COVID-19 and One Health - One Health Commission

COVID-19 and One Health

Be sure to click on the year 2020 to fully appreciate the volume (over 270 found so far) of articles.  

While One Health has over the past 15 years established itself in the life sciences, veterinary medicine and biomedical sciences, it remains little known to the public.

Therefore, since January 2020 we have been compiling on this webpage popular media OpEds, Commentaries, Podcasts and other media (including some *scientific articles*) about the coronavirus pandemic that mention and/or call for One Health by name or theory 'because' popular media is read by the 'public'.  We believe that these carefully selected articles can help the public, especially law and policy makers, understand our urgent need to implement One Health.

If you know of additional articles that should be listed here, please send them to ohc@onehealthcommission.org.  Check back frequently.

To see peer reviewed scientific articles about the current pandemic visit:

See also:

The views expressed by authors, editors, or expert groups linked to here do not necessarily represent policy of the One Health Commission.

2020   2021  
Select Year: 

September 2021

Sep 8
September 8
G20 Takes the Next Step in Making One Health a Priority: Groundbreaking Declaration of the G20 Ministers of Health in Preparation of the G20 Global Summit in October

Author: Richard Seifman     In: IMPAKTER

There is now the opportunity for the full G20 leadership at its Summit in October to translate the Declaration into concrete action.

 

August 2021

Aug 18
August 18
New report from Harvard and global experts shows investments in nature needed to stop the next pandemic

News Release    In: AAAS EurekaAlert

Protecting forests and changing agricultural practices are essential, cost-effective actions to prevent pandemics..... The report from the International Scientific Task Force to Prevent Pandemics at the Source makes the case that investments in outbreak control, such as diagnostic tests, drugs and vaccines, are critical but inadequate to address pandemic risk. ....... A key recommendation from the task force calls for leveraging investments in healthcare system strengthening and One Health to jointly advance conservation, animal and human health, and spillover prevention.

Aug 6
August 6
Future Pandemics: Act Now or Pay More Later – How One Health and Prototype Vaccines Shift the Odds

Authors:  Laura Kahn, Richard Sefiman  In: IMPAKTER

Vaccinating animals is a more cost-effective and humane approach to disease control than waiting for sick animals to spread their microbes to humans. The One Health approach uses this strategy to control the spread of zoonotic diseases…….. As another example, from 2007-2009, a deadly Q fever outbreak causing disease in sheep and goats in the Netherlands spread to humans. A vaccine against the disease was administered to the animals. It was the first time that a vaccine in animals was used to prevent Q fever in humans…. These examples illustrate that the One Health nexus has existed between animals and humans long before COVID-19.

Aug 4
August 4
Health and Wellness for Humans: Not Achievable in a Vacuum

Author: Gloria Bachman, MD, MMS   In:  News, One Health Initiative website

But, even more important, what we have learned is that our approach to ensuring human, animal, plant and environmental wellness cannot occur in silos. Teams of scientists, health care providers and policy makers must come together to develop best solutions for all of the issues that confront us---spanning from global warming to prevention of invasive species that destroy crops or transmit diseases to humans and other animals. With this framework, the New Jersey One Health Steering Committee worked with the NJ legislation to provide the evidence for and encourage them to commence a multidisciplinary One Health task force committee. The task force will facilitate discussion among all disciplines such that short- and long-term solutions that promote a natural balance in nature and better health for all will result.

 

June 2021

Jun 18
June 18
Biodefense Board Discusses Future of US Pandemic Preparedness

Author: Michelle Grundahl  In: The Pandora Report

NBSB recommended that federal departments, public and private research institutions, and private sector organizations should engage in One Health collaborations to protect against emerging human and animal disease risks. A One Health approach would continuously assess emerging human and animal disease risks by using research and predictive data capabilities (based on artificial intelligence) to assess patterns of animal, agricultural, and human health.

Jun 14
June 14
How Can We Prevent the Next Zoonotic Disease Outbreak?

Author: Shelby Vittek    In: Modern Farmer

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought up many questions about the future of animal agriculture………….. Worldwide, researchers are taking several approaches in an effort to prevent a major zoonotic disease outbreak in the near future. The World Health Organization (WHO) recently launched the “One Health High-Level Expert Panel” to improve our understanding of how diseases with the potential to trigger pandemics emerge and spread. Last week, the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service announced it would provide up to $10 million in funds in the National Animal Disease Preparedness and Response Program (NADPRP) to support projects that will enhance plans to improve animal disease outbreaks… In Oklahoma, a very livestock-centric state, a new center is already preparing for the next one. Launched in October 2020, the Oklahoma Pandemic Center for Innovation and Excellence (OPCIE), is taking a “one health” approach, bringing agriculture, human and animal health experts together to research diseases—zoonotic and beyond—and public health responses.

Jun 13
June 13
Seismic Shift by G7 in Recognizing One Health as Critical to Everyone’s Health

Authors: Richard Seifman, Bruce Kaplan     In: IMPAKTER

It is fair to say that the wisdom of One Health has benefitted from the COVID pandemic, which itself has resulted in an unprecedented common cause by the G7 leaders who have already announced support for vaccine financing and grants in the order of one billion vaccines.  This is unquestionably a highly welcome act of solidarity with all countries……But it is the short-term answer: This is looking at the present urgency of containing the spread of COVID-19 and its variants without recognizing that the COVID-19 pandemic is the flashing red light to potential future epidemics or pandemics.

 

May 2021

May 17
May 17
This nonprofit [Ending Pandemics] is helping communities stop pandemics in their tracks

Author: Catherine Cheney   In: devex

In 2016 — years before the COVID-19 pandemic — Cambodia launched a toll-free hotline to enlist the public in monitoring and tracking the spread of disease among both humans and animals….People can call 115 to report outbreak signals, such as unexplained sickness in their chickens that could be bird flu — which can also infect people…..The 115 hotline and many tools like it emerged from EpiHack, an epidemiology “hackathon” that [the non-profit organization] Ending Pandemics supports. Another EpiHack project is Participatory One Health Digital Disease Detection (PODD) which allows volunteers in Thailand to report unusual disease events.

May 9
May 9
G20 Health Summit: Italy, with FAO, WHO, OIM, push for universal One Health Approach

In: OnuItalia

“We want to invest in the ‘One Health’ approach, that is, considering humans, animals and the environment as a whole ecosystem, in order to respond to the health emergencies of today and tomorrow”. Strengthening public health on a global scale, preventing future pandemics and improving the response to the current one through research and vaccines are the Summit’s core topics. ....."

May 4
May 4
Conservation leadership is key to pandemic prevention

Authors:  Vanda Felbab-Brown and Catherine Semcer In: The Hill

Zoonotic diseases that spill from animals to humans are emerging with an ever-increasing speed every few years. Between SARS in 2002 and COVID-19, there were epidemics of MERS, ebola, Zika and the avian and swine flus. Another global crisis stemming from zoonotic disease can easily break out in the years to come……Our destruction of nature is at the root of such crises. When animal species are pushed into smaller and smaller spaces, such as through deforestation, they pass pathogens to each other, and then to humans, livestock and pets. This potentially catastrophic cycle accounts for 30 percent of emerging zoonoses. 

 

April 2021

Apr 29
April 29
‘One Health’ approach vital to combating pandemics

Author: Debapriya Mukherjee     In:  The Statesman, New Delhi, India

A future pandemic could be worse than the ongoing crisis because we are pushing nature to its limits by destroying and degrading amazingly diverse ecosystems, like tropical forests, rivers, lakes, mountains, coral reefs and many more and ultimately removing natural buffers and expanding the interface between wildlife and people where pandemics emerge.

Apr 20
April 20
Unpacking COVID-19 and the Connections Between Ecosystem, Animal, and Human Health and Security

Blog Post and Podcast: The Wilson Center’s Ground Truth Briefing held a conversation with experts who have been tracking the connections between animal, ecosystem, human health, and security, and discussed what steps policymakers need to take to mitigate the next global pandemic.

Apr 12
April 12
Covid-19 a reminder human, animal health interconnected: Harsh Vardhan

Hindustan Times, New Delhi, India

“The ‘One Health’ approach recognises that people's health is closely connected with animals' health,” he said at the symposium. “Covid19 demonstrates the rapid spread of novel pathogens which can have a significant impact on the global economy. Preparedness for and mitigation of such events require a 'One Health' approach."

Apr 12
April 12
Searching for the Next Viral Threat

Author: Michael Penn    In:  Duke University School of Medicine 'Magnify: A Closer Look'

Gray and Wang are among a community of scientists who say we could do a better job anticipating new viral threats by paying more attention to the animals that harbor them. An approach known as One Health seeks to bridge the worlds of human, animal and environmental health by studying them as one interconnected system. If viruses aren’t constrained by the boundaries of the natural world, One Health argues, neither should our efforts to understand them.

Apr 8
April 8
How to stop a pandemic before it starts, illustrated

Author: Beatrice Jin     In:  Politico

U.S. policymakers have spent trillions of dollars to mitigate the effects of Covid-19. But the answer to preventing the next pandemic altogether lies elsewhere...... and it would have cost 10 times less to prevent it.

Apr 2
April 2
Statement from the Wildlife Disease Association on WHO-China Report on SARS-CoV-2

“.....it is essential not to blame any given wildlife species, but instead understand how the interface between wildlife, domestic animals and humans promote these kinds of problems. Indeed, there is strong evidence that intact ecosystems aid in preventing these sorts of pathogen spillovers from wildlife to humans (dilution effect). ….The Wildlife Disease Association is strongly committed to acquiring, disseminating, and applying knowledge on the health of wild animals, to promoting biodiversity, ecosystem health and nature-based solutions to One Health challenges.”

 

March 2021

Mar 29
March 29
Covid-19 shows why united action is needed for more robust international health architecture

Authors:  Multiple    In:  TimesLIVE

(Authors) believe that nations should work together towards a new international treaty for pandemic preparedness and response. .... The main goal of this treaty would be to foster an all-of-government and all-of-society approach, strengthening national, regional and global capacities and resilience to future pandemics. .......

It would also include recognition of a “One Health” approach that connects the health of humans, animals and our planet. And such a treaty should lead to more mutual accountability and shared responsibility, transparency and co-operation within the international system and with its rules and norms.

Mar 24
March 24
Should We Be Worried About New Diseases In The Future?

Radio Interview of Dr. Greg Gray       On: WWL First News with Tommy Tucker

Mar 23
March 23
One Health for One Planet: How to Address 21st Century Education Challenges

Author: Ulrich Laaser     In:  IMPAKTER

"....In this article, I explore the most important change that needs to be made and that involves addressing 21st Century education challenges in a One Health manner........The starting point is for us to recognize that the interface between animal-human-environmental health is not rhetoric but reality. The concept of One Health, which once sat on the periphery of the academic world, has now taken full center. This means that civil society, political decision processes, and the private sector need to embrace this fundamental notion."

Mar 18
March 18
More for The World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE)

Authors:  Kaplan B,    Seifman R       In:  IMPAKTER

Balancing the One Health Tripartite Equation

"WHO - We have all heard of the WHO, created in 1948 in its present form as a specialized agency of the United Nations, responsible for international public health……  its two-year budget for 2020-2021 is over $5.8 billion. WHO has a total staff….. of roughly 7,000 people.

 

FAO - FAO’s input is notable since this is a large United Nations technical agency with a substantial biennial budget (over $2.6 billion from assessed and voluntary contributions) and over 4,000 staff, tasked with a multifaceted mandate to lead international efforts to defeat hunger, improve nutrition, and food security, in short, a very diverse and challenging assignment.

 

OIE - Founded in 1924 to fight animal diseases at the global level, it (OIE) is an intergovernmental organization responsible for explicitly improving animal health worldwide. It is independent of the United Nations and has an annual assessed budget …………of approximately US $36 million    … OIE staff is equally modest: approximately 120 people at its Paris headquarters and 15 staff in regional offices.”

 

We need to make better use of the OIE to enable it to fulfill its defined animal health mission, including unique contributions to One Health interdisciplinary collaborations and developmental research. 

Mar 16
March 16
NY Times: Heed advice from One Health experts to prevent pandemics

Author: Thomas Friedman    In:  New York Times

Imagine that in December 2019 country X had a nuclear accident — a missile test gone awry. It resulted in a small nuclear explosion that sent a cloud of radioactivity around the world, causing 2.66 million deaths, plus trillions of dollars in health care costs and lost commerce that nearly triggered a global depression. What do you think we’d be talking about today?.....We’d be discussing a new global regime of nuclear weapons safety protocols to try to make sure it never happened again.

Well, we just had the natural world equivalent of such a nuclear accident. It is widely suspected that a pathogen in a bat jumped to another animal to a human in China and then hopped onto the globalization express, causing extraordinary suffering and trillions of dollars in damage. And this happened after several decades of other pandemics set off by unhealthy human interactions with wildlife — with bats or civets in the case of Ebola and SARS-CoV-1 and most likely chimps in the case of H.I.V.

As we have just hit the one-year mark since the World Health Organization declared SARS-CoV-2 — the pathogen that causes Covid-19 — a pandemic, it’s appropriate to ask what smart collective action are we pursuing to prevent this from ever happening again.

Mar 11
March 11
Experts: Reducing wildlife trade could prevent more animal-to-human virus spread

Interview by Jessica Patrick    On:  WRAL.com

Researchers from Duke University discussed transmission of diseases from wild animals to humans and what can be done to prevent future pandemics.

Mar 5
March 5
Fighting COVID-19 with a One Health Approach

Author:  Bruce Kaplan        In: The Innovation Platform Issue 5 (InnovationNewsNetwork.com)

The One Health Initiative’s Dr Bruce Kaplan argues that it is now time for a One Health approach to combat both COVID-19 and any future pandemics.

Mar 3
March 3
COVID-19 and Animals (at the zoo) -Developing Vaccines for Other Species Affected by the Virus

Video:  Reporter Will Carr     ABC News

ABC News’ Will Carr reports from the San Diego Zoo, where eight gorillas recently came down with COVID-19, as they explore potential vaccinations to prevent further outbreaks.

Mar 3
March 3
Veterinary medicine and COVID-19: ‘A lot of lessons here’ - A one-health approach is key to preventing the next pandemic, experts say

Author: Scott Nolen   In:  Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association (JAVMA)

“The very real threat from these zoonotic diseases is practically shouting at us that a one-health approach is essential,”  Bruce Kaplan

 

Veterinarians had already been through a coronavirus pandemic prior to the SARS-CoV-2 outbreak.

Porcine epidemic diarrhea (PED) virus (another coronavirus) has plagued swine operations in Europe and Asia for three decades, but in 2013, the virus arrived in the United States, infecting millions of immunologically naive pigs. By the time the PED outbreak was contained the following year, the virus had already spread to 29 U.S. states, killing an estimated 7 million pigs.   ..........  During the early months of 2020, as another novel coronavirus was burning across the planet, veterinarians weren’t consulted regarding their experiences with managing this particularly nasty family of viruses in animal populations. “No one from the human medicine side of things thought to reach out to ask, ‘How did you stop the PED epidemic? How useful were vaccines? What should we do to try to stop the spread of COVID?’” Dr. Hungerford said. “There are a lot of lessons here.”

 

February 2021

Feb 25
February 25
A GDP for nature: How measuring the health of the natural world might prevent the next pandemic

Author:  Laura Kahn    In: Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

"We need to reassess what we value. The natural world is essential for our health and well-being, but we don’t value it properly. Instead, we exploit it until it bites us back. We must change our values if we want to prevent the next pandemic. ........ Maintaining a better grasp of ecological health around the world could help governments take necessary steps to preserve ecosystems and promote sustainable development. Preventing the next pandemic may depend on us doing so. "

Feb 21
February 21
COVID-19 is circulating in some animals. What does that mean for us?

Author: Dr. Jonathan Chan    In:  ABC News

Epstein explained that the COVID virus is so widespread and so many people are infected that there is a significant possibility that wildlife could be exposed through the environment, contaminated waste water or direct contact with humans.

Feb 15
February 15
John Oliver Talks Possibility of ‘Next’ Pandemic on ‘Last Week Tonight’

Reported by: Althea Legaspi     In:  Rolling Stone

“The truth is if we’re not very careful, the next pandemic could well be even worse”

Feb 12
February 12
Enhancing Global Cooperation to End the COVID-19 Pandemic: Statement of the Lancet COVID-19 Commission

This statement includes an overview of a Task Force (pp 20-21) assigned to  Investigate Origins, Early Spread of the Pandemic, and One Health Solutions to Future Pandemic Threats.

 

In order to prevent future pandemics, it is essential to understand the origins and emergence of COVID-19 and to undertake a One Health approach for preserving and enhancing ecosystem and human health. The third of three Task Force objectives is to identify One Health solutions to future pandemic threats.

Feb 10
February 10
The Nation Conversation: Can We Prevent the Next Pandemic?

Webcast hosted by The Nation.com

Bringing together experts from across disciplines, One Health is an international movement that starts from the presumption that the fate of humans is intimately connected with those of wild animals and the ecosystems on which we all depend. The recognition of this reality makes One Health both a powerful antidote to anti-science ethos and a cutting-edge vision of 21st century global health. It is one of our last, best hopes for preventing a pandemic worse than Covid-19. .... Our future may depend on it. Investigative reporter Jimmy Tobias spent many months researching One Health for his recent Nation cover story.

 

January 2021

Jan 29
January 29
Recorded interview with Drs. Tom Frieden and Tracey MacNamara: COVID origination investigation is critical for preventing future pandemics

By: Stephanie Stone, Scripps National Correspondent         In: Pix11, New York

Jan 24
January 24
Wildlife Trade, Pandemics and the Law: Fighting This Year’s Virus with Last Year’s Law.

Authors: Wingard J, Belajcic S, Samal M, Rock K, Custodio ML, Heise H, Fiennes A, Machalaba C, Aguirre AA

This report takes a critical look at the national legal context of managing zoonotic diseases, sampling 38 jurisdictions and asking; what have nations already done with their laws that support the monitoring and prevention of disease emergence that comes from wildlife? In particular, it examines how ten different areas of law respond to this need. In addition to the main findings, the authors provide a summary of the legal challenges and the many opportunities for immediate action.

Jan 15
January 15
Virus Mapping, Pandemics Preparedness and One Health: We Need Them All

Author: Seifman R    In:  IMPAKTER

In sum, to successfully predict, prevent and contain pandemics, we need it all: A greater knowledge of unknown viruses that are potentially highly dangerous to humans, including virus mapping; more and sustained research into pandemics, including the development of appropriate tools and innovations to share as we are now doing with COVID-19; and recognition of the importance of the interface between humans, animals, and the environment – in other words, using a One Health approach to virus mapping and pandemics preparedness.

Jan 14
January 14
COVID-19 Vaccine Update - Recorded Presentation
Hosted by the Washington State Veterinary Medical Association. Speaker Carrie LaJeuness, DVM, CT, CFE shared easily understood information about and recommendations for the mRNA COVID-19 vaccines currently deployed in the U.S., summarizing content from many healthcare/public health calls, webinars, CDC and medical center literature.
 
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