What is a Zoonotic Disease
You may not be familiar or would have never heard the term Zoonotic diseases, but yes they exist. These are infectious diseases transmitted from animals whether wild or domesticated, to humans or humans to animals. The disease is also known as zoonosis .
These are infectious diseases that are caused by parasites, bacteria, viruses and other disease causing organisms that can also live in both humans and in animals. Some of the animals that may be carriers of these infections are as follows: dogs, bats, cattle, flies, birds, fish, rats, monkeys, ticks and sheep to name a few.
Zoonotic diseases are transferred by having direct contact with the infected animal. And being near with an infected human could also cause the spread of the zoonotic disease.
The most common infections known to us are the following
1. Anthrax - A disease caused by infection with anthrax bacteria that produce spores that can spread the infection. It has became a concern in the United States sometime in 2001, when a number of cases has been reported as a result of a bioterrorism. Most of the cases affected postal workers who were reportedly exposed to spores when handling mail.
2. Cholera – Caused by a bacterium, called Vibrio cholerae which results in a painless, watery diarrhea in humans and develop to severe dehydration that can lead to death. This disease is rampant in India and some parts of Africa.
3. Ebola – You may be familiar with this virus as this has been depicted in the 1995 film “Outbreak”. The disease is commonly known as Ebola hemorrhagic fever and believed to have been transmitted from a monkey.
4. AH1N1 - A type of virus also known as swine flu, pig flu or hog flu. Symptoms of this infection are as follows: fever, sore throat, cough, body aches, fatigue, nausea, chills and headache to name a few. An outbreak of this virus has been reported in 2009, wherein it caused a stir to the general public all over the world.
5. Rabies – Another zoonotic disease that is caused by a virus. The disease infects domestic and wild animals and spread to humans through contacts with infected saliva via bites or scratches. More often than not, dogs are the source of human rabies deaths.
Precautions and Reminders
Humans are animal lovers indeed. It is believed that pets can teach you true and unconditional love. They accept you whether you have a fat bank account or not, they do not care what kind of car you drive or even if you have one. Animals have a therapeutic impact on humans and that is undeniably true. They bring so much joy to you and your family members.
You in return should take care of your pets. It is important that you take your dog to the Vet at least once a year to check up on him, and to monitor a possible zoonotic disease that may impact the entire household.
Just like us humans, these animals also need care. If you want to keep them, treat them like how you treat your children
If you love to go out in woods and explore nature, gear up. Have insect repellents ready. Avoid close contacts with the animals in it. Leave them be. Always be cautious.
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