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Context: The World Health Organization (WHO) has formed a high-level expert panel ‘One Health’ to study the emergence and spread of zoonotic diseases like H5N1, avian influenza, MERS, Ebola, Zika and possibly the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Terms of reference: 1. The panel will advise global agencies on how future outbreaks, especially due to zoonotic diseases, can be averted. 2. It will also develop a surveillance framework and global action plan for the same. Background: Zoonotic diseases — pathogenic infections that transmit from animals to humans — have triggered pandemics in past as well. Three of every four infectious diseases are caused by zoonosis. Scientists across the world suspect COVID-19 is also a zoonosis. What is the OneHealth concept? 1. One Health is the collaborative efforts of multiple disciplines working locally, nationally, and globally, to attain optimal health for people, animals and our environment, as defined by the One Health Initiative Task Force. 2. One Health model facilitates interdisciplinary approach in disease control so as to control emerging and existing zoonotic threats. What are zoonotic diseases? The word ‘Zoonosis’ (Pleural: Zoonoses) was introduced by Rudolf Virchow in 1880 to include collectively the diseases shared in nature by man and animals. 1. Later WHO in 1959 defined that Zoonoses are those diseases and infections which are naturally transmitted between vertebrate animals and man. 2. Zoonoses may be bacterial, viral, or parasitic, or may involve unconventional agents. Concerns: As well as being a public health problem, many of the major zoonotic diseases prevent the efficient production of food of animal origin and create obstacles to international trade in animal products. Sources: Down to Earth.