Tuesday, February 14, 2017
Veterinarians and global health .
The World Health Organization recently declared that the Zika virus is no longer a global health emergency, other diseases are growing more threatening each day. Leptospirosis, a bacterial disease transmitted through infected animal urine claimed dozens of human lives in the Caribbean in 2016., or cysticercosis, a disease contracted from the pork tapeworm, Taenia solium, that causes hundreds of thousands of people to suffer seizures. It's no coincidence that these diseases are transmitted by animals as nearly 60 percent of all human diseases are and such illnesses kill over two million people each year. Today's veterinarians aren't merely tasked with giving Fido his shots as they're asked to serve as public-health warriors, leading the attack against diseases of zoonotic nature. The lives and livelihoods of millions of people depend on them receiving the proper training. Mosquitoes have caused deadly diseases for generations such as dengue fever that affects up to 400 million people annually while malaria strikes another 200 million. The blood-sucking pests aren't the only source of threats. Dogs transmit 99 percent of rabies which without prompt treatment, the disease is nearly always fatal for people. Animal-borne diseases can also infect local economies. Lets look at the Zika virus, which causes birth defects in babies. The latest outbreak hit over 61 countries and as the virus spread, tourism in affected areas dropped precipitously. Consider Miami's $24 billion tourism industry, because of Zika, the price of plane tickets to Miami dropped 17 percent in August, a sign of depressed demand. One local restaurant owner reported losing 70 percent of his customers. continue