Human health is profoundly affected by the animals and the environment in which we all live. That’s the starting point for the One Health initiatives – a holistic slice of health with connections between human disease, animals and sustainability.
One side of this is predicting disease drivers and outbreaks from environmental losses and human connections. EcoHealth Alliance highlights two big factors for disease outbreaks land use change – if we chop down a forest you change the dynamics of wildlife in that forest, you put people in there and they make contact with wildlife and you get these diseases – and travel and trade. Mapping the impacts guides intervention and prevention as well as protection.
One Health also encompasses practical action, including environmental awareness, preventing future animal to human diseases epidemics (e.g. like SARS). For more see this February’s 1st International Conference on One Health in Melbourne and this Australian Health Report story about it.