Cooling off health security hot spots: getting on top of it down under

Murray, Kris A., Skerratt, Lee F., Speare, Rick, Ritchie, Scott, Smout, Felicity, Hedlefs, Robert, and Lee, Jonathan (2012) Cooling off health security hot spots: getting on top of it down under. Environment International, 48. pp. 56-64.

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Abstract

Australia is free of many diseases, pests and weeds found elsewhere in the world due to its geographical isolation and relatively good health security practices. However, its health security is under increasing pressure due to a number of ecological, climatic, demographic and behavioural changes occurring globally. North Queensland is a high risk area (a health security hot spot) for Australia, due in part to its connection to neighbouring countries via the Torres Strait and the Indo-Papuan conduit, its high diversity of wildlife reservoirs and its environmental characteristics. Major outbreaks of exotic diseases, pests and weeds in Australia can cost in excess of $1 billion; however, most expenditure on health security is reactive apart from preventive measures undertaken for a few high profile diseases, pests and weeds. Large gains in health security could therefore be made by spending more on pre-emptive approaches to reduce the risk of outbreaks, invasion/spread and establishment, despite these gains being difficult to quantify. Although biosecurity threats may initially have regional impacts (e.g. Hendra virus), a break down in security in health security hot spots can have national and international consequences, as has been seen recently in other regions with the emergence of SARS and pandemic avian influenza. Novel approaches should be driven by building research and management capacity, particularly in the regions where threats arise, a model that is applicable both in Australia and in other regions of the world that value and therefore aim to improve their strategies for maintaining health security.

Item ID: 24180
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: biosecurity, environmental health, one health, conservation medicine, emerging infectious diseases, invasive species
ISSN: 1873-6750
Date Deposited: 05 Dec 2012 05:26
FoR Codes: 07 AGRICULTURAL AND VETERINARY SCIENCES > 0707 Veterinary Sciences > 070704 Veterinary Epidemiology @ 50%
11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111799 Public Health and Health Services not elsewhere classified @ 50%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9604 Control of Pests, Diseases and Exotic Species > 960401 Border Biosecurity (incl. Quarantine and Inspection) @ 30%
92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920404 Disease Distribution and Transmission (incl. Surveillance and Response) @ 30%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9604 Control of Pests, Diseases and Exotic Species > 960499 Control of Pests, Diseases and Exotic Species not elsewhere classified @ 40%
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