and can also be an infection or disease that is transmissible between animals
humans”. This is particularly important as the strength of the
human-animal bond continues to grow and develop between ourselves and our
lack general knowledge about the scope, importance and prevalence of zoonotic
disease, but more alarmingly, a survey of physicians themselves, has found a
lack adequate knowledge and awareness of zoonotic disease as well as general discomfort
in addressing and communicating these public health threats and concerns to
their human patients.
provide instructional education about zoonotic disease to veterinary students
as a requirement of being recognized as an accreditated school. In particular, courses highlighting the
importance of epidemiology, zoonoses, food safety, the complex interrelationship
of animals and the environment and the overall contribution of veterinarians to
general public health is a curriculum requirement for most, if not all,
veterinary students. No such accreditation requirement exists in U.S. medical
considering over 50% of all US households have one or more pets, the potential
risk of contracting a zoonotic disease is a clear and present concern.
exceedingly long, but here are some of the more well-know examples of zoonotic
diseases: HIV, Ebola, Bubonic plague, Rabies, intestinal parasites (giardia,
roundworms, tapeworms, etc), ringworm, salmonella, Lyme Disease, influenza, E.
Coli, Dirofilariasis (heartworm disease), chlamydia, bartonella, anthrax,
leprosy, tuberculosis, West Nile, Zika virus, eastern/western/venezuelan
encephildes and the list goes on and on.
Ensure you are properly handling, storing and
cooking all food intended for human consumption. The importance of this has
been highlighted with the recent Raw Food pet diet trend (not to mention this
is NOT a nutritionally complete nor well- balanced approach to meeting your
pet’s nutritional needs).
flea, tick and heartworm prevention. Protecting yourself against insect vectors
is also extremely important.
immunizations. Maintaining your immunization status is equally important.
Companion Animal Hospital’s friendly and knowledgeable veterinary staff
members. Additional reading materials, a complete list of zoonotic diseases and
references for this article can also be found at www.cdc.gov.
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