Entries in one health (5)


Zoobiquity Conference

The University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine, in partnership with Emory University and the Clinical Translational Science Alliance (CTSA), will host Zoobiquity ATL September 13, 2019 at the Emory Conference Center in Atlanta. The latest in a long line of conferences celebrating the best-selling book, Zoobiquity, the conference will bring together veterinary and human medicine professionals to advance biomedical innovation through collaboration. 

Any student interested in the conference, click here for more information and registration! Early bird registration ends on August 15, 2019 and the cost to attend is $125 for students.


Rx One Health

Rebecca Tomasek, Kansas State University

This summer, I had the privilege of participating in Rx One Health, a four-week course organized by the University of California Davis One Health Institute. The course took place in Tanzania, uniting a total of 21 students and young professionals from across the world. Coming from different backgrounds, with varying experiences, each person had something unique to offer the group while we learned about the many facets of One Health. Participating in this course was truly a once in a lifetime experience, one that I will continue to learn and grow from. Throughout the course, we learned about One Health through lectures, activities, simulations, and experiential opportunities.

While on Mafia Island, we learned extensively about marine conservation and challenges. Plastic pollution is a hot topic on social media, but videos and articles can often appear exaggerated, or seem irrelevant to people living in landlocked places. Fortunately, I had the opportunity to visit Juani Island to watch Green Sea Turtles hatch. Witnessing the small turtles climb through the sand was inspiring and incredible, but the trash surrounding the beach, and smashing into our legs with the crash of every wave on the shore, was heart breaking. While adult female turtles can climb over plastic bottles, discarded containers, and broken flip-flops, newly hatched turtles are too small to overcome such obstacles. I was knocked down twice by the force of the garbage and driftwood crashing against me on shore; without people looking after these turtles, would they stand a chance of making it into the ocean? This first-hand look at the human impact on marine life was eye-opening. Although I can’t remove every piece of plastic from the world’s oceans on my own, I can contribute by recycling and reducing my use of single-use plastics. I know this experience will have a continued impact in guiding my future decisions.

During our time in Tungamalenga, we had the opportunity to sample bats. In the local community, fruit bats roost in a bell tower next to a school. Prior to capturing the bats, we dressed in full personal protective equipment. We then stretched a net across two large poles, hoisting it to the proper height of the windows on the bell tower, which was difficult to coordinate through respirators, across the short distance separating the groups. When the bats flew out of the tower, numerous individuals became caught in the net. Each bat was carefully removed from the net by a team of at least two participants wearing leather gloves. This guaranteed the safety of the bat, in both restraint and freeing the wings and legs from the net. The bats were contained for surveillance, or given juice and released. In sampling of bats, we recorded their weight and gender, collected oral and rectal swabs, and drew a blood sample. Being provided the opportunity to draw blood on a bat and participate in sample collection was unique and interesting. The fragility of a bat and necessary coordination with the restrainer became very apparent in completing this task. Additionally, I had the privilege of providing a bat with juice, prior to releasing it. Watching the bat gulp down juice, similar to how my dog would, was very endearing. We then walked it over to a tree, held it upside down, and found an appropriately sized branch for it to grab onto. Overall, my experience with bats demonstrated a need for exercising caution, handling subjects carefully, and working well with a team.

We also visited Ruaha National Park during Rx One Health. During our time in Ruaha, we worked in four teams to complete surveys on giraffes and buffalo in assigned areas of the park. Specifically, we were collecting information on giraffe skin disease, including the animal demographics of the group, location, surrounding vegetation, and characterization of disease. In regards to African buffalo, we were recording the location, herd size, and individuals seen. My group rotated the individual recording all of the data, while other team members took photographs or identified age, gender, and disease status. Developing a systematic method to confirm your findings without duplicating the animal required effective communication and team coordination. When recording a herd of 12 animals who were wandering around, it became difficult to recall which giraffes had been counted and described, requiring the input of more team members and referencing to photographs. This activity was very engaging and fun, as we drove around searching for giraffes and buffalo, we also saw baboons, zebras, impala, waterbuck, kudu, and elephants. Following our data collection, we compiled the data into a comprehensive report to provide summaries by area and in total. This activity showcased the fun and difficulties involved in field work with a group.

In our final week, we broke into four groups, based on interests, and developed a project proposal for the Health for Animals and Livelihood Improvement project. My group was tied together by the broad interest in zoonotic disease. Upon further discussions, we focused our project on Antimicrobial Resistance in Poultry in Iringa. In selecting a topic, identifying the problem, developing a potential study, selecting and interviewing key informants, creating a presentation, writing a proposal, and making a budget tied together many of the interconnected one health components we had been learning throughout the course. Furthermore, given about two days to work on the capstone, we had to utilize the strengths of each group member, effectively complete a minimal literature review, and refine our plan. This activity challenged our critical thinking and strengthened our communication skills.

By participating in Rx One Health, I have strengthened my ability to work effectively in a multidisciplinary team, increased my cultural awareness, gained an understanding of how to engage communities and stakeholders, and learned how to develop and implement projects. Furthermore, Rx One Health has prepared me for my future career by broadening my knowledge base, strengthening various skills, enabling me to identify my passions, and helping me determine areas for personal improvement.


"The Enemy - Zoonotic Disease or Us?"

Take a moment to read this peice written by Andrew Lacqua from Tufts University Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine in our opionion editorial category. 

Andrew Lacqua
The Enemy - Zoonotic Disease or Us?
It’s a warm summer night and you are sitting around a fire with friends. You are talking about your new vegetable garden when smack!, you squish a blood-filled mosquito on your forearm. Thinking nothing of it, you continue the conversation as itchiness sets in. Meanwhile, your dog is hightailing it out into the forest. She saw a deer.
This scenario seems ordinary, right? It is. For the most part. Amidst the casual chatting and your dog, well, being a dog, there is great opportunity for the spread of disease. Zoonotic disease, to be exact. Let me explain.
A zoonotic disease is any disease or infection that can spread between humans and animals. They are caused by viruses, bacteria, parasites, and fungi and they’re able to get into our bodies in all sorts of creative ways. Some get in through the air, others through urine, and others even through your pet’s water bowl. And just as the routes of transmission vary, so too do the symptoms. From cold sores caused by Herpesvirus to skin ulcers and vomiting from Anthrax, symptoms can be relatively benign to life-threatening.
Now back to the fireside chat. You're scratching your forearm remembering that you never put on bug spray. You don’t realize this, but the mosquito you just squished previously bit a bird infected with West Nile Virus. So, you go back into the house to find bug spray and decide to bring out the platter you made with the vegetables from your garden. You forgot to wash them and last night a few deer walked through your garden, spreading feces infected with E. coli all over the place. Thinking nothing of this, you look through your window and see your dog running out of the forest and into the house. You pet her and under the fold of her ear you feel a deer tick, carrying Lyme disease. It must have jumped onto her during her pursuit of the deer. You take extra precaution with the deer tick knowing that you, too, could get infected.
Throughout this entire scenario the limiting factor here is us, the humans. We are a huge part of zoonotic disease transmission and this is critical to understand, especially today. As the human population expands and connects previously disconnected parts of the world, the spread of zoonotic disease becomes ever more important. Dr. Sam R. Telford III, of the Department of Infectious Disease and Global Health of the Cummings School, stresses that:
humans are to blame for any epidemic that we see due to zoonotic infections. We let deer overpopulate, and the ticks that result give us an epidemic of Lyme disease. We hunt for bushmeat and bring Ebola into the village. We don’t emphasize the human component enough.
Perhaps this could be the topic of discussion at the next fireside chat: the evidently detrimental role that humans play in the spread of zoonotic disease. Dr. Telford recalls the Pogo comic strip, published by Walt Kelly on Earth Day in 1971, in which Pogo somberly tells Porkypine , “We have met the enemy and he is us.”



Getting the word out: How practitioners can integrate

Honorable Mention, Experiences
Sally Moseley, St. Matthew's University

“Okay,” a fellow vet student sighed in relief after her kitten slipped off the stairs and landed with an unpleasant thud onto the hard floor.  “I think she’s okay; she doesn’t seem as though she’s bleeding internally or anything.”

“Does that happen to animals?”

Our glares told the outnumbered med student that, yes, animals can have internal bleeding just as humans can.

The medical community has many divisions; some physicians are divided by specialty, some by species, and some by geography.  It is easy for us to get wrapped up in our own experiences and forget to open our mind to other possibilities.  However, this is a modern age that is only growing more modern, and I believe that this will aid the medical community in combating any prejudices resulting from ignorance; the modern age has opportunities for communication that have never been accessed before.

I am sorry that I had to pick on the aforementioned med student.  I find it disconcerting that it is so easy to pick on people for saying similar things.  My schoolmates and I have often discussed instances of people’s ignorance of animals.  Med students are easy targets because, let’s face it, there is a small rivalry between human physicians and multi-species physicians.

Instead of rivalries, why not use the modern age of communication to foster…communication?

 At a South African seabird rehabilitation center, I had the opportunity to help give African Penguin #234 (AP 234) a bath.  This was no ordinary, fun-loving procedure; the rehabilitation center often treated victims of oil spills.  Oiled-birds were typically weak and, to put it simply, sad-looking.  Animal-lovers are no strangers to the look of an animal who just does not look “right”.  They are not strangers to the apprehensive feeling in their guts that tells them that, darn it, that animal is in pain. 

AP 234 stood in the pen with his fellow sad-looking oiled-birds.  I took my charge and prepared myself for the next delicate task.  If the oiled-birds come in sad-looking, the bathing process can be even worse; the task is stressful for birds who have no idea of the humans’ good intentions.

Click to read more ...



Winner, Creative Corner
Ashley Bredenberg, St. George's University

  Taken at the One Health One Medicine Fair in Grenada