Zoonotic diseases are infectious diseases caused by micro-organisms (bacteria, fungi, viruses and parasites) that are transmitted from animals to humans and vice-versa. Now, infectious diseases simply mean diseases that are easily transmitted or transferred from one person or animal to another. Examples of common infectious diseases in animals, taking dog as an example include Rabies, Mange, Leptospirosis, Babesiosis etc. And examples of common infectious diseases in humans in Nigeria include Tuberculosis, Malaria, Cholera, Rabies, HIV/AIDS, Ebola, Lassa fever etc. All these disease examples for humans (except HIV/AIDS) are zoonotic because they are usually transmitted from animals to humans. Other zoonotic infections are those gotten from the unhealthy consumption of food animals such as salmonellosis, tuberculosis, worm infections etc.
According to World Health Organization (WHO) and Center for Disease Control (CDC), zoonotic diseases are about 60% of all infectious diseases that affect mankind and they have represented 75% of new human diseases in the last 10 years. Historically and in our present world, these diseases continue to have great local and global impacts mostly because they are easily transmitted and because various socioeconomic and environmental factors enable their presence. Also, the diseases are increasing in impact because of increase in globalization and travel, increased human-to-human and animal-human interaction, increase of human interference with nature and ecosystems.
Now, there are increased global concerns and efforts to make sure that zoonotic disease outbreaks are reduced to the barest minimum or prevented altogether. But apart from the work of health professionals, it is important that we (the public) know more about these diseases, so we can know how to protect ourselves and our animals at ALL times.
MyAnimal,MyHealth is a useful web tool to know more about these diseases and learn how to prevent and manage these diseases appropriately. Since zoonotic diseases cut across animal and human health, our network will guide you through this process of learning and interaction.
If you have any questions whatsoever, feel free to contact us.