News Releases, College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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College of Veterinary Medicine
University of Illinois
3225 Vet. Med. Basic Sciences Bldg.
2001 S. Lincoln Ave.
Urbana, IL 61802
July 24, 2013

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Contact: Chris Beuoy

Second 'One Health' Summit Looks at State's Health and Preparedness

The next massive human pandemic will more than likely originate in a nonhuman animal. Whether the disease will be transferred from a bat in Bangladesh, a chimpanzee in West Africa, or even the chicken in your backyard is unknown, but one thing is certain: the health of animals, humans and the environment is one and the same.

An average of about five new infectious diseases emerge every year, according to a study based on data from 1940 to 2004. Experts say roughly 75 percent of newly emerging infectious diseases originate in animals.

On August 1, the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine will convene veterinary and public health experts in Champaign for the second "One Health Illinois Summit," to discuss and present updates on the current health of Illinois human, animal and ecosystem communities.

Organized by the college's Center for One Health Illinois, the meeting will also address efforts to develop an integrated health surveillance system, current and recent One Health research projects, trends regarding zoonotic and infectious diseases, and current and potential health policy initiatives. As with the first One Health Summit, held in 2010, presentations will be summarized and an action plan for identified issues will be developed.

Representatives from the Illinois Department of Public Health, the Illinois Bureau of Animal Health and Welfare, and the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine will present at the summit.

"It's our mission to provide fact-based information that can help people make good decisions regarding health issues, and to raise awareness about veterinarians' role in human health," said Dr. Herrmann, director of the veterinary college's Center for One Health Illinois.

About the Center for One Health Illinois
The Center for One Health Illinois focuses on fostering the commonality of health through the three broadly defined areas of education, research and public outreach:
  • Education: To educate of a new cadre of health professionals who understand the determinants and contributing factors for human, animal and ecosystem health, how public health policy is developed and how it affects the health of all three
  • Research: To understand disease processes that occur at the interface of human and animal activities and their effects on the environment
  • Outreach: To improve our society's preparedness and response to natural and intentional exposures of biological, chemical and physical agents