Zoobiquity

On Saturday November 9, 2013 I attended a seminar called Zoobiquity at Francis Parker School as a part of the Humanities festival. This seminar focused on diseases and illnesses that could be found in humans and animals alike, and how veterinarians and physicians should work together to further advance the progress in finding cures. For example, in the year 1999 a veterinarian/pathologist by the name of Tracey McNamara who was working at the Bronx zoo reported several cases of crows and exotic birds falling ill and dropping dead. Around the same time there were several people reporting to hospitals who had fallen ill. Dr. McNamara began to notice similarities in symptoms amongst the birds and humans, and thought they could be related. She then contacted the Center for Disease Control to alert them of her findings, but was turned down on several occasions. She then to took a barrel of dead birds she had collected to an army lab and found that the illness affecting both birds and humans was West Nile virus. If a physician had just taken the time to work with her the problem could have been contained and eliminated earlier. I am all for physicians and veterinarians working together and imparting knowledge upon one another, and possibly even coming up with cures to diseases or discovering new ones. There have been examples of veterinarians finding cures for diseases in animals that humans also could develop, but it was only a matter of communicating with physicians and converting it to something humans could use. Overall I found this seminar to be really eye opening. I began to question why physicians and veterinarians were not working together by the time I left.

 

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