Medical Fun Facts Episode 41: Z

If I’ve timed this correctly, tonight’s show is dropping on Monday 20 February 2017.

Tonight’s episode is about something beginning with the letter Z. For anyone listening in the USA, that is something beginning with the letter Zed!

So tonight I’ve chosen zoönoses or zoonotic infections.

What are zoonotic infections? A zoonosis is a disease that can be transmitted to humans by non-human animals. This can include your dog or cat, bats are really important carriers of zoonotic infections, as well as other mammals and birds. Birds are great carriers of zoonotic infections.

Think about influenza, basically all influenza viruses originate from birds, even when we talk about swine influenza, that virus had an origin in a bird.

On farms, anthrax used to be a common zoönosis.

Attacking animals like dogs can cause rabies as well as potentially fatal septicæmia with Capnocytophaga canimorsus.

Hunting can have its problems, e.g., brucellosis from hunting wild boar and Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiæ when prawning or fishing.

Insects are common vectors of infectious diseases like infection from Ross River virus and Barmah Forrest virus. At the moment, there has been epidemiological reporting of an increased number of people being infected with Ross River virus in Victoria.

Pet snakes and other reptiles can share their cryptosporidium and Salmonella with you. Mind you most Salmonella infections are foodborne. To be honest snakes give me the heebie-jeebies, I can’t understand how people can sleep with them let alone pat and touch them. I remember watching Steve Irwin once with a giant python on the NRL Footy Show, the snake crapped itself and it looked like it had oozed jars of peanut paste all over the hosts. 

An odd cause maybe when you have a pig heart valve used to replace your own native heart valve, you may end up with a porcine herpes virus infection (xenotransplantation).

Fetes, shows and fairs have their fair (pun intended) share of infections when they do things like petting exhibitions. Sheep and other animals can share pathogenic bacteria with little children.

Probably the biggest and best example of a zoönoses are foodborne illnesses caused by Salmonella and Campylobacter. In Australia, you should always assume that any raw chicken you have may contain Salmonella and Campylobacter. It’s important to prepare and cook all food correctly. In Canberra, salmonellosis has hit the news with a favourite café that I love attending being closed by the ACT Government authorities. Salmonella has been grown from the premises and quite a few Canberra residents have confirmed infection with Salmonella. It just goes to show even the best places can have problems. One of my favourite restaurants in Darwin had a problem with Norovirus in oyster meat it had imported from Japan. So people got ill but many of them swore they would return and eat the same dish because it tasted so good. That restaurant promised to source its oyster meat from Australia from then on. I feel the same way about this current Canberra café. 

And so, ends another episode of Medical Fun Facts. You can find the show notes for every episode at my blog http://DrGaryLum.com/Blog

You can find updates in the Facebook page. You can get the address in the show notes. Feel free to like and share each show.

Medical Fun Facts is available in the iTunes podcast store. If that’s the way you prefer to consume podcasts, please search for Medical Fun Facts and subscribe.  https://itunes.apple.com/au/podcast/blog-gary-lum/id1170771102 

If you think more people would enjoy this show, please head over to iTunes and give Medical Fun Facts a five-star rating and please leave a comment. By doing so iTunes will rank the show higher and make it easier to find.

Medical Fun Facts is also on Stitcher so if you use an Android device, you can download the Stitcher app and listen to the show in Stitcher. Android users should be able to find the Stitcher app in the Google Play store.

Like iTunes, if you visit the show on the Stitcher website and leave a review, the Stitcher algorithms will improve the show’s ranking and more people will be able to find it. Feel free to share the link via Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and any other social media platform.

I’ll put the link in the show notes.

The Stitcher link is http://www.stitcher.com/s?fid=126994&refid=stpr

If you disagree with anything in these podcasts or if you would like to voice a different view, please feel free to write a comment. If I have said something incorrect I welcome correction. Please also feel free to share your comments on social media.

I’m on Twitter at http://Twitter.com/DrGaryLum

I’m on Facebook at http://Facebook.com/DoctorGaryLum