How Monitoring Animal Health Can Predict Human Disease Outbreaks

What does the health of a region's animal population say about the health of the local humans? More than you'd think, argues Tracey McNamara. As an expert in zoonotics -- the study of diseases that can be transmitted between animals and humans -- McNamara explains how paying attention to animal disease patterns could have predicted events like the 1999 West Nile Virus outbreak and stresses the need for global health agencies to start monitoring animals just as closely as they do people.