Zoonotic diseases have been prevalent on earth since ancient times. They are caused by germs that spread from animals to people. They have caused epidemics, viral infections, and pandemics and they keep on re-emerging. According to the National Institutes of Health, zoonotic diseases account for 60% of the known infectious diseases and 75% of emerging infectious diseases. They can be transmitted in the form of viruses, bacteria, parasites or fungi through animal and insect bites, handling sick animals, eating uncooked meat, unpasteurized milk, or contaminated water.
Even though we are facing such diseases since ages like SARS, Rift Valley fever, SARS, H1N1, yellow fever, avian flu (H5N1) and H7N9), there is a lack of collaboration between animals and human health experts to tackle zoonotic diseases. Given the consequences and damage of the previous pandemics and the current COVID-19 pandemic, there is an urgent need to establish strategies to prevent zoonotic diseases. “One health approach” for the disease surveillance of zoonotic diseases.
By implementing the following strategies to prevent zoonotic diseases, the healthcare system can be ready for any type of zoonotic diseases to come and handle the crisis they cause:
- By strengthening laboratory diagnostic capabilities to test pathogens and viruses in animals and arthropods can boost early detection.
- Improving case management and prevention of infections by applying standard measures in the care and treatment of all patients, regardless of whether they are perceived or confirmed.
- Developing resources for outbreak preparedness and responses by making the use of regional delivery and technology would also help to monitor potential results.
- Improving political involvement and collaboration mechanisms by developing policies across different sectors that will help improve surveillance and zoonotic disease control response plans.
- Fostering future studies and researches into the development and management of zoonotic diseases using scientific methods.
These adequate strategies to prevent more such epidemics related to zoonotic diseases will help to achieve an optimal healthcare system.