It is time to rethink the way we handle pets and wildlife

Dog owners with their pets during the annual Kenya Society for the Protection and Care of Animals Shaggy Dog Show at the Ngong Racecourse in Nairobi on November 3, 2013. PHOTO | SALATON NJAU | NATION MEDIA GROUP

What you need to know:

  • During the Kenya Medical Research Institute’s fifth scientific conference, which also took place in February, scientists raised the alarm over the transmission of diseases from animal to humans.
  • The World Health Organisation says that 60 per cent of the pathogens that cause infectious diseases in human beings come from animals.
  • According to the US’s Centre for Disease Control and prevention, zoonoses include a wide range of diseases, ranging from mass killers such as anthrax, Ebola, swine flu, West Nile Virus, bird flu, Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever and the Hendra Virus to subtle and slow killers like rabies, Rift Valley Fever and Brucellosis.

During the funeral of a 39-year old woman who died of Aids in Homa Bay in February this year, a clinical officer who had attended to her engaged DN2 in a discussion about the Zika Virus in South America, and how it had triggered yet another debate on how man’s unguided relationship with nature is hurting him.

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