Animal Diseases / Animal Health / Disease Control / Emerging Diseases / Zoonotic Diseases

Sustaining global surveillance and response to emerging zoonotic diseases

In Late 2009, the US National Academies launched a report calling for “a comprehensive, globally coordinated system to identify novel zoonotic disease threats as early as possible wherever they arise so appropriate measures can be taken to prevent significant numbers of human illnesses and deaths, and livestock losses.”

The report argues that “zoonotic diseases are a growing concern given multiple factors: their often novel and unpredictable nature, their ability to emerge anywhere and spread rapidly around the globe, and their major economic toll on several disparate industries.

Infectious disease surveillance systems are used to detect this threat to human and animal health. By systematically collecting data on the occurrence of infectious diseases in humans and animals, investigators can track the spread of disease and provide an early warning to human and animal health officials, nationally and internationally, for follow-up and response. Unfortunately, and for many reasons, current disease surveillance has been ineffective or untimely in alerting officials to emerging zoonotic diseases.”

The report “assesses some of the disease surveillance systems around the world, and recommends ways to improve early detection and response. It presents solutions for improved coordination between human and animal health sectors, and among governments and international organizations.”

Read more … (National Academies Press)

Parties seeking to improve the detection and response to zoonotic diseases–including U.S. government and international health policy makers, researchers, epidemiologists, human health clinicians, and veterinarians–can use this book to help curtail the threat zoonotic diseases pose to economies, societies, and health.

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