On July 6, 1885, Louis Pasteur administered the first rabies vaccine in a person, marking an important turning point in public health. Today, zoonotic diseases continue to be one of the biggest threats at the human-animal-environmental interface. Zoonotic diseases, or zoonoses, are caused by germs spread between animals and people. Just some of the more well-known zoonoses animal care providers are familiar with include giardia, cat scratch disease (CSD), leptospirosis, rabies, and ringworm. Further, while the risk of humans contracting canine influenza from dogs is considered very low, because the influenza virus is everchanging and adaptable, it’s not impossible.
Preventing and controlling zoonotic disease can have global consequences as more than half of all infections that people can get are zoonotic. A few statistics:
- 60% of existing infectious diseases are zoonotic.
- At least 70% of emerging infectious diseases come from animals (Ebola, HIV, influenza, and COVID-19).
- 80% of agents with potential bioterror use are zoonotic.
A One Health approach to addressing zoonotic diseases, improving health for both people and animals living in a shared environment, is key to preventing and controlling zoonotic diseases that can have global consequences. As the human-animal bond continues to grow, and as the human population continues to expand geographically, as noted by the American Veterinary Medical Association, “The contact between human and wild animal habitats increases, introducing the risk of exposure to new viruses, bacteria and other disease-causing pathogens.”
Simply put, optimal health for both humans and animals requires an approach beyond considering human-to-human or, separately, animal-to-animal transmission. Rather, in sickness and in health, there is a human-animal bond and the need for a One Health approach.
For more information visit Aerapy Animal Health’s dedicated Zoonotic Diseases page. Additional resources are available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): Zoonotic Diseases and One Health Basics.
Aerapy Animal Health is dedicated to helping create clean, healthy indoor environments for animals and the humans who care for them with researched, tested, and study-backed UV technology. We maintain a continually updated database of existing and emerging zoonotic pathogens. Contact us today for a free UV consultation.