Zoonosis is the scientific term that refers to any disease that is transmitted to people by animals. Such diseases can devastate the health of animals and humans. Currently, researchers have discovered 13 animal diseases responsible for about 2.2 million deaths each year. Pathogens such as fungi, viruses, parasites and bacteria can cause zoonoses. There are 1,415 pathogens known to infect humans and 61% of them are zoonotic. Examples of modern animal-borne diseases include salmonellosis, influenza and Ebola virus disease. Most diseases that affect humans come from animals. However, diseases that directly involve animal-to-human transmission are considered a direct zoonosis, an example of which is rabies.
Diseases transmitted by animals/Animal-Borne Diseases
Anthrax is most commonly seen in both wild and domestic herbivorous mammals such as cattle, sheep, horses, camels and pigs and is caused by spore-forming bacteria. Humans can be infected by anthrax by manipulating products from infected animals such as hair, leather, wool or skins. Gastrointestinal anthrax can be caused by eating undercooked meat from infected animals. Anthrax can enter humans in four different ways, including absorption, injection and inhalation of gastrointestinal, skin. The symptoms of the disease may appear between the first day and two months after a person develops the disease. Some of the symptoms include small blisters that often turn into painful ulcers with a black center of the skin, shortness of breath, chest pains, fever, vomiting, abdominal pain, nausea and diarrhea in the gastrointestinal form. Anthrax can also be used as a biological weapon.
Rabies is a serious viral zoonosis that negatively affects the central nervous system. The disease that is transmitted through saliva or biting by bats, dogs, coyotes, wolves, cattle, monkeys, foxes, cats, skunks, mongooses and raccoons is highly fatal if treatment after exposure is delayed. Rabies is a significant disease, causing about 55,000 deaths each year, with most cases caused by bites from infected dogs. The first symptoms of the disease include fever and tingling followed by fear of water, confusion, violent movements, uncontrolled excitement and loss of consciousness. Human rabies is controlled by administering vaccination to dogs and cats and giving a series of injections to infected or exposed people.
The Zika virus is transmitted to humans through mosquito bites. The most common symptoms of the diseases include joint pains, fever erythema and red eyes also known as conjunctivitis. The virus is often mild and the symptoms can last from a few days to a week. People who live or travel in areas where the virus is common are at high risk of infection. There are special travel precautions for pregnant women and women aspiring to be a mother because the disease is believed to be the cause of reduced pregnancy rates, especially in Brazil, where the Zika virus affects many mothers.
Influenza is an infectious disease commonly known as the flu that is caused by the influenza virus. The disease can be transmitted by pigs, domestic and wild birds, minks, horses and wild aquatic animals through air droplets. The flu is known for symptoms such as sore throat, fever, cough, muscle pain, runny nose and headache. The symptoms occur two days after one has been exposed and can last up to a week or less. The influenza virus has three different types: Influenza A, B and C. Type B and C mainly affects young children resulting in a mild disease, while type A which is distributed worldwide can cause a mild respiratory illness either in animals than in humans.
Scientists have discovered that almost 60% of all human diseases and 75% of all emerging infectious diseases are transmitted from animals to humans. Most infections come from cattle, such as pigs, cattle, chickens, camels and sheep. These infections are possible because almost three-quarters of rural populations, especially the poor, and about a third of urban poor depend on livestock for income, food, manure and other services.
Diseases transmitted by animals
|1||Anthrax||Cattle, sheep, goats, camels, horses, pigs||Ingestion, inhalation, absorption|
|2||brucellosis||Cattle, goats||Infected milk and meat|
|3||Chagas||Livestock||To eat meat|
|4||Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease||Livestock||To eat meat|
|5||Ebola virus||Chimpanzees, gorillas, fruit bats, monkeys, forest antelopes, porcupines||Body fluids|
|6||Influence||Horses, pigs, domestic and wild birds, wild aquatic animals, minks||Air droplets|
|7||Leprosy||Armadillos, mangabey monkeys, rabbits, mice||Contact with infected animals|
|8||Leptospirosis||Rats, mice, dogs||Direct or indirect contact with animals|
|9||Anger||Dogs, bats, monkeys, raccoons, foxes, polecats, cattle, wolves, coyotes, mongooses, cats||Saliva or bite|
|10||Rat-bite fever||Rats||Rat bites|
|11||toxocariasis||Dogs, cats||Stool exposure|
|12||Toxoplasmosis||Cats, livestock, poultry||Exposure to faeces and undercooked meat|
|13||West Nile Fever||Birds, mosquitoes||Mosquito bites|
|15||Yellow fever||Mosquitos||Mosquito bites|
|16||dengue fever||Mosquitos||Mosquito bites|
|17||Zika fever||Mosquitos||Mosquito bites|