• Science

    Zoonoses: Transmission of diseases between animals and humans

    We have dedicated this article to explaining everything you need to know about zoonoses, the transmission of diseases between animals and humans, so that you are informed and can take the necessary precautions.

    What is zoonosis?

    With the term “zoonoses” we refer to all diseases that can be transmitted from animals to humans and vice versa. In this sense, there are two types of zoonoses, which are determined according to their mode of transmission, namely:

    • Direct zoonosis: in this case the diseases are transmitted between animals and humans through the exit, the air or bites.
    • Indirect zoonosis: corresponds to the transmission of diseases between animals and humans through a species that functions as a vehicle and is known as a vector, precisely the one that carries the pathogenic agent that causes the disease.

    How is zoonosis classified?

    Although we have already seen that there are two types of zoonoses according to the way in which they are transmitted, it is appropriate to inform you that they are also classified according to the diseases they involve, according to the following:

    • Viral zoonoses: includes diseases such as yellow fever, avian flu, Ebola, rabies, dengue, Zika and others.
    • Bacterial zoonoses: includes diseases such as salmonellosis, tuberculosis, bubonic plague and others.
    • Fungal zoonoses: includes diseases such as ringworm, cryptococcosis and histoplasmosis.
    • Parasitic zoonoses: includes diseases transmitted by fleas such as anisakis, leishmaniasis, scabies and toxocariasis, among others.

    What are the symptoms of zoonosis?

    Considering that zoonosis is not a single disease but includes all those that can be transmitted between animals and people, the symptoms to manifest depend directly on the disease in question.

    Although it is true that the same disease can affect a human differently compared to any other animal, in general its symptoms are quite similar.

    What causes zoonosis?

    The diseases that comprise zoonoses have their origin in the transmission of pathogenic agents between species of animals. Consequently, it is possible to acquire them by being in direct contact with these animals, consuming undercooked meat from them or food that has not been handled with the proper hygiene and safety techniques.

    The spread of these diseases is also influenced by the modernization of agricultural practices in areas vulnerable to ecosystem destruction, human intervention, and climate changes that arise as a result of these activities.

    It is essential to highlight that zoonosis is not only a public health hazard but can also generate significant losses in the economic sector, an example of this is when a large number of birds must be euthanized due to the detection of a flu outbreak avian.

    Can zoonoses be prevented?

    Taking into account that zoonoses are diseases that are transmitted between people and animals, it is possible to prevent them by avoiding contact with them. Likewise, it is essential to apply sanitary measures in terms of food handling.

    Additionally, if you have pets such as dogs and cats, it is essential to control pests such as fleas and ticks to prevent the proliferation and transmission of these types of diseases. Currently, there are many products that are effective in treating these infestations and are available in a variety of presentations for the convenience of the user.

    What is the treatment of zoonosis?

    As with the symptoms, the treatment of a zoonotic disease depends on its particular characteristics.

    It would be impossible to speak of a single treatment for the entire spectrum of diseases that zoonoses comprise, since each one has its own characteristics and are different from each other.

    Keeping a safe distance from animals is the best way to avoid contagion by zoonoses. Now that you know the infections that you can acquire through other species, do not hesitate to consult a doctor at the slightest sign that something may be wrong with your health.