COVID19 pandemic- Call for One Health approach by all

The pandemic crises and natural calamities of cyclones both have made life harder. The unexpected climatic changes are affecting human life in many ways. We all were coping up with preventing strategies which were restricted to healthcare workers earlier. We were busy pursuing our dreams and hobbies all these years. But, now the nature made us realise that definitely environmental harmony should be valued. Because we share ecosystem with animals, the microbes may infect both. The book published by World health organization had mentioned about the pandemic and virus spread aberrantly across all the borders. It was said that rapid urbanization and massive changes in nature will create huge impact on human life.

The concept of One Health model includes reduction of zoonotic disease (animal to human transmission of diseases such as Rabies, Nipah viral infection etc.) and food safety. The public health outcomes defined for taking into account multisectoral approach while designing a plan is termed as one health. This means various departments which are directly and indirectly involved in the strategies to combat an infection working together for one goal of every living being’s health. European centre for disease control had estimated 75% of diseases which occur in human to be from animal origin.

The infection spread requires containment when animals or foods come in direct contact with animals are eaten by humans. Majority of the microbes are transmitted in this manner. The preventive measures are initiated to be taken at the point of contact with individuals. For example: rabies vaccination is given to dogs.

In the times of COVID 19 there were few incidences of transmission of infection to animals. This included one tiger in zoo, one cat and two dogs. Therefore, it is better to stay away from your pets if you are working in close proximity with infected or if you are infected. On the contrary there are no evidences of being transmitted from domestic animals to humans(1,3).

Its need of hour that we take up one health approach to prevent future pandemics. Also, its important to reduce the emerging and re-emerging diseases from affecting our lives. It will help to build stable economy and combating deaths. Especially in the low and middle income countries(LMICs) where non communicable diseases are highest these sudden natural disasters and infectious diseases increases burden on the health system. Following the footsteps of one health clinics in US for integrated care at single institute can be implemented in LMICs(1). These impacts require a long duration to revive the lives back to the earlier state. It will help to avoid worsening the situation of increased the healthy inequity gap.

Lastly, the person’s health lies in their own hands. The personal hygiene and lowering contact will benefit in long run. In India at the national level Integrated disease surveillance program and animal disease surveillance program should work hand in hand towards the goal of one health. There are few positive steps taken in India such as involving veterinary doctor in IDSP but their actual utility needs to evaluated(3). We need to reduce the stigma and fear for SARS COV and provide mental support and care to the patients. Additionally, it will surely build short, medium and long term plans to prepare for any uncertain epidemic world might have to face in future.

References:

  1. Trilla A. One world, one health: The novel coronavirus COVID-19 epidemic. Un mundo, una salud: la epidemia por el nuevo coronavirus COVID-19. Med Clin (Barc). 2020;154(5):175-177. doi:10.1016/j.medcli.2020.02.002
  2. WHO. Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Situation Report 15 [Accessed on 2 Feb 2020]. Available on: https://www.who.int/docs/default-source/coronaviruse/situation-reports/20200204-sitrep-15-ncov.pdf?sfvrsn=88fe8ad6_2
  3. Radhakrishnan KS and Mehrotra V.(2020)’One Health’ Approach Could Help India Avert COVID-19-like Pandemic In Future. Outlook The Magazine. Available on https://www.outlookindia.com/website/story/opinion-one-health-approach-could-help-india-avert-covid-19-like-pandemic-in-future/352824

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