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Panel Discussion – Influenza and COVID-19: What Should We Expect for This Winter?

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This post was written by Science Reference Specialists Ashley Cuffia, MLS, MS and Tomoko Steen, Ph.D.

The Library’s Health Services Division and the Science, Technology & Business Division will be hosting a panel discussion via webinar titled “Influenza and Covid-19: What Should We Expect for This Winter?” on Thursday, December 3rd at 10 a.m. The event is open to Library employees and the public. Registration is required and limited to 1,000 participants.

Demonstration at the Red Cross Emergency Ambulance Station in Washington, D.C., during the influenza pandemic of 1918.

In 2020, nations across the world are facing an unprecedented pandemic with COVID-19. According to the World Health Organization, as of 25 November at 10:04 a.m. Central European Time (CET), there were 59,204,902 documented cases of infection and a death count of 1,397,139.

As winter arrives, we are confronted by the intersection of COVID-19 and other seasonal illnesses such as the common cold, allergies, and influenza. This will make it more difficult to differentiate between COVID-19 cases and other common winter ailments in managing COVID-19 outbreaks.

For this reason, the Health Services Division and the Science, Technology & Business Division at the Library of Congress are inviting three experts to discuss what we all should know and how to prepare for this season. The invited speakers are:

  • Benjamin Cowling, Ph.D., FFPH, Professor and Head of the Division of Epidemiology and Biostatistics in the School of Public Health at the University of Hong Kong and co-Director of the WHO Collaborating Centre for Infectious Disease Epidemiology and Control. He will discuss international collaborations of disease monitoring and preventions.
  • Sarah Cobey, Ph.D., Associate Professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolution at the University of Chicago. Using computational and mathematical models, her group studies how the host adaptive immune response coevolves with pathogens, especially in ways relevant to epidemiological and evolutionary forecasting, vaccine design, and pathogen diversity.
  • Daniel Lucey, MD, MPH, is a Clinical Professor of Medicine at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth University and a Research Associate in Anthropology at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History, where he was the impetus for the exhibit Outbreak: Epidemics in a Connected World, which runs through 2021 and covers HIV/AIDS, Ebola virus, Zika virus, and more. As a medical doctor, he will summarize what has been reported clinically about patients from China, Europe, and Iran, as well as Australia and South Africa in terms of dual infections with influenza and COVID-19.


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Food and Drug Administration (FDA)

National Institutes of Health

World Health Organization

Library of Congress Resources:

The time for questions will be limited so Library employees and the public are encouraged to submit questions for the panelists in advance using Ask a Librarian: Science & Technical Reports. When submitting a question, please indicate that it is for the December 3rd webinar.

Individuals requiring accommodations for any of these events are requested to submit a request at least five business days in advance by contacting (202) 707-6362 or [email protected].

Comments (3)

  1. This sounds like a timely and informative program that would benefit many librarians.

    I was wondering if the recording was going to be archived/saved for people to watch at a later date. I would love to register, but on December 3rd our library is having a Staff Training from 9AM-11AM and I cannot attend this presentation.

    • Hi P. According to the hosts yes, the panel discussion will be recorded and made available on the Library’s YouTube page once captioning has been added:

  2. Very timely and hopefully injecting reality and perspective into this emotional situation

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