Pertinent One Health Approach suggested by Canadian veterinarian

This blastomycosis case in Ontario provides a first hand example for me (an early career veterinarian) of a need for integrated surveillance between animal and human health sectors. I am an associate veterinarian on Manitoulin Island, the same district as the recently posted case (ProMED-mail post Blastomycosis - Canada: (ON) fatal 20150123.3112589). We (myself and clinic colleagues) noticed an increase in dogs diagnosed with Blastomycosis in 2014, and in at least two cases family members were also diagnosed. Blastomycosis is an excellent example where our pets might act as sentinels, given that dogs are at a higher risk of contracting the disease. The amount of blastomycosis we’ve seen this year has left me wondering how front line veterinarians and physicians might communicate better to help reduce the disease burden of all our patients. There are numerous diseases that, while not zoonotic, have an environmental component shared by humans and animals alike. How can the two sectors collaborate to improve surveillance and control of these shared diseases? This case provides an opportunity to pose that question to the One Health Initiative community.

Provided to the One Health Initiative website January 26, 2015:

Emma Gardner, DVM, MS
PhD Candidate, Population Medicine
Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph