- May 1, 2022
- Posted by: OptimizeIAS Team
- Category: DPN Topics
Subject: Science & Tech
Context- Coronavirus can spawn potential variants that can jump back to humans.
- The role of “animal reservoirs” in the spread of COVID-19 is still being studied but evidence of zoonosis, or the virus jumping from animals to humans, is growing.
- Some experts supported the theory that the highly mutated Omicron variant emerged from animals, potentially rodents, rather than an immune-compromised human.
- As the virus multiplies in infected hosts, it can mutate slightly, and over time, minor genomic tweaks in animals, could eventually add up to changes that make the virus more contagious or deadlier in people, or able to evade treatments and vaccines.
- Flagging the concern, the World Health Organization (WHO) last month said the introduction of COVID to wildlife could result in the establishment of animal reservoirs of the virus.
What are Zoonotic Diseases?
- Zoonosis refers to the transmission of diseases between animals and humans.
- Such diseases are termed Zoonotic Diseases.
- Zoonotic diseases range from mild to severe, while in extreme cases can even be fatal.
- Zoonoses may be bacterial, viral, or parasitic, or may even involve unconventional agents for the transmission of the disease.
- WHO in 1959 defined Zoonoses as “those diseases and infections which are naturally transmitted between vertebrate animals and man.”
- World Zoonoses Day is observed every year on July 6 to create awareness on zoonotic diseases, how to prevent them, and what actions to take when exposed.
- COVID -19 is an example of a zoonotic disease which broke out in China’s Wuhan district in December 2019.