The Veterinary College Organization (OCV) has warned of an increase in cases of diseases such as COVID-19 or monkeypox, which are transmitted between animals and humans in recent years, causing more than 19 million deaths annually.
On the occasion of World Zoonosis Day, which took place on July 6, the association draws attention to the fact that this increase in the number of cases is due to the increase in the number of cases. worldwide traffic of both people and goodsThis facilitates the spread of infectious diseases.
It also lists other aspects such as intensification of production associated with an increase in the number of animals acting as intestinal carriers of zoonotic agents; contact of wild fauna with domestic fauna and the transfer of pathogens from wild reservoirs to domestic animals and from them to humans, or the emergence and spread of resistance to antibiotics, among others.
However, he points out that “many more lives are saved every day through the precaution or swift action of professionals who are dedicated to controlling and managing the emergency and re-emergence of zoonotic diseases.”
Looking to the future, OCV president Luis Alberto Carlos told Europa Press, As nature has been “much changed” by the degradation of ecosystems, more zoonotic pandemics may occur as a result of climate change. or loss of biodiversity, among other factors that upset the balance between the parties.
Therefore, he states that in the case of living with pets it is “very important not to make the mistake of humanizing them” in the sense that they are often treated like human beings and given extreme care for their species.
Therefore, it recommends being conscious of the necessary vaccinations to prevent disease transmission between animals and humans, as well as ensuring the correct hygiene of the animal “according to its type and location”.
On the other hand, The general rise in temperatures favors the spread of possible contaminants of infectious diseases. Several experts that Efe consulted were at latitudes where they had never been, explained.
Thus, for example, diseases West Nile virus and Rift Valley fever, where mosquitoes are potential reservoirsRafael Jesús Astorga, professor of Animal Health at the University of Córdoba, explains that expansion across “central and northern Europe” will come to an end.
However, Astorga provides clarification of other issues, such as “land use, pest control, or the interaction of viruses with the host,” although “the geographic and temporal distribution of vector populations is dependent on climate change.”
“Although we tend to think of mammals, the main source of transmission is arthropods”Noemi Sevilla, director of the Animal Health Research Center (CISA), warns.
In this context, Sevilla highlights the risk posed by ticks as transmitting agents. “Transmission vectors of diseases such as Crimean-Congo fever or Lyme disease”.
Although “people often believe that ticks only affect dogs”, Sevilla recommends “being very careful with them” and going to a medical center for treatment immediately if you notice a bite.
Although the method of combating zoonoses varies according to the disease in question, both experts say, “preventive medicine, biosecurity, vaccine and veterinary health,” as Astorga puts it.
Sevilla stressed that “there is a general methodology for preventing zoonoses”, “avoid contact with certain species”, it is also more common in “Asia and Africa regions” as well as “fighting the wildlife trade”.
In any case, according to Sevilla, predicting which animal species could be potential reservoirs for a virus in the future is “unpredictable” despite having enough information to know that, as with bats, they harbor large numbers of pathogens. , most of them zoonotic”.
But it would not be about “demonizing a species or group of animals” like bats, but rather “avoiding any interaction with them or their environment”. they are wild animals that you don’t have to maintain any contact with.
Three types of zoonosis
Astorga states that there are three types of zoonosis: those transmitted to humans from animals, such as rabies or monkeypox; Situations where humans are the transmitting agents and animals are infected, e.g. “some infections Tuberculosisand finally zoonoses that spread in both directions, such as SARS-CoV-2.
Astorga to keep zoonoses under control It is “necessary” to inform the public about these diseases, In addition to the “implementation of strict hygiene and biosecurity measures to prevent possible transmission of the pathogen in close contact with the animal”.
World Zoonosis Day is commemorated annually on 6 July to raise public awareness of the risks posed by these diseases and the tools available to prevent and treat them.
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