Many zoonotic diseases can be prevented by being careful about how we prepare our food and water, according to Kathryn B. Brown, FNP, of the East Oregonian Publishing Group:
• Cooking eggs and meat thoroughly decreases the likelihood of infection with gastrointestinal infections such as salmonella, shigella, E. coli and tapeworms, though does not reduce the risk of acquiring bovine spongiform encephalopathy, also called mad cow disease.
• Cooking fish and shellfish thoroughly destroys the hepatitis A virus, tapeworms, roundworms and other bacteria and viruses that can cause gastrointestinal infections.
• The practice of pasteurizing milk kills microorganisms that cause tuberculosis, brucellosis, Q fever and other milk-borne diseases.
• Treating water by boiling, chlorination or filtration all but eliminates the chances of human infection with typhoid fever, giardia, cryptosporidium, shigella and E. coli.
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