What is One Health?

One Health is an integrated, transdisciplinary approach to health problems involving humans, animals and the rapidly changing environments we share

These problems are complex and interconnected. They require new scientific and professional competencies to understand and address them.

One Health incorporates multiple perspectives to assess the underlying causes of these health challenges and to develop evidence-based, "win-win-win" solutions.


One way to understand One Health is through the acronym ECOHAB:

Exposure connections

Animals expose humans to zoonotic infections, injury and allergies. Humans expose animals to reverse zoonoses (such as TB and influenza) and abuse. Humans and animals share exposures to biological, chemical, physical and psychosocial hazards in the environment.

Comparative clinical connections

Naturally occurring animal diseases may shed light on human diseases, opening up possibilities for new ways to prevent and treat human disease. Animals and humans can both be sentinels for environmental health hazards.

Occupational health connections

Globally, more than 1 billion people work closely with animals and face unique threats to physical and mental health and safety. Improving occupational health and safety for these workers involves consideration of the worker and the animals as well as the work environment.

Human-animal-nature bond connections

People value their relationship with animals and nature, and such connections may have health benefits.

Agriculture and food connections

Animal agriculture plays a key role in global food production. Balancing health and welfare issues of humans and food animals while preserving ecosystem integrity is a key challenge.

Biodiversity connections

Rising rates of species extinction threaten global biodiversity and health, while the diversity of the human microbiome may be related to contact with animals and dietary choices.


Read more about the COHR approach to One Health.