Libraries host pet health days
VERMONT — One Health is the concept recognizing that human health, animal health and the health of the environment are closely interrelated and thus should often be considered as a whole. The first celebration of One Health Day was this past Thursday, Nov. 3.
One Health Day is an international campaign aimed at bringing attention to the need for a One Health approach to tackle many of today’s pressing health challenges.
The Vermont Veterinary Medical Association (VVMA) partnered with local libraries to celebrate the first One Health Day. About fifteen public libraries around the state presented special displays of books on One Health topics. These books, on loan from the VVMA, are available for circulation to library patrons. Displays will continue for varying times throughout the year.
Examples of One Health Topics:
· Diseases spread from animals to people, called zoonoses, are a One Health topic. Rabies is an example of a zoonotic disease. Each year, 25 to 50 animals in Vermont are found to have rabies.
· Emerging diseases shared by humans and animals are another One Health topic. About three-quarters of human diseases emerging in the last 30 years have originated in animals. Examples include Ebola, AIDS, Hanta, SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) and MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome). All these viruses cause serious human disease and many of them have been responsible for devastating disease outbreaks.
· Areas beyond infectious disease also fall under the broad One Health umbrella. The human animal bond is recognized as providing health benefits across a spectrum of human conditions. Pet ownership has been shown to improve physical health of cardiac and cancer patients alike, while animal-assisted therapy (AAT) has gained widespread recognition for its beneficial effects for children with autism. AAT is also now being used in many other ways such as reading dogs (improving children’s reading skills through reading aloud to dogs) and canine advocacy programs (dogs helping calm child victims while in the criminal justice system).
Participating libraries included Essex Free Library, Burnham Memorial (Colchester), Pierson (Shelburne), Dorothy Alling (Williston), Milton Public Library, Kellogg Hubbard (Montpelier), Baldwin Memorial (Wells River), Barnet Public Library, St. Johnsbury Athenaeum, Jones Memorial (Orleans), Goodrich Memorial (Newport), Barton and Glover Public Libraries and Manchester Community Library.
You can also visit the VVMA website at www.vtvets.org for your own reading list of One Health books and to learn more about One Health.