World Zoonoses Day

Protecting the health of our animals is also protecting our health

Today marks World Zoonoses Day, a crucial date for global public health. This day was chosen in honor of the anniversary of the first successful use of the rabies vaccine by French scientist Louis Pasteur in 1885. However, its relevance transcends this historical milestone, standing as a moment for reflection on the importance of controlling zoonoses—diseases that can be transmitted between animals and humans. 

Zoonoses include some of the most well-known and feared diseases, such as rabies, avian flu, Lyme disease, and more recently, COVID-19. These diseases not only affect human and animal health but also have a significant impact on our economy and ecosystems and pose a constant threat due to their ability to re-emerge in new forms and spread rapidly. COVID-19 is a clear example of how a zoonosis can paralyze the world, causing millions of deaths and triggering economic and social crises. Therefore, surveillance and control of zoonoses are crucial to prevent future pandemics. 

Factors contributing to their emergence and spread include deforestation, uncontrolled urbanization, climate change, and the illegal wildlife trade. These human activities negatively impact natural habitats, bringing wild animals, domestic animals, and humans into closer contact, thereby creating favorable conditions for disease transmission. 

Companion animals, such as dogs and cats—which play a central role in our lives, providing companionship, love, and emotional support—can also be carriers of zoonoses. Diseases such as toxoplasmosis, leptospirosis, and rabies are examples of illnesses that can be transmitted to us by our pets. 

It is vital that pet owners are aware of the risks and take preventive measures. Regular vaccination, deworming, and good hygiene practices are essential to minimize the risk of disease transmission. Regular veterinary consultations and keeping an updated record of pet vaccinations and treatments are fundamental steps to ensure the health of both animals and humans. 

How can we control these zoonoses? Firstly, a multifaceted approach is indispensable, including surveillance and monitoring, establishing reliable systems for the early detection and tracking of emerging zoonoses. Public education and awareness are also very important, through campaigns that inform the public about zoonoses and preventive measures. Interdisciplinary collaboration, following the One Health approach, is crucial, involving cooperation between veterinarians, doctors, scientists, and public health authorities to develop and implement integrated strategies. Additionally, stringent policies and regulations are essential to protect natural habitats and regulate the wildlife trade. Lastly, continuous investment in the research of new vaccines, treatments, and diagnostic methods for zoonoses is imperative. 

This day is undoubtedly a timely reminder of the fragile balance of our planet and the importance of controlling these diseases to preserve global health. Protecting the health of our animals also means protecting our own health—by promoting responsible practices and collaboration across different sectors, we can mitigate the risks of zoonoses and ensure a healthier, more sustainable, and safer future for all. 

Do you have a transformative project?

Register your project starting from

the beginning of September

Do you want to be notified when applications open?

Leave us your email.