Vets Not Being Vaccinated

Zoonotic Diseases chart

Not enough Australian veterinarians are vaccinating themselves against Zoonosis despite 75 per cent of Australia’s infectious diseases belonging to the animal-born virus.

By Hannah Watt

Infectious Disease experts from the World Health Organization deem that the next human pandemic will derive from a Zoonotic disease and wildlife is likely to be the primary suspect.

The number of infectious diseases in humans has increased in Australia over the last 30 years with around 75 per cent of these diseases belonging to Zoonotic.

Zoonosis is a disease that occurs in animals and has the potential to transmit to humans.

Zoonotic Diseases chart

Zoonotic Diseases chart

According to the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry website,

“Zoonotic diseases can spread through a variety of means such as working closely with live stock, household pets, exhibited animals or wildlife.”

A recent study conducted by a James Cook University PHD student and veterinarian Diana Mendez revealed that a large portion of Australian veterinarians are not vaccinating themselves against Zoonosis diseases.

“One study I conducted was Infection Control in veterinary practice,” Diana says.

“I interviewed 540 participants and 70 per cent of those were not vaccinated against many Zoonotic diseases such as Australian Bat Lyssavirus or Hendra.”

The study was established after the emergence of Hendra Virus in horses.

Hendra virus can be transmitted to humans and causes systemic disease, which can take the form of viral pneumonia or encephalitis.

“The reason why I began the study of Infection Control in veterinary practices was because some vets died because of the Hendra virus,” Diana says.

There are many precautions that can be undertaken to help prevent getting infected by a Zoonotic disease.

These include practicing good personal hygiene, wearing protective clothing, maintaining animals and getting vaccinated.

All of these can help minimize the risk of animal borne diseases.