A recent ProMed posting (Saturday, May 4 2013 Volume 2013 : Number 216) provides an update on the outbreak in China of the H7N9 strain of avian influenza, which as of May 1 has resulted in 127 confirmed human cases, of which 26 (20.5%) have been fatal. While the virus does not appear to have caused significant human-human transmission, the route of exposure from an animal source to humans is onl
The Human Animal Medicine Project is moving to the University of Washington
In summer 2013 Dr. Rabinowitz will assume a new position at the University of Washington School of Public Health with appointments in Environmental/Occupational Health and Global Health. At UW he plans to continue his work in emerging zoonotic diseases at the human/animal/ecosystem interface and start a “UW Center for Global One Health: Integrating Human, Animal, and Environmental Health”. This Center will build on the work of the Yale Human Animal Medicine Project. Look for updates soon!
Recently a colleague sent me an article that appeared to build on the concept of “One Health Ethics” mentioned in this blog last year (see OneHealth ethics) . Two veterinarians, enrolled in the Congressional Science and Engineering Fellows Program of the American Association for the Advancement of Science have examined the concepts of human welfare, animal welfare, and the welfare of the environment, and proposed that there is a need for a “One Welfare” approach to a large number of issues that cuts across traditional divisions.
In considering the different aspects of integrated approaches to human, animal and environmental health along a One Health paradigm, so many of the challenges seem to boil down to the challenge of how to get information to flow in ways it has not in the past. Here are some examples:
A 60 year old factory worker was seen at the Yale Occupational and Environmental Medicine Program for an elevated urine mercury level. He worked in a factory making mercury vapor light bulbs. The company doctor had removed him from work because of a high mercury level, but even staying home the level of mercury in his urine continued to rise. The workman’s compensation carrier had questioned whether there could be a problem with his urine mercury testing results.
I just finished reading my copy of the new book Zoobiquity: What Animals Can Teach us about Health and the Science of Healing, by Barbara Natterson-Horowitz and Kathryn Bowers. It is a ground-breaking book and essential reading for anyone interested in the connections between human and animal medicine.
The National Wildlife Disease Program, a part of the USDA, is collaborating with Matthew Scotch, PhD of Arizona State University, The Mayo Clinic, and Colorado State University to determine relatedness of influenza A viruses circulating in wildlife and humans in the Southwest United States. Read the full story (PDF).
It is not uncommon for patients to ask me whether an illness in a pet could be related to symptoms they are experiencing. For example, a patient suffering from allergies caused by mold in her house told me about her dog that was being treated by a veterinary allergist. Was it possible that human and dog were dealing with the same problem?