Tribune. “I, who am so little doctor, so little veterinarian …”, declared Louis Pasteur, on February 12, 1880, astonished to be both a member of the National Academy of Medicine and now of the Central Society of Veterinary Medicine, ancestor of the Veterinary Academy of France, which welcomed him for give a communication. But “Science is one”, he added, and ” it is only man who, because of the weakness of his intelligence, establishes categories in it “.
Besides that of Louis Pasteur (1822-1895), France is the country of René Descartes (1596-1650), of Claude Bernard (1813-1878), founder of experimental medicine, as well as of Claude Bourgelat (1712-1779) , founder of the first veterinary schools. So many personalities who, in their own way, have challenged the too rigid silos of knowledge and whose attitude should inspire us in the face of the current health challenge.
Even if the health situation due to the coronavirus is not unprecedented in view of the 1969 pandemic (Hong Kong flu, 40,000 deaths in France, one million worldwide), the current pandemic demonstrates the need to learn lessons from this crisis to build a global approach based on the “One Health” concept combining human health, health of livestock and crops and health of ecosystems.
Continuum between animals and humans
The Covid-19 pandemic has brought back to the fore the close links that exist between these different types of health and the continuum between animals and humans. Over 75% of human pathogens are derived from animals. Coronaviruses, which are widespread in the animal kingdom, are one of the diseases transmissible from animals to humans (zoonoses). For veterinarians, coronaviruses are everyday enemies and their expertise in this area and in the manufacture of anti-coronavirus vaccines should have been more exploited.
Certainly, veterinarians and ecologists have been present in human medicine research teams, a significant mobilization of practicing veterinarians has resulted in the supply of materials to resuscitation units and consumables for hospitals and healthcare establishments. accommodation for dependent elderly people (Ehpad), and authorization was finally given to manufacturers and veterinary laboratories to produce PCR tests and carry out large-scale analyzes. But the veterinary sciences should have been more involved in the spirit of the concept of multidisciplinary global health.
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