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July 15, 2021

CDC honors veterinarian for public health defense

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention honored a veterinarian for work to prevent disease outbreaks and respond when they occurred.

Dr. Bonwitt
Dr. Jesse Bonwitt

Dr. Jesse Bonwitt, veterinary epidemiologist in the Poxvirus and Rabies Branch of the CDC Division of High Consequence Pathogens and Pathobiology, received the 2021 James H. Steele Veterinary Public Health Award. An announcement from the CDC states that Dr. Bonwitt was honored for outstanding domestic and international contributions to veterinary public health and one health.

That work includes disease prevention, control, and responses involving zoonoses such as rabies, psittacosis, and Seoul virus. Dr. Bonwitt also contributed to the epidemiology of zoonotic diseases and showed versatility in applying research methods to prevent and control zoonotic pathogens, the announcement states.

The annual award also continues to honor Dr. Steele, who was the first chief of the CDC Veterinary Public Health Division, first veterinarian in the U.S. Public Health Service, and a leader who helped develop the discipline of veterinary public health.