One Health panel to advise on Animal Disease Risk set up
France and Germany in the end months of 2020 launched an initiative known as The One Health High-Level Expert Panel. This panel has held its inaugural meeting in this week of May. The panel has been formed by bringing together a team of experts by the World Health Organization in collaboration with three other international bodies with the aim to develop plans to help prevent the spread of diseases that can be transmitted from animals to humans.
Function of the panel
The panel has been set up to advice the World Health Organization (WHO), the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the World Organization for Animal Health about developing surveillance frameworks and risk assessment and to establish proper practices so as to prevent and prepare against any zoonotic outbreaks. Any potential transmission risks carried by food production and distribution, urbanization, trade and international travel and other activities that can lead to climate change and loss in biodiversity will also be looked into by the panel. The first recommendations of the panel will be published later this year.
Reason for setting up this panel
This panel has been set up after the fallout caused globally due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It has been said that the main reason for the breakout of the disease is due to the rampant wildlife trading occurring in China and Southeast Asia. The closest known match for the SARS-CoV-2 or the COVID-19 virus has been found in bats.
Zoonosis or Zoonotic Disease is a classification of disease that can be transmitted from an animal to humans.