U.S. Department of Agriculture: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service


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Proceedings of the 14th WDM Conference (2012).


The One Health concept merges environmental, wildlife, domestic animal, and human health into a global, interconnected context. Though recently a popular catchphrase due to the emergence and reemergence of diseases such as foot-and-mouth disease (FMD), bluetongue, bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), Q Fever, Rift Valley fever, Nipah virus, West Nile virus (WNV), severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza, and plague, the One Health concept is not new. The One Health approach to managing infectious diseases aims to promote and implement meaningful collaboration and communication between multiple allied disciplines working locally, nationally, and internationally to attain optimal health for people, domestic animals, wildlife, and our environment. Rabies is an ancient disease that results in more than 55,000 human deaths worldwide each year. Historic and current emphasis on interdisciplinary approaches to rabies control provides a prime example of a zoonotic disease that is being managed more effectively via the One Health approach. In North America, a few meso-carnivores and bats serve as reservoirs of rabies, perpetuating continual infection of humans, pets, and livestock. Increased emphasis on surveillance and control of rabies in wildlife is the key to local, regional, and continental elimination strategies.

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