ProMED-mail: A Valuable One Health Asset Worldwide

“The costs of doing a poor job tracking infectious diseases as they move between animals and humans have been staggering over the last 60 years.  ProMED-mail (please see our ProMED page on this website) makes a valiant and remarkable effort to overcome this deficit.  A cadre of physicians, veterinarians and other health scientists participate.

Species-jumping pathogens have caused more than 65 percent of infectious disease outbreaks in the past six decades, and have racked up more than $200 billion in economic losses worldwide over the past 10 years, according to a report issued last year September by the U.S. Institute of Medicine (IOM) and the National Research Council. 

Lack of communication between those tracking human and animal health has led to missed opportunities to detect and quickly contain species-crossing pathogens, the report notes.

To improve coordination and communication between groups, ProMED’s current staff of nearly 40 experts in 16 countries includes 8 veterinarians and veterinary medical health specialists -- one in Thailand, one in Cameroon, one in Israel, one in Tanzania, and four in the U.S.  The ProMED staff recently reviewed ProMED postings from 1996 to 2004 and found that more than 10,000 reports on animal disease were posted during that interval. Approximately 30 percent covered diseases that can be transmitted between animals and humans.  The remaining were related to animal diseases in both domestic animals and wildlife.”

Information provided by:

Larry Madoff, MD, Editor – ProMED-mail  [Edited for One Health Initiative website by Jack Woodall, PhD, ProMED associate editor]