Zoonotic diseases: causes and prevention


Zoonotic diseases are also commonly referred to as zoonotic diseases. Zoonotic diseases are transmitted from animals and insects to humans. Some of these do not make animals sick, but they do cause human health problems.

These illnesses range from mild short-term illnesses to serious life-threatening conditions. This article describes everything you need to know about zoonotic diseases and how to prevent them.

What is a zoonotic disease?

Animals help provide some benefits to humans. Many humans interact with animals in their daily lives, both at home and away from home. Animals provide food, fiber, livelihood, travel, sports, dating, and education to humans around the world. While traveling, visiting animal exhibitions or enjoying outdoor activities, you may encounter animals in a rural or urban environment.

However, animals can cause a disease called zoonotic disease / zoonotic disease and carry harmful bacteria that can spread to humans. Zoonotic diseases are caused by harmful bacteria such as bacteria, fungi, viruses and parasites. These bacteria can cause many illnesses in humans and animals, from mild to severe illness to death. Depending on the zoonotic disease, the animal may look healthy even if it has bacteria that may be zoonotic.

How do bacteria spread between animals and humans?

Knowing common ways to infect pathogens that can cause zoonotic diseases is essential for the close relationship between humans and animals. These include:

  • Food poisoning: Eat and drink contaminated food such as unsterilized milk, poorly cooked meat and eggs, and raw fruits and vegetables contaminated with the feces of infected animals.
  • Vector-based: Bitten by insects such as mites, mosquitoes and fleas
  • Direct contact: Encounter saliva, blood, urine, mucus, feces, or other body fluids of infected animals. This can occur when the animal is being stroked or touched, or when it is bitten or scratched.
  • Minakami: Drink or encounter water contaminated with feces of infected animals.
  • Indirect contact: You will encounter places where animals live and roam, or objects and surfaces contaminated with bacteria from these animals.Examples: water in aquarium tanks, pet habitats, chicken coops, barns, plants, soil, pet food and water dishes

What are zoonotic diseases caused by pets?

Listed below are some of the common illnesses you can get from your pet. People with weak immunity, especially HIV / AIDS, can be more vulnerable than healthy people.


Some people cause flu-like symptoms due to protozoa. If a woman is pregnant or is preparing to become pregnant, she should be aware of this disease as it can infect the fetus and cause miscarriage and severe birth defects.

A person can develop toxoplasmosis by consuming partially cooked meat or coming into contact with cat feces.

Psittacosis (Psittacosis)

This is a bacterial infection caused by inhaling dry feces and airway fluid from infected birds. This includes birds such as parakeets, parrots, macaws and parrots. This infection can be difficult to observe in birds, as birds are often asymptomatic. This makes prevention even more difficult.


Dogs and cats can become infected with tapeworms by eating infected fleas. Most human tapeworm infections result from ingesting contaminated meat, but children can pick up tapeworms by accidentally swallowing fleas infected with tapeworm larvae. Tapeworm fragments can be found in feces or around the anal area of ​​pets and humans.

Hook worms and roundworms

These intestinal parasites are found in dogs and cats, especially kittens and puppies. Worm eggs and larvae pass through feces from pets. You can pick up hook worms from your skin by walking barefoot or playing outside. Ancylostomiasis can cause itchy and painful skin infections and abdominal symptoms. Roundworm infections may not cause symptoms, but some people can cause nerve and eye damage.


Rabies is caused by a virus and spreads by bites. Rabies is a fatal disease that directly affects the nervous system. Early signs of it can be fever or headache. This can rapidly develop into symptoms of drowsiness, confusion, or agitation. Rabies can spread from pets such as unvaccinated dogs and cats, but it is more likely to occur from wildlife.

Cat scratch disease or Baltonerosis

It is a bacterial disease that spreads from cat to cat through fleas, but humans are usually transmitted by scratches and bites on cats. If you develop cat scratch disease, you may have more serious problems such as mild infections, flu-like symptoms, or heart valve damage.

Other major zoonotic diseases are:

name explanation Animal carrier
Anthrax A very rare but potentially life-threatening illness caused by bacteria that can infect humans through infected animals / animal products. Cows, sheep, pigs, goats
bird-flu Bird disease that can occur in individuals who are in close contact with infected birds or who handle materials / products of infected birds. bird
Bovine tuberculosis (bovine tuberculosis) Bacterial disease in animals and humans with clinical symptoms similar to other forms of tuberculosis Cow, deer, alpaca, llama
Brucellosis Brucellosis, also known as wavy or familial fever, is a highly contagious bacterial infection, but it is rare in humans. Most commonly, it is transmitted by contact with infected animals / ingestion of unpasteurized milk / dairy products. Cows, pigs, sheep, goats, camels
Campylobacteriosis It causes infectious diarrhea and mainly affects very young children and the elderly. Cows, poultry
Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) A very rare and deadly neurodegenerative disease that is said to be caused by the accumulation of abnormal forms of naturally occurring “prion” proteins in our brain. Cow
Cryptosporidium disease It is an infectious diarrheal disease that can be transmitted by contact with infected animals. Cow, sheep, deer, goat
E. coli O157 Escherichia coli O157 lives in the intestines of animals and can be transmitted through contact with infected animals and their feces. It can cause illnesses ranging from diarrhea in humans to renal failure. In some cases, the infection can be fatal. Infants and the elderly are at greatest risk. Cows, sheep, deer, goats,
Velotoxin-producing Escherichia coli (VTEC)
Erysipeloid This is a rare bacterial skin infection that can be obtained from a wide variety of infected animals Fish, pigs, birds
Giardiasis Diarrheal disease caused by parasites that can spread through ingestion of contaminated water / food or direct contact with infected humans / animals. Cat.Dogs, pigs, sheep, horses
Orthohantavirus disease Orthohantavirus infections are caused by a series of viruses carried by rodents. It is commonly spread by contact with saliva, urine, or feces of infected rats / rodents. Rat / rodents
Echinococcosis Echinococcus in dogs causes echinococcosis. It infects humans primarily through the feces of infected dogs. dog
Leptospirosis (Weil’s disease and Hadjo) This is two forms of bacterial infection, Weil’s disease and Hadjo. Weil’s disease generally arises from water contaminated with rat urine, but Hadjo is commonly captured from infected cattle. Rodents, cows
Louping ill A viral infection that affects grouse and sheep and rarely causes illness in humans Birds, sheep,
Lyme disease This is a potentially serious bacterial infection that is transmitted by tick bites. Tick
Newcastle disease This is a highly contagious disease in birds, but very rare in humans. It can infect humans through infected birds and their products. bird
Orf Orf, a viral skin disease in sheep and goats, can spread to humans through close contact with infected animals.Not considered a serious illness, but causes localized lesions Goat, sheep
Chlamydia in sheep Chlamydia sheep, a bacterial disease acquired from infected goats and sheep, causes mild flu-like illnesses in most people.However, in pregnant women, it can cause serious life-threatening illnesses in the mother, leading to miscarriage and stillbirth. sheep
Q fever This is a bacterial illness that causes mild flu-like illness in most people, but it can also lead to more serious illness. Goat, sheep, cow
Ringworm It is a human fungal skin disease, including other animals that cause a ring-shaped red rash on the skin. Horse, cow
Salmonella Salmonella is usually the bacterium that causes mild, self-limited diarrheal illnesses, and can sometimes be severe. Salmonella is most commonly transmitted through food, but can also be found in fecal-contaminated water and soil. Including pigs, poultry, pigs and many other animals
Streptococcus sutra Streptococcus sutra, a bacterium that causes disease in pigs, generally spreads from pigs to humans through direct contact. Pig
Streptococcus Suzu Epidemicas It is a bacterium that infects horses and cattle and is extremely rare in humans. However, it can be obtained by direct contact with infected animals. Cow, horse
West nile virus This virus infects birds. It was bitten by an infected mosquito and spread to humans and horses. bird

What should I do if I have a zoonotic disease?

If a person is scratched or bitten by an animal, a veterinarian should thoroughly check the animal. This is to ensure that the animal is properly vaccinated and free of rabies and other zoonotic diseases.

Zoonotic diseases are fairly common, but some people are at high risk of developing zoonotic diseases. These individuals may also have more serious reactions and symptoms. High-risk individuals include:

  • Children under 5 years old
  • Pregnant woman
  • People infected with HIV
  • Cancer patients receiving chemotherapy
  • Adults over 65
  • Others with weakened immunity

The best way is to consult an expert immediately.

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How to prevent zoonotic diseases?

Zoonotic diseases are fairly common around the world. And there are several ways to help prevent zoonosis. These include:

  • Practice safe food handling. This includes washing away all produce before consuming.
  • Wash your hands properly with water and soap
  • Do not drink, drink or touch your eyes or mouth when handling or in close contact with animals.
  • Have your pet vaccinated at home and take it to a veterinarian for regular visits
  • Use insect repellent or other methods to keep mosquitoes, fleas and mites away
  • Talk to your veterinarian about flea and tick prophylaxis suitable for your pet
  • Check for ticks when you go out
  • Keep away from wild animals that look sick
  • Keeps animals clean and keeps all areas disinfected
  • Be aware of where animals and insects may be in nature, especially when participating in activities such as hunting and camping.
  • Use gloves if needed to handle animals that are sick or look sick


The severity of zoonotic diseases depends on the type of zoonotic disease. Many of these are treatable, but others can cause serious, long-term and even life-threatening fatal conditions. Therefore, if you suspect a zoonotic disease, check with your doctor or health care professional immediately.

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