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World Zoonoses Day 2024 – July 6

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World Zoonoses Day - July 6 2024World Zoonoses Day is annually observed across the globe on 6 July to raise awareness about Zoonosis, an infectious disease that is naturally transmissible from vertebrate animals to humans.

  • The Day aims to prevent the spread of zoonotic diseases, control zoonoses by managing threats for future infections, and design a framework for preparedness and response to diseases.


i.The Day commemorates the anniversary of the day that Louis Pasteur, a French chemist, and microbiologist, administered the 1st vaccine for humans against rabies, a vaccine preventable viral zoonotic neuro-invasive disease which is usually fatal.

ii.In July 1885, Louis Pasteur administered the rabies vaccine to save the 9-year-old Joseph Meister who was bitten by a rabid dog.

iii.Joseph Meister was the 1st human being vaccinated with an artificially attenuated microbe, as it had only been tested successfully in dogs and rabbits.

What is Zoonosis?

i.Zoonosis is an infectious disease that transfers from non-human animals to humans and the zoonotic pathogens may be bacterial, viral, parasitic, or involve unconventional agents.

ii.It can spread through direct interaction with infected animals via food, water, or the environment.

iii.Zoonoses comprise a large percentage of new and existing diseases in humans and there are over 200 known types of zoonoses.

iv.Certain zoonoses, such as Ebola virus disease and salmonellosis, can cause repeated disease outbreaks. Other zoonoses include avian flu, Rift Valley Fever, and rabies.

Prevention and Control:

Prevention methods for zoonotic diseases differ for each pathogen. Some community and personal practices are:

i.Follow safe guidelines for animal care in agriculture to reduce foodborne zoonotic disease outbreaks.

ii.Ensure clean drinking water and effective waste removal.

iii.Protect surface water in the natural environment.

iv.Promote handwashing after contact with animals through education campaigns.

Note: Widespread use of antibiotics in animals raised for food increases the risk of drug-resistant zoonotic pathogens capable of spreading quickly in animal and human populations.

WHO Response:

i.The World Health Organisation’s (WHO) “One Health” approach is an integrated, unifying approach to balance and optimise the health of people, animals, and ecosystems.

ii.A One Health approach to emerging zoonotic diseases mobilises multiple sectors, disciplines, and communities at varying levels of society to work together to foster well-being and tackle threats to health and ecosystems.

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

  • This collaboration enhances early warning, prevention, and control of animal disease threats through data sharing and risk assessment.

Note: The WOAH was founded in 1924 as the Office International des Epizooties (OIE).

About the World Health Organisation (WHO):
Director General– Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus
Headquarters– Geneva, Switzerland
Established in 1948