354 James Walter Francis Drive
RJT Edifice Building, 5th Floor
Road Town, TORTOLA VG1110
Tel: 284 468 2730
Fax: 284 468 2750
The Territory will for the first time observe World Zoonoses Day on July 6.
The day emphasises and brings awareness to diseases that can be transmitted from animals to humans or more specifically, a disease that normally exists in animals but can also infect humans.
Acting Chief Agriculture Officer, Mrs. Arona Fahie-Forbes said there are approximately 150 zoonotic diseases in existence. She said, “We decided to celebrate World Zoonoses Day in order to educate and create public awareness. Most people are aware of rabies infection because it makes worldwide news, but most people are unaware of the more common zoonotic infections like hookworms and roundworms which can also create health problems.”
Mrs. Fahie-Forbes said people can be infected with the diseases from contact with infected live poultry, rodents, reptiles, amphibians, insects, and other domestic and wild animals. Some common zoonotic diseases are plague, tuberculosis, ringworm, salmonellosis, lyme disease, roundworms, hookworms, scabies and rabies.
Officers from the Veterinary Unit of the Department of Agriculture will visit the Francis Lettsome, Willard Wheatley, Alexandrina Maduro and Joyce Samuel Primary Schools on July 13 to educate the students on the diseases.
Mrs. Fahie-Forbes added, “It is our first time celebrating, so we wanted to start with educating the kids.Most kids have pets and are involved in cleaning up after them so we thought educating children about proper hygiene is important to prevent the disease.”
Zoonotic diseases are caused by harmful germs including viruses, bacteria, parasites and fungi. These germs can cause several types of illnesses in both humans and animals ranging from mild to serious and even death.
The Acting Chief Agriculture Officer further stated that animals serve as a reservoir for many diseases and persons caring for them as pets should be alert to the potential for disease transmission.
She said animal handlers and the public should not be alarmed or frightened but everyone should respect the potential for disease transmission and use sound preventive measures such as wearing personal protective clothing.
For more information on Zoonotic diseases please contact the Department of Agriculture at Paraquita Bay at 468-6123.
The Department of Agriculture aims to maintain and improve the health status of the Territory’s farm animals by providing an effective and efficient service to all. This is in keeping with the department’s goal to enhance the agricultural development within the Territory while promoting sustainable agricultural growth.