One topic in our public health class that has been especially stressed this year (probably because the class is called public health) has been the concept of One Health. Basically, the concept of One Health is an integration of many aspects of protecting our world and all of its creatures, including us humans. It encompasses human medicine, veterinary medicine, epidemiology, public communication, environmental health, agriculture, food safety, and probably some other topics I’m not remembering off the top of my head.
One Health is extremely important for our world in many ways. It will help the earth to survive and produce enough safe food for everyone from cats to cows to humans to eat. It will try to prevent diseases both zoonotic (animals to humans) and reverse zoonotic (humans to animals). One Health works on integrating safe and smart management practices to ensure agriculture can go on and thrive enough to produce genetic diversity. It does all of this and more.
In class we’re learning the importance of being able to recognize diseases in humans, even though we won’t be doctors. However, as future veterinarians, we’ll be well versed in epidemiology, infectious diseases, how to manage outbreaks and much more that makes the veterinary profession integral in One Health. It is important that we are aware of diseases such as tularemia and the plague, which are sourced from animals, so that we can be aware that in certain areas they are threat, not only to ourselves but the general public. We also need to know this for when veterinarians are called in for food safety outbreaks, how to manage herds in a diseased state, and for many other situations in which the general public could be affected. Veterinarians are a lot more than meets the eye, that’s for sure!