Health Experts Wary Of Zoonotic Diseases
11 July 2024
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Zoonotic diseases which are transmitted from animals to humans, are posing a significant public health challenge in Zimbabwe, with experts calling for increased awareness and preventive measures.

Estimated to contribute to a staggering 70% of all emerging infectious diseases in humans, zoonotic diseases are now a cause for concern.

As the world grapples with the lingering effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, a zoonotic disease veterinarian, Dr Toonse Mudimba underscores the potential for animal-borne pathogens to cause global pandemics.

“The recent COVID-19 pandemic originated from bats, animals. It caused a global pandemic that affected humans, then we have diseases like the Ebola virus among others. So, veterinarians are very important in the control or detection of zoonotic diseases because if they detect these diseases very early, we can then prevent them from being transmitted to humans. They are also key in disease surveillance, they can always monitor the vectors which are involved in transmitting these diseases.

“So if those issues are dealt with early by veterinarians then it means humans can be prevented from getting these diseases. Most domesticated animals will be on top of my list for transmitting zoonotic diseases because we are a country invested in agriculture. So these domesticated animals have different zoonotic diseases that we get in Zimbabwe like rabies from dogs, anthrax from cattle, we get brucellosis from consuming contaminated milk from cattle. We also have reservoir animals.”

Dr Mudimba advocates for a “One Health” approach, noting the need for collaboration between veterinarians and public health officials.

ZBC News