Infectious diseases of animals are important especially when they are capable of infecting humans. Such diseases are called zoonoses. Based on their aetiologies, zoonoses may be bacterial, viral, mycotic or parasitic. Examples of bacterial zoonoses include; brucellosis, tuberculosis, anthrax etc, parasitic zoonoses include; taeniasis, cryptosporidiosis, balantidiosis etc while viral zoonoses include; Lassa fever, Ebola fever, SARS, avian flu etc. Some mycotic zoonoses include Dermatophytoses, sporotrichosis, cryptococcosis and histoplasmosis. Zoonotic infections occur worldwide and often spread to humans through their companion domestic animals as well as through wild animals. As a result of our interconnectedness, infectious diseases emerge more frequently, spread greater distances, pass more easily between humans and animals, and change rapidly into new and more virulent strains. Every zoonosis is a present or potential threat to human health. The public health importance of zoonotic diseases is exemplified by the morbidity and mortality caused by recent worldwide outbreaks of SARS, avian flu and swine fever. Many of the major zoonotic diseases prevent the efficient production of food of animal origin and create obstacles to international trade in animal products. Considering the pandemic risk of zoonoses, this review is aimed at creating awareness to limit the exposure to and transmission of zoonotic agents between domestic and wild animals and humans.
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