Two new important reports on zoonotic diseases
05 July 2012
Tags: One Health, economics, zoonoses
Source: World Bank, ILRI
Two new important reports on zoonotic diseases and options to address them (‘One Health’) have been published online. Both of them list the World Bank/TAFS livestock disease atlas in their references, underlining the usefulness of our work.
The reports will be presented in detail at the next TAFS meeting.
- Mapping of poverty and likely zoonoses hotspots; International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI, Kenya), Institute of Zoology (UK), Hanoi School of Public Health (Vietnam).
Selected key findings:
There is a strong association between poverty, hunger, livestock keeping, and zoonoses.
- Across a range of zoonoses burden, poverty burden, and reliance on livestock, the hotspots for poverty, emerging livestock systems and zoonoses are (in decreasing order of importance): South Asia, East and Central Africa, South East Asia, West Africa
- Endemic zoonoses … are responsible for the great majority of human cases of illness (estimate: 99.9%) and deaths (estimate 96%) as well as the greatest reduction in livestock production. Examples are: brucellosis, leptospirosis, and salmonellosis.
- Outbreak or epidemic zoonoses such as anthrax, rabies, Rift Valley fever, and, leishmaniasis are much more sporadic in temporal and spatial distribution than endemic zoonoses but may be more feared because of their unpredictability and in some cases, severity. They are often present in neglected populations with poor health services and infrastructure.
- Emerging zoonoses newly appear in a population or have existed previously but are rapidly increasing in incidence or geographical range. Many occur as outbreaks. They are relatively rare, around 300 events in the last 70 years. Most are of minimal impact, but historically, emerging diseases have been responsible for massive impacts (e.g. HIV AIDS).
- Massive under-reporting constrains our ability to understand and prevent disease.
- People, Pathogens, and Our Planet; Volume 2: The Economics of One Health; World Bank Report No. 69145-GLB; 2012.
Selected key findings:
The economic losses from six major outbreaks of highly fatal zoonoses between 1997 and 2009 amounted to at least US$80 billion.1 If these outbreaks had been prevented, the benefits of the avoided losses would have averaged $6.7 billion per year.
Potential losses resulting from a severe influenza pandemic, for instance, that leads to 71 million human fatalities would be US$3 trillion, or 4.8 percent of the global GDP.
Because surveillance, diagnosis, and control of zoonotic disease take place at the interface between animals and humans, systematic communication and substantial coordination between human, wildlife, and veterinary health services is an important practical necessity. And this communication and coordination also needs to extend to those services that monitor food safety.
The annual funding needs to bring the major zoonotic disease prevention and control system in developing countries up to OIE and WHO standards—which are referred to as “One Health systems” in this report—range from US$1.9 billion to US$3.4 billion, depending on whether the risk of disease prevalence is low or high.
The required investments in One Health systems are modest when compared to the costs of diseases of zoonotic origin that had unfortunately not been controlled at their animal source before they spread in humans.
A cost-benefit analysis, which corrects for the very low probability of pandemics, shows that benefits far exceed costs in all plausible scenarios.
If a realistic assessment of pandemic risks is the main driving force behind implementing One Health, this approach will also reduce the large number of local epidemics arising from zoonoses. This will cause a substantial welfare gain, especially for marginalized poor people.
Key findings may be misinterpreted out of context. Studying the entire reports is recommended.
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