According to research, zoonotic pathogens have caused the majority of emerging infectious diseases in the past 60 years. Today experts are saying more surveillance is needed to track these diseases, and that scientists aren’t doing a good enough job at monitoring animal diseases that could make the jump to humans. However, efforts are underway to increase monitoring of zoonotic diseases, most notably at Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine.
“We have to work together, the veterinarians as well as the medical profession,” said Dr. Mushtaq Memon of the WSU College of Veterinary Medicine. “Let us understand the interface, how do diseases go from animal to human, and how can we stop it and prevent it?”
The article in which Dr. Memon is quoted explores disease surveillance, particularly in developing countries where people live and work closely with livestock. While there is certainly a threat of people being infected by zoonotic diseases in the United States, the risk of infection is higher in rural and developing areas of the world.