Diseases that Plague People, Animals Focus of New OVC Book

April 30, 2014 - News Release

West Nile virus. Ebola virus. Tuberculosis. Rabies. All are diseases found in animals but that have infected humans – sometimes with devastating consequences. A new book from Ontario Veterinary College (OVC) examining humans’ relationship with animals, the diseases they share and how those diseases affect the environment will launch on May 4.

Sick!Sick! Curious Tales of Pests and Parasites We Share With Animals includes short stories focusing on zoonoses, or infectious diseases transferred between humans and animals. The book launch will be part of the opening of University of Guelph’s Global Development Symposium 2014: Critical Connections Between Human and Animal Health. The symposium is one of several events this year to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the University of Guelph.

Edited by OVC dean Elizabeth Stone and Prof. Cate Dewey, Population Medicine, the book features contributions from veterinarians, including several OVC alumni, who share their experiences with zoonoses from around the world. Authors include U of G president Alastair Summerlee; Brian Evans, former chief veterinary officer of Canada and an OVC grad; and OVC professor emeritus David Waltner-Toews, founding president of Veterinarians without Borders.

Stone, who wrote about how flea bites on a couple in New Mexico led to bubonic plague and a leg amputation in New York City, said the book is valuable for those interested in human and animal health and well-being.

“This book looks at many current diseases, such as anthrax, E. coli and the avian flu, to see the history behind them. These stories offer insight into how veterinarians solve medical mysteries, lessons learned on the front line of disease, and the role veterinarians play in keeping us all safe. Each story is told in a clear, engaging and easy-to-understand manner.”

Other stories focus on the discovery of West Nile virus and Ebola virus, the control of tuberculosis and rabies and the passage of mad cow disease. The book includes original line drawings to help readers understand the sometimes complicated travels of bacteria, viruses and parasites.

Sick! shows people and animals are truly connected by the company they keep,” said Stone.

“Some of these stories are funny, others are sad, and a few are terrifying. Readers will see their homes, environments and animals in their lives in a whole new light.”

The book launch will take place at 7 p.m. on May 4 at the Macdonald Stewart Art Centre. All are welcome to attend without registering for the symposium. More details on the symposium are available at gds2014.ca.

Sick! Curious Tales of Pests and Parasites We Share With Animals will be available for purchase online May 4 at amazon.ca.

For more information:
Jane Dawkins
Marketing Communications Officer
Ontario Veterinary College (OVC)
519-824-4120, Ext. 53306

For media questions, contact Communications and Public Affairs: Lori Bona Hunt, 519-824-4120, Ext. 53338, or lhunt@uoguelph.ca; or Kevin Gonsalves, Ext. 56982, or kgonsalves@uoguelph.ca.

University of Guelph
50 Stone Road East
Guelph, Ontario, N1G 2W1