COVID-19 has clearly shown why One Health, the core of which is the recognition of the existential interconnectedness of humans, animals and their shared environment, is key to ensuring the healthy and sustainable future of the planet. We all know that there has been, and continues to be, a significant increase in the emergence of infectious agents and in the potential risk of new pandemics, as exemplified by the emergence and spread of SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19. SARS-CoV-2 has also clearly demonstrated that a previously unknown pathogen can emerge from a wildlife source at any time in any place and without warning, threatening the health, well-being and economies of all societies. There is therefore a clear need for countries to have the capability and capacity to maintain an effective alert and response system to detect and quickly react to outbreaks of international concern, and to share information about such outbreaks rapidly and transparently.
Responding to pandemic threats requires global cooperation and global participation. Combined with the growing globalization of health risks and the importance of the human-animal interface in the evolution and emergence of pathogens, the only solution is a One Health approach.
In addition, this pandemic has transformed the way scientists and clinicians communicate and share information during a fast moving health crisis. This raises questions on how to deal with “infodemics” or with “bad information”; how to “evaluate” rumours; and how to ensure the benefits of rapid information sharing can outweigh the disadvantages of secrecy.
We all feel that it has never been more important to connect and come together with the One Health Community!
We had hoped to reschedule the 6th World One Health Congress “live version" later at the end of October-early November, but it appears that even then large gatherings may still be prohibited and existing travel bans for some countries may still be in place, and additionally we want to prioritize the health and safety of our faculty and attendees.
We have therefore decided to go ‘virtual’, and to make the 6th World One Health Congress a virtual congress. We are really excited about it and about its potential to allow an even greater number of One Health scientists from around the world to join us. We are aiming at having a conference of approx. 2000 participants, as research shows that by hosting the congress on line, it will increase attendance by up to 145%!
Do join us !