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 Antibiotic effective against drug-resistant bacteria in pediatric skin infections
17.02.2017 | University of California - San Diego

nachricht Tiny magnetic implant offers new drug delivery method
14.02.2017 | University of British Columbia

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: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Biocompatible 3-D tracking system has potential to improve robot-assisted surgery

17.02.2017 | Medical Engineering

Real-time MRI analysis powered by supercomputers

17.02.2017 | Medical Engineering

Antibiotic effective against drug-resistant bacteria in pediatric skin infections

17.02.2017 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>