Home Health What is a zoonoses?

What is a zoonoses?


Zoonosis or Zoonotic disease passes on to a human from an insect or an animal. The disease sickens the human from a minor illness for a short term to a major illness that can be life threatening. Some types of Zoonotic diseases can also cause death.

Zoonosis is caused by parasites, virus, fungus or bacteria. Ticks and mosquitoes spread the disease, which can also turn serious.

Some examples of different Zoonotic diseases are bird flu, animal flu, cat scratch fever, bovine tuberculosis, anthrax, ebola, fish tank granuloma, hepatitis E, Dengue fever, malaria, erysipeloid, leptospirosis, encephalitis from ticks, Lyme disease, ringworm, plague, parrot fever, tularemia, rat bite fever, rabies and many more.

Zoonoses transmit by consuming contaminated produce or meat, through air, through bites of ticks or mosquitoes, through close contact with infected animal or by touching a surface or area infected by an animal. While enjoying outdoor activities, boating, biking and hiking, the chances of disease transmission can increase. The disease can also get transmitted at common places like petting zoos. A common carrier of zoonosis is livestock and people working and living in close contact with livestock could get zoonotic disease. Zoonosis causing fleas and ticks can be transmitted by family pets, to family members.

A medical professional must be immediately contacted if affected by Zoonosis. If an animal has bitten or scratched the person, then the veterinarian, checks the animal thoroughly to ensure that it does not have any zoonotic disease, rabies and is vaccinated appropriately.  If a tick has bitten then preserve it in a container for further testing and narrow down possibility of the disease. People with HIV and weakened immune systems, pregnant women, older adults, very young children and those suffering from cancer are at higher risk of getting Zoonosis.

Diligent washing of hands, using repellents to ward off ticks, fleas and mosquitoes, avoiding being scratched or bitten by an animal, vaccinating pets, using gloves while handling pets, using appropriate tick and flea preventatives for pets, keeping animal areas clean and avoiding touching sick animals are the best ways to prevent Zoonosis.

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