One health disparities and COVID-19.


The global impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately affected some communities and populations more than others. We propose that an interdisciplinary framework of 'One Health Disparities' advances understanding of the social and systemic issues that drive COVID-19 in vulnerable populations. One Health Disparities integrates the social environment with One Health perspectives on the interconnectedness of human, animal, and environmental health. To apply this framework, we consider One Health Disparities that emerge in three key components of disease transmission: exposure, susceptibility, and disease expression. Exposure disparities arise through variation in contact with COVID-19's causative agent, SARS-CoV-2. Disparities in susceptibility and disease expression also exist; these are driven by biological and social factors, such as diabetes and obesity, and through variation in access to healthcare. We close by considering how One Health Disparities informs understanding of spillback into new animal reservoirs, and what this might mean for further human health disparities.

One Health focuses on interconnections between human, animal, and environmental health. We propose that social environments are also important to One Health and help illuminate disparities in the coronavirus pandemic, including its origins, transmission and susceptibility among humans, and spillback to other species. We call this framework One Health Disparities.

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