Africa: FAO Pushes for a Road Map to Control and Contain Zoonotic Diseases

An article from AllAfrica
January 28, 2016
Infectious animal-borne disease threats such as Ebola and the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) are here to stay, and further painful outbreaks are likely to flare up or new disease threats will definitely emerge in the near future, said Juan Lubroth, FAO's chief veterinarian, querying whether the world is prepared to detect them and prevent their spread.
 
To better assess and manage such outbreaks in the future, policy makers must foster an integrated research program mapping out both what is and what is not known about the transmission dynamics and spillover patterns of the two recent epidemics, as well as promoting collaboration and stronger surveillance and diagnostic networks, according to FAO, which with USAID as funding partner and sponsor, hosted researchers and policy makers from around the world to technical meetings on Ebola and MERS in Rome this month.
 
"Critical gaps remain in our knowledge of how these diseases are transmitted, both to humans and potential animal host species, as well as their epidemiology and the risk they may pose to food safety as well as food security for populations that depend on livestock or hunting," according to Lubroth.
 
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