Australia funds training of “animal disease detectives”

Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade will fund a AUD4.3 million (US$2.8 million) project training a group of “animal disease detectives” in 11 countries and territories in Southeast Asia and the Pacific, including Vietnam.

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Illustrative image (Photo: Internet)

According to Associate Professor Navneet Dhand from the University of Sydney’s Marie Bashir Institute for Infectious Diseases and Biosecurity and School of Veterinary Science, the majority of emerging infectious diseases, such as coronaviruses, are zoonotic diseases.

Transferred from animals to humans, zoonotic diseases are increasing in frequency due to a range of factors, including population growth, urbanisation, human encroachment into wild habitats, and increasing global air travel, he said.

In order to protect humans from such diseases, he emphasised the need to look for pathogens and disease in domestic animals and wildlife before they spread to the human population.

The programme will develop the capacity for early intervention in the investigation and management of animal disease outbreaks in the Asia-Pacific region, helping to halt the spread of trans-boundary diseases.

VNA