Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

10 million people a year are affected by zoonotic viruses spread by non-human hosts

08.11.2006
Doctors and veterinarians need to work together to tackle the increasing global threat of zoonotic viral diseases spread by non-human vertebrate hosts – including dogs, cattle, chickens and mosquitoes - according to a review in the November issue of Journal of Internal Medicine.

An estimated 50 million people acquired zoonotic diseases between 2000 and 2005 and up to 78,000 have died, reports Dr Jonathan Heeney, Chair of the Department of Virology at the Biomedical Primate Research Centre in the Netherlands.

And the diseases responsible for the majority of zoonotic illnesses, and a third of the deaths in the study period, appear to be increasing. This is particularly worrying because there are no effective vaccines for some of the most common zoonotic viruses.

“For instance there has been a global resurgence in the Dengue virus – which is transmitted between monkeys in the jungle by the mosquitoes that feed on them. The cycle can move into nearby urban areas where it can then be transmitted from person to person by mosquitoes” says Dr Heeney.

“This has been attributed to regional population growth around large cities, increased transportation and failing public control measures.”

Recent publicity about the risk of an H5N1 (bird flu) epidemic – which killed just over half of the 145 people infected during the study period – has centered on the risk of human-to-human transmission. It has also stressed the increased risk that humans face from living in close proximity to large concentrations of birds.

“Viral infections with zoonotic potential can become serious killers once they are able to establish the necessary adaptations for efficient human-to-human transmission under conditions sufficient to reach epidemic proportions” says Dr Heeney.

“That is why it is so important for experts from all walks of medicine to work more closely together.

“Vaccines have been very successful at eradicating devastating human disease such as smallpox. But we need to be vigilant and ensure that emerging diseases such as monkeypox don’t find immunological niches in generations who are no longer vaccinated against diseases like smallpox.

“The early identification, control and prevention of re-emerging viral zoonotics lie not only with clinicians and public health experts, but more importantly with veterinarians, animal scientists and wildlife ecologists.

“They are in the best position to identify trends and patterns, such as increases in the number of deaths of wild or domestic animals. Awareness and surveillance of eco systems will play a key role in identifying and controlling new, emerging and re-emerging viral zoonotics.”

Zoonotic killers between 2000 and 2005 included:

- Rabies, which killed an estimated 30,000 people

- Dengue Virus, which affected 50 million people and killed approximately 25,000

- Japanese Encephalitis Virus, with up to 50,000 estimated cases and up to 15,000 estimated deaths

- Lassa Fever, which affected up to 300,000 people and killed about 5,000

- SARS Corona virus, which killed 774 of the 8102 people infected

Even a zoonotic virus like Yellow Fever – for which an effective vaccine exists – is estimated to affect 200,000 people, according to the World Health Organization.

“It should be stressed that only about a quarter of zoonotic pathogens are readily spread from humans to humans” says Dr Heeney.

“But it is believed that in extreme situations when certain animal viruses transmit to humans they may mutate and adapt to the new host so effectively that they may become almost exclusively spread from humans to humans. This seems to have already happened with measles and the HIV virus.

“Although the number of cases of human bird flu deaths is relatively small when compared with diseases such as Rabies and Dengue, the publicity generated by those deaths has helped to raise awareness of zoonotic diseases.

“We now need to build on that awareness and ensure that the international medical community monitors changes in animal and human health very carefully to ensure that we identify and control any new, emerging and re-emerging zoonotic viruses.”

Annette Whibley | alfa
Further information:
http://www.jim.se

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Researchers release the brakes on the immune system
18.10.2017 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn

nachricht Norovirus evades immune system by hiding out in rare gut cells
12.10.2017 | University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Neutron star merger directly observed for the first time

University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event

On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...

Im Focus: Breaking: the first light from two neutron stars merging

Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.

Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....

Im Focus: Smart sensors for efficient processes

Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).

When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...

Im Focus: Cold molecules on collision course

Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.

How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...

Im Focus: Shrinking the proton again!

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.

It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ASEAN Member States discuss the future role of renewable energy

17.10.2017 | Event News

World Health Summit 2017: International experts set the course for the future of Global Health

10.10.2017 | Event News

Climate Engineering Conference 2017 Opens in Berlin

10.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Electrode materials from the microwave oven

19.10.2017 | Materials Sciences

New material for digital memories of the future

19.10.2017 | Materials Sciences

Physics boosts artificial intelligence methods

19.10.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>