World Zoonoses Day

World Zoonoses Day

Zoonotic diseases are infectious diseases that can be transmitted between animals and humans. According to the World Health Organisation, they account for around 60% of all infectious diseases. World Zoonoses Day is observed annually on the 6th of July to mark the successful administration of the first rabies vaccine by Louis Pasteur. Louis Pasteur's work not only saved many lives but also marked the beginning of efforts to understand and prevent zoonotic diseases.

In this blog, we will learn about the history, theme, and importance of World Zoonose Day and ways to prevent zoonotic diseases.

What are Zoonotic Diseases?

Diseases or infections spread between humans and animals are called Zoonotic diseases. Also known as zoonoses, these diseases can be classified according to the source of the infection. 


Zoonoses that are caused by viruses, fungi, parasites and bacteria, come under this category. Some examples include rabies and COVID-19, which are viral zoonoses, and ringworm which is fungal zoonose.


Zoonoses can be caused by both wild and domesticated animals. Bird flu is an example of an infection transmitted through wild birds. Domestic animals, such as dogs and cats, and livestock are also some of the common sources of zoonotic infections.

Mode of Transmission

Zoonoses can also be transmitted through different modes such as direct contact with an infected animal (Rabies), consuming undercooked meat,drinking contaminated water, and through air or mosquito bites (Lyme disease, dengue). 

What is the History of Zoonoses Day?

French biologist Louis Pasteur administered the first dose of vaccine for rabies, on 6th July 1885,  to a boy named Joseph Meister who was bitten by a dog. The vaccine saved the life of the little boy. Since then, World Zoonose Day has been celebrated on the 6th of July to mark the anniversary of the first vaccination against a zoonotic disease.

What is the Significance of World Zoonose Day?

The World Zoonoses Day holds great significance as it aims to raise awareness about zoonotic diseases. This day is celebrated to draw attention to the impact of zoonotic diseases on both humans and animals. The day focuses on the necessity for more research to prevent outbreaks of further infections. Its objective also includes educating individuals who work in close contact with animals, about the risks associated with zoonotic diseases.

What is the Theme of Zoonoses Day 2024?

Each year, a theme is assigned to celebrate World Zoonoses Day. The focus of the World Zoonoses Day 2024 theme is,

  • Preventing the spread of zoonotic diseases
  • Controlling zoonoses by managing threats for future infections
  • Designing a framework for preparedness and response to the disease

What are the Factors Causing Zoonotic Diseases?

Given below are the main causes of the spread of the zoonotic diseases: 

  • Environmental changes 
  • Over-exploitation of wildlife
  • Poor practices of livestock farming due to increased demand
  • Urbanisation leading to encroachment of habitats of wild animals
  • Poor sanitation
  • Improper food safety measures
  • Exposure to wild animals
  • Improper care of pets and their environment

Prevention of Zoonotic Diseases

Prevention of zoonotic diseases can be achieved only through the “One World, One Health” approach as emphasised by WHO. It states that human health, environment and animal health are interconnected and integrating these sectors can help in controlling the spread of these diseases. On an individual level prevention includes:

  • Vaccination of animals and humans against these infections.
  • Promoting hygiene such as proper sanitation, hand washing, safe food handling etc.
  • Vector control such as controlling the spread of infection through insects and mosquito bites by managing the population of vectors. Also, protecting oneself from mosquito bites by covering yourself or by using mosquito repellents
  • Wear gloves while handling wild animals.
  • Avoid direct contact with an infected animal or surface.
  • Consult an expert to find ways to manage zoonotic diseases if you fear getting an infection.

Coming Together for a Healthier Future

World Zoonoses Day is observed as a reminder to come together to prevent, detect and respond to zoonotic diseases. If human and animal health sectors work together, the challenges in managing the spread of such diseases can be addressed. If due to your work or a weak immune system, you are at risk of getting a zoonotic infection, do not waste any time and consult a doctor immediately. Get yourself tested and start the treatment immediately.

In addition, to ensure you have access to treatment when you need it the most, invest in a comprehensive health insurance policy with Care Health Insurance. Our wide range of health insurance plans allows you to receive timely medical care without any financial constraints. You can contact our insurance experts or visit our website to understand coverage options that suit your needs. To access world-class cashless medical care at more than 11400 network hospitals, purchase a Care Health insurance plan today!

>> Also Read: World Down Syndrome Day

Disclaimers: The above information is for reference purposes only. Kindly consult your general physician for verified medical advice. The health insurance benefits are subject to policy terms and conditions. Refer to your policy documents for more information.

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