One Health Publications

One Health and the COVID ‐19 pandemic

August 5, 2020

  • Cover image
    Volume 18, Issue 6
    August 2020

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The origin of COVID-19 and why it matters

August 4, 2020


Co-authors: David M. MorensJoel G. BremanCharles H. CalisherPeter C. DohertyBeatrice H. HahnGerald T. KeuschLaura D. KramerJames W. LeDucThomas P. Monath and Jeffery K. Taubenberger


The COVID-19 pandemic is among the deadliest infectious diseases to have emerged in recent history. As with all past pandemics, the specific mechanism of its emergence in humans remains unknown. Nevertheless, a large body of virologic, epidemiologic, veterinary, and ecologic data establishes that the new virus, SARS-CoV-2, evolved directly or indirectly from a β-coronavirus in the sarbecovirus (SARS-like virus) group that naturally infect bats and pangolins in Asia and Southeast Asia. Scientists have warned for decades that such sarbecoviruses are poised to emerge again and again, identified risk factors, and argued for enhanced pandemic prevention and control efforts. Unfortunately, few such preventive actions were taken resulting in the latest coronavirus emergence detected in late 2019 which quickly spread pandemically. The risk of similar coronavirus outbreaks in the future remains high. In addition to controlling the COVID-19 pandemic, we must undertake vigorous scientific, public health, and societal actions, including significantly increased funding for basic and applied research addressing disease emergence, to prevent this tragic history from repeating itself.

[open-access] This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


Co-author, Peter C. Doherty, BVSc, MVSc, PhD – Nobel Laureate Professor Department of Microbiology and Immunology University of Melbourne, Australia, faculty member University of Tennessee Health Science Center through the College of Medicine and conducts research at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Memphis, Tennessee (USA) is a member of the One Health Initiative Advisory Board (Hon.)


Co-author, Thomas P. Monath, MD, FASTMH – View bio is a co-founder of the One Health Initiative (OHI) team and OHI website

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Strategies Needed to Ensure Higher Immunization Rates in the Americas

August 3, 2020

“In their MEDICC Review Perspective, Galindo-Santana and colleagues highlight the challenges presented by anti-vaccination groups, stressing that immunization is an essential cost-effective preventive measure that promotes population health.[1] In 2019, WHO identified vaccine hesitancy, fragile and vulnerable settings and weak primary health care as 3 of 10 main global health threats. Close attention to these threats can detect potential areas of missed opportunities for immunization across populations and mitigate risk of preventable diseases. …

… Third, primary health care centers can promote holistic health through the One Health concept, which describes the interconnectedness of human, animal, and environmental health, while dispelling myths and fostering provider–patient rapport and acceptance of evidence-based vaccination schedules.

Regional action for widespread adoption of evidence-based vaccination schedules is essential to safeguard population health. By prioritizing community-based research, health capacity building and the One Health concept, nations can accelerate progress to achieving high immunization coverage through Sustainable Development Goal targets 3.8 and 3.b.”

By co-authors:

Bienvenido A. Veras-Estévez MD MPH (, Faculty of Health Sciences, Catholic University of the Cibao, La Vega, Dominican Republic.
*Helena J. Chapman MD MPH PhD, Milken Institute School of Public Health, George Washington University, Washington, D.C., USA.

*Note: Physician, Dr. Chapman is a member of the One Health Initiative team

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August 2, 2020

“The origins of COVID-19 and other recent zoonotic epidemics link the research themes of human, animal and environment health: the three tenets of One Health. CGIAR researchers are using integrated modeling to provide policy recommendations and address urgent issues on the role of agriculture in spreading zoonoses and how we can avoid future crossover events. …”

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UFS scientists part of international COVID-19 study published in peer-reviewed scientific journal

July 31, 2020

” Prof Burt, whose research interests and expertise include the investigation of viruses of zoonotic origin, and/or those transmitted by mosquitoes and ticks that impact human and/or animal well-being – using a One Health approach – says the study was a collaborative effort between scientists with expertise in a wide range of disciplines, including biological anthropology, genetics, primatology, molecular biology, and virology.

The concept of One Health encourages collaboration between multiple disciplines, promoting the concept that the interaction between humans, animals, and the environment has an impact on the health of people, animals, plants, and the environment. …

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Five Environmental Lessons Coronavirus Could Teach Humanity, If Humanity Would Listen

July 26, 2020

“Now we must become more proactive to avoid another pandemic and address endemic zoonotic diseases,” said Inger Andersen, executive director of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP). “This means recognizing that human health, animal health and planetary health cannot be separated, and planning our responses accordingly.”


But Anderson believes we also must stop thinking of human health separately from animal health and environmental health.

“Part of this process is the urgent adoption of integrated human, animal and environmental health expertise and policy – a One Health approach. One Health is not new, but uneven uptake and institutional support means it hasn’t hit its potential. The weakest link in the chain is environmental health. We have to fix this.”

So the coronavirus pandemic offers vital lessons for future threats.

“The U.S. has fared worse than other countries not because it lacked information or funding,” said Dr. Ali S. Khan, director of the Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “but because it failed to learn the lessons of the last outbreaks.”



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Ecology and economics for pandemic prevention

July 24, 2020

“For a century, two new viruses per year have spilled from their natural hosts into humans (1). The MERS, SARS, and 2009 H1N1 epidemics, and the HIV and coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemics, testify to their damage. Zoonotic viruses infect people directly most often when they handle live primates, bats, and other wildlife (or their meat) or indirectly from farm animals such as chickens and pigs. The risks are higher than ever (23) as increasingly intimate associations between humans and wildlife disease reservoirs accelerate the potential for viruses to spread globally. Here, we assess the cost of monitoring and preventing disease spillover driven by the unprecedented loss and fragmentation of tropical forests and by the burgeoning wildlife trade. Currently, we invest relatively little toward preventing deforestation and regulating wildlife trade, despite well-researched plans that demonstrate a high return on their investment in limiting zoonoses and conferring many other benefits. As public funding in response to COVID-19 continues to rise, our analysis suggests that the associated costs of these preventive efforts would be substantially less than the economic and mortality costs of responding to these pathogens once they have emerged. …”

Farmed Animal Spillover

Livestock are critical reservoirs and links in emergent diseases. H5N1 influenza came across the human-wildlife interface (wild bird → poultry → human transmission chain), as did H1N1 influenza (bird → pig → human). Many livestock-linked outbreaks have reached the cusp of pandemic emergence, such as Nipah virus (fruit bat → pig → human) and swine acute diarrhea syndrome coronavirus (bat → pig) (14). These links are well recognized and are the focus of pandemic prevention packages proposed by the U.S. Congress (H.R. 3771). There are well-researched veterinary health plans such as the World Bank’s One World One Health farm biosecurity intervention program, designed to reduce H5N1 influenza risk. With costs in the tens of billions of dollars, proposals dealing with livestock’s roles in pandemics are among the most advanced and ambitious of those being seriously considered. We have known about these risks longer (e.g., influenza) and can control farm biosecurity more easily than wildlife contact in trade or at forest edges. … “

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Experts set out plans to tackle foodborne parasites in Asia

July 24, 2020

“Situation in Bhutan, Cambodia and China
Participating countries presented their foodborne parasitic zoonosis status. Bhutan has a One Health Strategic Plan from 2017 to 2021. It has a passive surveillance system that only tracks reports of intestinal worms. The country had about 30,000 cases of intestinal worms between 2013 and 2017. …”

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REMINDER: Again, Follow Dr. Fauci’s lead!

July 22, 2020

May 31, 2020

Again, Follow Dr. Fauci’s lead!

 “…we have long embraced a one-health paradigm at NIAID, especially in the realm of emerging and re-emerging diseases, most of which are zoonoses and must be studied in the context of the ecosystems humans share with microbes, non-human hosts, vectors, reservoirs and other actors.  Many of the research efforts about which I speak and write almost daily fall under the one health rubric, in that our studies are multi-disciplinary and have benefits not only for humans but for other species, agriculture, and other aspects of society and the environment.” [March 7, 2018 email to One Health Initiative (OHI) team, please see below*]  

The American people and the international community needs to listen to Dr. Anthony Fauci about the Coronavirus Pandemic and his endorsement of utilizing the One Health concept/approach … 

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Fauci: ‘The Virus Is a Formidable Foe’

July 22, 2020

  • Young people are driving the latest surge of cases. They are making a big mistake by thinking it doesn’t matter if they get infected, even though many of them won’t get very sick. But allowing themselves to get infected means they are propagating the pandemic.
  • The anti-science trend mixes with an anti-authority trend, and scientists are often equated with authority. Young people may have been disappointed with government, which unfortunately adds to the anti-science sentiment.
  • A vaccine very likely will be available by the end of 2020, and the process of developing a vaccine is moving much more quickly than previously because of new technologies.
  • An NIH study is underway of 2000 families to look at the incidence of infection among children and the rate of transmission from children to adults, because it is not now clearly understood.
  • “This will end, and we will get back to normal.”

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“One health” approach vital in combating zoonotic diseases, UN hears

July 18, 2020

“… With the Covid-19 pandemic likely originating in wet markets that largely escape veterinary surveillance, it is clear that animal health systems need strengthening as a pillar of One Health, an approach to improving health that links human, animal and environmental health inextricably. …”

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Kansas State University signs research agreement for COVID-19 vaccine candidate

July 14, 2020

Scientists at Kansas State University are working with a biopharmaceutical company to advance a COVID-19 vaccine based on weakened bovine parainfluenza 3 virus invented by Waithaka Mwangi, a professor of diagnostic pathobiology in the university’s College of Veterinary Medicine…

Jul 13, 2020

MANHATTAN — Kansas State University has signed a new preclinical research and option agreement with Tonix Pharmaceuticals, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company, to develop a vaccine candidate for the prevention of COVID-19.

The inventor of the technology, Waithaka Mwangi, professor of diagnostic pathobiology in the K-State College of Veterinary Medicine, will direct the research, which is based on a new vaccine platform that his research team developed for bovine parainfluenza 3 virus, known as BPI3V, which is closely related to human parainfluenza 3 virus.

“A weakened BPI3V has previously been shown to be an effective vaccine vehicle in humans. More importantly, following extensive testing, BPI3V was shown to be safe and stable in infants and children,” Mwangi said. “The vector is well suited for mucosal immunization using a nasal atomizer, but it can also be injected. Therefore, BPI3V is suitable for development of COVID-19 vaccine candidates.”

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Pandemics reveal interdependency with nature

July 13, 2020

Khmer Times

“… Meanwhile,  country-director of WWF-Cambodia Seng Teak says the organisation is advocating the “One Health” approach, an initiative that links the health of the people and conservation of animals and promotes the need to heal human-nature relationship to avert future pandemics. …”


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Resources Address Government Health Spending, One Health, Other Global Health Issues

July 11, 2020

World Bank: Safeguarding Animal, Human and Ecosystem Health: One Health at the World Bank (7/9).”

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It’s One Health O’clock

July 11, 2020

“If human history were a clock, it’s One Health O’clock.”


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