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ICMR-NIV Warns Of Reverse Zoonosis, Advises Care In Handling Animals

Dr Priya Abraham, ICMR-NIV Director, in an interview with ANI, said that ‘zoonosis’ leads to infections passing on from animals to humans while its vice-versa is called ‘reverse zoonosis’

ICMR-NIV Warns Of Reverse Zoonosis, Advises Care In Handling Animals
The ICMR-NIV official said that environment surveillance is an important indicator of the virus as suggested by other scientists too

New Delhi: The director of ICMR-National Institute of Virology (NIV) on Sunday advised people to exercise caution while handling animals as negligence may transmit infections like COVID-19 from humans to animals through ‘reverse zoonosis’. Dr Priya Abraham, ICMR-NIV Director, in an interview with ANI, said that ‘zoonosis’ leads to infections passing on from animals to humans while its vice-versa is called ‘reverse zoonosis’.

Whenever an infection transmits from humans to animals is called reverse zoonosis. It’s not only about SARS-CoV-2, but also includes other COVID like infections. Any infection that originally comes from animals to humans is called zoonosis, Dr Abraham said.

Also Read: Current Covid Vaccines May Protect From Severe Disease Caused By Omicron: Study

She further termed the transmission of COVID-19 from animals to human beings a case of ‘suspected reverse zoonosis’ while stressing that it’s not a challenge to deal with such infections.

I can’t call it a challenge. We need to keep it in mind and be aware and ready to investigate such infections of reverse zoonosis, the ICMR-NIV official stated.

On being asked about the possibility of transmissions of infections from animals to humans and vice versa, Dr Abraham said, “I think we have to be cautious when we handle other animal species, particularly those you know don’t usually mingle with us.”

She said that people are unaware of animal species vulnerable to viral infections, hence, they need to be careful and attentive in dealing with them.

We don’t know which animal species are prone to pick up infections. You can’t get paranoid about it but we have to keep in mind that infection can transmit from us to animals and come back as well, she added.

Also Read: Novavax’s COVID-19 Vaccine Covovax Gets Emergency Use Nod For Adolescents Aged 12-17 In India

The ICMR-NIV official said that environment surveillance is an important indicator of the virus as suggested by other scientists too.

One environmental surveillance which people are doing is actually the sewage water sampling, which is like an indirect indicator that a particular area from where that sewage water is being drained still has COVID prevalence. So that’s one way to do environmental monitoring or surveillance, she said.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

NDTV – Dettol have been working towards a clean and healthy India since 2014 via the Banega Swachh India initiative, which is helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. The campaign aims to highlight the inter-dependency of humans and the environment, and of humans on one another with the focus on One Health, One Planet, One Future – Leaving No One Behind. It stresses on the need to take care of, and consider, everyone’s health in India – especially vulnerable communities – the LGBTQ populationindigenous people, India’s different tribes, ethnic and linguistic minorities, people with disabilities, migrants, geographically remote populations, gender and sexual minorities. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (WaterSanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign will continue to raise awareness on the same along with focussing on the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children, fight malnutrition, mental wellbeing, self care, science and health, adolescent health & gender awareness. Along with the health of people, the campaign has realised the need to also take care of the health of the eco-system. Our environment is fragile due to human activity, which is not only over-exploiting available resources, but also generating immense pollution as a result of using and extracting those resources. The imbalance has also led to immense biodiversity loss that has caused one of the biggest threats to human survival – climate change. It has now been described as a “code red for humanity.” The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollutionwaste managementplastic banmanual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene. Banega Swasth India will also be taking forward the dream of Swasth Bharat, the campaign feels that only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and the country can become a Swasth or healthy India.

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