​​​​​​​What is One Health?

The One Health model emphasizes the importance of understanding the interconnections among human, animal and environmental health. As urbanization, climate change, and increasing trade and travel exacerbate health threats, it is vital that scientists from all backgrounds collaborate closely to detect and mitigate the effects of diseases, chemical contaminants and other health threats.

Connecting Human + Animal + Environmental Health

Pathogens of zoonotic origin are the source of approximately 70-75% of the emerging infectious diseases in humans. As humans develop new land, they make contact with displaced animals and organisms, increasing exposure to zoonotic disease.

With climate change, arboviruses are flourishing and affecting greater numbers of people and animals. The changing climate also means that farmers are likely to use more pesticides to combat increasing numbers of pests.

​​Public Health Labs: Crossing Health Domains

Public health laboratories conduct testing that crosses human, animal and environmental health domains. Examples include:

Food Safety

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

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.

Infectious Diseases

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).

Other Resources

CDC One Health Office
One Health Initiative