WHO Guidelines on Zoonosis

The World Health Organisation, United Nations Environment Programme and the World Organisation for Animal Health laid down fresh guidelines to reduce the risk of transmission of zoonotic pathogens to humans in food production.

Guidelines

  • Suspension of trade in live caught wild animals of mammalian species for food or breeding.
  • To shut down food markets that sell wild animals of mammalian species.
  • To strengthen standards of hygiene, sanitation in traditional food markets to reduce the risk of transmission of zoonotic diseases.
  • To conduct risk assessment. They will provide evidence based developing regulations to control the risks of transmission of zoonotic microorganisms.
  • To strengthen animal health surveillance systems.
  • To develop and implement food safety information campaigns for stall holders, market traders, consumers and wide general public.

What is Zoonosis?

Zoonosis is an infectious disease that transfers from non-human animals to humans. These pathogens may be viral, bacterial or parasitic. They spread to humans through direct contact, water, food and environment.

One-Health

The guidelines issued were in line with the concept of “One Health”. This term was first used in 2003-2004. It was associated with the emergence of SARS and Avian Influenza H5N1. SARS is Severe Acute Respiratory Disease. According to One-Health, the health of human beings is associated with the health of environment and animals.

Zoonotic Diseases

Some of the modern-day Zoonotic diseases are Ebola, Salmonellosis. HIV was a zoonotic disease that transmitted to humans from animals. However, it has now mutated to human-only disease. Influenza, Bird Flu, Swine Flu, Spanish flu are all zoonotic diseases.

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