Much of the disease found in the animal kingdom can be passed on to humans. Zoonotic bugs as they are called are responsible for considerable transmission of harmful disease to us. Many of the diseases we currently face are zoonotic.  Animals like bats, prairie dog, birds, mosquitos, ticks and camels all are sources of harmful disease to humans. The cost in lives is well-documented. The negative economic impact is massive, reaching into the billions of dollars.

The One Health approach recognizes that the health of people and animals is very closely related, not a new concept but one that has become increasingly relevant in the recent past. Corona viruses bring this concept to light. Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus (PEDV), Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) are among the many zoonotic-based disease outbreaks in recent years that demonstrate the connection between animal disease and human health. Today we will examine some of the data, studies and research that show the aforementioned connections.

PixabayPEDV is thought to have moved from China on cargo packaging materials and strapping. This bug devastated the porcine industry and cost billions of dollars. This particular corona virus strain can live on surfaces and travel through the air. Below you can read more.

Porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV): An update on etiology, transmission, pathogenesis, and prevention and control

Evidence of infectivity of airborne porcine epidemic diarrhea virus and detection of airborne viral RNA at long distances from infected herds

Mechanical transmission of porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus throughout a coordinated sequence of events during cold weather

SARS is another corona virus that moved from China, impacting lives and economies around the world.   The cost in lives and dollars was staggering.  SARS was the first pandemic of the 21st Century that allowed scientists to start on a vaccine for the virus. Below you can read more about the history and present implications.

SARS, the First Pandemic of the 21st Century


A review of studies on animal reservoirs of the SARS coronavirus

Evidence of Airborne Transmission of the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Virus

MERS is yet another corona virus that has made a global impact, this one originating in Saudi Arabia.  This bug has impacted Hajj attendance.  MERS also hopped on a plane, moving the bug to South Korea with devastating impact on several hospitals in Pyeontaek City, South Korea. A more extensive look at MERS and its impact can be found at the links below.

“Your Health Essential for Your Hajj”: Muslim pilgrims’ knowledge, attitudes and practices regarding Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) during Hajj season


MERS-CoV outbreak following a single patient exposure in an emergency room in South Korea: an epidemiological outbreak study