Strategy needed to tackle zoonotic diseases, say expertsJuly 31st, 2012 - 6:38 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, July 31 (IANS) Zoonotic diseases, or diseases that transmit from animals to humans, like rabies, chikunguniya and Japanese Encephalitis, comprise a majority of the diseases afflicting humans today around the world, especially in South Asia, and a concerted strategy is needed to tackle such infections, experts said here Tuesday.
At the fourth ‘South Asia Regional Alliance to Fight Zoonoses: The Road Ahead’, experts said “over half of all known human pathogens originating in animals, and nearly 75 percent of emerging infectious diseases are zoonotic”.
The two-day seminar, which began Tuesday, has been organized by Public Health Foundation of India and One Health Alliance of South Asia (OHASA), an advisory network of scientists and policy-makers from South Asia focused on the control and prevention of trans-boundary zoonotic diseases. OHASA was formed in 2009 by EcoHealth Alliance.
Manish Kakkar, a senior public health specialist at Public Health Foundation of India, said the “veterinary sector, human sector and wildlife sector need to be on board” to effectively tackle the spread of zoonotic diseases.
“Zoonotic diseases have no international boundaries, and do not carry a passport, said Jonathan H. Epstein, EcoHealth Alliance’s Asia director. The Nipah virus is transmitted from bats to pigs and then to humans. The outbreaks of the virus have occurred in Malaysia, India and Bangladesh,” said Epstein.
“Since humans do not exist in isolation, but are part of a larger whole, the high-risk interfaces between humans and animals need to identified, as well as behaviour that increases contact with wildlife needs to be altered to be able to tackle zoonotic disease outbreaks,” he added.
In India, there is very little awareness about zoonoses, even among health professionals, which prevents prompt identification of the disease, said Kakkar.
In the aftermath of the H5N1 and SARS outbreaks of 2008, a need was felt to promote dialogue between humans, veterinary and wildlife health sectors. The Roadmap to Combat Zoonoses Initiative (RCZI) was launched in March 2009 and modelled itself around the One World One Health concept. The RCZI was set up under the PHFI.
- South Asia: Hot spot for cross-border diseases - Aug 14, 2012
- 'System needed to prevent zoonotic diseases in South Asia' - Aug 04, 2012
- Australia to help India control rabies - Jun 22, 2012
- Chicken vaccines mutate into new virus - Jul 16, 2012
- Hepatitis C-related virus in Asian bats could cut human infections - Jul 02, 2010
- UN warns Asia of foot-and-mouth disease - Jan 28, 2011
- Livestock boom worsening epidemics risks globally - Feb 14, 2011
- Mad cow case detected in US - Apr 25, 2012
- WHO for enhanced partnership to curb non-communicable diseases - Apr 24, 2012
- Reporting veterinary diseases made mandatory in UAE - Dec 24, 2011
- Avian flu virus wiping out baby seals - Aug 01, 2012
- Research for Congo virus antidote on: Health expert - Jan 23, 2011
- Impossible to detect Congo fever virus-infected animals, says Gujarat Health Minister - Feb 08, 2011
- India prepared to deal with bird flu: Government - Aug 31, 2011
- Loss of biodiversity 'threatens human health' - Dec 02, 2010
Tags: advisory network, asia director, chikunguniya, concerted strategy, disease outbreaks, emerging infectious diseases, h5n1, health alliance, human pathogens, infectious diseases, international boundaries, japanese encephalitis, manish, nipah virus, public health foundation, public health specialist, regional alliance, sars outbreaks, veterinary sector, zoonotic diseases