An article in “The Atlantic” called “The Quest to End the Flu” illustrates the importance of being prepared for a pandemic by having effective vaccines that can be made quickly, using the 2009 H1N1 influenza outbreak as an example. The article is a really good read for those of us interested in One Health.
This week’s One Health roundup has updates on H1N1 avian influenza research, new information on how prion diseases spread between species, a look at the health benefits of pets, and much more.
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Posted in Human-Animal Connections, Research, Zoonoses/Shared Disease
Tagged AIDS, animals, avian influenza, bird flu, cat, coral, dog, e. coli, fish, H1N1, HIV, hoarding, milk, pets, prion, reefs, research
Although the pandemic (worldwide epidemic) of 2009 H1N1 influenza was declared over by the World Health Organization in late 2010, the virus is still around…and as flu season approaches, we may still see cases of 2009 H1N1 influenza infection in people and/or animals. Cats (domestic as well as wild/big cats), pigs and ferrets are at highest risk of infection with the virus, but it has also been reported in a dog and some other animal species.
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This is no pig in a poke. These pigs may actually one day save us humans from the poke – the poke of a needle that is. With the H1N1 virus creating fears that this fall’s flu season could be one of the worst on record, scientists are working on everything from vaccines to how to test for the virus. Drs. Bob Rowland and Dick Hesse, veterinarians at the Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine, are working with the New York State Department of Health to improve the ways in which the H1N1 virus is identified. Their latest efforts include a diagnostic method for pigs that analyzes saliva rather than blood. This less-invasive collection procedure for pigs may lead to the same type of testing for people.
Sometimes, the concept of One Health seems like a lofty, “pie in the sky” concept. The convergence of human, animal and environmental health might seem a bit hard to visualize for some. But sometimes it comes crashing down on us with harsh reality, reminding us this world isn’t as big as it seems.
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