Eehvinfo.com: A Model for Using the Internet to Communicate Recent Advances in Emerging Infectious Diseases
American Association of Zoo Veterinarians Conference 2011
Jonathan M. Cracknell1, BVMS, CertVA, CertZooMed, MRCVS; Daryl Hoffman2; Debbie Olson3; Andrew Smith4; Lauren Howard2, DVM, DACZM; Jeff Stanton5, DVM; Gary Hayward6, PhD; Erin Latimer7, MS
1Longleat Safari and Adventure Park, Longleat, Warminster, Wiltshire, England; 2Houston Zoo, Inc., Houston, TX, USA; 3International Elephant Foundation, Azle, TX, USA; 4Memphis Zoo, Memphis, TN, USA; 5Center for Comparative Medicine, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX, USA; 6Viral Oncology Program, John Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, USA; 7Smithsonian’s National Zoo, Washington, DC, USA
Emerging infectious diseases, such as elephant endotheliotropic herpes virus (EEHV), are an important part of conservation medicine and the veterinary management of in situ and ex situ conservation programmes. Advances in knowledge and management of these diseases currently rely on updates through journals, conference proceedings, and summaries in textbooks. However, due to the lag phase between submission, acceptance, and publication, the time from submission to publication can be up to two years. Textbooks are often out-of-date at the time of publication and do not take into account current advances in veterinary management. Using electronic media, information can be communicated as it occurs. However, managing the quality and reliability of such information is difficult and results in a challenge for a clinician looking for internet-based resources.
Eehvinfo.com represents a novel concept that marries together epidemiologists, virologists, veterinarians, elephant managers, researchers, and interested lay professionals. At the 7th Annual International EEHV workshop it was clear that clinicians were not aware of certain advances in the management of EEHV. As a result, a web-based resource was created with the aim to provide a peer-reviewed website dedicated to communicating current information on all aspects of EEHV to both veterinarians, animal husbandry staff, and any other interested parties that care for both captive and wild elephant species.