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“International Symposium on Emerging Zoonoses – Medical and Veterinary Partnerships to address global challenges”

Atlanta , Georgia ( USA )   22-24 March 2006

The first “International Symposium on Emerging Zoonoses – Medical and Veterinary Partnerships to address global challenges” was held in Atlanta , Georgia ( USA ) from 22-24 March 2006. The Symposium was co-organized by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ( CDC ) and the World Organisation for Animal Health ( OIE ) with the strong support of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and of other international and national sponsors, as well as with the participation of the World Health Organization (WHO).

As public health and animal health organizations attempt to respond to a new era of threats linked to emerging and re-emerging zoonotic diseases, their ability and skill in forming new strategic partnerships will be paramount. Episodes of emerging zoonoses are appearing with increasing frequency and are being recognized around the world since the confluence of people, animals and animal products today is unprecedented within the context of globalisation.

The Symposium brought together public health and animal health professionals to strengthen the development of effective and co-operative partnerships to face of new microbial threats.

As the first ever collaborative event between CDC and OIE, the meeting registered the very successful participation of over 400 attendees, representing the medical and veterinary community.

While addressing the convergence of human and animal health, the threats and challenges facing human and animal health, and control and prevention strategies, the lessons learned from the past and the opportunities for the future as well as the risk management and communication, the commitment to improving the cooperation between human health and animal health sectors was identified as being the key prerogative in the control of emerging zoonoses, whether at international, regional or national level.

“Avian Influenza is a very good example of what the international community will have to face in the future in terms of animal diseases potentially transmissible to humans”, said the Director General of the OIE, Dr Bernard Vallat commenting the success of the meeting.

“The content of the presentations and the final outcome of this meeting clearly indicated the commitment from the public health and animal health community that only through an appropriate cooperation it will be able to face future emerging and re-emerging zoonoses which will certainly continue to threaten the global community” added Dr Vallat at the end of the conference.

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