World Zoonoses Day is observed annually on July 6. In commemoration of ‘World Zoonoses Day’, the Colombia Ministry of Health and Social Protection reiterates the preventive message against the contagion and transmission of zoonotic diseases: ” Animals and people share health and well-being “and invites citizens and the general population to take the measures and recommendations of the health authorities for the possession of domestic or companion animals.
Luis Alberto Carreño Buitrago, Deputy Director of Environmental Health explained that “zoonoses are diseases shared between people and animals, which represent about 61% of infectious diseases in humans.
He stressed that the country, with the cooperation of national and international organizations, defined the six zoonoses of interest in public health, such as: Avian influenza, Rabies, Equine encephalitis, Leptospirosis, Brucellosis and Bovine Tuberculosis. Among them, the US Center for Diseases Control and Prevention, the Pan American Health Organization -PAHO, the National Institute of Health -INS, the National Institute of Medicines and Food -INVIMA, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development -MADR, Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development – MADS, experts from De La Salle universities, University of Córdoba, and National University.
The preventive measures for the responsible ownership of pets and production animals are the following:
- Vaccinate your dog and cat against vaccine-preventable diseases in accordance with your pet’s health plan and veterinary medical assessment.
- Do not allow your companion and production animals to roam freely in public spaces in order to avoid exposing your animal to zoonotic diseases in wildlife, as well as traffic accidents.
- Report to the Ministry of Health all animals with symptoms compatible with zoonotic diseases.
- Follow the recommendations of the health and environmental authorities in case of travel or mobilization of your animals to enzootic areas of zoonotic diseases
It is important to take into account and put into practice these measures identified by experts as the most effective to prevent exposure and control zoonoses in both people and animals. The non-possession and trade of wild and exotic fauna, health and environmental education, community surveillance reporting to local authorities the presence of sick animals with symptoms compatible with zoonosis are part of prevention.