The catastrophic COVID-19 pandemic illustrates the importance of preparedness against zoonotic disease spillover events (or against laboratory accidents involving zoonotic pathogens). The One Health concept is gaining traction among policymakers, public health professionals, and the public. Ideally, instead of playing “whack-a-mole” with zoonoses, we should be strategically preventing them or at least developing rapid deployment vaccines, a.k.a. prototype vaccines.
Dear Friends —
As the delta variant of SARS-COV-2 makes its way around and through populations in every reach of the globe, the One Health model— a collaborative, multisectoral, and transdisciplinary approach—working at the local, regional, national, and global levels—with the goal of achieving optimal health outcomes recognizing the interconnection between people, animals, plants, and their shared environment — moves to center stage in the global health arena. Because it is a relatively new concept, with much promise for the future of global health prevention and treatment, this article merits a careful reading.
The authors — Dr. Laura Kahn, a physician, health policy expert, and co- founder of One Health — and my good friend, Richard Seifman — a noted international development expert, former senior foreign service officer and senior official at the World Bank on health, nutrition, and pandemic issues in sub-Saharan Africa — are among the country’s leading proponents of One Health. The article appropriately skims the surface of this significant new direction in global public health, and highlights how One Health can ’shift the odds’ in favor of preemptive strikes on future pandemics.
And if you’re wondering about the Greek alphabet system employed by the CDC to identify variants of Covid, here’s a recent article from the Chicago Tribune to help you track them:
Armed with this information, you’re better prepared to be the One Health information officer among friends, neighbors, seekers of science-based evidence, and particularly with skeptics and naysayers.