From the first article on zoonotic we discussed that zoonotic diseases are diseases that are spread from animals to man. These zoonotic diseases are infections acquired by man from animals as a result of man’s interaction with these animals.

Zoonotic diseases are preventable disease but this is possible when all stakeholders and individuals are willing to adhere to all prevention measures.  On this article we will be considering how to prevent zoonotic diseases.

PATHOGEN RESPONSIBLE FOR THE SPREAD OF DISEASE IN MAN

Virus

Bacteria

Fungi

Parasites

ZOONOTIC MODE OF TRANSMISSION

Zoonoses can be transmitted through various means.

1. Through infected animals bites

2. Through close contact with an infected animal

3. By touching areas or surfaces that have been touched by an infected animal

4. Through the air

5. By eating the meat of contaminated animals

6. Through infected insect bites

7. Exposure to wild animals at game reserve or in the wild.

PERSONS AT HIGHER RISK OF ZOONOTIC DISEASE

The following individual or conditions can increase the risk of being infected by zoonotic diseases

Pregnant women

Children under 5 years, owing to the fact that they are likely to put anything into their mouth.

Those with HIV (co-infection)

Those with cancer who are undergoing chemotherapy

Those with weakened immune system

Adults between 65 years or older.

SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF ZOONOTIC INFECTIONS

Since there are various types of zoonotic diseases, invariably the symptoms differ from one another. Therefore, one should not conclude on having a zoonotic infection until a proper medical examination is done.

HOW TO GUIDE AGAINST BEING INFECTED WITH DISEASES SPREAD BY ANIMALS

To prevent getting infected with zoonotic disease the following preventive measures should be adhered to

1. Proper washing of hands with soap and water after touching an animal

2. Practice safe food handling by ensuring you wash all food produces before eating

3. Do not eat or drink while handling an animal

4. Do not touch your mouth or nose while handling or in close contact with animals

5. Ensure you use gloves if you have to handle an animal that appear sick. 

6. Keep the environment where animals are kept clean

7. Avoid getting bitten or scratched by an animal

8. Ensure all your pets are properly vaccinated by taking them for regular visits to the veterinary clinic

9. Children should be encouraged to wash their hands after playing with their pets

10. Insect repellent can be used to keep mosquitoes, ticks and fleas away

11. Do not handle or approach animals in the wild that appears to be sick.

WHAT CAN BE DONE WHEN YOU SUSPECT A ZOONOTIC DISEASE

1. If you suspect having a zoonosis, the first thing you should do is to contact a medical professional

2. If scratched or bitted by an animal;

a. Report to a medical professional and get examined

b. Ensure the animal is properly checked by a veterinarian for rabies and other zoonotic disease.

TREATMENT

The treatment for zoonotic disease is dependent on the type of infection. It is advisable you get in touch with your health care provider and do not self-medicate.

CONCLUSION

Many zoonotic diseases are treatable while others can result into a serious life-long fatal condition. Although, fighting against zoonotic diseases might require a collaborative effort of stakeholders; yet, individuals must play their part by ensuring that they imbibe appropriate preventive measures with animals such as: proper hygiene practice after coming in contact with any animal either in the wilds or at home etc.  All must be adhered to, in other to avoid another episode of devastating disease outbreak which most times has economic consequences through loss of trade and foreign exchange.

REFERENCES
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Healthy Pets Healthy People. http://www.cdc.gov/healthypets/browse_by_diseases.htm (accessed 26 Feb 2011)

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2005). “Compendium of Measures To Prevent Disease Associated with Animals in Public Settings, 2005: National Association of State Public Health Veterinarians, Inc. (NASPHV)” (PDF). MMWR. 54 (RR–4): inclusive page numbers. Archived (PDF) from the original on 17 December 2008. Retrieved 28 December 2008.

Information in this table is largely compiled from: World Health Organization. “Zoonoses and the Human-Animal-Ecosystems Interface”. Archived from the original on 6 December 2014. Retrieved 21 December 2014.

WHO. “Zoonoses”. Archived from the original on 3 January 2015. Retrieved 18 December 2014.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zoonosis

https://www.physio-pedia.com/Zoonotic_Diseases

 

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