What are Zoonotic Diseases?

Zoonosis is a term used to describe an infection or disease that can be transmitted from animal to human. Zoonotic diseases can also be transmitted from animals to humans through insects that act as “intermediaries” or carriers of the pathogen. Although zoonotic diseases can be classified according to their infectious agents, they can also be divided into those diseases that are transmitted from non-human animals to humans or from humans to non-human animals. Some diseases are considered zoonotic, although they rarely spread from person to person; an example is foot-and-mouth disease in cattle.

In total, more than a hundred diseases can be transmitted from animals to humans, although most of them are rare in North America. Many of these diseases, both in animals and humans, must be reported to state and federal authorities. Experts estimate that about 60 percent of known infectious diseases in humans can be transmitted by animals, and according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 3 out of 4 new diseases in humans originated in animals.

It is estimated that approximately 75% of emerging infectious diseases affecting humans are animal diseases; approximately 60% of human pathogens are zoonotic. These pathogens not only cause disease in animals, but also pose a serious threat to human health. Infected animals can also transmit pathogens directly to susceptible humans through bite, as is the case with rabies, one of the deadliest zoonotic diseases.

Humans often become infected with rabies from the bite (direct contact) of an infected animal, but they can also become infected with rabies when an infected animal’s saliva, brain fluid, or spinal cord enters cuts or tears in the skin or mucous membranes. . Usually caused by a virus and transmitted if an infected animal bites a person or other animal. Brucellosis is a bacterial infection in livestock and other animals that can be transmitted to humans and cause serious, long-term illness.

In direct zoonosis, HIV is transmitted directly from animals to humans through airborne droplets (flu) or through bites and saliva (rabies). Zoonotic influenza is influenza caused by animal or influenza A viruses.

Zoonotic pathogens can be transmitted to humans through any contact with domestic, farmed or wild animals. Zoonotic pathogens may be bacteria, viruses, or parasites, and may also include non-traditional pathogens, and may be transmitted to humans through direct contact or through food, water, or the environment. Zoonotic diseases can also disrupt the production and trade of animal products for food and other uses. Other zoonotic diseases can cause recurrent outbreaks, such as Ebola virus disease and salmonellosis.

Due to the spread of pathogens from animal hosts to humans, zoonotic disease outbreaks may have more than tripled in the past decade, and the number of new zoonotic diseases infecting humans may have quadrupled over the same time period. Because of the close relationship between humans and animals, it is important to be aware of the common ways humans are exposed to microbes that cause zoonotic diseases.

Because zoonotic pathogens can be found in humans, animals, the environment, and vectors, their control requires the collaboration of many health and disease control professionals. Collaboration between sectors related to zoonotic diseases, in particular human and animal (domestic and wildlife) health disciplines, for quantifying the burden of zoonotic diseases, identifying and responding to endemic and emerging zoonotic diseases Comorbid pathogens, prioritize diseases that cause the greatest public health concern, and effectively initiate appropriate prevention, detection, and response strategies. The UW Center for Single Health Research (COHR) is actively involved in research to better understand zoonotic diseases in humans, animals and the environment in order to find better ways to detect, treat and prevent these emerging disease threats.

In short, unique health concepts play an important role in combating emerging and re-emerging zoonotic diseases; controlling the impact of zoonotic diseases on human, animal and environmental factors; and keeping the world free of zoonotic diseases threat of disease. Zoonotic Diseases and Unique Health To prevent and control infectious diseases such as zoonotic diseases, international organizations and researchers describe the relationship between humans, animals and the environment using a concept known as the “One Health Concept” or the concept of “one method”. The “One Health” concept, introduced in the early 2000s, summarizes the view that human and animal health are interdependent and related to the health of the ecosystems in which they reside.

Since zoonotic diseases can severely affect animals and humans, for many zoonotic infections, there is a strong interest in surveillance and disease control among medical and veterinary institutions.

Humans can contract zoonotic diseases through direct contact with infected animals, ingestion of contaminated food or water, inhalation, arthropod vectors (such as flies, ticks, and mosquitoes), and parasites. Examples of zoonotic diseases or zoonotic diseases (diseases transmitted between animals and humans) include Zika virus, Ebola virus, avian influenza, SARS, Middle East respiratory syndrome, West Nile virus, Lyme disease and Yellow fever. Zoonotic diseases (plural zonoses or zoonotic diseases) are infectious diseases caused by pathogens (infectious agents such as bacteria, viruses, parasites or prions) that are passed from animals (usually vertebrates) to humans.

Animal pathogens can infect humans directly through contact with wild or domestic animals, or indirectly through transmission through intermediate hosts. Cattle, sheep, goats, dogs, cats, horses, pigs and other domestic animals are reservoirs of household zoonotic pathogens and can transmit diseases to humans. Examples of zoonotic diseases that can be transmitted to humans from domestic animals include anthrax, rabies, tuberculosis, brucellosis, campylobacteriosis, leptospirosis, toxoplasmosis, balantidiasis, hookworm, toxocariasis, listeriosis, bovine pustular stomatitis, rotavirus infection, and Q fever. Sometimes animals can carry harmful microbes that can be transmitted to humans and cause disease – these are known as zoonosis.

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