World Zoonoses Day is being observed today. Zoonosis is an infectious disease that spread from animals to humans. The day is observed to commemorate the first vaccination administered against a zoonotic disease, rabies. It presents an opportunity to educate the people and raise awareness of diseases that can spread between animals and people. This year’s theme is “Let’s Break the Chain of Zoonotic Transmission.”
World Zoonoses Day commemorates the work of French Biologist Louis Pasteur, who successfully administered the first-ever vaccine against rabies, a zoonotic disease on this day. Louis Pasteur administered the first-ever vaccine to Joseph Meister, who was mauled by a rabid dog. The jab was given on 6th of July in 1885. Since then, the day is remembered to thank the creator of the first-ever vaccine.
Zoonotic pathogens can be bacterial, viral or parasitic which can spread to humans through direct contact or through food, water or the environment. Diseases like Avian influenza, Ebola and West Nile Virus are considered to be zoonotic diseases.
World Zoonoses Day has a lot of significance amid the ongoing pandemic. However, the day gives an opportunity to raise awareness and to educate the masses about the ill effects of zoonotic.
Last year, a report titled “Preventing the Next Pandemic: Zoonotic diseases and how to break the chain of transmission” was launched by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI). The report suggested that unless governments across the world take measures to prevent zoonotic diseases from infecting humans, the outbreaks will emerge further. The report has also warned that governments about future pandemics due to the spread of zoonotic diseases.
Further, to prevent the spread of zoonotic diseases, raising awareness is extremely important. The regulation practices and monitoring associated with zoonotic diseases should be strengthened. And identifying the key sources of emerging zoonotic diseases is equally important to curb the spread.