Zoonoses, also known as Zoonosis are the diseases or infections which are transmitted from animals to humans. These diseases are also called Zoonotic Diseases.
History of Zoonoses Day
World Zoonoses Day is observed every year on 6th July. This day highlights the risks of zoonotic diseases. This day commemorates the 6th July 1885. When Louis Pasteur, a French microbiologist discovered the first vaccination against Rabies, which is a Zoonotic disease.
Zoonotic diseases range from mild illness to a major disease. They sometimes lead to death.
Zoonoses can be bacterial, viral, fungal and parasitic. There are almost almost 1400 human pathogen, out of which 800 species are zoonotic.
The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that about 61% of known infectious diseases in human are zoonotic in origin. Children who are below the age of 5 and the aged people of over 65 years of age with weakened immune system are at the higher risk of zoonotic diseases.
List of Zoonotic Diseases
|Diseases||Organisms||Animals involved||Usual Mode of transmission|
|Anthrax||Bacillus anthracis||Grazing animals like sheep, camel, goat, horses, pig or other herbivores||Ingestion, inhaling, direct contact|
|Bird flu||Avian influenza virus subtype N5H1||Wild and domesticated birds like ducks and chickens||Close contact with birds|
|Bovine Tuberculosis||Mycobacterium bovis||Cattle||Unpasteurized milk and dairy products, direct contact with infected animal|
|Cat scratch fever||Bartonella henselae||Cat||Bite and scratch from infected cat|
|Cryptococcosis||Cryptococcus neoformans||Birds especially pigeons||Inhaling fungi|
|cryptosporidiosis||Cryptosporidium spp||Cattle and pets||Direct contact and water with contaminated feces|
|Cysticercosis and taeniasis||Taenia spp||Cattle, pigs||Consuming food contaminated with tapeworm eggs (Cysticercosis) and eating uncooked food|
|Dengue fever||Dengue virus||Female Mosquitoes of the Aedes type||Bite of mosquitoes|
|Ebola virus disease/ a haemorrhagic fever||Ebolavirus spp||Monkeys, gorillas, bats and forest antelope||Through ticks and body fluids, and organs|
|Foodborne illnesses like diarrhea||Campylobacter spp, Escherichia||Cattle and poultry||Uncooked meat, Unwashed fruits and vegetables contaminated with feces|
|Glanders||Burkholderia mallei||Donkeys and horses||Direct contact|
|Hepatitis E||Hepatitis E virus||Deer, pigs, wild boar||Consuming uncooked meat|
|Influenza||Influenza A virus||Domestic birds, wild aquatic mammals and farmed carnivores||Droplets transmitted through air|
|Leprosy||Mycobacterium leprae, Mycobacterium lepromatosis||Monkeys ,mice, rabbits, armadillos||Direct contact, meat consumption, it’s infections also spreads from human to human|
|Malaria||Plasmodium parasites||Female Anopheles mosquitoes||Spread through bites of infected mosquitoes|
|Orf||Orf virus||Sheep and goats||Direct contact|
|psittacosis||Chlamydophila psittaci||Poultry, pigeons, sparrows and many other bird species||Aerosol and direct contact with bird droplets|
|Q fever||Coxiella burnetii||Livestock, dogs and cats||Aerosol and direct contact with bodily fluid of faeces|
|Rabies||Rabies virus||Foxes, monkeys, bats, dogs, horses, wolves, cats, mongooses and many other animals||Through bite or scratch from infected animal|
|Rat bite fever||Streptobacillus moniliformis||rats||Bite of rats and also from urine and mucus secretions|
|Swine influenza||Any strain of influenza virus in pigs excluding H1N1 swine flu||pigs||Close contact|
|Tuberculosis/ TB||Mycobacterium bovis||Infected cattle, domesticated and wild animals||Urine, milk, pus and faeces and exhaled air from infected animals|
|Zoonotic diphtheria||corynebacterium||Cattle, dogs||Milk and direct contact|
Causes of Zoonoses
Zoonoses can be transmitted in the following ways:
- Through direct contact with the infected animal.
- Through indirect contact like touching the place or object of infected animal.
- By eating contaminated food or water supply.
- Through insects bites like mosquitos and ticks, fleas and lice.
- By eating uncooked meat, unpasteurized milk, raw fruits and vegetables which are contaminated with feces of infected animals.
- Through the air which sometimes carry infections from animals.
- Zoonotic diseases transmits when people hike, bike, or enjoy outdoor activities.
- People working in pets shops are on a high risk of zoonotic diseases to be transmitted.
- Petting zoos are also cause for zoonotic diseases.
- The people working or living in farms are also at a high risk of getting zoonotic diseases because they remain in close contact with livestock.
- And animals are the main carriers of zoonotic diseases. Sometimes these diseases are spread or transmitted by the stole of infected animal.
Measures to Prevent Zoonoses
Zoonotic diseases are common around the globe. We must take some measures to keep ourselves safe from zoonoses.
Some of the preventive tips are as under:
- Keep your pets vaccinated and visit to the veterinarian regularly. It will help you and your pets to protect from any infection.
- Wash your hand with soap and clean water after touching animal and also avoid to touch animal’s feces.
- Keep yourself safe from bites of mosquitoes, ticks, bugs and fleas by using insect repellent or any other insect killing sprays, because these insects carry infectious diseases.
- You must wear full sleeves shirt and long trousers. And keep yourself away from the woods, because insects are found in a large number in woods or in greenery.
- Cook the food properly, because many zoonotic diseases spread and transmitted by eating raw food. And also keep your cooking area clean. Always wash the pots properly before using.
- You must use gloves while touching or handling pets, so that you may be protected from infections.
- Avoid remain in contact with wild animals. They may attack or scratch you. And if you have any wound on your hand or on any other part of your body you must cover it because it may carry infection.
- If you find any animal or pet ill. You must consult with a veterinary doctor.
- People with weakened immune system must avoid to contact or touch animals. They can carry infections rapidly.
Diseases are the man’s greatest enemies-hidden or open. They overpowers him when he is weak, unnourished and open to attacks of germs and viruses.
In recent times we have seen a lot of zoonotic diseases spreading in different parts of the world. Major cause of spreading zoonotic diseases in the world is overpopulation and poverty.
Most of the towns and villages do not have clean or hygienic environment.in most of the countries of especially Asia and Africa big families live in small and dirty houses. Thus they are open to catch infections.
Now it is our duty to keep ourselves and surroundings neat and clean. So that we may not be the victim of zoonotic diseases. And may lead a healthy and happy life.