By Mr. Douglas Holl (USAPHC)October 31, 2019
ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. -- The Army Public Health Enterprise around the globe will be participating in the 2nd Annual One Health Week Nov. 2-9 with a number of events intended to showcase the need for comprehensive public health support.
One Health Day, held annually Nov. 3, is a global campaign that celebrates and brings attention to the need for a One Health Approach to address shared threats at the human-animal-environment interface, said Maj. Sara B. Mullaney, One Health division chief at the Army Public Health Center. Army Veterinary Services sponsors One Health Week to give flexibility in scheduling One Health events at participating installations.
In 2018, 14 Public Health Activities participated in One Health Week, providing wellness discounts to more than 2,000 veterinary patients, setting up educational displays in commissaries and veterinary treatment facilities across the Enterprise, and collaborating at the installation level with One Health partners.
"A One Health-centric approach is essential in the overall protection of the force, promotion of health and the prevention of disease across the Military Health System," said Mullaney. "Our mission is to support Army Chief of Staff Gen. James McConville's number one priority--people."
Mullaney hopes installation One Health Week activities will highlight the importance of approaching installation public health from a One Health perspective.
"Our 2019 communication themes are healthy companion animals and safe food equals healthy people," said Heather Bayko, an epidemiologist in APHC's One Health Division.
Canine tickborne disease screening will be offered to clients at participating VTFs at no cost during regularly scheduled wellness and sick call appointments, while supplies last, said Bayko. Providing no-cost tickborne disease screening serves as an opportunity for VTF personnel to educate clients on the importance of tick prevention, how to check animals for ticks daily, and how to properly remove attached ticks when identified.
"Canine tickborne disease screening should be a routine part of an animal's preventive health care," said Mullaney. "Tick-related diseases have increased, and the number of reported tick-borne diseases have more than doubled in the last 13 years."
The no-cost screening test detects antibody response to three tick-transmitted diseases, identifying exposure even in healthy animals, said Mullaney.
"Antibodies can persist for months and even years after exposure, so screenings can still detect exposure in patients, even in November, when we often see less ticks," said Mullaney.
Another important element of this year's campaign is increasing consumer knowledge about foodborne pathogens and how to reduce foodborne illness at home, said Bayko. One Health Week 2019 focuses on Campylobacter and Salmonella, two of the foodborne pathogens targeted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Healthy People 2020 campaign.
"Consumers should practice safe food handling techniques at home," said Bayko. "It is important for consumers to follow the four basic principles of safe food handling--clean, separate, cook and chill."
Bayko explained the first food handling principle is washing hands and surfaces often. Next, to prevent cross-contamination of meat and produce consumers should prepare them separately. Then, foods need to be cooked to the right temperature and promptly chilled or refrigerated following preparation.
Mullaney explains communication, coordination and collaboration among partners working in animal, human and environmental health as well as other relevant partners are an essential part of the One Health Approach.
Any installation command or Army personnel that are interested in learning more about how to host and participate in One Health Week 2019 events should visit the One Health Week milSuite site at, https://www.milsuite.mil/book/docs/DOC-614956.
The Army Public Health Center focuses on promoting healthy people, communities, animals and workplaces through the prevention of disease, injury and disability of Soldiers, military retirees, their families, veterans, Army civilian employees, and animals through population-based monitoring, investigations, and technical consultations.