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WVMA Member Presents at UW Department of Pediatrics Grand Rounds

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On March 9, Wisconsin Veterinary Medical Association Member, Dr. Keith Poulsen spoke at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health Department of Pediatrics Grand Rounds. His talk titled, "Is 'I grew up on a farm' Enough to Protect your Patients from Zoonotic Disease?", was a part of the WVMA's Public Health and Food Safety Committee's goal to educate human doctors on the One Health model.

"The talk was relevant for the group because it focused on zoonotic disease" says Dr. Poulsen, who has a split appointment at the School of Veterinary Medicine and Wisconsin Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory. "The pediatrics department is a great place to start sharing information because children are at a higher risk for infections of zoonotic and foodborne disease compared to adults."

Grand Rounds is held weekly and the audience consists of people from the Department of Pediatrics at UW Health including medical students, residents, fellows, and attending clinicians from UW Hospital, St. Mary's Hospital, and Meriter Hospital.

Dr. Poulsen's presentation focused on two specific diseases, salmonella and listeria.

"Many times physicians see these diseases and know they are related to contact with animals or animal products, but they don't always totally understand the background of why this occurs," says Dr. Poulsen. "I spent a significant amount of time explaining why kids are exposed and what things like dairy bull calves and silage are."

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), "pediatricians are asked to consider animal-related issues in daily practice by taking a history of animal contact and consulting and collaborating with local veterinarians."

Speaking at Grand Rounds is one way to encourage relationships and contacts within the two medical fields.

There were three take home messages for Dr. Poulsen's presentation:

1) Just because you live on a farm, doesn't mean you are immune from zoonotic pathogens;
2) Less than 10 percent of children grow up on farms compared to over 50 percent of their grandparents and great grandparents, so they don't have exposure immunity; and
3) Use the WVMA and Wisconsin veterinarians as a resource for your practice.

Dr. Poulsen's presentation has opened the door for future One Health interactions and the WVMA has been invited to present again in the future.

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