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2022 World Zoonoses Day: Understanding and controlling zoonotic pathogens

World Zoonoses Day is observed yearly on July 6 to honour the first immunisation against a zoonotic illness such as influenza, ebola, or West Nile virus. Zoonotic illnesses are caused by viruses, parasites, bacteria, and fungus. These bacteria can cause a variety of ailments in both humans and animals, ranging in severity. Some can even be fatal. Unlike humans, animals may seem healthy even if they harbour such infections.

On July 6, 1885, World Zoonoses Day was established to educate and promote awareness about zoonotic illnesses that may be transmitted from animals to people. It honours the French researcher Louis Pasteur, who provided the first dosage of the first rabies vaccine.

How are these diseases spread?
Because people and animals have such a close relationship, it is critical to be aware of the main ways in which people can become infected with microorganisms that cause zoonotic illnesses. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), zoonotic disease transmission occurs through interaction with animals, such as when we consume meat or utilize animal products. It spreads through agricultural animals raised for meat as well as pets. Antibiotic usage in food-producing animals contributes to the development of drug-resistant forms of zoonotic diseases.

How can these illnesses be avoided?
There are several types of zoonotic illnesses that require various treatments. Proper animal care, on the other hand, can help minimise food-borne zoonotic infections. Norms for Clean drinking water, as well as suitable waste management procedures and the conservation of surface water in the natural environment, are some of the methods for limiting disease spread. Maintaining good hygiene, such as handwashing after contact with animals, can help to minimise the spread of these diseases in the community.


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