Going Viral with One Health
“Somewhere in the world, the wrong pig met up with the wrong bat.”
This may seem like an odd quote, but it’s pretty important in the 2011 movie Contagion – a movie where a zoonotic disease ravages the globe. Regardless your thoughts on the movie, the quote explains just how easily a zoonotic or vector-borne viral disease can pose a serious threat to global health and economy.
That’s why adopting a ‘One-Health’ approach is so important, and why we call attention to it during our third One Health Week.
The epidemiology of emerging and re-emerging viral diseases is complex and multifaceted, involving heterologous host species, environmental and anthropogenic factors. And as humans and wildlife continue to live in closer and closer proximity to one another around the globe, more and more we need a way to successfully predict, combat, control and prevent viral infections.
One Health is that way, as it brings together not just veterinarians but individuals from all health sectors to work together. One Health Week is a microcosm of that goal.
With the theme of “One Health, Going Viral!,” this week (October 29-November 3) brings people together to talk, learn and workshop on all aspects of viral diseases from the One-Health perspective. Among the highlights of the week include a keynote speech delivered by Professor Albert Osterhaus, eminent, award-winning Dutch virologist, and our One Health Community Fair held on November 3 – aka. International One Health Day.
While no one may be able to stop the wrong pig from meeting up with the wrong bat, through a One-Health approach, we can be prepared to handle situations on both local and global levels to ensure the safety of all.