Archive for September 21st, 2019

Tech Focus: What Are Zoonoses And How Can Technology Help (Part 1 of 2)

Saturday, September 21st, 2019

The word ‘zoonosis’ is not one that is popular in the common lexicon, and yet it is something that can affect our lives profoundly. Aspiring vet med student, Erin Tan, did some research on the topic and shares what she thinks in this two-part story.

* This article first appeared in HalenessMe.

Zoonoses. Source: GAO.

Zoonoses. Source: GAO.

A zoonosis is a disease which can be transferred from animals to humans, and there are many examples of zoonoses which many are familiar with.

One has only to recall the SARS outbreak of 2003 to recognise the destructive potential of zoonoses.

Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), a disease which originated from viruses in bats that jumped to palm civets and then to humans, severely impacted countries like Hong Kong, China, Singapore, and even Canada.

774 lives were claimed globally by this never-before-seen disease.

Stories of doctors, nurses and other health workers who had perished saving the lives of SARS patients filled the papers.

International travel to affected areas dropped sharply by 50-70%, resulting in the closure of many tourism-related businesses.

The civet cat is closely associated with the outbreak of SARS in Asia.

The civet cat is closely associated with the outbreak of SARS in Asia.

Clearly, while the containment of SARS – especially in Singapore – is generally hailed as a success story, the outbreak did result in significant social and economic drawbacks.