Coronavirus outbreak proves we must pay closer attention to animal health
Carel du Marchie Sarvaas, HealthforAnimals Executive Director, recently published an op-ed in the Telegraph explaining the important connection between human health, animal health and the ongoing coronavirus outbreak:
The rapid, global response to the coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan, China, has been impressive and vital. By sequencing the virus within weeks, scientists have accelerated the process of developing a treatment and even a vaccine.
But recent novel cases of human coronavirus are just the latest reminder that we are too often missing the opportunity to act before new diseases emerge in people.
Coronaviruses, like the ongoing outbreak or SARS, are zoonotic, meaning they can pass between animals and people. The source of this outbreak has yet to be confirmed but it could be any number of animal carriers from snakes to pigs.
It may seem counter-intuitive, then, but with six out of 10 infectious diseases being zoonotic, one of the best ways to protect people from diseases like coronavirus is to first protect the health of animals…..