What is the One Health Model?
APHL supports the One Health model, which emphasizes the interconnections among human, animal and environmental health. Understanding these relationships is critical to mitigating the effects of diseases and other health threats, particularly in an era of rapid climate change.
Connecting Human + Animal + Environmental Health
Humans and animals interact with each other and their environment in ways that can change disease patterns and exacerbate health threats. For example, as humans develop new land, they make contact with displaced animals and organisms, increasing human exposure to zoonotic diseases. These zoonotic pathogens are the source of 70-75% of the emerging infectious diseases in humans. Climatic changes also create conditions favorable to insect populations. As temperatures rise and precipitation increases, the prevalence of arboviruses, such as West Nile Virus, dengue and encephalitiis, also tends to increase.
Public Health Labs: Crossing Health Domains
Public health laboratories conduct testing that crosses human, animal and environmental health domains. Examples include:
Public health laboratories work to detect and control foodborne illness through the
PulseNet program and the
Food Emergency Response Network. Teams from human, animal and environmental backgrounds collaborate to solve foodborne outbreaks and prevent future occurrences.
Environmental health programs at public health laboratories test for chemicals and other contaminants that can affect humans, animals or the environment. Depending on the location, such a program might test well water, cosmetics, spices, algae or farm run-off for potential contamination.
Public health laboratories conduct testing and surveillance for diseases that originate in animals. These include avian influenza (birds and geese), hantavirus (rodents) and arboviral diseases such as West Nile virus, encephalitis, malaria (mosquitos).