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OVC Infectious Disease Expert Recognized for Veterinary Guidance During Pandemic

Dr. Scott Weese, Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph An expert in infectious disease at the University of Guelph’s Ontario Veterinary College (OVC) is being recognized for his work supporting Ontario veterinarians during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Dr. Scott Weese, Director of the Centre for Public Health and Zoonosis at the University of Guelph and a veterinary internal medicine specialist in the Ontario Veterinary College’s Department of Pathobiology, has received the 2021 Award of Merit from the Ontario Veterinary Medical Association (OVMA). 

The award recognizes a veterinarian who has demonstrated exemplary public service and has made extraordinary contributions to the veterinary profession. 

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Weese has been much in demand as a spokesperson for the veterinary community and national and international media outlets. He has offered evidence-based advice on the susceptibility of animals to SARS-CoV-2, the potential for disease spread between animals and people and how to modify front-line veterinary care to ensure the safety of animals, workers and clients. 

He worked with OVMA to create a guide to help veterinary clinics safely continue operations, which provided detailed advice, from establishing services that could be offered safely to effective disinfecting and social distancing practices. 

As protocols developed and restrictions changed, he continued to revise the guide to ensure veterinary practices had up-to-date information. The guide has since been referenced by the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association, the American Animal Hospital Association and a number of state veterinary medical associations.

“COVID-19 has thrown at lot of challenges at veterinarians, who have to balance providing essential services with protecting themselves, their staff, their clients, and the community as a whole,” said Weese. “We started creating guidelines to do our part to help veterinarians in this tough balancing process.”

Through his popular Worms and Germs blog, Weese also published pandemic-related evidence-based educational posts for the public and veterinary community. 

“Dr. Weese selflessly volunteered his time and expertise over and over again to ensure the continued health of veterinary staff, clients, patients and the veterinary profession as a whole during this very difficult period,” said Doug Raven, OVMA’s CEO. “He went above and beyond the call of duty to guide the profession through the COVID-19 pandemic.” 

Weese is also contributing his expertise to a number of COVID-19 related research projects. His current research includes investigating the global management of COVID-19 using a One Health approach in which human and animal health experts collaborate to manage infectious disease. Another study is focused on examining connections between COVID-19 in humans and their pets. 

Weese is also chief of infection control at the OVC Health Sciences Centre and was inducted as a fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences (CAHS) in 2020. CAHS Fellows are world-renowned leaders and innovators who have a history of outstanding performance in the academic health sciences in Canada.

Read more on the University of Guelph website