Dr. Williams traveled to the tip of Cape Cod to the Provincetown Center for Coastal Studies last week to talk on One Health, the role of the National Marine Life Center and the implications for improving the health of stranded marine animals, the environment, and human health as well. The talk was sponsored by the Community Leadership Institute of Cape Cod and the Islands and focused on the Environment of Cape Cod. The section was Marine Mammals of Cape Cod: Rescue , Rehabilitation, Research
One Health is the intersection with veterinary care and science, environmental degradation, and human health. One of the many examples involves the study of middle ear infections in seals, which are often severe and involve the bones of the skull. This infection is associated with coliform bacteria and an increase in the incidence of this disease in seals could signal environmental pollution with these bacteria. Otitis media is also a common illness in human children; complications and bone infections are rare but potentially devastating. It may the environmental role or the unique anatomy of seals which includes a flap that prevents water from entering the ear canal and also prevents drainage from infection, but seals are an excellent disease model for a human disease. By treating and studying these naturally occurring diseases we hope to benefit the seals, the environment, and human health care.