One Health Public Information

One Health is the concept that recognizes that human health, animal health, and environmental health are often inextricably linked and should be considered together.   Veterinarians are uniquely qualified as One Health practitioners!  We work with animals in the context of the humans with whom they interact, their home environments/habitats, or both – so it’s apparent to us that human, animal, and environmental health are all parts of a whole.

One Health topics include zoonoses (diseases transmitted from animal to people), emerging diseases such as Ebola and MERS, and blue-green algae. Comparative medicine, which explores the similarities between human and animal conditions such as heart disease, cancer, and obesity, is also a One Health subject.  The human-animal bond is also considered to be under the One Health “umbrella.”  

On December 1, 2021, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, World Organisation for Animal Health, World Health Organization, and UN Environment Programme approved a common definition of One Health which is an integrated, unifying approach that aims to sustainably balance and optimize the health of people, animals, and ecosystems. It recognizes the health of humans, domestic and wild animals, plants, and the wider environment (including ecosystems) are closely linked and interdependent.  The approach mobilizes multiple sectors, disciplines, and communities at varying levels of society to work together to foster well-being and tackle threats to health and ecosystems, while addressing the collective need for clean water, energy, and air, safe and nutritious food, taking action on climate change, and contributing to sustainable development.  For more information on One Health and the World Organisation for Animal Health, please click here.


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