Zoonoses and veterinary public health

Global Early Warning System for Major Animal Diseases, including Zoonoses (GLEWS)

Last reviewed/updated
30 August 2011


Disease emergence and spread do not respect geographical boundaries, and animals are often implicated as the source of human infection. Zoonotic disease management therefore requires an integrated approach that involves different sectors; mainly human, animal and food. Efficient early warning and forecasting of zoonotic disease trends through functional surveillance systems is key to effective containment and control. Early intervention during a disease epidemic often leads to better outcomes with reduced disease burden and associated economic impact.

Female farmer with hat guarding the geese
© EMRO pictorial

GLEWS is a joint system that builds on the added value of combining and coordinating alert mechanisms of the World Health Organization (WHO), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), while linking networks from the international community and stakeholders, to assist in early warning, prevention and control of animal disease threats, including zoonoses, through sharing of information of disease events, epidemiological analyses and risk assessments.

For more information visit http://www.glews.net or contact GLEWS directly via e-mail: zoonotic_alert@who.int