From Animals to Humans: Understanding World Zoonoses Day

Zoonotic diseases are those diseases that are disseminated from animals to humans. These diseases are caused by germs, which include bacteria, fungi, viruses, and parasites. The World Health Organization estimates that they make up about 60% of all infectious diseases. Every year on July 6, World Zoonoses Day is marked to remember Louis Pasteur’s successful delivery of the first rabies vaccination.

In addition to saving countless lives, Louis Pasteur’s discoveries initiated efforts to understand and avoid zoonotic diseases.

Here in this blog, we discuss zoonotic diseases, including their classification, themes, significance, and much more. Keep reading this informative blog for further insights.

Classification of Zoonotic Diseases Based on Sources

These diseases can be categorized based on where the infection originates:

  • Pathogens: This category includes zoonoses caused by bacteria, fungi, viruses, and parasites. Examples include ringworm, a fungal zoonose, and viral zoonoses like COVID-19 and rabies.
  • Animals: Both domestic and wild animals can spread zoonoses. One example of an infection spread by wild birds is bird flu. Livestock and household animals like dogs and cats are also frequent causes of zoonotic diseases.
  • Mode of Transmission: Additionally, zoonoses can spread by airborne or mosquito-borne vectors, such as direct contact with an infected animal (Rabies), undercooked meat consumption, polluted water consumption, and mosquito bites (Lyme disease, dengue).

The Background of Zoonoses Day

On July 6, 1885, French scientist Louis Pasteur gave the first dose of the rabies vaccine to a kid called Joseph Meister who had been bitten by a dog.

The small boy’s life had been saved by the vaccination. Since then, July 6th has been designated as World Zoonose Day in recognition of the date of the first zoonotic disease immunization.

Significance of World Zoonose Day

Since the goal of World Zoonoses Day is to increase public awareness of zoonotic illnesses, it is very important. The purpose of this day is to raise awareness of the harm that zoonotic diseases may do to both people and animals.

The day’s main theme is the need for additional research to stop new virus epidemics. This initiative aims to inform those who work closely with animals about the dangers of zoonotic diseases.

The Theme of Zoonoses Day 2024

Although the exact theme for 2024 has not yet been disclosed, it will probably center around:

  • Educating people about zoonotic illnesses.
  • Supporting preventative measures.
  • Highlighting how crucial animal health is to safeguarding human health.

Factors Causing Zoonotic Diseases

The primary reasons why zoonotic diseases are spreading are listed below:

  • Disturbances in the environment
  • Overuse of wildlife
  • Unhealthy livestock farming methods as a result of rising demand
  • The encroachment of wild animal habitats due to urbanization
  • Inadequate hygiene
  • Inadequate food safety protocols
  • Encounters with wild creatures
  • Improper handling of animals and their surroundings
Source: Google

Prevention From Zoonotic Diseases

The WHO’s focus on the “One World, One Health” approach is the only way to prevent zoonotic diseases. It claims that there are connections between the environment, animal health, and human health and that combining these areas may help in stopping the spread of certain diseases. Individually, prevention consists of:

  • Vaccination against such diseases for both humans and animals.
  • Promoting good hygiene practices, such as hand washing, safe food handling, and sufficient sanitation, etc.
  • Vector control refers to the management of vector populations to prevent the spread of diseases through insect and mosquito bites. Additionally, covering up or applying insect repellent to prevent mosquito bites
  • When working with wild animals, put on gloves.
  • Stay clear of contacting an infected animal or surface directly.
  • If you are concerned about contracting an infection, speak with a specialist about managing zoonotic infections.

Conclusion

The purpose of World Zoonoses Day is to serve as a collective reminder to avoid, identify, and address zoonotic diseases. The problems associated with controlling the spread of these diseases can be overcome if the human and veterinary health sectors cooperate.

Do not wait to see a doctor if you are at risk of contracting a zoonotic infection because of your profession or if you already have a compromised immune system. Take a test on yourself and begin the treatment right away.

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