Army One Health Week events show need for comprehensive public health support | Item
ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. — Army Public Health Enterprise Worldwide will participate in the 2nd annual One Health Week Nov. 2-9 with a number of events designed to show the need for support comprehensive in terms of public health.
One Health Day, held annually on November 3, is a global campaign that celebrates and draws attention to the need for a One Health approach to addressing shared threats to the human-animal-environment interface, a said Maj. Sara B. Mullaney, One Health division chief at the Army Public Health Center. The Army Veterinary Services sponsors Health Week to provide flexibility in scheduling health events at participating facilities.
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 the company’s commissaries and veterinary care facilities and collaborating at the facility level with One Health partners.
“A health-centric approach is essential for overall force protection, health promotion and disease prevention throughout the military health system,” Mullaney said. “Our mission is to support Army Chief of Staff General James McConville’s number one priority: people.”
Mullaney hopes the One Health Facility Week activities will highlight the importance of addressing the facility’s public health from a One Health perspective.
“Our communication themes for 2019 are healthy pets and safe food for healthy people,” said Heather Bayko, epidemiologist with APHC’s One Health Division.
Screening for canine tick-borne diseases will be offered free of charge to clients of participating VTFs during regular wellness and sick call appointments, while supplies last, Bayko said. The free tick-borne disease screening is an opportunity for VTF staff to educate guests on the importance of tick prevention, how to check pets daily for ticks, and how to properly remove attached ticks when identified.
“Screening for canine tick-borne diseases should be an integral part of an animal’s preventative health care,” Mullaney said. “Tick-related illnesses have increased and the number of reported tick-borne illnesses has more than doubled over the past 13 years.”
The free screening test detects antibody response to three tick-borne diseases, identifying exposure even in healthy animals, Mullaney said.
“Antibodies can persist for months or even years after exposure, so screenings can still pick up exposure in patients, even in November when we often see fewer ticks,” Mullaney said.
Another important part of this year’s campaign is to increase consumer knowledge about foodborne pathogens and how to reduce foodborne illness at home, Bayko said. 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’s 2020 campaign.
“Consumers should practice safe food handling techniques at home,” Bayko said. “It is important that consumers follow the four basic principles of safe food handling: clean, separate, cook and refrigerate.”
Bayko explained that the first principle of food handling is to wash hands and surfaces often. Then, to avoid cross-contamination of meat and products, consumers should prepare them separately. Next, food should be cooked to the correct temperature and quickly cooled or refrigerated after preparation.
Mullaney explains that communication, coordination and collaboration between partners working in animal, human and environmental health as well as other relevant partners is an essential part of the One Health approach.
Any Installation Command or Army personnel who would like to learn more about hosting and participating 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 illness, injury and disability of soldiers, military retirees, their families, veterans, civilian military employees, and animals through population-based surveillance, surveys, and technical consultations.
One Health Week 2019 milsuite website