Infectious diseases are pathologies caused by microbial agents that can be transmitted from one host to another. An epidemic occurs when a disease spreads very rapidly, and numerous cases arise in a given geographic area. Besides causing serious consequences for animal health, veterinary epidemics can also result in substantial financial losses for the food industry.

Furthermore, some diseases might have zoonotic potential, and be transmitted to humans. For these reasons, epidemics in the veterinary sector can become serious emergencies, which require the implementation of extraordinary measures to prevent the disease from further spreading and revert the situation to normal.

An introduction on how veterinary epidemic emergencies are managed by institutional and private actors in this video produced by the Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale delle Venezie (IZSVe), an Italian health authority and research organization in the fields of animal health, food safety and zoonoses.