The state government issued a “One Health” Order in 2022 in response to recurrent outbreaks of Nipah, H1N1 and other zoonotic diseases. One Health, endorsed by the WHO and the United Nations, is a zoonotic disease control and prevention approach that links human health to animal health and protection of the natural environment.

The order included calls for community surveillance to identify events that might trigger a disease outbreak -- such as dead birds that could signal the presence of bird flu -- and to prevent spread.

But the order did not address the broader issues of deforestation, habitat loss or urbanization, which many scientists say are major drivers of spillover and an essential element of One Health. Bats are a leading source of zoonotic viruses, but a 2022 study found that less than half of Kerala’s bat habitat and only 10% of flying fox habitat are covered by state or federal government protections. ...”

“ ... It is imperative that global treaty negotiators reach consensus on prevention, Dr. Francisco Pérez-Cañado of the European Commission said at an Oct. 16 World Health Summit panel in Berlin.

Unless we will look at prevention linking animal health, environment and human health, we will not stop the next pandemic,” he said. “When the next pandemic comes, and we have millions and millions of citizens across the world dying, let it not be because we missed this one piece.”

SEE: Nipah virus outbreak in India renews calls to protect bat roosts (