General

Pandemic preparedness cannot be the sole prerogative of governments and policy  makers alone. And since all  zoonotic infections have a negative impact on human and animal health, the general population too needs to be armed with facts and information to safeguard their interests. Lack of awareness has been seen as the biggest challenge in preventing and controlling Zoonoses. .

All about Zoonoses
provides answers to top-of-the-mind questions that a person who may have heard of zoonoses but is not sure of what it means and what he needs to do to prevent infection and disease outbreak, would most likely wish to know. Information has been categorised under simple and direct questions:

What are Zoonoses?
Zoonotic infections or zoonoses are infections naturally transmissible between vertebrate animals and humans. They constitute nearly 60% of all known human infections and over 75% of all emerging pathogens. They may be bacterial, viral, or parasitic or may involve unconventional agents such as prion diseases. They are a  serious public health problem.

Why are Zoonoses important?
Zoonoses contribute significantly to infectious disease burden and also impact economic, labour and health productivity of individuals, communities and nations. They could present themselves as small outbreaks or as ‘neglected’ zoonoses (brucellosis, rabies, bovine tuberculosis, cysticercosis)

What are the key issues in Zoonoses Prevention and Control?
The challenges that arise while battling zoonoses relate to lack of awareness, weak surveillance systems, infections falling in ‘no man’s land’ and lack of intersectoral approach which is so important since zoonoses impact both animal and human health and therefore must involve the active participation of multiple sectors.

What makes India more vulnerable?
Being a developing country with a poor rural population which has little or no access to information makes India particularly vulnerable. Living in close proximity to animals without proper access to vaccines, many do not even realise when they or their animal/cattle is struck with a zoonotic infection. Added to this is the absence of a dedicated control and prevention strategy that can help develop and reach human, domestic animal, wildlife and environmental sectors.

Where do Zoonoses come from?
The increased mobilisation of animals and pets and increased use of livestock and animal products is one source where new infections tend to creep in. Also, the huge international trade in animal products for food has contributed; people movement on account of increased volume of travel and tourism has provided far greater opportunity for pathogens to mutate and cross transmit between species.

How do Zoonoses spread?
Zoonoses can spread through food, water and vector. They are transmitted through aerosols, bites and scratches, direct contact, arthropod vectors and/or contaminated food and water.

What can I do prevent Zoonoses?
A combination of precautions are needed to prevent zoonoses, depending on where you are located and what you do.

  • FAQs provide accurate information on some of the facts surrounding prevention, and treatment of zoonotic diseases and infections. 
  • Did you know illustrates important fast facts about zoonoses that are relevant to a general audience. It also provides links to useful resources within those contexts. 
  • Featured Videos on Zoonoses has a selection of relevant videos from YouTube that provide basic information on common situations of spread of zoonoses and simple prevention measures to avoid contracting them:
    - Can people get diseases from animals
    - Zoonotic diseases in backyard
  • Priority Zoonoses provides information on seven zoonotic diseases (Leptospirosis, Rabies, Japanese Encephalitis, Anthrax, Brucellosis, Bovine Tuberculosis, Cysticercosis, Rickettsial Infections and Salmonellosis) which have been identified by a national expert group as focus diseases for the next five years. Each of these priority zoonoses have been taken up separately with information classified under: Global Situation, Regional/India Situation, Public health measures, Animal health and Recent publications. Links to fast facts and some interesting videos have also been provided.

     

Leptospirosis
- FAQs
- Fast Facts
- Featured Videos

Rabies
- FAQs
- Fast Facts
- Featured Videos

Japanese Encephalitis
- FAQs
- Fast Facts
- Featured Videos

     

Anthrax
- FAQs
- Fast Facts
- Featured Videos

Brucellosis
- FAQs
- Fast Facts
- Featured Videos

Bovine Tuberculosis
- FAQs
- Fast Facts
- Featured Videos

     

Cysticercosis
- FAQs
- Fast Facts
- Featured Videos

Rickettsial Infections
- FAQs
- Fast Facts
- Featured Videos

Salmonellosis
- FAQs
- Fast Facts
- Featured Videos