Danger from Zoonotic Diseases


Infectious diseases take the life of thousands world-over, every year, particularly in the developing countries. Researchers have found that three diseases have been creating a havoc in the developing world. These are- Anthrax, Brucellosis and Bovine Tuberculosis. Other such diseases are- Taemoa Solium Cycticercosis, Cystic Echinococcosis, Leishmaniasis rabies, and Human African Trypanosomiasis (HAT or Sleeping sickness).

Research on these diseases have generally been neglected, due to lack of official recognition and fundings. These diseases create a major impact on human and animal health, and pose a threat to the safe and plentiful food supplies in the developing world.

Together, these diseases are known as Zoonotic Diseases, and are spread between animals and humans. These are widespread in societies with high level of poverty, and where people depend on animals for livelihood. Zoonotic diseases have been almost completely missing from the agendas of the WHO. One of the reasons of this neglect could be that these diseases are mostly witnessed in the developing world, and have been controlled or eliminated in the developed world.

Recent Developments

The 2013 resolution of the WHO called WHA66.12 target all 17 neglected tropical diseases. This could be the beginning of the change, as it targets all the diseases of the category, instead of taking each of them individually.

In India, other zoonotic diseases like- Chikungunya, Dengue, Avian Influenza, Plague, SARS and Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) kills hundreds of children in the eastern parts of India.

Salmonella, Mycobacterium, E. Coli and Brucellosis are some common bacteria that cause highly infectious diseases like cholera. These are transmitted through unhygienic good and impure drinking water.

Courtesy: The Hindu

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