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Zoonotic Diseases

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Introduction

Zoonotic disease also known as zoonoses is a disease that is widely caused by germs; they can be passed between animals and humans. Some of these diseases include; rabies, giardiasis, plague and Lyme disease.  It is commonly caused by bacteria, protozoa, viruses and fungi.

Human Reservoir Diseases

These are commonly called, anthroponoses diseases, they involve transmission of infectious diseases in which the agent that is causing the disease is carried by humans and can be transferred to other fellow human beings. They include small pox, measles, viral hepatitis, herpes, AIDS, typhoid and cholera.

Zoonotic Disease’s Commonness

Zoonotic disease is very common all over the world and the poor in the society are the most affected especially those who are in developing countries. The poor are the ones who are at risk in contracting the disease and studies have shown that there is a correlation between the poor and zooneses. Overpopulation is one of the reasons why it is common, moving from one place to another, a continued expansion of people into areas that were not previously habited, , natural disasters such as hurricanes, earthquakes all play a critical role on how the disease affects public, animals and the ecosystem health, (Carr, n.d).

How One Gets Infected By Zoonotic Diseases

There are several ways in which a person gets the zoonotic disease. Most changes in reservoir host populations that determine the infectious agents are mostly traced back to human activities, (Hubálek, 2003).

  • Some zooneses such as rabies are directly from animals to human beings. The virus is transmitted when an animal bites human beings and infects them.
  • Other zooneses are vector borne; this is so in that a vector such as an insect passes the virus between the animal and the human being, the insect becomes the infectious agent. A zoonese disease such as West Nile virus whereby a mosquito transmits the virus from the birds to people.
  • Water borne and food borne zoonotic disease can be passed through soil, food and water that is contaminated such as giardiasis.
  • The everlasting threat of bioterrorism and bio warfare adds up to the ways the zoonotic diseases infect the human beings.

Commonness of The Anthroponoses

Disease with human reservoirs is very common in most regions and about one in two people are usually affected by any of the human reservoir diseases. However, due to their common nature most hospitals and medical practices have adopted a way to prevent the diseases as well as treat the infected ones, (Frontline World, n.d).

How Humans Get Affected By the Anthroponoses

Humans are affected by these diseases mainly by the viruses and bacteria passing from one human being to another. Viruses such as HIV are passed from one human being to another through sexual contact, sharing of needles or any sharp object as well as blood transfusion. Waterborne diseases such as cholera and typhoid are transmitted from one person to another when uninfected person comes in contact with feces of an infected person or when coming into contact with contaminated water that has the bacteria that causes these diseases, (D.V.M., n.d ).

Discussion

Zoonotic illnesses enter humans through a variety of ways such as animal bites, through ingestion, inhalation, cuts or scratches, insect bites and contact with other mucous membrane. One can protect themselves from such viruses that are caused by animals. Most of the prevalent countries include India, Nigeria and Tanzania. The great cause has been poor livestock management due to the farmers living on less than a dollar a day. The infections are just mild and rare hence is not as dangerous as it sounds since with good hygiene and great livestock keeping, it is possible to eradicate the zoonoses diseases.

Poor sanitation is the primary cause of these infectious diseases; another is caused by people living in places that are highly populated which are directly related with poverty. With eradication of these poor living conditions and healthy living, these diseases will be eradicated as well as treating the already infected with antibiotics hence can easily gain a free- zooneses population.

Zones Are More Dangerous Than Diseases That Have Human Reservoirs

However, zoonotic diseases are very dangerous diseases since they have a reserve outside the human population; this fact alone makes it very difficult to control them.

Disease that have human reservoir are easy to control, illnesses such as cholera are easily eradicated since it is easier to change human behavior. When an animal reservoir is involved, it is a totally different case, it becomes very difficult. To prevent the virus from getting to the human being, we have to prevent it from getting it to the animal which has proven futile or to prevent the animal from reaching the human species, which is also an uphill task.

Zoonotic diseases are more dangerous than the ones with human reservoirs, the zooneses come in various categories and especially the new emerging ones, are very difficult to control and if not much emphasis is put into it may be detrimental and may end up killing people before it is rigorously examined.

Other zoonotic diseases that have been there for a while also are dangerous, diseases such as rabies have killed some people for example in Uganda, Africa. The diseases are torn between public health and animal health therefore not knowing exactly where to place them.

Rabies for example is a very dangerous disease; it is a virus and is transmitted in saliva. The zoonotic disease is caused by an animal that is infected by the virus and if it bites a human the virus can travel up to the nervous system. The virus makes its way to the brain no matter where the bite is and the damage it causes to the brain is fatal. Belotto, et al (2005)

West Nile virus is also a very common zoonotic disease and mostly infects birds. The virus is mostly transmitted by mosquitoes and birds like crows and robins. The virus unfortunately causes an infection without any signs and by the time it is discovered, it is too late. It causes inflammation and high fever in the brain and the spinal cord. It may cause fatal effects in the affected person and unfortunately we do not have a vaccine for the birds nor do the people, the horses alone have the vaccine, (Janiskee, 2009).

In WHO’s 2006 report, diseases that have human reservoirs are easily eradicated never to reoccur again, but for the case of zoonotic diseases it is very hard to eradicate the diseases and most organizations or departments such as the health department in the government have a heavy task in doing away with them since a huge challenge of  emerging zoonotic diseases  whereby new diseases keep coming and the ones already in place are thrown aside to take care of the emerging ones hence the emergence of the “ endemic zoonotic diseases” which simply means diseases that are already in place. Zoonotic diseases become a nightmare to handle and therefore posing a really great danger to the human beings who are highly at risk.

Finally, zooneses are strongly connected to the poor people since it is easier for them to acquire these diseases, either through overpopulation of regions, poor livestock keeping and terrible hygiene conditions. The same people when infected by these diseases will have a hard time accessing medical attention hence fatal effects such as death and deformity, (WHO, 2006)

It is evident that zooneses are more dangerous than diseases that have human reservoirs, it is difficult to control the diseases and the emergence of new ones every now and then makes it even more difficult to control the spread of such disease and this causes grave danger to the humans as well as the animals.

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