November 5 was a great day for doing your civic duty. If you were near Arlington, Virginia, you could stop by your polling place to vote and then head to George Mason University (GMU) for a panel discussion. The discussion, co-sponsored by the GMU Next Gen Global Health Security Network and the GMU Biodefense Discussion Group, centered on the One Health concept, a “collaborative, multisectoral, and transdisciplinary approach” with “the goal of achieving optimal health outcomes recognizing the interconnection between people, animals, plants, and their shared environment.” While One Health is not a new concept, humanity’s increasing interconnectedness makes it ever more relevant. For example, as humans expand into new geographic areas, they come into closer contact with animals, increasing the risk of zoonotic disease spread. Additionally, habitat disruptions—whether caused by farming practices, deforestation, or climate change—can provide novel ways for diseases to pass to animals and then on to humans. Successful public health policy thus requires “the cooperation of human, animal, and environmental health communities.”

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