Promote One Health Initiatives!

One Health Initiative

http://www.onehealthinitiative.com
https://www.onehealthcommission.org/

Contact:

Laura Kahn | lkahn@Princeton.edu

Some Allied Projects and Groups:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
https://www.cdc.gov/onehealth/

World One Health Congress
https://www.onehealthplatform.com/

International Student One Health Alliance
https://www.onehealthplatform.com/

and Facebook: ISOHA One Health Community

On One Health Approaches:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/OneHealthApproachesForCorePublicHealthFunctions/

There are three global One Health groups leading the One Health Charge. The One Health Commission (Dr. Cheryl Stroud) the One Health Initiative pro bono group (Dr. Bruce Kaplan and Dr. Laura Kahn) and the One Health Platform.

These 3 groups joined forces in 2016 to launch a global One Health Day that is officially recognized on Nov 3. However, events educating about One Health and One Health issues can be held any time of the year. Event organizers are urged to ‘register‘ their events to get them on the map.

January 2020 is currently being celebrated as One Health Awareness Month. Advocates are urged to post daily One Health messages in the One Health Awareness Month Social Media Campaign.

Mission:

The One Health concept is a worldwide strategy for expanding interdisciplinary collaborations and communications in all aspects of health care for humans, animals and the environment. The synergism achieved will advance health care for the 21st century and beyond by accelerating biomedical research discoveries, enhancing public health efficacy, expeditiously expanding the scientific knowledge base, and improving medical education and clinical care. When properly implemented, it will help protect and save untold millions of lives in our present and future generations.

One Health is dedicated to improving the lives of all species—human and animal—through the integration of human medicine, veterinary medicine and environmental science.

One Health shall be achieved through:

  1. Joint educational efforts between human medical, veterinary medical schools, and schools of public health and the environment;
  2. Joint communication efforts in journals, at conferences, and via allied health networks;
  3. Joint efforts in clinical care through the assessment, treatment and prevention of cross-species disease transmission;
  4. Joint cross-species disease surveillance and control efforts in public health;
  5. Joint efforts in better understanding of cross-species disease transmission through comparative medicine and environmental research;
  6. Joint efforts in the development and evaluation of new diagnostic methods, medicines and vaccines for the prevention and control of diseases across species and;
  7. Joint efforts to inform and educate political leaders and the public sector through accurate media publications.

After you have read this introduction, click the blue “View Coming Events” calendar button and you may find opportunities to participate in saving our world. If your group is planning a relevant event, we welcome your contribution to the calendar.

And join the discussion! Please wait a few seconds for the comments to load at the bottom of this page. Then read the ideas other people have shared and reply or add your own knowledge. Thanks!

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David Ignatius in The Washington Post, writes, ow did covid-19 begin? Its initial origin story is shaky,” April 2, 2020.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/global-opinions/how-did-covid-19-begin-its-initial-origin-story-is-shaky/2020/04/02/1475d488-7521-11ea-87da-77a8136c1a6d_story.html?utm_campaign=wp_opinions&utm_medium=email&utm_source=newsletter&wpisrc=nl_opinions

The story of how the novel coronavirus emerged in Wuhan, China, has produced a nasty propaganda battle between the United States and China. The two sides have traded some of the sharpest charges made between two nations since the Soviet Union in 1985 falsely accused the CIA of manufacturing AIDS.

U.S. intelligence officials don’t think the pandemic was caused by deliberate wrongdoing. The outbreak that has now swept the world instead began with a simpler story, albeit one with tragic consequences: The prime suspect is “natural” transmission from bats to humans, perhaps through unsanitary markets. But scientists don’t rule out that an accident at a research laboratory in Wuhan might have spread a deadly bat virus that had been collected for scientific study.

“Good science, bad safety” is how Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) put this theory in a Feb. 16 tweet. He ranked such a breach (or natural transmission) as more likely than two extreme possibilities: an accidental leak of an “engineered bioweapon” or a “deliberate release.” Cotton’s earlier loose talk about bioweapons set off a furor, back when he first raised it in late January and called the outbreak “worse than Chernobyl.”

President Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo added to the bile last month by describing the coronavirus as the “Chinese virus” and the “Wuhan virus,” respectively.

China dished wild, irresponsible allegations of its own. On March 12, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Lijian Zhao charged in a tweet: “It might be [the] US army who brought the epidemic to Wuhan.” He retweeted an article that claimed, without evidence, that U.S. troops might have spread the virus when they attended the World Military Games in Wuhan in October 2019.

China retreated on March 22, when Ambassador to the United States Cui Tiankai told “Axios on HBO” that such rumors were “crazy” on both sides. A State Department spokesman said Cui’s comment was “welcome,” and Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping pledged in a March 27 phone call to “focus on cooperative behavior,” a senior administration official told me.

To be clear: U.S. intelligence officials think there’s no evidence whatsoever that the coronavirus was created in a laboratory as a potential bioweapon. Solid scientific research demonstrates that the virus wasn’t engineered by humans and that it originated in bats.

But how did the outbreak occur? Solving this medical mystery is important to prevent future pandemics. What’s increasingly clear is that the initial “origin story” — that the virus was spread by people who ate contaminated animals at the Huanan Seafood Market in Wuhan — is shaky.

Scientists have identified the culprit as a bat coronavirus, through genetic sequencing; bats weren’t sold at the seafood market, although that market or others could have sold animals that had contact with bats. The Lancet noted in a January study that the first covid-19 case in Wuhan had no connection to the seafood market.

There’s a competing theory — of an accidental lab release of bat coronavirus — that scientists have been puzzling about for weeks. Less than 300 yards from the seafood market is the Wuhan branch of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Researchers from that facility and the nearby Wuhan Institute of Virology have posted articles about collecting bat coronaviruses from around China, for study to prevent future illness. Did one of those samples leak, or was hazardous waste deposited in a place where it could spread?

Richard Ebright, a Rutgers microbiologist and biosafety expert, told me in an email that “the first human infection could have occurred as a natural accident,” with the virus passing from bat to human, possibly through another animal. But Ebright cautioned that it “also could have occurred as a laboratory accident, with, for example, an accidental infection of a laboratory worker.” He noted that bat coronaviruses were studied in Wuhan at Biosafety Level 2, “which provides only minimal protection,” compared with the top BSL-4.

Ebright described a December video from the Wuhan CDC that shows staffers “collecting bat coronaviruses with inadequate [personal protective equipment] and unsafe operational practices.” Separately, I reviewed two Chinese articles, from 2017 and 2019, describing the heroics of Wuhan CDC researcher Tian Junhua, who while capturing bats in a cave “forgot to take protective measures” so that “bat urine dripped from the top of his head like raindrops.”

And then there’s the Chinese study that was curiously withdrawn. In February, a site called ResearchGate published a brief article by Botao Xiao and Lei Xiao from Guangzhou’s South China University of Technology. “In addition to origins of natural recombination and intermediate host, the killer coronavirus probably originated from a laboratory in Wuhan. Safety level may need to be reinforced in high risk biohazardous laboratories,” the article concluded. Botao Xiao told the Wall Street Journal in February that he had withdrawn the paper because it “was not supported by direct proofs.”

Accidents happen, human or laboratory. Solving the mystery of how covid-19 began isn’t a blame game, but a chance for China and the United States to cooperate in a crisis, and prevent a future one.

Ebola health workers killed and injured by rebel attack in Congo
By Jason Burke The Guardian Nov. 28, 2019

Ebola health workers killed and injured by rebel attack in Congo

Four health workers fighting the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo have been killed and five injured in an attack by rebel militia, the World Health Organization has said.
The attacks occurred early on Thursday morning in the restive east of the vast central African country.
“We are heartbroken that people have died in the line of duty as they worked to save others,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the WHO’s director general. “The world has lost brave professionals.”
Casualties include a member of a vaccination team, two drivers, local officials, a UN staff member and a police officer.
The campaign against the epidemic has shown signs of progress in recent months. In the past week, seven cases of Ebola were recorded, down from a peak of more than 120 a week in April 2019, health officials said.
“Ebola was retreating. These attacks will give it force again, and more people will die as a consequence,” said Tedros. “It will be tragic to see more unnecessary suffering in communities that have already suffered so much. We call on everyone who has a role to play to end this cycle of violence.”
The outbreak of the virus has killed 2,198 people in North and South Kivu and Ituri provinces since 1 August 2018, according to the latest official figures.
It is the second deadliest outbreak ever. The worst struck west Africa between 2014 and 2016, claiming more than 11,300 lives.
Insecurity has complicated efforts to combat the epidemic in DRC from the outset, as has resistance within communities to preventative measures, care facilities and safe burials.
More than 300 attacks on Ebola health workers have been recorded in 2019, leaving six dead and 70 wounded, some of them patients.
Earlier this week, Ebola responders were told not to leave secure bases or their homes after angry residents stormed a UN peacekeepers’ camp in protest at the fatal militia attacks on civilians, the WHO said.
Government authority in eastern DRC is weak, with significant territory controlled by armed groups, especially a militia called the Allied Democratic Forces.
The Congolese army began an offensive against the ADF on 30 October, vowing to wipe out armed groups in the east of the country.
In the Beni area alone, 99 people have been killed by armed groups since 5 November, according to the not-for-profit Congo Research Group.
The bloodshed has sparked a wave of popular anger at the authorities and the large UN peacekeeping mission in DRC, Monusco.
DRC suffers deep poverty and is currently experiencing the world’s biggest measles epidemic.
“While the Ebola outbreak, which has claimed more than 2,000 lives in the eastern DRC, has commanded sustained international attention, measles, which has claimed more than twice as many lives, continues to be underreported”, said Edouard Beigbeder, Unicef representative in the country.
More than 5,000 people, including 4,500 children under the age of five, have died from the disease in DRC so far this year.
Source: The Guardian, https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2019/nov/28/ebola-health-workers-killed-and-injured-by-rebel-attack-in-congo

Ebola workers.jpg

It’s such a baffling response. The rebels kill the guys who are saving the lives of their enemy. However despicable, that much is understandable. But don’t they realize that Ebola spreads? To keep yourself save from it, you need to keep your enemies and everybody else safe. Otherwise it will come and get you too. Somebody should remind them of it.

What is happening with Ebola now? We are all so fixated on the coronavirus in China that I haven’t heard anything about other, even more lethal, diseases. Update us, please, about that. Thanks.

U.S. Military Could Collapse Within 20 Years Due to Climate Change, Report Commissioned By Pentagon Says:
By Nafeez Ahmed
Oct. 24, 2019.
The report says a combination of global starvation, war, disease, drought, and a fragile power grid could have cascading, devastating effects.

According to a new U.S. Army report, Americans could face a horrifically grim future from climate change involving blackouts, disease, thirst, starvation and war. The study found that the US military itself might also collapse. This could all happen over the next two decades, the report notes.
The senior US government officials who wrote the report are from several key agencies including the Army, Defense Intelligence Agency, and NASA. The study called on the Pentagon to urgently prepare for the possibility that domestic power, water, and food systems might collapse due to the impacts of climate change as we near mid-century.
The report was commissioned by General Mark Milley, Trump’s new chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, making him the highest-ranking military officer in the country (the report also puts him at odds with Trump, who does not take climate change seriously.)
The report, titled Implications of Climate Change for the U.S. Army, was launched by the U.S. Army War College in partnership with NASA in May at the Wilson Center in Washington DC. The report was commissioned by Gen. Milley during his previous role as the Army’s Chief of Staff. It was made publicly available in August via the Center for Climate and Security, but didn’t get a lot of attention at the time.
The two most prominent scenarios in the report focus on the risk of a collapse of the power grid within “the next 20 years,” and the danger of disease epidemics. Both could be triggered by climate change in the near-term, it notes.
“Increased energy requirements” triggered by new weather patterns like extended periods of heat, drought, and cold could eventually overwhelm “an already fragile system.”
The report also warns that the US military should prepare for new foreign interventions in Syria-style conflicts, triggered due to climate-related impacts. Bangladesh in particular is highlighted as the most vulnerable country to climate collapse in the world.
“The permanent displacement of a large portion of the population of Bangladesh would be a regional catastrophe with the potential to increase global instability,” the report warns. “This is a potential result of climate change complications in just one country. Globally, over 600 million people live at sea level.”
Sea level rise, which could go higher than 2 meters by 2100 according to one recent study, “will displace tens (if not hundreds) of millions of people, creating massive, enduring instability,” the report adds.
The US should therefore be ready to act not only in Bangladesh, but in many other regions, like the rapidly melting Arctic—where the report recommends the US military should take advantage of its hydrocarbon resources and new transit routes to repel Russian encroachment.
But without urgent reforms, the report warns that the US military itself could end up effectively collapsing as it tries to respond to climate collapse. It could lose capacity to contain threats in the US and could wilt into “mission failure” abroad due to inadequate water supplies.
Total collapse of the power grid
The report paints a frightening portrait of a country falling apart over the next 20 years due to the impacts of climate change on “natural systems such as oceans, lakes, rivers, ground water, reefs, and forests.”
Current infrastructure in the US, the report says, is woefully underprepared: “Most of the critical infrastructures identified by the Department of Homeland Security are not built to withstand these altered conditions.”
Some 80 percent of US agricultural exports and 78 percent of imports are water-borne. This means that episodes of flooding due to climate change could leave lasting damage to shipping infrastructure, posing “a major threat to US lives and communities, the US economy and global food security,” the report notes.
At particular risk is the US national power grid, which could shut down due to “the stressors of a changing climate,” especially changing rainfall levels:
“The power grid that serves the United States is aging and continues to operate without a coordinated and significant infrastructure investment. Vulnerabilities exist to electricity-generating power plants, electric transmission infrastructure and distribution system components,” it states.
As a result, the “increased energy requirements” triggered by new weather patterns like extended periods of heat, drought, and cold could eventually overwhelm “an already fragile system.”
The report’s grim prediction has already started playing out, with utility PG&E cutting power to more than a million people across California to avoid power lines sparking another catastrophic wildfire. While climate change is intensifying the dry season and increasing fire risks, PG&E has come under fire for failing to fix the state’s ailing power grid.
The US Army report shows that California’s power outage could be a taste of things to come, laying out a truly dystopian scenario of what would happen if the national power grid was brought down by climate change. One particularly harrowing paragraph lists off the consequences bluntly:
“If the power grid infrastructure were to collapse, the United States would experience significant:
• Loss of perishable foods and medications
• Loss of water and wastewater distribution systems
• Loss of heating/air conditioning and electrical lighting systems
• Loss of computer, telephone, and communications systems (including airline flights, satellite networks and GPS services)
• Loss of public transportation systems
• Loss of fuel distribution systems and fuel pipelines
• Loss of all electrical systems that do not have back-up power”
Although the report does not dwell on the implications, it acknowledges that a national power grid failure would lead to a perfect storm requiring emergency military responses that might eventually weaken the ability of the US Army to continue functioning at all: “Relief efforts aggravated by seasonal climatological effects would potentially accelerate the criticality of the developing situation. The cascading effects of power loss… would rapidly challenge the military’s ability to continue operations.”
Also at “high risk of temporary or permanent closure due to climate threats” are US nuclear power facilities.
There are currently 99 nuclear reactors operating in the US, supplying nearly 20 percent of the country’s utility-scale energy. But the majority of these, some 60 percent, are located in vulnerable regions which face “major risks” including sea level rise, severe storms, and water shortages.
Containment
The report’s authors believe that domestic military operations will be necessary to contain future disease outbreaks. There is no clear timeline for this, except the notion of being prepared for imminent surprises: “Climate change is introducing an increased risk of infectious disease to the US population. It is increasingly not a matter of ‘if’ but of when there will be a large outbreak.”
Areas in the south of the US will see an increase in precipitation of between .5 and .8 mm a day, along with an increase in average annual temperatures of 1 to 3 degrees Celsius (C) by 2050.
Along with warmer winters, these new conditions will drive the proliferation of mosquitos and ticks. This in turn will spur the spread of diseases “which may be previously unseen in the US”, and accelerate the reach of diseases currently found in very small numbers such as Zika, West Nile Virus, Lyme disease, and many others:
“The US Army will be called upon to assist in much the same way it was called upon in other disasters. Detailed coordination with local, state and federal agencies in the most high risk regions will hasten response time and minimize risk to mission.”
A new era of endless war
The new report is especially significant given the Trump administration’s climate science denial. Commissioned by General Mark Milley, now the highest ranking military officer in the United States, the report not only concludes that climate change is real, but that it is on track to create an unprecedented catastrophe that could lead to the total collapse of US society without serious investments in new technology and infrastructure. However, while focusing on projected climate impacts, the report does not discuss the causes of climate change in human fossil fuel emissions.
The report was written by an interdisciplinary team active across several US government agencies, including the White House’s Office of American Innovation, the Secretary of Defense’s Protecting Critical Technology Task Force, NASA’s Harvest Consortium, the US Air Force Headquarters’ Directorate of Weather, the US Army’s National Guard, and the US State Department. The US Army War College did not respond to a request for comment.
Their report not only describes the need for massive permanent military infrastructure on US soil to stave off climate collapse, but portends new foreign interventions due to climate change.
The authors argue that the Syrian civil war could be a taste of future international conflicts triggered by climate-induced unrest. There is “no question that the conflict erupted coincident with a major drought in the region which forced rural people into Syrian cities as large numbers of Iraqi refugees arrived,” they say.
The resulting conflict “reignited civil war in Iraq,” and heightened military tensions between the US and Russia.
“The Syrian population has declined by about 10 percent since the start of the war, with millions of refugees fleeing the nation, increasing instability in Europe, and stoking violent extremism,” the report concludes.
The most urgent case for a potential US intervention, however, is the South Asian country of Bangladesh.
With half its 160 million-strong population currently living at sea level, some 80 million Bangladeshis are set to be displaced as huge areas of the country become “uninhabitable” due to climate impacts: “How will this large scale displacement affect global security in a region with nearly 40 percent of the world’s population and several antagonistic nuclear powers?”
With a population eight times that of Syria’s, the report explains, “permanent displacement of a large portion of the population of Bangladesh would be a regional catastrophe with the potential to increase global instability.”
The authors recommend the US Army work with the State Department and USAID to “strengthen the resilience of [Bangladeshi] government agencies and provide training for the Bangladeshi military.”
Water scarcity will destabilize nations—and the U.S. Army
While sea level rise offers one specific type of risk, another comes from water scarcity due to climate change, population increase, and poor water management. The report describes water scarcity as a near-term risk driving civil unrest and political instability.
By 2040, global demand for fresh water will exceed availability, and by 2030 one-third of the world population will inhabit the “water-stressed regions” of North Africa, Southern Africa, the Middle East, China, and the United States, the report notes.
The decline in water availability over the next two decades will lead to an increase in “social disruption” in poor, vulnerable regions.
Water scarcity is also a driver of possible global food system failure, which could trigger new “outbreaks of civil conflict and social unrest.”
The report depicts a global food system increasingly disrupted by “rapid freeze-thaw cycles in spring and fall, soil degradation, depletion of fossil water aquifers, intensified spread of agricultural pests and diseases, and damage to shipping infrastructure as a consequence of flooding.”
Such food system instability will result in “significant increases in mortality in vulnerable locations, which are those where DoD-supported humanitarian intervention is most likely.”
But foreign military interventions, particularly in water scarce regions of the Middle East and North Africa, might not be viable unless the US Army invents or acquires radical new technologies to distribute adequate levels of water to soldiers.
The problem is so bad and so expensive, the report says, that the Army “is precipitously close to mission failure concerning hydration of the force in a contested arid environment.”
Water is currently 30-40 percent of the costs required to sustain a US military force operating abroad, according to the new Army report. A huge infrastructure is needed to transport bottled water for Army units. So the report recommends major new investments in technology to collect water from the atmosphere locally, without which US military operations abroad could become impossible. The biggest obstacle is that this is currently way outside the Pentagon’s current funding priorities.
Rampaging for Arctic oil
And yet the report’s biggest blind-spot is its agnosticism on the necessity for a rapid whole society transition away from fossil fuels.
Bizarrely for a report styling itself around the promotion of environmental stewardship in the Army, the report identifies the Arctic as a critical strategic location for future US military involvement: to maximize fossil fuel consumption.
Noting that the Arctic is believed to hold about a quarter of the world’s undiscovered hydrocarbon reserves, the authors estimate that some 20 percent of these reserves could be within US territory, noting a “greater potential for conflict” over these resources, particularly with Russia.
The melting of Arctic sea ice is depicted as a foregone conclusion over the next few decades, implying that major new economic opportunities will open up to exploit the region’s oil and gas resources as well as to establish new shipping routes: “The US military must immediately begin expanding its capability to operate in the Artic to defend economic interests and to partner with allies across the region.”
Senior US defense officials in Washington clearly anticipate a prolonged role for the US military, both abroad and in the homeland, as climate change wreaks havoc on critical food, water and power systems. Apart from causing fundamental damage to our already strained democratic systems, the bigger problem is that the US military is by far a foremost driver of climate change by being the world’s single biggest institutional consumer of fossil fuels.
The prospect of an ever expanding permanent role for the Army on US soil to address growing climate change impacts is a surprisingly extreme scenario which goes against the grain of the traditional separation of the US military from domestic affairs.
In putting this forward, the report inadvertently illustrates what happens when climate is seen through a narrow ‘national security’ lens. Instead of encouraging governments to address root causes through “unprecedented changes in all aspects of society” (in the words of the UN’s IPCC report this time last year), the Army report demands more money and power for military agencies while allowing the causes of climate crisis to accelerate. It’s perhaps no surprise that such dire scenarios are predicted, when the solutions that might avert those scenarios aren’t seriously explored.
Rather than waiting for the US military to step in after climate collapse—at which point the military itself could be at risk of collapsing—we would be better off dealing with the root cause of the issue skirted over by this report: America’s chronic dependence on the oil and gas driving the destabilization of the planet’s ecosystems.

Uncle Sam.jpg

“Biodiverse soils ease anxiety”
By Jessica Bassano

LEAD Nov. 6, 2019.
The link between microbiomes and biodiverse soil dust may be key to understanding the relationship between green spaces and mental health.

In a new study, published in Science of the Total Environment, University of Adelaide researchers found evidence of a potentially broadly-acting microbial link between the health of ecosystems and the health of people.

The research joins a growing body of evidence indicating exposure to green spaces has a range of health benefits – including on mental health – while greater urbanisation is linked with increased risk of mental health disorders.

It follows a paper published earlier this year, which found growing more native plants in cities would increase microbial diversity and help combat the rise of non-communicable diseases such as asthma and inflammatory bowel disease.

Lead author Craig Liddicoat, from the University of Adelaide’s School of Biological Sciences, said the study showed the inclusion of a rare organism – butyrate-producer Kineothrix alysoides – was linked with reduced anxiety-like behaviour.

“Butyrate is a small molecule that results from the breakdown of plant material, but it is also a key product linked to gut health and mental health in humans,” Liddicoat said.

“We found that the guts of mice in the high biodiversity treatment were supplemented most with a particular soil-derived butyrate producing bacteria. Also, increasing relative abundance of this particular bacteria correlated with reduced anxiety-like behaviour in the most anxious mice.”

Liddicoat said the research was a significant step forward in showing that airborne exposure to natural biodiversity can influence the gut microbiome and, in turn, human health.

“With biodiverse urban green space, that promotes the right kind of microbial exposures, we have potential for public health gains, while supporting our biodiversity at the same time,” he said.

“This work strengthens the argument for conserving and restoring biodiverse green space in our cities.”

http://theleadsouthaustralia.com.au/industries/health-and-medical/biodiverse-soils-ease-anxiety/

Tony-Faiola-850x455.jpg

That’s new point I hadn’t heard before: that American nuclear power plants are themselves vulnerable to the effects of climate change. We are told that they are the solution. But maybe everything is vulnerable. So the Pentagon knows things that neither the president nor the GOP politicians know.

Here’s a new basis for worrying about feeding antibiotics to cattle to fatten them. I had never considered it before (had you?) but the animals leave manure. What’s special and different about that antibiotic-fed manure? Hmmm?
https://source.colostate.edu/new-research-finds-multiple-effects-on-soil-from-exposure-to-manure-from-cows-administered-antibiotics/