In every aspect of livestock production in agriculture, safety is very important. All production activities must circumvent the safety of the farmer and the animals against zoonoses; both are the main business, both have to be preserved and conserved to achieve production goal.
The severity of a disease in an animal is the same in humans; though, humans’ immune system is quite hardy and superior to the animals’. There are some diseases that can be transmitted from animals to humans. These diseases are called zoonotic diseases.
A zoonotic disease is a disease that can be passed between animals and humans. This disease can be caused by viruses, bacteria, parasites, and fungi. Most farm animals are the host of these diseases; malpractices in a farm cause the transmission in most cases.
Animals have to be treated like a sick patient always, irrespective of their state of health, whether sick or healthy; they have to be managed with caution with respect to your health because diseases are not easily diagnosed in animals.
These zoonotic diseases are very common; some farmers might have contacted some and survived it, while some are still facing the debacle till date. It is imperative we know some of these diseases, their host, their effects on humans’ health and possible ways to prevent them.
Common zoonotic diseases:
Tuberculosis is a bacterial disease caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis; it is common in Cattle, primates, and rodents.
How is tuberculosis transmitted from animal to man?
It is chiefly transmitted through the air, it is an air-borne disease; most times through the inhalation of infected aerosol droplets. Also, through contaminated equipment and bites from any of these host animals directly or indirectly through the food we eat.
What are the symptoms of tuberculosis?
Tuberculosis is a fatal disease; the bacterium stays about 2-5 weeks in humans system before it manifests, it subdues the farmer’s immune system. It is a chronic pulmonary disease that majorly impairs the lungs and kidney before it extends to other parts of the body.
Brucellosis is another bacterial disease caused by Brucella spp. It is common in cattle, swine, goat, and sheep.
How is brucellosis transmitted from animal to man?
This disease can be transmitted when there is an exchange of fluids between infected animal and human. When human’s bruised skin or mucous membrane comes in contact with the blood, mucus or any other body fluid of infected animal.
What are the symptoms of brucellosis?
Brucellosis is characterized by chronic fever and dispersed lesions and abscess around the body. It greatly impairs the bones, heart, kidney, spleen and gall bladder.
3. Newcastle disease
This disease is caused by a virus; it is a common disease in poultry birds.
How is Newcastle disease transmitted from animal to man?
They can be transmitted when the person has direct contact with the infected bird.
What are the symptoms of Newcastle disease?
The infected farmer would experience swelling and reddening of the tissues around the eye (conjunctivitis)
This is a nematode disease caused by Trichinella spiralis. It is common in pigs and cattle.
How is trichinosis transmitted from animal to man?
This disease can be transmitted through the consumption of undercooked flesh of an infected animal.
What are the symptoms of trichinosis?
It is characterized by high fever, vomiting, nausea, diarrhea; and in severe cases, the infected farmer has a neurological disorder.
This is another viral disease that can be contacted from pigs, cattle horse, and birds.
How is poxvirus transmitted from animal to man?
It can be transmitted through direct skin contact with lesions on an infected animal.
What are the symptoms of poxvirus?
An infected farmer has localized lesions, rash, fever, sore throat, encephalitis, malaise.
Irrespective of the health status of your animals, ensure you do not have direct contact with them, specifically lesions or any bruised part. Avoid exchange of body fluid as much as possible, wear protective gloves during handling to ensure your safety.
Many farmers are oblivious of these zoonotic diseases; some are even living with it but because of the hardy nature of humans’ immune system, it suppresses the effects of the diseases. However, as the disease resides in the system, they tend to pathways for other diseases, which can be more fatal. Health is wealth!
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