The National Center for Foreign Animal and Zoonotic Disease Defense (the FAZD Center) will open its new headquarters to the public on Wednesday Sept. 3 from noon to 1:30 p.m. in the Donald L. Houston Building in the Texas A&M University Research Park.
The new location ? 200 Discovery Drive ? provides the center with 5,570 square feet of office and conference space, as well as access to the facilities of the Houston Building conference center. Administrators and staff will be on site to discuss the center?s spectrum of products and projects.
These include vaccines, anti-viral agents, rapid diagnostic kits, epidemiologic modeling, economic analysis, educational curricula and training programs.
Founded in April 2004 as a Department of Homeland Security Center of Excellence, the FAZD Center develops products to protect the United States from the introduction of high-consequence foreign animal and zoonotic diseases.
In this context, ?foreign? means ?exotic to the United States ? and ?zoonotic? means ?transmissible between animals and humans,? officials explained. At least 60 percent of all human pathogens are zoonotic, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, they added.
And 75 percent of recently emerging infectious diseases that affect humans are of animal origin.
The FAZD Center focuses on selected FAZDs that pose catastrophic risks to human health, livestock health and the national agricultural economy, which provides about 13 percent of all U.S. jobs as well as $1 trillion in annual U.S. economic activity.
The FAZD Center is the integrated, full-spectrum center protecting America from exotic and engineered animal diseases that threaten public health and economic stability, the officials noted.
Its mission is to create products that defend the U.S. from the intentional use of animal-borne diseases to cause catastrophic harm.
These products offer the dual benefit of protecting against natural or accidental outbreaks. For more information, go to fazd.tamu.edu