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Zoonotic Disease Prioritization

Boy in field with cattle

Globally, the One Health Office is taking a strategic, targeted approach to control and prevent infectious diseases. For example, experts from the One Health Office lead One Health Zoonotic Disease Prioritization Workshops so that countries can focus limited resources on their top zoonotic diseases of greatest national concern. Zoonotic diseases commonly prioritized include viral hemorrhagic fevers such as Ebola virus and Rift Valley fever, zoonotic influenza viruses, rabies, and anthrax.

The first step in the One Health process is to use a multisectoral approach to prioritize endemic and emerging zoonotic diseases of major public health concern that should be jointly addressed by national-level human, animal, and environmental health sectors in a country. The CDC-developed One Health Zoonotic Disease Prioritization Tool assists countries with this process. CDC collaborates with countries and other partners to conduct One Health Zoonotic Disease Prioritization Workshops to identify a country’s top five zoonotic diseases of greatest national concern.

The One Health Zoonotic Disease Prioritization Workshop is a voluntary and collaborative process that allows countries to do the following:

  • Identify their most urgent zoonotic disease threats
  • More efficiently build lab capacity, conduct disease surveillance, plan outbreak response and preparedness activities, and create disease prevention strategies to reduce illness and death in people and animals
  • Make plans to use a One Health approach to better prevent, detect, and respond to the newly prioritized diseases
  • Engage with current and prospective partners to target resources effectively to address the priority zoonotic diseases.
  • Develop and strengthen One Health coordination mechanisms at the national level

Workshop participation can help strengthen multisectoral collaborations in a country, as participants include a wide-ranging group of partners who work to protect the health of people, animals, or the environment. Prioritizing zoonotic diseases means countries can more efficiently build laboratory capacity, conduct disease surveillance, plan outbreak response and preparedness activities, and create collaborative disease prevention strategies to reduce illness and death in people and animals. During the workshop, participants discuss next steps, roles, and responsibilities for how each sector will collaboratively engage in developing control and prevention strategies for the newly prioritized zoonotic diseases. After the workshop, CDC scientists will continue to collaborate with countries on their strategies to help mitigate their greatest zoonotic disease threats, implement and strengthen One Health approaches, and further the goal of a world safe and secure from infectious disease threats.

Country Reports

Interested in planning a One Health Zoonotic Disease Prioritization Workshop? Contact the CDC One Health Office at onehealth@cdc.gov

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