Pandemic Preparedness and the One Health Approach : [plenary talk]

Seventy-five percent of newly emerging infectious diseases of humans originate from an animal reservoir. This also applies to pandemics started by either direct or indirect spill-over of pathogens from animals to humans including recent COVID-19 and mpox crises. To decrease the risk of future pandemics and to be better prepared, the triad ‘prevention – preparedness – response’ has been the focus of current activities. Whereas preparedness and response set in after an initial infection event has occurred, prevention of spillover as recently defined by the One Health High Level Expert Panel (OHHLEP) tries to reduce the frequency of these events by identification and modulation of risky interfaces that provide opportunities for zoonotic pathogen transmission. ‘One Health’ recognizes the interdependence of human, animal and ecosystem health and uses a transsectoral, interdisciplinary way forward in a holistic approach. It is proactive rather than reactive by applying the HACCP concept for risk reduction. However, the plethora of initiatives often lacking inter-organizational and trans-sectoral coordination pose a challenge for focusing on those control points whose modulation could make a difference in future pandemic prevention.


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