Published on May 1, 2004 at 4:31 AM
Because zoonoses are diseases that affect animals and have the potential to infect humans, many of the measures essential to reducing the risk to human health must be taken by sectors beyond public health, such as agricultural or environmental authorities.
"WHO seeks to protect global public health," says Dr François Meslin, WHO Coordinator for Zoonoses Control. "As recent outbreaks have demonstrated, inter-sectoral and inter-disciplinary cooperation is crucial to ensuring that international public health is not compromised."
For WHO and its partners, the consultation aims to provide guidance in strengthening capacity of countries and that of the international community to collect and share information across many sectors. "Identifying the next zoonotic disease of international public health importance will not be easy," says Dr Meslin, "We hope that the consultation will provide new tools that may make this possible in the near future."