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Animal-to-human contact key to emerging diseases

A visit to the local health clinic might be beneficial for health reporters investigating animal-borne diseases, according to one panelist at the Association of Health Care Journalists conference in Seattle.

Health officials might not have a clue about how they would react to the outbreak of any number of diseases that are harmful to farm animals or humans, said William Davenhall, a global marketing manager with the computer mapping company ESRI.

"That would be an interesting story," he said during the April 18 panel on "Tracking animal-borne diseases." He noted: "Being prepared does not does not mean you are ready."

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