September 19, 2019
K-State Rabies Laboratory to host international conference in Kansas City
A special 30th anniversary will be celebrated with purple presence this year in Kansas City. A group of scientists from the Kansas State University Rabies Laboratory are serving as lead planners for Rabies in the Americas, or RITA.
"We're 'jazzed' to host this year's RITA conference in Kansas City," said Susan Moore, director of the Rabies Laboratory. "Last year, we attended the conference in Argentina. This year the conference is from Oct. 27 through Nov. 1 in the heart of the U.S. at the 'Show Me' state, where people can experience Kansas City's world-famous barbecue, fountains, jazz and Arrowhead Stadium!"
RITA is an international scientific meeting that has been held annually since 1990, the focus of which is the presentation and discussion of developments in rabies research, surveillance, control and prevention. Conference participants include researchers, academics, regulators, students, and medical, public health and veterinary professionals, among others.
"The RITA conference provides unparalleled opportunities for learning of the latest developments in the field of rabies, for networking with colleagues from around the world, and for raising the profile of sponsoring agencies on the world stage," Moore said. "As rabies is a zoonotic disease, this conference is an excellent forum for the productive interactions between veterinary and public health professionals promoted by the One World, One Health philosophy."
Joining Moore on the planning committee are Ram Raghavan, Chandra Gordon, Rolan Davis and Beth McQuade who work in the Rabies Laboratory and Kansas State Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory.
"Our committee, which includes several international experts, is currently planning a very informative program to include innovative technology, intriguing research, and updated protocols and procedures, along with several activities to highlight what Kansas City has to offer," Moore said.
The first conference was hosted in Atlanta, after which RITA has grown from a small meeting of like-minded colleagues to a well-recognized, international event of value to scientists and technicians who work in the rabies field. Historically, hosting of the RITA conference has been shared amongst Mexico, the United States, Canada, Brazil and Caribbean countries.
"It is now the longest-running and largest conference specific to rabies in the world," Moore said.
RITA attracts between 250-400 delegates from across the globe, not just from the Americas. Other meetings of importance are often held in tandem with RITA, including the North American Rabies Management Plan annual meeting and REDIPRA — Reuniones de Directores de los Programas Nacionales de Control de Rabia en América Latina.