A comprehensive approach to the prevention and management of zoonoses in the 21st century – The European Sting – Critical News & Insights on European Politics, Economy, Foreign Affairs, Business & Technology
This article was written exclusively for The European Sting by Patcharapol Thanomjit, Lapatsara Kohnoi and Vorrasukrit Vorravimuta, two medical students from Thailand. They are affiliated with the International Federation of Medical Students’ Associations (IFMSA), a cordial partner of The Sting. The opinions expressed in this article are strictly the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the views of IFMSA on the subject, nor of The European Sting.
With the current pandemic, COVID-19, still a huge factor affecting the entire world, the “One Health” concept is more than ever needed to achieve the global health agenda. As many people may know, COVID-19 started its first outbreak in the city of Wuhan, China, which has since spread around the world. SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, is observed to originate in bats, which would classify COVID-19 as a zoonotic disease. A zoonosis is defined as an infectious disease that can spread from animal to human or vice versa. These are some of the reasons “One Health” is urgently needed now, as one of the “One Health” goals is the control of zoonoses, if a wide range of professionals come together and combine their capacities. , a huge zoonotic epidemic, like COVID-19, can be entirely avoided or at least be better managed in the future.
Therefore, zoonotic infections are the main risk factor for mortality epidemics, especially in 2019-2021, when the global pandemic claimed more than one million lives.
The COVID-19 pandemic has the potential to affect humans, wildlife, and environments. Many people seem to assume that the COVID-19 situation is good for the environment. However, it has a significant environmental impact due to economic instability. For example, there has been an increase of 1 billion trees per year in deforestation for packaging and shipping of goods, as well as a decrease in garbage recycling. In addition, the coronavirus pandemic has a significant impact on waste. In the United States, there has been an increase in medical waste, and garbage collectors are facing an increase in solid waste. Therefore, environmental degradation directly affects all wild animals.
The collaborative conceptual framework of the One Health approach calls for interdisciplinary interactions between health institutions, managers and practitioners. Describing the factors, which are the starting conditions and the processes, is the next most concrete step towards the effectiveness of future One Health efforts. For example, starting with what was before the event, such as the environment, the existing structure and the human resources available. Other factors related to the event included training, management, communication, mobilization and evaluation available.
Good personal hygiene, maintenance of the environment and maintenance of the herd are the three rules for preventing zoonotic diseases. Hands should always be washed before and after handling animals. Wear gloves all the time and check if any of the animals are sick or have lesions. In addition, keep animal housing areas clean and well organized. Finally, observe and report the health of the animals on a daily basis.
Due to the increase in zoonotic diseases, the One Health approach is more important than ever. The COVID-19 pandemic has the potential to affect everyone. In addition, an unstable economy can indirectly lead to the destruction of forests. Outlining all of the necessary factors is the most important step in elevating a One Health approach to achieving the global health agenda. In addition, self-prevention of zoonotic diseases is essential for everyone.
About the Authors
Patcharapol Thanomjit, Lapatsara Kohnoi and Vorrasukrit Vorravimuta are 12th grade students from Thailand. They study at the Assumption Samutprakarn School, Sci-Math program. They believe that an effective approach leads to a better overall global health agenda. They have always been passionate learners and ambitious students. They want to accumulate as much knowledge as possible, which can be useful for them later in college. These are challenges that they believe can be overcome by working together.