Finding Outbreaks Faster: Metrics for One Health Surveillance

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Oct 30, 2019
by Salzburg Global Seminar
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Finding Outbreaks Faster: Metrics for One Health Surveillance

Specialists convene in Salzburg to determine outbreak milestones relevant to animal, wildlife, and environmental sectors Photo by Christine Wehrmeier on Unsplash

Following a successful program last year which resulted in eight “outbreak milestones” designed to enable health agencies to track the timeliness of outbreak detection, verification, response, and related measures, Ending Pandemics is returning to Salzburg this week with a new goal in mind.

Starting on Wednesday afternoon, a multidisciplinary group of experts will meet for the latest program co-organized by Salzburg Global Seminar and Ending Pandemics: Finding Outbreaks Faster: Metrics for One Health Surveillance.

What is “One Health?” One Health is a collaborative, multisectoral, and transdisciplinary approach that identifies the health of people is connected to the health of animals and the environment. This approach has the goal of achieving optimal health outcomes recognizing the interconnection between people, animals, plants, and their shared environment.

Diseases of animals that can infect humans, otherwise known as “zoonoses,” are a growing concern. Approximately, 60 percent of existing human pathogens and more than 75 percent of those that have appeared during the past two decades can be traced back to animals, according to the World Organisation for Animal Health.

Ending Pandemic’s aim in Salzburg is to extend the concept of outbreak milestones used to generate timeliness metrics into the realms off livestock, wildlife, vector-borne diseases, and environmental drivers of disease outbreaks.

This program will build on last year’s success where participants from 26 organizations shaped and define “outbreak milestones,” which can be used to calculate a series of timeliness metrics, for use by both public health agencies and other interested organizations.

Over the next four days, participants from around the world will engage in candid dialogue and fresh thinking in the retreat-like setting of Schloss Leopoldskron. Expected outcomes of the program include:

  • Defining outbreak milestones relevant to animal, wildlife, and the environmental sectors which can generate timeliness metrics.
  • Map out concrete steps to overcome identified barriers for adoption of One Health timeliness metrics.
  • Develop guidance and implementation plans to support organizations continually seeking improvement in timeliness to adopt the metrics for tracking performance.

The Salzburg Global Seminar Program, Metrics for One Health Surveillance, is part of the Finding Outbreaks Faster multi-year series. This series and program is held in partnership with Ending Pandemics.