Zoonotic diseases pose a real risk to people working in our agricultural industries, which is why it is important to get the message out there as often as possible.
From 1-5 October, Animal Health Australia (AHA) will be posting daily on its Livestock Biosecurity Out and About social media pages to help raise awareness of zoonotic disease prevention, symptoms, treatment and research. Already this year there have been 308 notifications of Q fever, 122 notifications of leptospirosis and 17 notifications of brucellosis in Australia.
“It is likely that these cases are just the tip of the iceberg and that many cases of these diseases in Australia go undiagnosed,” AHA’s Biosecurity and Extension manager for Northern Australia, Jess Rummery, said.
“In 2014, I was unfortunate enough to get leptospirosis—a bacterial disease that can infect many species of animals, including humans. Overnight, I went from healthy to being so sick that I was unable to work or even leave the house.
“My symptoms were so non-specific that it took months before I finally got any answers and since then it has been a very long road to recovery. I have met many others that have had very similar experiences to my own.
“If by raising awareness within our agricultural communities we can even prevent one case like mine, I would call that a success,” Rummery added.
“I encourage everyone living or working around livestock, wildlife or other animals to #BeZoonosisAware and get involved.”
Follow the conversation on Facebook or Twitter via @AHAOutAndAbout. Throughout the week AHA will be promoting awareness of diseases that pose a risk to people working in rural areas or in close proximity to livestock and other animals.
Join the conversation using the hashtag #BeZoonosisAware, share posts or contribute your own stories and experiences. AHA also encourages other agricultural organisations to get involved and help in sharing this message.