KATHMANDU: Humans are increasingly falling prey to endemic diseases that are being transmitted from animals. The government’s apathy towards the issue is only worsening the situation.

Though the outbreak of zoonotic diseases — diseases that transmit from animals to humans — is becoming a common issue in the society, it is yet to draw attention of concerned government authorities. Zoonotic diseases like brucellosis, neurocysticercosis, rabies, bird flu and plague among others are common among humans.

According to Veterinary Public Health Office (VPHO), the only state mechanism to combat zoonotic disease, any viruses, bacteria and fungi can cause the disease. Direct and indirect contact with infected animals or their body products such as faeces, fur, milk, meat and urine is a common mode of infection. In other cases, indirect contact can also result in infection.

Dr Hari Krishna Raghu Shrestha, a veterinarian at the office, said most of the cases of zoonotic disease are not reported. “Brucellosis, caused by brucella abortus virus can cause serious health hazards, particularly on pregnant women leading to miscarriage and foetal abnormalities. The virus also attack genital organs of humans,” he added.

Anthrax (patake rog in Nepali) is another disease which transmits to humans from cattle.

“High fever, bodily pain and palpitation are the major symptoms of this disease. It usually breaks out during the monsoon,” Dr Shrestha said, adding that the anthrax virus can live for more than two decades.

Neurocysticercosis is another disease caused by hydratidois, larval stage of taenia solium (a type of tapeworm). Consumption of undercooked mutton and pork transmits the hydratidois to humans.

The VPHO has called on the consumers to avoid the barbecue, roast and smoked meat to avoid the disease.