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SAFOSO supported a project led by the University of Florida to assess the resilience of state, national, and public veterinary services globally and to investigate the changes in networks of existing collaborations in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, there is increased attention on the benefits of collaboration across sectors for emergency preparedness in a One Health context.
The COVID-19 pandemic has clearly shown that management of infectious diseases requires a top-down approach which must be complemented with a bottom-up response to be effective and efficient.
The African Swine Fever (ASF) pandemic is continuing to create challenges globally as the virus spreads to more and more countries: for many of the remaining ASF-free countries, it is no longer a question of “if” but “when” ASF will be introduced. Thailand and Italy confirmed ASF for the first time this month. In Thailand, it was officially recognized as the first outbreak in a slaughterhouse despite speculation that ASF had been present in Thailand for at least several weeks (Reuters, 2022a). In Italy, it was detected in wild boars for the first time on the mainland since1983 (Reuters, 2022b; Danzetta et al., 2020). While the source of the infection is unknown at this time, ASF virus is known to travel long distances due in large part to human behavior, as the virus persists for long periods in pork products and in the environment.
The number of cases of avian influenza in birds and in people globally this season is higher than usual and particularly concerning due to the associated risks to poultry industries and human health. Outbreaks were reported in birds in 41 countries across Europe and Asia within six months between May and November 2021, some of which were of subtypes that have zoonotic potential (OIE, 2021a). And the season is still ongoing. The World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) calls the genetic variability of subtypes "unprecedented” that creates “an epidemiologically challenging landscape" (OIE, 2021a).