Saskatoon Ebola scare example of need for holistic view

An expert in the Department of Community Health and Epedemiology at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon believes that one of the keys to staying healthy is paying attention to what’s happening in the world around us.

U of S doctor urges human, animal and environmental experts to work together

Dr. Bruce Reeder working in Congo. (Photo courtesy Dr. Bruce Reeder)

An expert in the Department of Community Health and Epidemiology at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon believes one of the keys to staying healthy is paying attention to what’s happening in the world around us.

The University of Saskatchewan is certainly becoming a leader in this country- Dr. Bruce Reeder

Dr. Bruce Reeder is a driving force behind the One Health strategy. It urges experts in human, animal and environmental sciences to work together.  He suggests that understanding how these areas are linked is vital.

Reeder said an Ebola scare in Saskatoon this week serves as an example.

"That condition is a viral disease hosted as a reservoir in bats in Africa, transmitted incidentally to monkeys and men."

Reeder said, in fact, about 70 per cent of emerging and re-emerging diseases are shared between animals and humans.

Experts gathering in Saskatoon 

The U of S has been following the One Health model for some time in its health science fields, and it has transformed the way those disciplines are taught. For example, medical students are now asked to work with students studying veterinary medicine to understand the risks.

"The University of Saskatchewan certainly is becoming a leader in this country and in the future internationally in this whole approach."

Reeder said we should all be more aware of these links to stay healthy.

Experts in One Health are gathering this week in Saskatoon, sharing their research to broaden understanding in all health sciences.