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Keywords:

  • Zoonoses;
  • foreign animal diseases;
  • infectious disease;
  • veterinary medicine;
  • preventive medicine;
  • influenza

Summary

For the response to a zoonotic disease outbreak to be effective, animal health authorities and disease specialists must be involved. Animal health measures are commonly directed at known diseases that threaten the health of animals and impact owners. The measures have long been applied to zoonotic diseases, including tuberculosis and brucellosis, and can be applied to emerging diseases. One Health (veterinary, public, wildlife and environmental health) and all-hazards preparedness work have done much to aid interdisciplinary understanding and planning for zoonotic diseases, although further improvements are needed. Actions along the prevention, preparedness, response and recovery continuum should be considered. Prevention of outbreaks consists largely of import controls on animals and animal products and biosecurity. Preparedness includes situational awareness, research, tool acquisition, modelling, training and exercises, animal movement traceability and policy development. Response would include detection systems and specialized personnel, institutions, authorities, strategies, methods and tools, including movement control, depopulation and vaccination if available and appropriate. The specialized elements would be applied within a general (nationally standardized) system of response. Recovery steps begin with continuity of business measures during the response and are intended to restore pre-event conditions. The surveillance for novel influenza A viruses in swine and humans and the preparedness for and response to the recent influenza pandemic illustrate the cooperation possible between the animal and public health communities.