A zoonotic disease is a type of disease that can pass from animals to humans. Some of these diseases might not make animals sick but cause a human to become sick. These diseases can range from minor to short-term illnesses to sometimes life-threatening. Zoonotic diseases can be spread through viruses, parasites, bacteria, and fungi.
Some diseases are more common than others and can be treated easily, while others require a more advanced level of treatment. Depending on the disease, humans can become ill and can even pose the risk of death, while others cause more minor reactions such as fevers, aches, or sometimes diarrhea.
Individuals who are at higher risk and might suffer severe reactions and symptoms include:
*Adults above the age of 65
*People with weak immune systems.
Direct Contact: Transmission through direct contact. when you come into contact with saliva, urine, blood, mucous, feces, or other bodily fluids from an infected animal.
Food-borne: Eating or drinking unsafe products such as raw milk, undercooked meat, or consuming food that is not properly washed and has been contaminated with feces from an infected animal.
Indirect contact: Situations where you may come in contact with areas where animals live and roam, and surfaces that could be contaminated. Examples include aquarium tank water, pet habitats, as well as pet food, and water dishes.
Water-borne: Drinking or coming in contact with water that has been contaminated with feces can put you at risk of water-borne transmission.
COMMON ZOONOTIC DISEASES
As mentioned above, there hundred different types of zoonotic diseases, but below we have listed a few that are treated regularly. These include:
- Cat scratch fever
- Hepatitis E
STEPS TO REDUCE THE RISK OF TRANSMISSION
Zoonotic diseases are across the globe, but there are ways to reduce the risk of exposure and infection by following some basic hygiene habits.
- Cleanse the wound after being bitten or scratched by an animal and monitor it closely. Seek medical attention if the condition does not improve.
- Check for ticks after you have been outside for a long.
- Dispose of waste materials promptly and safely.
- Do not eat, drink, or touch the face while handling or when in close contact with the animal.
- If you have pets, get them vaccinated, take them for regular check-ups, and put on flea and tick preventatives.
- Keep the house clean, especially the areas where animals are kept.
- Practice safe food handling.
- Provide separate food and water dishes for pets and wash them separately from the family dishes.
- Use insect repellents while spending time outdoors.
- Wash pet toys and their bedding frequently.
- Wash your hands diligently.
- Wear gloves while gardening or working in areas where animals may have urinated or defecated.
The seriousness of zoonotic diseases depends on the type of disease. Many are treatable, while others can cause serious long-term or fatal conditions, so it is important to check with the healthcare provider as soon as you think you may have been infected by a zoonotic disease. For more information regarding zoonotic diseases call us today.