VELLORE: World Zoonosis Day was observed on July 6 to remind us of the need to vaccinate animals and protect ourselves from contracting infection from them.
Interns from the Government Veterinary College in Chennai, undergoing an internship at the Vellore Veterinary Clinician Centre, said that zoonotic diseases are passed on from farm animals such as cows, pigs, goats, sheep and poultry birds to humans, and vice versa.
Animals often pass worms in their faeces, infecting people who come in contact with the manure. The infections often lead to bloody diarrhoea, fever, abdominal cramps, nausea and vomiting.
Rajamanickam and Meera, who underwent a special internship at the Virginia Institute of Technology in the USA, said that educating the public on zoonotic diseases will protect both groups.
Dr Manoharan, specialist at the Department of Animal Husbandry, said that drinking unpasteurised or improperly boiled milk may cause tuberculosis in human beings.
Anthrax, a deadly disease transmitted from animals to man, is endemic in parts of Vellore and Tiruvannamalai districts, he said.
Rabies is another deadly viral disease transmitted by the bite of a rabid dog to humans and other livestock.
Infections from tapeworms, seen as cysts in the muscles of cattle is harmful to humans if the meat is consumed without being thoroughly cooked. Leptospirosis, spread from urine of rat and dog, can damage kidney in humans.
Dr Manoharan said that wearing footwear while walking on the road, storing food-items safely, treating sick animals on time and not kissing pets should prevent infection. Pets and farm animals should be periodically vaccinated for zoonotic diseases like rabies and leptospirosis to prevent an outbreak of the disease.