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World Zoonosis Day

  • 08 Jul 2023
  • 6 min read

For Prelims: World Zoonosis Day, Zoonotic Diseases, One Health

For Mains: One Health Concept and its Significance, Zoonotic Diseases and its impactions on public health

Why in News?

The Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying, Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying recently conducted an awareness program on zoonotic diseases as part of the Aazadi Ka Amrit Mahostav initiative on World Zoonosis Day (July 6th, 2023).

  • The program aimed to educate farmers about zoonotic disease risks and national efforts for prevention. Due to their close contact with animals, farmers are at higher risk of contracting zoonotic diseases.
  • The importance of the "One Health" concept is highlighted in addressing zoonotic disease risks.

What is World Zoonosis Day?

  • History:
    • World Zoonosis Day marks the anniversary of the first vaccination against a zoonotic disease.
    • On July 6, 1885, Louis Pasteur, a French scientist, successfully administered the first vaccine for zoonotic disease.
  • Significance:
    • World Zoonosis Day educates people about the risks and impacts of zoonotic diseases on human and animal health.
    • 60% of known infectious diseases and 75% of emerging infectious diseases are zoonotic, according to the World Health Organization(WHO).

What are Zoonotic Diseases?

  • About:
    • Zoonotic diseases are illnesses that can be transmitted between animals and humans. These diseases can be caused by bacteria, viruses, parasites, or fungi.
  • Classification:
    • Based on Pathogens:
      • Bacterial Zoonoses: These diseases are caused by bacterial infections that can be transmitted from animals to humans.
      • Viral Zoonoses: Well-known viral zoonotic diseases include rabies, Ebola, and Covid-19.
      • Parasitic Zoonoses: Diseases such as toxoplasmosis and leishmaniasis fall under this category.
      • Fungal Zoonoses: Zoonotic fungal infections, like ringworm are caused by fungi that can be transmitted from animals to humans.
    • Based on Animal Species:
      • Wildlife Zoonoses: These diseases primarily involve interactions between humans and wildlife, such as hantavirus infections transmitted by rodents or diseases spread by wild birds, like avian influenza (bird flu).
      • Domestic Animal Zoonoses: Diseases such as brucellosis from cattle or toxoplasmosis from cats, fall under this category.
    • Based on Mode of Transmission:
      • Direct Contact Zoonoses: Infections that occur through direct contact with infected animals, their body fluids, or contaminated surfaces.
        • Examples include rabies transmitted through animal bites and Q fever from contact with infected livestock.
      • Vector-Borne Zoonoses: Diseases transmitted by vectors such as mosquitoes and ticks.
        • Examples include Lyme disease transmitted by ticks and dengue fever transmitted by mosquitoes.
    • Waterborne Zoonoses: Leptospirosis from contaminated water sources is an example of waterborne zoonotic disease.
  • Causes of Zoonotic Diseases:
    • The emergence and spread of zoonotic diseases are influenced by several factors, including environmental changes, wildlife interactions, livestock farming practices, and human behavior.
    • Encroachment into natural habitats, wildlife trade, inadequate food safety measures, and improper sanitation contribute to the transmission of zoonotic diseases.
  • Prevention Strategies:
    • Multisectoral collaboration is essential in preventing and controlling zoonotic diseases.
    • The "One Health" approach emphasizes the collaboration between human health, animal health, and environmental sectors.
    • Early detection and surveillance systems for zoonotic diseases play a crucial role in preventing outbreaks and epidemics.
    • Promoting hygiene practices, such as proper handwashing, food safety measures, and safe handling of animals, helps reduce the risk of transmission.
    • Vaccination programs for animals, especially those in close contact with humans, can be effective in preventing zoonotic diseases.
    • Improving public awareness and education about zoonotic diseases and their prevention is vital in promoting responsible behavior and reducing the risk of transmission.

What are India's Initiatives Related to Zoonotic Diseases?

  • National Animal Disease Control Programme (NADCP):
  • Mobile Veterinary Units (MVUs):
    • MVUs have been deployed to provide veterinary services at farmers' doorsteps, including disease diagnosis, treatment, minor surgeries, and raising awareness about the management of diseased animals.
  • Animal Birth Control (Dogs) Rules, 2023:
    • The focus of the rules is on anti-rabies vaccination of stray dogs and neutering of stray dogs as means of population stabilization.
  • National One Health Programme for Prevention & Control of Zoonoses:
    • Focuses on strengthening surveillance, diagnosis, prevention and control of zoonotic diseases through inter-sectoral coordination and collaboration.
  • Vaccination efforts:
    • Focus on achieving 100% vaccination coverage for FMD in buffalo, sheep, goat, and pig populations, as well as vaccinating 100% of bovine female calves aged 4-8 months for brucellosis.

What is the One Health Concept?

UPSC Civil Services Examination, Previous Year Questions (PYQs)

Q. Appropriate local community-level healthcare intervention is a prerequisite to achieve ‘Health for All’ in India. Explain. (2018)

Source: PIB

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