hong Kong & Macau and the Consulate General of Switzerland in Hong Kong & Macao.

Video: Watch the complete program (31 min., 26 sec.)

June 25, 2014
by Peryl Tse