Prof. David Waltner-Toews

University of Guelph professor emeritus David Waltner-Toews appear on TVO’s The Agenda with Nam Kiwanuka to discuss his new book, On Pandemics: Deadly Diseases from Bubonic Plague to Coronavirus.

The 30-minute discussion examined why the COVID-19 pandemic was predictable, why there’s been an increase of zoonotic disease, how the handling of past pandemics compares to this one, and what needs to change in the long term.

Waltner-Toews, who worked as an epidemiologist, veterinarian and researcher in U of G’s Ontario Veterinary College, wrote On Pandemics in 2007 with the title: Chickens Fight Back: Pandemic Panics and Deadly Diseases that Jump from Animals to Humans.

But he recently completed a new edition that includes a chapter on the likely origins of COVID-19, as well as details of the 2003 SARS epidemic and an outbreak of Nipah virus in the late 1990s.

The book examines human health threats posed by various zoonotic diseases and how a One Health approach that consider the wider ecological factors behind zoonotic disease might help prevent future infectious outbreaks.

Watch the episode below: