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One Health news, resources and funding for global health researchers

Researchers may never discover exactly how the current novel coronavirus outbreak began, but they agree that as humans have changed the way they interact with animals and the environment, emerging infectious diseases are rapidly growing in frequency. Accelerating rates of deforestation, human settlements encroaching on forests, global trade and travel, and livestock production are thought to be the underlying drivers of so-called “spillover” events, when diseases jump from animals to humans. With 70% of emerging infectious diseases originating in animals, there is increasing urgency to prioritize the study of zoonotic diseases. Constant mutations jeopardize existing vaccines and treatments.

The One Health movement aims to integrate the efforts of multiple disciplines to improve health for people, animals and the environment. It has become a global effort, including annual conferences that bring scientists and policymakers together to consider how to control existing and emerging infectious diseases.

NIH’s zoonotic research is based at Rocky Mountain Laboratories (RML) in Montana. Part of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), it’s a state-of-the-art biomedical facility designed for investigations of highly pathogenic viruses. Fogarty supports studies of emerging global threats through its Ecology and Evolution of Infectious Diseases (EEID) program, a partnership with the National Science Foundation. The initiative supports efforts to understand the underlying ecological and biological mechanisms that govern relationships between environmental changes and the emergence and transmission of infectious diseases.

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