Word of the Day: Zoonotic


zo-o-no-tic / -ə--tĭk


1. (pertaining to a disease) having the ability to be transmitted between animals and humans

Zoonotic pathogens, such as coronaviruses and avian influenza viruses, are more likely to infect people in crowded, unsanitary settings, where multiple animal species from a wide geographic area intermingle. In general, the risks of a human outbreak increase when zoonotic pathogens are novel—because of a lack of immunity in humans—and when they can spread rapidly from person to person.

“Zoonotic Diseases: Federal Actions Needed to Improve Surveillance and Better Assess Human Health Risks Posed by Wildlife”, US Government Accountability Office, www.gao.gov/products/gao-23-105238, accessed September 18, 2023