World Zoonoses Day
Zoonoses are diseases that originate in animals and can be passed to humans. When a pathogen such as a virus or a bacterium jump from one animal or insect to a human that disease becomes zoonotic. According to the CDC at least 60% of known diseases are zoonotic and more than half of the emerging diseases are also. Some of these are old, like Rabies and Malaria, and others have emerged in more recent times like HIV and Avian flu.
Many epidemics and pandemics have been caused by zoonotic illnesses. For some there are preventative vaccines, for others, there are treatments and cures, but many of these diseases have proven to be a challenge not only to cure but, in some cases, even hard to diagnose and treat. But there are things you can do to mitigate the chance of becoming ill in the first place. Wash your hands regularly and especially after handling raw proteins or live animals. Wear protective clothing if you plan to walk or hike in a wooded area. keep your lawn mowed to prevent certain bugs from hitching a ride on your clothes. Check yourself for tics if you have been in the woods or playing in an open field. Make sure that your vaccinations are up to date. These things sound simple and mundane and they are, but they work.
Would it surprise you to know that many of the diseases that we know about and can name, are not indigenous to our continent? If you have ever taken a trip overseas, it is likely that you have been advised to get certain vaccinations to prevent not only you from getting sick but also bringing a disease back with you.
If you are interested in learning more about zoonoses I recommend the book below.
Here are also some links to government websites with more information about zoonoses.
As I stated earlier some of the deadliest diseases, we know of can be prevented with vaccinations, that is why it is so important to keep your fur kids and human kids up to date on their vaccines.