Dr. Corrie Brown, DVM, PhD, Coordinator of International Veterinary Medicine for the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Georgia, provided the opening keynote address on Saturday, June 6 at the URISA second annual GIS in Public Health Conference on the topic of: Emerging Zoonotic Diseases and the Need for Global Surveillance.
As keynote speaker, Dr. Brown highlighted key ideas valuable to the world of global infectious disease challenges. Dr. Brown took time to discuss how globalization is changing epidemiology. Because there is an increase in globalized trade and travel between countries, there is becoming less separation of people, animals, and places. Because of this, emerging effects include the spreading of animal and human diseases, e.g., SARS, HPAI, Nipah, BSE. These emerging zoonotic diseases pose a great threat to the world.
Dr. Brown also spent time describing the three “steps” to battling disease in a global context. These steps include each country addressing: (1) surveillance, which refers to “keeping an eye out” for recurring or new disease, (2) will to report, which refers to a country’s decision to formally announce that disease has been found within the country’s borders, and (3) capacity to respond, which involves all sorts of response efforts from education to treatment.
Dr. Brown also informed that the concept of “one medicine,” which has been discussed for decades, has special resonance now, and it is imperative that awareness and response systems between animal and human health be coordinated and integrated, in order to effectively safeguard the global public health.
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Melissa Lawrence, Social Marketing Administrator, VERTICES, LLC