Zoonotic Diseases Essay Sample
Numerous animal species are responsible for causing a range of viral, bacterial and parasitic illnesses among human beings. These diseases are referred to as zoonoses. The need to focus on zoonotic illnesses and related foodborne ailments develops in the system of health care in the United States. Besides causing morbidity as well as mortality, these diseases affect agricultural produce by diminishing accessibility of food and causing hindrances to the international trade.
Zoonoses are common throughout the world, but the poor are the most vulnerable people, particularly the individuals in the developing nations. Studies have demonstrated that there is a relationship between poverty and zoonoses (Keusch et al., 2009). Some factors characteristic of the poor contribute immensely towards the existence of zoonoses, including overpopulation, constant migrations, catastrophes, for example, tropical storms, tremors and humans moving into territories that were not formerly inhabited. All these factors combined define the effects of diseases on the interaction between the public and animals within their ecosystem. Some of the zoonotic diseases include rabies, brucellosis, and salmonellosis. In the Eastern Mediterranean region, other developing diseases include Rift Valley fever, the New World screwworm (Cochliomya hominvorax) and zoonotic cutaneous leishmaniasis. A common feature among all these diseases is the change in climatic conditions, animal production patterns, demographics, and globalization in the food sector.
According to World Health Organizations (WHO), the mitigation of zoonoses constitutes an imperative well-being matter. Numerous components characterizing preventive and control measures of zoonotic diseases require a broader perspective than the health sector alone. Achievement in reduced public health significance of zoonotic ailments significantly relies on the level of collaboration between human health services and veterinary divisions. Cooperation between them will aid in informational exchange, well-coordinated and shared surveillance frameworks, regular refresher courses for staff, and promoting community awareness. Commitment and mobilization of resources are essential factors in coping with pertinent challenges in the control of zoonoses. On the other hand, human reservoir diseases or commonly referred to as anthroponoses illnesses involve an agent causing disease in the form of an infection carried by humans and they can be transmitted to other humans. Such diseases include measles, viral hepatitis, herpes, AIDS, smallpox, etc.
Researchers have designed a novel framework for the interdisplinary analysis of zoonotic diseases along with its drivers. After studying the different zoonotic aspects, one is expected to have gained some understanding the causes of zoonotic diseases, measures for reducing zoonotic diseases encroachment, and a multifaceted context to focus on the study of human-animal interface critically (Michalak et al., 1998). Research studies outline a range of ways to become infected with most changes that are determinants of infectious agents in the host population being associated with human activities. An example of zoonose disease is West Nile virus that is transmitted from birds to people by a mere mosquito bite (Keusch et al., 2009).
Zoonotic ailments find their way into people through numerous methodologies, for example, animal bites, contact with a different mucous layer, ingestion, inward breath, cuts, and biting insects. However, humans have devised ways of protecting themselves from such infections that are brought on by these animals. For instance, rabies is transmitted from animals to humans through a bite. Another category is that of vector-borne by engaging an infectious agent that transmits the infection from the animal to humans. Among the most affected countries are Nigeria and Tanzania in Africa (Ostfeld & Keesing, 2000). The reason behind this occurrence is attributed to the poor animal administration that results from poverty with most farmers living on less than one dollar per day. However, the resulting infections are simply mild and are not as perilous as it is perceived because if hygiene is observed, it is possible to keep away most of the zoonotic illnesses.
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The lead cause of these infections is poor sanitation; another cause is brought on by individuals living in areas that are exceedingly populated by those who live in poverty. If these poor living conditions are eradicated and sound living is initiated, zoonotic illnesses will be eliminated and it will be possible to treat the infected people by using antibiotics. By having a reserve out of humans, zoonotic diseases become dangerous and difficult to control. Diseases, which are in contact with human beings, are not difficult to control as compared to those involved in animals. Cholera, for example is eradicated with ease, as getting rid of it only requires a change in human behaviors. In addition, both water and food-borne zoonoses are passed through contaminated soils, drinking water, and food elements. However, the involvement of animal reservoir makes the matter even more complex. In order to prevent human beings from getting the virus, one is supposed to prevent animals from acquiring the virus or control the animals from getting into contact with the human being, which is equally difficult (Keusch et al., 2009). Zoonotic diseases are highly dangerous as compared to human reservoirs. Consequently, zoonoses are classified into different categories, and particularly the new rising ones are exceptionally hard to control. If there is little emphasis put, it might lead to the loss of lives before it is thoroughly examined.
Foodborne diseases present a big challenge in dealing with matters of human health with the rise of global population as well as demand for food from animal origin. The situation is further comprised of the dynamically changing technology in animal husbandry and food production in the food industry. Unfortunately, these upcoming technologies come along with risks in microbiology and toxicology, which leads to complications in the food industry. For instance, slaughterhouses and food processing industries of animal origin destabilize the food chain, particularly in the prevalence of pathogens such as Listeria spp and Salmonella spp in domesticated animals (Keusch et al., 2009). Furthermore, poor regulation of antimicrobial application in animal production poses hazards to human health. Globalization of food supply along with increased international travel is one of major factors contributing to the global spread of drug-resistant organisms. For instance, the number of antimicrobial resistant elements of Salmonella has drastically increased due to the growing production of eggs.
The situation of zoonosis varies from one region to another, with some countries placing active surveillance systems as well as prioritizing zoonoses control programs and intersectoral mechanisms in areas such as Oman, Iran, and Saudi Arabia. However, intersectoral collaboration is limited to the control of brucellosis. In the cases of multisectoral committees, there are designed joint plans and coordinated actions. In other regions, the components of diagnosis and reporting are under development with some having no intersectoral collaboration and control activities (Keusch et al., 2009). Other forms of zoonotic diseases that have been in existence are very hazardous to human health, for example, rabies has caused many deaths in Uganda and Africa. There is confusion regarding whether to classify these diseases in the animal or public health. Rabies is a deadly virus transmitted through saliva. If an animal infected with the virus bites a human being, the virus goes up the nervous system to the brain and causes a fatal damage.
West Nile virus is a commonly known zoonotic disease that mainly infects birds. Birds, such as robins, as well as mosquitoes are common agents of transmitting the virus. The virus, unfortunately, causes an infection that has no signs; thus, it is often discovered late. For instance, this lateness results in high fever and inflammation in the vital body organs such as the spinal cord and the brain. This causes serious effects among the affected individuals and the problem is further compromised by lack of a vaccine for either the birds or the humans (Michalak et al., 1998). According to the report by World Health Organization (WHO) in 2006, infections affiliated with human reservoirs are effectively eradicated. However, when it comes to the zoonotic diseases, it is difficult to eradicate them, and most health organizations and government departments have a big errand in getting rid of them since new diseases often crop up. They then concentrate on new ones and leave aside the ones that already exist, leaving human beings in danger.
Finally, zoonoses are emphatically connected to people living in abject poverty because it is easy to be infected with them through either overpopulation, poor domesticated animals, or poor hygienic conditions. Equally, it is also difficult for these people to get medication due to lack of income whenever they are infected, which leads to their death and physical disabilities. Evidence shows that zoonoses are more hazardous than diseases that are associated with human reservoirs (Ostfeld & Keesing, 2000). There is also complexity in controlling the diseases that often rise, thus making it hard to control the spread of these diseases and leading to loss of life to both human and animals.
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Control programs of zoonoses need to be developed with long-termed aims in working together with world organizations such as FAO and World Health Organization that deal with human as well as animal health and provide countries with advice and assistance. Health professionals such as environmental control specialists, epidemiologists, and veterinarians should have a close collaboration between the countries (Michalak et al., 1998). To strengthen the control and prevention of zoonosis, strategies to be followed should mainly aim at facilitating political commitment, identify appropriate control interventions and ensure that all stakeholders work together. Creating awareness to the policy and decision-makers on human and animal zoonosis burdens will help in supporting the control programs of zoonosis financially and give security to political commitment. Appropriate vaccines for a virus like rabies and tools to control need to be developed. Finally, for the control of humans and animal zoonosis, countries should work together towards development.