Approach to preventing Zoonoses in travelers and other groups
common infectious diseases are zoonoses in that they are acquired
through contact with wild animals, either through direct exposure
or via pets or domestic livestock.
although sometimes rare and unusual zoonoses are not completely
random or unpredictable. Humans can decrease their chance of exposure
through good hygiene and observation of reasonable precautions.
as diseases are maintained in the wild through a number of mechanisms
and understanding this help people recognize their risks.
Diseases shared with animals through an abiotic reservoir
This includes examples of spore diseases that may lie dormant
and infect both animals and humans (Blastomycosis, Aspergillus).
Diseases where the wild animal is the main reservoir
(rabies in wild foxes and skunks in North America).
Diseases transmitted from wild to domestic animals then
from a wild skunk to household dog, plague from exposure to rodents).
Diseases maintained in both domesticated and wild animals
Zoonoses where humans are the main host
tuberculosis, Staphylococcus areas).
Disease shared by wild and domestic animals
A, Lyme disease and West Nile virus). Humans as one other animal
of course may also be infected.
Disease maintained by domestic animals but occasionally
spill into wild animals but are not maintained in those wild animals
examples of mycobacterium bovis that are maintained among cattle
but periodically affect other ungulates).
infectious agents do affect different species differently.
SARS scare is one example of a zoonoses that emerged quite suddenly
and had dramatic consequences for our species.
working with or exposed to wild animals should be aware of the existence
of zoonoses disease. This applies as well to travelers who in the
course of their travels may encounter both wild and domestic animals
in countries with poor veterinary care.
what disease occurs in which species as well as their habitat .
is relevant for field researchers working on specific animals closely.
A literature search or consultation with a veterinarian or wild
health specialist can assist prospective students in preparing for
protective clothing when appropriate .
or vinyl gloves should always be used for handling animal feces,
tissue, blood or carcasses. If clothing is likely to be soaked then
outer protective lab coat or outer clothing should be worn.
let a wild or umkown animal scratch or bite you.
obvious, this is especially important for exposure to less threatening
"small animals" such as bats or mice.
animals that are acting abnormally .
diseases that affect the central nervous system causing erratic
behavior are Zoonoses. Rabies may cause both furious and docile
behavior in different species and should always be kept in mind.
all dead animals with respect and rubber gloves should be worn at
all times . Dead animals may provide useful information
about disease epidemiology (dead crows are used as sentinel cases
for the presence of West Nile virus). If appropriate, send dead animal
bodies to local authorities but handle with gloves. Small bodies
may be put into plastic bags with care to prevent spill or leakage.
Contaminated equipment must be cleaned.
contact with abnormal skin on wild animals .
such as mange, contagious ecthyma and fungal infection may be passed
contact with animals' feces especially those of carnivores .
eggs are passed and infective even on cages, equipment or inanimate
objects. Many parasites use carnivores as part of their life cycle
(intermediate host) and are likely to be very infective so that
fomites must be thoroughly cleaned if contaminated.
all rodents as they carry a large amount of infectious diseases
and secretions, nest materials and ectoparasites are all potentially
medical advice early.
exposed to Zoonoses people should consult an expert familiar with
the animal in question. Physicians may require help from a veterinarian
authority to guide correct testing.
for pets and domestic livestock
owners protect themselves by immunizing their pets and keeping them
healthy. Although unusual, cases of human heartworm have occurred
after kissing household cats. The worm which finds humans a dead
end host dies inside the lung but causes a condition identical to
a pulmonary embolism.
pets from impact with wild animals also reduces transmission of
disease. For the majority of instances where people are exposed
to unknown animals, simple prudence and use of adequate barriers
will keep them healthy.
that humans are another legitimate "animal" sharing the environment
and equally susceptible to perturbations in it. Of all the factors
affecting wild animals, human activity either direct or indirect
has the most influence on wild animal health.
of disease in wild Animals by Gary A Wobeser DVA Blackwell Publishing