WiRED Marks One Health Day

BY ALLISON KOZICHAROW AND BERNICE BORN

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ovember 3 is the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) One Health Day.

 


Credit: CDC

One Health recognizes that human health is connected to the health of animals and the health of the environment. The goal of One Health is to encourage the collaborative efforts of experts, such as disease detectives, laboratory workers, physicians and veterinarians, working across multiple disciplines to improve the health of people and animals, including pets, livestock and wildlife.

 

The Journal of Southern California Clinicians will soon publish “The Importance of a One Health Perspective in a Changing Environment” by WiRED medical director and board member Maryam Othman, M.D., M.P.H.; WiRED Director Gary Selnow, Ph.D.; and Malika Kachani, Ph.D., D.V.M., professor of parasitology, College of Veterinary Medicine, Western University of Health Sciences.

 

The article looks at the implications of considering the intersection of human and animal health and conditions of the environment. There is often more human-animal contact in places where WiRED works than in most Western countries. Moreover, the impact of climate change can be even greater in those places. Food-growing areas have dried up, forcing entire populations to move; sea level rise has driven people back from the ocean; vectors have become more aggressive because of warmer temperatures and increased rainfall; and people in underserved regions often don’t have the resources to fend off mosquitos, ticks, chiggers and other carriers of disease. There is every reason to believe that these threatening conditions will continue and expand into the future, and so the importance of a One Health framework offers a critical structure for the understanding of human and animal health, which will now be reflected in WiRED’s training material.

 

WiRED will continue to promote One Health in different ways and incorporate the One Health approach into its web stories. (See recent story on One Health.) WiRED believes in the One Health critical view and is configuring its training programs on global human health to reflect the One Health principles.

 

 


An Example of How Climate Change Increases the Punch of a Mosquito

 

Climate change, with its warming temperatures, enables mosquitos to venture into new territory where they were not previously seen. Not only that, but viruses grow more quickly in warmer temperatures, which allow viruses to develop more rapidly within the mosquito’s body. That’s a critical point when you consider the relatively short lifespan of a mosquito — about 10 to 12 days. According to Tom Scott, a professor of entomology and epidemiology at the University of California, Davis, that’s also about how long, on average, it takes a virus to grow. So, ordinarily, most mosquitos have only a brief day or two to spread the disease. When a virus within a mosquito grows more rapidly, however, it arms the mosquito for more of its life to infect people before it dies.1 This is no small matter when so many viruses are spread by the mosquito, which now has more days to spread an infection across a wider geographic region. This example lays bare the interconnectedness of animals, humans and the environment.

 

Associated Press. Higher Temperatures Make Zika Mosquito Spread Disease More. 2016. Accessed 10/15/17 from https://weather.com/science/news/warm-temperatures-allow-zika-spreading.

 

 

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