World Zoonoses Day is observed every year on July 6 to commemorate the first vaccination administered against a zoonotic disease like Ebola, Avian influenza, and West Nile virus. Zoonosis is an infectious disease that spread from non-human animals to humans. Zoonotic pathogens can be bacterial, viral, or parasitic which can spread to humans through direct contact or through food, water, or the environment. For example, Coronavirus spread from bats to humans, and we already have witnessed how it can create a major public health problem around the world.
Zoonoses comprise a large percentage of all newly identified infectious diseases like HIV, Ebola virus disease and salmonellosis. They started as a zoonosis but later mutate into human-only strains. The first vaccination against a zoonotic disease was successfully administered on July 6, 1885, by a French biologist, Louis Pasteur. The day is also celebrated to raise awareness about the risk of zoonotic diseases and their prevention.
How does the Zoonosis diseases spread?
Animals play a significant part in spreading zoonotic diseases as 75 percent of new or emerging diseases originate from them. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the transmission of zoonotic disease spreads through contact with the animals like the consumption of meat or using animal products.
The disease can spread from pets, farm animals reared for meat or hunting, and butchering. The use of antibiotics in animals raised for food is also a major factor in increasing the potential for drug-resistant strains of zoonotic pathogens.
Prevention and control of Zoonotic disease
As there are various kinds of Zoonotic disease, the prevention and cure is also different. However, some of the practices like safe and appropriate guidelines for animal care in the agricultural sector can help to reduce the potential for foodborne zoonotic disease.
Standards for clean drinking water and waste removal, as well as protections for surface water in the natural environment, are also effective ways to curb the spread of such disease. Maintaining proper hygiene like doing handwash after contact with animals can reduce the community spread of zoonotic diseases.