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MASW 2020
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Dear colleague,

Many, if not most, emerging viruses have their origin in Africa. Yet, conferences dealing with the subject rarely take place in Africa. This is all the more of a problem as African virologists only rarely have the opportunity to attend the conferences on emerging viruses in Europe, Asia, or North America. As a result, knowledge about the occurrence of new viruses in Africa is limited, unless there is a major outbreak. For example, the prevalence of dengue virus infections in African countries has been barely studied, and it is not known with certainty whether Zika virus infection of pregnant women in Africa is connected with the risk of microcephaly of the child (as it certainly was during the 2015/16 Zika virus outbreak in Latin America). In order to make a contribution to changing this lack of communication and exchange of knowledge, we decided to set up a series of small, highly focused meetings at beach resorts along the Indian Ocean coast in Mozambique. The first four meetings took place in Praia do Tofo in Inhambane province, but the 2020 "Mozambique Advanced Study Week on Emerging and Re-Emerging Viruses" will be organized at the Lugar do Mar resort in Praia de Macaneta, just 35 kilometers north of Maputo. The reason for moving the meeting towards the South of the country is that only about six kilometers from Macaneta, there is the new research building of the Instituto Nacional de Saúde (INS), and participants of the conference will be able to easily visit the institute to discuss collaborative projects. Also, provided that we can secure sufficient funding, we are planning to organize a pre-conference hands-on course at the INS.

The 5th Mozambique Advanced Study Week is organized by Professor Rolf Hilgenfeld, University of Lübeck (Germany), in collaboration with Dr. Eduardo Samo Gudo, Deputy Director General of the Instituto Nacional de Saúde (INS), the National Institute of Health of Mozambique.

The focus of the meeting will be on (re-)emerging viruses of all kinds, for example Ebola, Dengue, Zika, West Nile, and Yellow Fever, or Chikungunya, Rift Valley Fever, and Crimean Congo Hemorrhagic Fever viruses, or influenza. The following aspects will be dealt with for all families of emerging viruses during the conference:

- Molecular Biology
- Epidemiology
- Diagnostics
- Vaccine Development
- Development of Antivirals
- Vector Control
- Public Health Issues (incl. Outbreak Responses)

The 55 slots available at this meeting will be allocated on a first-come, first-serve basis. The conference venue, Lugar do Mar (***), at Praia de Macaneta, Marracuene, is very popular with tourists. It is located on the beaches of the Indian Ocean and offers a relaxed atmosphere, enabling you to combine excellent science with a well-deserved holiday. Macaneta is only 26 km from Maputo airport. Maputo can be reached by direct flights from Addis Ababa, Doha, Istanbul, Johannesburg, Lisbon and Nairobi, all of which are international hubs served by many airlines from Europe, Asia, and America.

Conference participants will either stay at Lugar do Mar itself (they have 29 luxury rooms for 1 or 2 guests, and 12 chalets with rooms for up to 4 guests, so make sure to book soon!) or at the neighboring Tan'n Biki resort.

Please book by sending an e-mail to admin@lugardomar.com.

Our local travel agency, Terra Agua Ceu Lda. (TAC), will offer pre- and post-conference tours to the Kruger National Park in South Africa, to near-by Swaziland, to Ilha de Moçambique, a UNESCO World-Heritage site, or to Praia do Tofo (Inhambane Province), the ideal place to watch marine wild-life. One of TAC's tours to the Kruger Park starts in Maputo and ends at Johannesburg International Airport, from where you could catch your flight home.

Looking forward to seeing you at the "5th Mozambique Advanced Study Week on Emerging and Re-Emerging Viruses" at Macaneta Beach at the end of August, 2020!

Rolf Hilgenfeld, Professor of Biochemistry, University of Lübeck, Germany

Eduardo Samo Gudo, Deputy Director General, Instituto Nacional de Saúde, Marracuene, Maputo, Mozambique           



If you have any comments, questions or concerns, please send an email to info@emerging-viruses.org.