Contagious Animal Diseases Transmitted to People & Pets

Zoonotic Diseases Add comments

Chagrin Falls, Ohio; August 21, 2008 Currently, there are over 200 Zoonoses, or animal diseases, transmissible to people that are a significant infectious risk to human health. Effective control of these diseases in animals is paramount to their control and prevention in people.

Proactive approaches to health care in the 21st century require closely controlled surveillance systems to detect and monitor disease problems that threaten both human and animal health.

Since outbreaks of certain diseases in animals typically precede outbreaks in people, health department’s routinely use animals as early warning signs or “Disease Sentinels” for certain infectious diseases, including Bubonic Plague, Hanta Virus, Equine Viral Encephalitis, and Rabies. This generally allows time for preventative measures to be taken that will reduce the number and/or severity of human cases.

Medical doctors and veterinarians are required to report certain diseases to local health authorities, which is crucial to effectively controlling and ultimately eliminating these diseases. Infectious diseases that threaten our economic welfare such as Mad Cow Disease, Tuberculosis, and Brucellosis must be reported within 24 hours at which point, strict state and federal guidelines geared to ultimately eradicate these diseases are employed.

Case Examples: The virus responsible for causing Mad Cow Disease is also responsible for causing atypical Creutzfeldt – Jakob disease (CJD).

Mad Cow Disease, since its recognition in 1985, has caused the destruction of over 1 million dairy cows in Britain. Twenty people with the new CJD variant are also dead. No known treatment for people or animals exists.

The cows were exposed to the virus in their feed, which had been contaminated with protein from sheep infected with Scrapie (Ovine Spongiform Encephalopathy). In 1997, CJD was reported in people in rural Kentucky that ate squirrel brains, which were put into stews or scrambled with eggs. Studies to search for this agent in the brains of squirrels are ongoing.

The virus responsible for causing Mad Cow Disease is also responsible for causing atypical Creutzfeldt – Jakob disease (CJD). Mad Cow Disease, since its recognition in 1985, has caused the destruction of over 1 million dairy cows in Britain. Twenty people with the new CJD variant are also dead. No known treatment for people or animals exists.

The cows were exposed to the virus in their feed, which had been contaminated with protein from sheep infected with Scrapie (Ovine Spongiform Encephalopathy). In 1997, CJD was reported in people in rural Kentucky that ate squirrel brains, which were put into stews or scrambled with eggs. Studies to search for this agent in the brains of squirrels are ongoing.

EXAMPLES OF REVERSE ZOONOSES: The mumps virus causes mumps in man and parotiditis in dogs. Tuberculosis in humans causes tuberculosis in elephants, dogs, and deer. Infectious hepatitis in people causes hepatitis in monkeys and other primates.

A bacterium called Staphylococcus aureus causes a skin disease “Furunculosis” in people. In cattle, it causes a mammary gland infection called “mastitis” as well as the skin condition, Furunculosis. The agent responsible for causing Scarlet Fever in people, a bacterium called Streptococcus pyogenes, causes mastitis in cattle. A protozoal organism Giardia lambia causes nausea and diarrhea in people and beavers. The influenza virus (strains A & B) responsible for the human cold causes severe respiratory disease in pet rabbits and ferrets.

Anthrax is caused by an organism that lives in the soil and has been recognized for centuries. In Europe during the 19th Century, one-third of our nation’s sheep and cattle died each year because of Anthrax. Sudden death in domestic livestock is the rule. Today, livestock in high-risk areas are vaccinated to prevent Anthrax.

In humans, the death rate in untreated cases exceeds 90 percent. Spread of this bacterium by air or aerosolization of Anthrax bacteria is a relatively common terrorist threat here in the United States. Four such threats have been reported since December 1998; so far all have been hoaxes.

Bookmark www.carolonpets.com for the latest pet health news and information to keep yourself and your pets healthy. Veterinarian and author, Dr. Carol Osborne, D.V.M. is available for consultations toll free at 1-866-372-2765.

4 Responses to “Contagious Animal Diseases Transmitted to People & Pets”

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    Studies to search for this agent in rural Kentucky that ate squirrel brains, which were put into stews or scrambled with eggs are ongoing.
    Quote: In 1997, CJD was reported in people in rural Kentucky that ate squirrel brains, which were put into stews or scrambled with eggs. Studies to search for this agent in rural Kentucky that ate squirrel brains, which were put into stews or scrambled with eggs. Studies to search for this agent in people in the brains of squirrels are ongoing.

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    [...] News » News Contagious Animal Diseases Transmitted to People & Pets2008-08-24 10:34:31To eggs. Studies to search for this agent in rural Kentucky that ate squirrel [...]

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    [...] News » News Contagious Animal Diseases Transmitted to People & Pets2008-08-25 22:36:59To eggs. Studies to search for this agent in rural Kentucky that ate squirrel [...]

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