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19 November, 2021 10:55:53 PM

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Global hotspots and emergence of zoonotic diseases

The health of humans, animals and nature needs to be considered with equal importance to combat future outbreaks and spillover, a thought or concept that is being considered globally. To tackle spillover of zoonotic diseases, public health experts recommended prompt implementation of the "One Health" approach.
Ashikujaman Syed & Samia Jahan
Global hotspots and emergence of zoonotic diseases

People, animals and the environment are intertwined. If the health of animals and nature is not protected then human health will not be risk free.

Zoonotic spillover is the transmission of a pathogen from a vertebrate animal to a human which presents a global public health burden. The phenomenon of cross-species spillover is the defining characteristic of pathogens that transmit from vertebrate animals to humans (zoonoses) and the zoonotic diseases naturally transmit along with. Most new infectious diseases result from the spillover of pathogens from animals, particularly wildlife, to people. Most new infectious diseases result from the spillover of pathogens from animals, particularly wildlife, to people.
Spillover prevention should not be dismissed in discussions on how best to address pandemics, a lesson from COVID-19 pandemic, a respiratory disease due to SARS-CoV-2 virus.
The health of humans, animals and nature needs to be considered with equal importance to combat future outbreaks and spillover, a thought or concept that is being considered globally. To tackle spillover of zoonotic diseases, public health experts recommended prompt implementation of the "One Health" approach. The essence of the concept of one health is that human health is closely connected to the health of animals and the shared environment thus people cannot and will not keep their health intact in isolation. Human health will be better only when the health of wild animals, livestock, farm animals, farmland and the wider environment remains intact. This approach recognizes the links between the environment, animals, and human disease. According to the World Health Organization, One Health is an approach to designing and implementing programmes, policies, legislation and research in a manner in which multiple sectors communicate and work together to achieve better public health outcomes.

Recognizing the interconnection among people, animals and their shared environment, One Health principles have become especially relevant to how the COVID-19 pandemic started, presumably with a virus jumping from its bat host to an undetermined species and then to humans, with devastating effect. Countries whose governance systems have prioritized formal coordination across multiple sectors informed by the One Health approach have performed better in curbing SARS-CoV-2, a virus that crosses borders.

Seventy-five percent of all new or emerging diseases worldwide come from animals. The National Academy of Sciences of the United States, after reviewing 1,461 infectious diseases that infect humans, says that about 70 percent of them have multiple carriers. They can nest in the bodies of humans, animals or birds. According to pathologists, the first case of Japanese encephalitis was reported in 1976. Before that the disease was not in the country. Its carrier is a mosquito. HIV / AIDS, Dengue, Chikungunya, Bird Flu, Swine Flu, Nipah, Zika — these diseases have come to Bangladesh from other countries. There is a risk of spreading the disease from animals to humans in any part of the world. New diseases in the United States, Africa or any other country in Europe have been seen to come to Bangladesh in a few years. Sometimes it takes more time, sometimes less. HIV / AIDS was identified globally in Africa in 1980. The virus was first identified in Bangladesh in 1989. The Nipah virus was first identified in Malaysia in 1998. Four years later, it was identified in Bangladesh. The Bangladesh Government should take proper steps for zoonotic disease.

In sub-Saharan Africa, zoonotic infections account for 26% of the years of healthy life lost to infectious diseases, and this figure is growing as increasingly dense populations collide with the animal world and ecosystem services deteriorate as a result of forests being turned into land for farming and grazing. Africa is a hotbed for zoonotic diseases ranging from endemic zoonoses such as brucellosis and leptospirosis to neglected zoonoses such as rabies and onchocerciasis to emerging zoonoses such as anthrax, yellow fever, Ebola, Lassa fever and COVID-19. Key anthropogenic drivers of emerging zoonoses include increasing urbanization, armed conflict between countries, and deforestation. Rapid migration of people from rural areas to urban areas often generates high-density slums characterized by poor housing, lack of clean water and poor sanitation facilities. Grossly, massive increase in population, super-fast urbanisation and climate change are causing the emergence of new and old diseases that can be transmitted between animals and humans.

Outbreak containment measures are always necessary for all. Thing to remember that preventing spillover is cheap compared with the costs of a single pandemic. Spillover can never be completely eliminated. But if prioritized alongside post-spillover initiatives, outcomes will be more cost-effective, scientifically informed and equitable.

Improved management of farmed animals, regulations on wildlife trade and conservation of tropical forests have all helped to prevent spillover and subsequent outbreaks, as well as boosting greenhouse-gas mitigation and wildlife conservation.

Though awareness of One Health as an approach is steadily growing, unless this is translated into action, the world remains vulnerable to future outbreaks. Community members networks are vital in putting One Health approaches into practice. Therefore, community members are essential to informing One Health policy. Educational institutions should support government and community efforts by initiating formal frameworks to teach One Health principles so that they can be easily applied in a practical setting.

Ashikujaman Syed is Research Assistant, Bioinformatics Research Lab, Center for Research Innovation and Development in Bangladesh & Samia Jahan is HSC examinee, Rajbari Government College, Rajbari.

 

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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