I’m going through my daily routine at the office when I read an article on the FAO website, FAO crisis centre experts in South Korea studying risk of avian flu spread. This is good news with the ever increasing risk of spreading bird flu (scientists still have to establish how this zoonotic disease spread).
I read on to see what’s the composition of the team.
The CMC team includes international and Korean veterinary epidemiologists, wildlife veterinarians, biologists and poultry specialists who will pay particular attention to the relationships between poultry production, marketing and wildlife sectors to gather information that is necessary to better understand potential disease movement among chickens and risks to or from wild birds. The team will be looking at any wild bird deaths on infected farms or adjacent wetlands, as well as collecting environmental samples that may lead to a better understanding of disease emergence in the area.
After reading this, I thought that the touted multidisciplinary team should have included at least a social scientist/anthropologist. They might be able to explain the spread of the disease from one farm to another as the disease spread involves people.
They would have completed a holistic approach in dealing with the disease. Most veterinarians still has to acknowledge that there is a people face in the epidemiology of animal diseases. In the case of bird flu, people are dying and how people and animals interact and spread the disease should also be investigated. This is not an exclusive veterinary medicine affair. I think one should look into integrating social science vetmed, i.e., the holistic approach in animal health (well, what is it? watch out for my posts).
It’s a pity that sometimes, we at the regional offices, and in this case at the international level, sometimes don’t get things done quite precisely than we should (when it’s what’s expected from us!). Well, for now, I’ll contribute whatever I can on my end.