Stop The Next Pandemic After Covid 19 - World Zoonosis Day 2022
Nobody wants another pandemic! This World Zoonosis Day, let’s see how to prevent zoonotic diseases from disrupting our lives.
The COVID 19 pandemic isn’t over yet. And for all we know, it has wreaked havoc in every sphere of life. What if another pandemic strikes soon?
Covid is a zoonotic disease and these types of diseases are not new. In fact, we’ve had at least four pandemics in the last 100 years. While we can’t predict when the next one’s hitting us, we can stay prepared to fight it better. But how should we prepare for it? What steps are necessary to prevent the spread of zoonotic diseases?
Let’s see how to prevent the outbreak of the next pandemic.
What are zoonotic diseases?
Zoonotic diseases are those that pass from animals or insects to humans. They may or may not make animals sick but will sicken humans.
Some zoonotic diseases cause minor short-term illnesses. But few of them can even be life-threatening.
Types of Zoonosis
Zoonosis can be caused by viruses, bacteria, fungus, and parasites. Zoonotic diseases spread by parasites like mosquitoes and ticks are the most severe types.
Well, COVID 19 is a glaring example of zoonotic disease. Other zoonotic diseases include bovine tuberculosis, animal influenza, ringworm, rabies, etc.
How are zoonoses transmitted?
There is an interdependence between humans and animals. The close contact between them makes the spread of zoonotic diseases easier.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the US lists different ways through which zoonoses can spread.
1. Direct contact
These diseases can spread when you come in direct contact with the body fluids of an infected animal. It includes blood, saliva, urine, mucus, and feces.
You may come in direct contact while touching animals or if they bite or scratch you.
2. Indirect contact
You may come into contact with places where the infected animal lives. For instance, chicken coops, barns, aquarium water, dishes, and bowls of pets.
These places and objects can contain germs from the infected animal.
Yes, zoonoses can spread if your food gets contaminated by an infected animal or insect. Raw and undercooked meat and eggs can also contain germs of zoonotic diseases. Sometimes fruits and vegetables are also contaminated by the feces or other fluids from an infected animal.
Is that mosquito disrupting your peaceful night’s sleep? Beware! It can cause deadly zoonotic diseases like malaria and dengue.
Flies and ticks are also vectors that might carry disease-causing germs.
Our drinking water can cause zoonotic diseases if it comes into contact with the body fluids of an infected animal.
How to break the chain of transmission and protect yourself?
Though humans frequently come in contact with animals on a daily basis, there are certain measures you can take to prevent the spread of zoonotic diseases. Here are some tips to protect yourself and your loved ones from zoonosis.
1. Wash your hands often
Do you remember how many times your parents advised you to wash your hands as a child? Don’t forget it.
Wash your hands with antibacterial soap and water after being around animals. Yes, you should wash them even if you haven’t touched an animal.
What if soap and water aren’t available? You can use a hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol.
2. Keep mosquitoes and flies at bay
These nasty creatures can cause diseases like malaria. And they love a dirty environment. So, keep your house and the surrounding areas clean.
Does your neighbor litter that empty plot beside your house? You know what to do, right? Talk to them about how it might harm everyone’s health.
Use a mosquito repellent or a mosquito net for your safety. Plus, don't let accumulated water go unnoticed because that's where mosquitoes breed.
3. Keep your food safe
Wash your fruits and vegetables just after you bring them from the market. They might have traces of germs.
Also, make sure that your meat, fish, and eggs are properly cooked. Eating them raw or undercooked puts you at a greater risk of zoonotic diseases.
Moreover, you must always cover your cooked food. After all, you don’t want flies and other insects to contaminate it!
4. Keep your pets healthy
Your pets are bundles of joy. You love them with all your heart. But don’t forget to vaccinate them against diseases just like you took several vaccines as a child.
That will keep them safe and healthy. Plus, you and your family will also stay protected against zoonotic diseases.
Following these tips will help you prevent the spread of deadly zoonotic diseases. Thus, you and your loved ones will stay safe and sound.
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