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World Zoonoses Day 2023 – July 6

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World Zoonoses Day is annually observed across the globe on 6th July to raise awareness about Zoonosis or zoonotic disease, an infectious disease that can spread between species, from animals to humans or vice versa.

The day commemorates the anniversary of the day that Louis Pasteur, a French biologist, successfully administered the first vaccine against rabies, a zoonotic disease on 6th July 1885.


i. A zoonosis is any disease or infection that is naturally transmissible from vertebrate animals to humans. There are over 200 known types of zoonoses.

ii. Zoonotic pathogens may be harmful germs like bacteria, virus or parasites, or may involve unconventional agents and can spread to humans from animals through direct contact or through food, water or the environment.

iii. Zoonoses include a wide range of new and existing diseases in humans such as Rabies, which are 100% preventable through vaccination and other treatments.

iv. Other zoonoses such as Ebola virus disease, salmonellosis and COVID-19, have the potential to cause global pandemics.

Prevention and control:

i. Safe and appropriate guidelines for animal care in the agricultural sector will help reduce the potential for foodborne zoonotic disease.

ii. Standards for clean drinking water and waste removal, as well as protections for surface water in the natural environment, are also important and effective.

iii. Education campaigns to promote handwashing after contact with animals and other behavioural adjustments can reduce community spread of zoonotic diseases.

WHO’s response for Zoonotic disease:

i. World Health Organization (WHO)’s ‘One Health’ is an integrated, unifying approach that mobilises multiple sectors, disciplines and communities at varying levels of society to balance and optimise the health of people, animals and the environment.

ii. As part of the One Health approach, the WHO collaborates with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations (UN) and the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) on the Global Early Warning System for Major Animal Diseases (GLEWS).

About World Health Organization (WHO):

Founded in- 1948
Director-General- Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus
Headquarters- Geneva, Switzerland