Chapter 1 : Emerging Infectious Diseases of Animals: an Overview

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This chapter focuses on constructing a framework for exploring the underlying reasons for the emergence of new animal diseases. Foot-and-mouth disease (FMD), the most contagious disease known to exist for either animals or humans, causes a transient but severe drop in production. Susceptible animals, which include all cloven-hoofed species, develop big painful blisters in the oral cavity and on the feet. Habitat alterations can lead to new diseases by a variety of means. First, destruction of existing habitat will cause a change in an animal's or a population's behavior. Second, environmental disruption can cause a change in vector populations and patterns. The plethora of diseases that have emerged from fruit bats underscores not only the ease with which diseases can move from one area to another but also the tremendous repository of viruses contained within sylvatic species of animals. The recent emergence of West Nile encephalitis virus emphasizes the importance of thorough pathologic investigations of wild animals that died in captivity and the necessity of an integrated network for reporting animal and human diseases. Artificially feeding wild animals, while seeming to be an innocuous and perhaps altruistic practice, can have dramatic effects on animal and even human health interests. Any decisions made concerning unusual animal movements, environmental disruption, or altered husbandry should be thoroughly reviewed prior to implementation to determine potential impacts on animal and human health.

Citation: Brown C. 2000. Emerging Infectious Diseases of Animals: an Overview, p 1-12. In Brown C, Bolin C (ed), Emerging Diseases of Animals. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555818050.ch1
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