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Flu Outbreak: There's More Than One Doctor in the House
Date:5/4/2009

SCHAUMBURG, Ill., May 4 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Physicians aren't the only ones on the front lines of the 2009 H1N1 flu outbreak. Veterinarians play an important role, too.

Whether they're conducting research or serving as "disease detectives" at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, playing a critical role in state and local health departments or ensuring the health of our domestic swine herds by continuing to give regular vaccinations against influenza and increasing biosurveillance and security measures on farms, veterinarians are in the middle of the action when it comes to identifying and helping control the H1N1 flu.

"Veterinary medicine is so much more than giving vaccinations to pets," says Dr. Faye Sorhage, president of the National Association of State Public Health Veterinarians and the New Jersey state public health veterinarian. "When you look at all the new, emerging diseases, there are so many that are zoonotic in origin that require the expertise of both physicians and veterinarians. That's what's happening today. These experts are working side-by-side on this flu virus."

And that's a good thing for all involved, says Dr. Russell Currier, the executive vice president of the American College of Veterinary Preventive Medicine, the professional organization responsible for certifying veterinary specialists who work in food animal health and public health.

"This new outbreak shows that we have emerging infectious diseases that can spread very quickly," he said. "It took Magellan three years to circumnavigate the globe, but you can do it now in a day."

Sorhage echoes those concerns.

"Globalization is adding to our concerns, which makes increased surveillance, detection, testing and research, especially when it comes to these new viruses and zoonotic diseases, so important," she said. "The situatio
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SOURCE American Veterinary Medical Association
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