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J Korean Med Assoc > Volume 47(11); 2004 > Article
Chun: Epidemiology of Zoonoses


Zoonoses are diseases caused by the agents that are transmitted between vertebrate animals and human. It is the interaction between agents, host, and the environment they share that determines whether or not infection will be successful. Zoonotic diseases usually have a wide range of host and are particularly important sources of emerging new infectious diseases in human. From an evolutionary point of view, infections in humans and in other animals share common origins. Zoonotic agents are extremely variable in their host specificity and their impact on individuals and host population. The control of zoonoses depends on attempts to reduce vector populations of to limit contacts with reservoir species. In most instances, however, the control efforts require an environmental or human behavioral modification in addition to direct efforts to reduce the size of the vector population. In this article, I described the common natural history and ecologic characteristics of zoonoses, and explained why we should keep an eye on the change in zoonoses with emerging infections. And I also introduced the recent change in the incidence of notifiable zoonotic diseases among animals and humans in Korea, and the principle of control and prevention of zoonoses.


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