Australia needs more virologists, and more virology teaching. Partly in response to this, A/Prof Monica Lahra and Prof Bill Rawlinson started a clinical virology meeting – Viruses in May, or ViM. This meeting has been helping scientists, clinicians and others to learn about clinical virology since 2004.
The Viruses in May meeting is over three days, and focuses on different topics each year relating to clinical virology principles. It includes clinical case presentations and specialist talks on different aspects of viral illness in Australia. Our focus is on infections in Australia, although many of our speakers are internationally recognised experts in the areas they are presenting.
The continuing increase in vaccine and antiviral therapies for many of these infections means clinical recognition of viral infections is increasingly important. The emergence and re-emergence of viral infections in new populations means we must continue to respond. Virology continues to be at the forefront of public health awareness – influenza H7N9, novel coronaviruses, new diagnostics with point of care for HIV, and many other viral infections.
Virology education remains a priority for all of us in the Virology Division, and ViM is part of our response to the need for knowledge amongst scientists and clinicians in Australia. People who are interested in learning about clinical virology are all welcome to ViM each year.