The "One Health" concept recognizes the interconnectivity between the health of animals, people, and the environment. Dr. Calvin Schwabe coined the term “One Health” in his book, Veterinary Medicine and Human Health in 1964.
One Health is devoted to achieving optimal health outcomes for people and animals through collaborative problem solving. One Health issues span many subjects including zoonotic diseases, antimicrobial resistance, food safety and food security, vector-borne diseases, environmental contamination, and other health threats shared by people, animals, and the environment.
This perspective has been recognized and supported by international organizations like the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), national agencies like the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as well as experts across many professions.
The Texas Animal Health Commission supports a One Health approach and is committed to collaborating with local and national partners to protect Texas livestock and public health, ensure a safe, wholesome food supply, and further encourage responsible stewardship of natural resources.
Zoonoses are diseases and infections that are naturally transmitted between animals and humans. At least 60% of all human pathogens are zoonotic, as well as 75% of recent emerging infectious diseases affecting humans. Pathogens may be bacteria, viruses, fungi, or parasites, and can spread by contact with animals or contaminated environment/objects, by insect or arthropod vectors, or through food.Zoonotic diseases include, but are not limited to:
- Influenza: swine, equine, avian, as well as others
- SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19)
- Brucellosis: bovine, swine and melitensis
- West Nile Virus as well as other arboviruses
- Food-borne pathogens including Salmonella, Escherichia coli, as well as others
While the TAHC's mission is the animal health portion of the One Health initiative, partners such as the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS), responds to human health.