The term refers to diseases found in animals that can be transmitted to humans. A harmful germ, such as a virus, bacteria, parasite or fungi, can cause the disease. Zoonotic diseases are very common around the world. In fact, scientists estimate that more than 6 out of every 10 known infectious diseases in people can be spread from animals. Rabies, ebola, and lyme disease are well-known zoonotics.
While common, sometimes the effects can be disastrous. The Covid-19 virus, currently causing a pandemic around the globe and killing millions, is such a disease. It has been reported that the Covid-19 virus was transferred from bats to humans in or around Wuklan China.
The transfer of the germs to humans can be attributed to changes in natural environments or expanding food production, including loss of biodivsity. As a result, climate change and its impacts on land usage are closely tied to spread of zoonotics, which will increase as climate changes. In other words, diseases such Covid-19 will not be so uncommon.
Some further ideas to explore on Zoonotic:
Check out what, if any, diseases you might catch from any pets around you.
Determine how the disease would be transferred from the pets to you.
Determine what species of animals might migrate to your area as a result of climate change and what zoonotic risks they would bring with them.
“Zoonotic Diseases” Center for Disease Control, and Prevention. bit.ly/3r1vOVZ
“Zoonotic,” Cambridge Dictionary bit.ly/3iQGgNt
Lori Cuthbert, “How do infections like the coronavirus jump from animals to people?’ National Geographic (1 April 2020). on.natgeo.com/3pu5nbi
“Zoonotic Diseases and How They Are Spread,” the Spruce Pets (22 Mat 2020). bit.ly/3oozz6u
P Erika, “Coronavirus Has Zoonotic Animal Origin, Scientists Explain Why,” The Science Times (17 July 2020).