John T. Meredith
Systemic Zoonoses Infections
Zoonotic Encephalitis and Meningitis
Respiratory. Zoonotic. Infections
Gastrointestinal Zoonotic Infections
Dermatologic Zoonotic Infections
Zoonoses Acquired from Household Pets
Zoonoses Transmitted from Animal Bites
Zoonotic Infections .a.nd.jmm.U.n.oco.mPro.m.is.e.d. Patients
The World Health Organization classifies zoonotic infections as those diseases and infections that are naturally transmitted between vertebrate animals and humans. 1 This broad class of diseases includes more than 200 specific diseases and syndromes covering an extremely variable range of clinical syndromes and medical therapy.2 Zoonotic infections can be transmitted to humans by direct contact with an infected animal or infected animal product, by ingestion of contaminated water or food products, by inhalation, and through arthropod vectors. In North America and Western Europe, many of the serious zoonotic infections either have been eradicated or are beginning to come under control. Rabies, brucellosis, and echinococcosis will probably be eliminated from developed countries within the next 20 years.3 Nevertheless, zoonotic infections with a relatively low incidence in North America often incur high morbidity and mortality. Pets are the principal reservoirs of zoonoses in North America. Zoonotic infections still represent a significant public health issue in most of the underdeveloped regions of the world, especially those undeveloped regions and countries dependent economically on agricultural animals. As such, the incidence of zoonotic infections is significant, with accompanying high morbidity and mortality. Another concern is the ever-increasing growth and mobility of the world's population. This increase in human mobility has resulted in the appearance of new zoonotic infections and the reemergence of previously eliminated zoonoses. Of significance is that more than 50 percent of the newly identified infectious agents since 1976 are associated with animals.4 This trend of newly emerging zoonoses is likely to continue. Thus, diversity of presentation, human mobility, and zoonotic reemergence make the diagnosis and management of zoonotic infections a daunting task for emergency physicians.
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