Any disease or infection that is naturally transmissible from vertebrate animals to humans is termed as Zoonosis.

On July 6 every year, World Zoonosis Day is observed to commemorate the scientific achievement of administering first vaccination against a zoonotic disease. It was on July 6, 1885, when Louis Pasteur a French biologist, microbiologist and chemist renowned for his discoveries of the principles of vaccination, microbial fermentation and pasteurization successfully administered the first vaccine against Rabies virus, a zoonotic disease.

Approximately 150 zoonotic diseases are known to exist and as per the WHO it annually claims millions of lives around the globe. Zoonosis can spread from direct contact with animals or indirectly, vector-borne or food-borne. The most common zoonotic diseases are Plague, Tuberculosis, Cat Scratch Fever, Tick Paralysis, Hantavirus, Ringworm, Salmonellosis, Leptospirosis, Lyme disease, Campylobacter infection, Giardia infection, Cryptosporidium infection, Roundworms, Hookworms, Scabies, Harvest mites, Rabies.

People can acquire zoonotic diseases from contact with infected live poultry, rodents, reptiles, amphibians, insects, and other domestic and wild animals. Another common way behind the spreading of these diseases is through the bite of a mosquito or tick.

Few steps to avoid zoonotic diseases

  • Good hand hygiene by washing hands with soap and clean water.
  • Preventive clothing for bites from mosquitoes, ticks and fleas.
  • Store and handle food safely and cook properly.
  • Avoid bites and scratches from animals.