Bite-sized lecture: We can prevent pandemics with wildlife disease surveillance

Animals health affects our health: around 60 per cent of emerging human infectious diseases spread to us from animals. More than 70 per cent of these are from wild animal populations. That means graduates of animal health degrees like the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine have a role to play in public health.

COVID-19 and the virus that causes it, SARS-CoV-2, are just the latest in a long, long list of diseases with a wild animal origin, says Professor Anna Meredith, Head of the Melbourne Veterinary School.

But we don’t need to be caught off-guard by disease. If we implemented a disease surveillance model to monitor pathogens in both wild and domestic animal populations, our responses to diseases could be more rapid and our policies better equipped to deal with pandemics – and the international trade in wildlife.

Professor Meredith worked with other world experts to develop such a model – learn about it in this video.

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