Carlo Urbani - Epidemiologists, Career and Personal Life

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Carlo Urbani's Personal Details

Italian epidemiologist Carlo Urbani was the first person who identified SARS as a highly contagious disease

InformationDetail
BirthdayOctober 19, 1956
Died onMarch 29, 2003
NationalityItalian
FamousPhysicians, Epidemiologists, Microbiologists
SpousesGiuliana Chiorrini
Universities
  • University of Ancona.
Birth PlaceCastelplanio
GenderMale
Sun SignLibra
Born inCastelplanio
Famous asEpidemiologist
Died at Age46

// Famous Epidemiologists

Carlo Urbani's photo

Who is Carlo Urbani?

Italian epidemiologist Carlo Urbani was the first person who identified SARS as a highly contagious disease. He worked as an infectious disease expert in World Health Organization’s office in the Vietnamese capital, Hanoi, and warned WHO against this deadly disease. As a result of his early warning, millions of lives around the world were saved. But sadly, while treating SARS infected patients, Dr. Urbani became infected with the virus himself, and later on died due to complications from the condition. As a medical doctor with a specialization in infectious and tropical diseases from the University of Messina, he joined Italian Catholic NGO Mani Tese as a young man and since then dedicated his life to the medical profession. After gaining experience in epidemic medicine fields he became an external consultant of the WHO and joined Médecins Sans Frontières. He travelled widely and spent long periods in places like Vietnam and Cambodia treating people suffering from infectious diseases. He also played an important role in tracking the epidemiology of the hookworm. He was the first person who documented the transmission of Schistosoma mansoni. Besides being an epidemiologist, Carlo Urbani was also a passionate photographer, an expert ultra-light airplane pilot, and a good organist.

// Famous Physicians

Childhood & Early Life

Carlo Urbani was born on October 19, 1956, in Castelplanio, Italy, into a middle class family with a strong Catholic background. His father was a teacher at the Ancona Commercial Navy Institute and his mother was a headmistress of a primary school.

Urbani graduated in medicine from the University of Ancona in 1981. He then specialized in infectious and tropical diseases from the University of Messina and earned a postgraduate degree in tropical parasitology in 1984.

Career

After completing his studies, Urbani continued his work at the university.

He was interested in tackling the challenges of international health. In the late 1980s, he visited Mauritania several times with a group of volunteers to support its ministry of health in parasitic disease control.

In 1990, he joined the Macerata hospital. While at Macerata, Urbani got in touch with WHO, and from 1993 began working with it on temporary assignments in the Maldives, Mauritania and Guinea.

In 1995, he went to Maldives to track the epidemiology of the hookworm (a serious intestinal infection) and to train laboratory technicians to test for worms.

It was Urbani who for the first time documented the transmission of Schistosoma mansoni. More than 200 million people across the world were affected by this infection.

When Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) was looking for an infectious disease specialist, they contacted with WHO and got in touch with Urbani. He joined them in Switzerland in 1997 and worked in Cambodia.

In Cambodia, he worked to control the influence of a parasitic flatworm namely Schistosoma mekongi, responsible for diseases like intestinal schistosomiasis. This ailment damages the liver, causing fibrosis that eventually kills the patient.

Urbani took effective measures to reduce its effect. With the implementation of his treatment process, diagnosis procedure became affordable.

In 1999, Urbani worked as the President of the Italian section of MSF. In the same year he got invitation to Oslo to receive Nobel Peace Prize on behalf of MSF.

In association with the Ivo de Carneri Foundation he took efficient measures to prevent parasitic diseases in developing countries. He also became a member of its scientific committee.

In 2000, WHO posted Urbani to Hanoi, as an expert in communicable diseases for Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam.

He recommended effective steps to control food borne trematodes and cestodes. Around seven million people in Asia were affected by trematodes worm.

He supported the idea of regular treatment of praziquantel affected children to avoid cholangiocarcinoma of liver. This is a severe type of cancer.

He revealed his multi talented ability through his penchant towards photography, his expertise as ultra-light airplane pilot and as a good organist.

Major Works

Carlo Urbani was the first WHO officer to identify the outbreak of the deadly SARS disease while diagnosing a patient other doctors had failed to diagnose properly. He immediately recognized that he was dealing with a highly contagious disease and helped the WHO in responding quickly to the major epidemic.

Awards & Achievements

As the president of the Italian chapter of Médecins Sans Frontières, Urbani was one of the individuals who accepted the 1999 Nobel Peace Prize on behalf of that organization.

Personal Life & Legacy

Urbani tied the wedding knot with Giullani Chiorrini. The couple had three children.

In February 2003, Urbani was asked to treat an American patient at the French Hospital of Hanoi. Doctors thought the patient was suffering from pneumonia. After examination Urbani perceived that the patient was the victim of a highly infectious disease.

Besides informing WHO about it, he also approached the Health Ministry of Vietnam to take proper measures. Hospital workers were advised to use high filter masks and double gown and most importantly, to isolate patients.

Arrangements were made to examine travellers as a preventive action. The worldwide alert made by WHO against this disease received global response.

Sadly, while treating SARS affected patients in Hanoi, he himself was infected with this virus.

On his way to Bangkok, he felt feverish. After remaining in intensive care for 18 days, he passed away on March 29, 2003 in Bangkok at the age of 46.

// Famous Microbiologists

Carlo Urbani biography timelines

  • // 19th Oct 1956
    Carlo Urbani was born on October 19, 1956, in Castelplanio, Italy, into a middle class family with a strong Catholic background. His father was a teacher at the Ancona Commercial Navy Institute and his mother was a headmistress of a primary school.
  • // 1981 To 1984
    Urbani graduated in medicine from the University of Ancona in 1981. He then specialized in infectious and tropical diseases from the University of Messina and earned a postgraduate degree in tropical parasitology in 1984.
  • // 1990
    In 1990, he joined the Macerata hospital. While at Macerata, Urbani got in touch with WHO, and from 1993 began working with it on temporary assignments in the Maldives, Mauritania and Guinea.
  • // 1995
    In 1995, he went to Maldives to track the epidemiology of the hookworm (a serious intestinal infection) and to train laboratory technicians to test for worms.
  • // 1997
    When Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) was looking for an infectious disease specialist, they contacted with WHO and got in touch with Urbani. He joined them in Switzerland in 1997 and worked in Cambodia.
  • // 1999
    In 1999, Urbani worked as the President of the Italian section of MSF. In the same year he got invitation to Oslo to receive Nobel Peace Prize on behalf of MSF.
  • // 2000
    In 2000, WHO posted Urbani to Hanoi, as an expert in communicable diseases for Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam.
  • // Feb 2003
    In February 2003, Urbani was asked to treat an American patient at the French Hospital of Hanoi. Doctors thought the patient was suffering from pneumonia. After examination Urbani perceived that the patient was the victim of a highly infectious disease.
  • // 29th Mar 2003
    On his way to Bangkok, he felt feverish. After remaining in intensive care for 18 days, he passed away on March 29, 2003 in Bangkok at the age of 46.

// Famous Italian

Carlo Urbani's FAQ

  • What is Carlo Urbani birthday?

    Carlo Urbani was born at 1956-10-19

  • When was Carlo Urbani died?

    Carlo Urbani was died at 2003-03-29

  • Where was Carlo Urbani died?

    Carlo Urbani was died in Bangkok

  • Which age was Carlo Urbani died?

    Carlo Urbani was died at age 46

  • Where is Carlo Urbani's birth place?

    Carlo Urbani was born in Castelplanio

  • What is Carlo Urbani nationalities?

    Carlo Urbani's nationalities is Italian

  • Who is Carlo Urbani spouses?

    Carlo Urbani's spouses is Giuliana Chiorrini

  • What was Carlo Urbani universities?

    Carlo Urbani studied at University of Ancona.

  • What is Carlo Urbani's sun sign?

    Carlo Urbani is Libra

  • How famous is Carlo Urbani?

    Carlo Urbani is famouse as Epidemiologist