Monday, December 1, 2014

Global animal health threatened by vector born diseases

Companies and Markets: The International Federation for Animal Health has launched a white paper on vector borne diseases and their impact on animal and human health, with the support of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The paper, which aims to assist in combating vector borne diseases to promote the better health and welfare of animals for the greater good of protecting animals and humans globally, emphasises the need to understand the diseases and to spread awareness of the most effective ways of managing and preventing them.

Vector borne diseases account for 17% of global infectious diseases with malaria the most deadly, causing an estimated 627,000 deaths annually. VBDs cause high human morbidity levels as well as large economic losses in animal production - trypanosomiasis accounts for losses of $1.2 billion a year in cattle production - and reduced animal welfare. Most statistics regarding the impact of VBDs are hard to track because cases predominantly occur in countries with little means of formal reporting or surveillance, poor diagnostic tools and consequently there is little accurate assessment of the economic impact of these diseases. The IFAH's paper looks to close the gaps in knowledge of VBDs and present solutions for combating the problem.

Global animal health is set to be impacted for years to come as the IFAH reports the difficulties in combating diseases that are constantly changing, affected by climate change which influences vector spread and habitat change by humans introducing wetlands or changing their patters of the transportation of goods, humans, livestock, and companion animals. The most influential and dangerous factor limiting the prevention of vector borne disease is insecticide resistance and farmers must be aware of the need to manage the spread of VBDs through a combination of insecticides and physical barriers....

Edward Hicks' 1848 painting, "The Cornell Farm"

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