Plain language summary: The European Union One Health 2018 Zoonoses Report
Zoonoses are infectious diseases that are spread between animals and humans and can be caused by microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites. They are among the most common foodborne diseases (commonly referred to as food poisoning) and can also be spread to humans either by direct contact with a sick animal or by contact with a vector (or carrier). Foodborne diseases in this context include those that are spread by water. In the European Union there are typically about 5,000 reported outbreaks of foodborne zoonoses per year involving more than 40,000 individuals. Many victims need to be hospitalised and some cases are fatal. Many milder food poisoning episodes may go unreported. Together, these represent a significant public health concern and have important implications for trade within the EU and with other countries.