Introduction: Climate change plays an important role in the geographic spread of zoonotic diseases. Knowing which populations are at risk of contracting these diseases is critical to informing public health policies and practices. In Québec, 14 zoonoses have been identified as important for public health to guide the climate change adaptation efforts of decision-makers and researchers. A great deal has been learned about these diseases in recent years, but information on at-risk workplaces remains incomplete. The objective of this study is to paint a portrait of the occupations and sectors of economic activity at risk for the acquisition of these zoonoses.
Methods: A rapid review of the scientific literature was conducted. Databases on the Ovid and EBSCO research platforms were searched for articles published between 1995 and 2018, in English and French, on 14 zoonoses (campylobacteriosis, cryptosporidiosis, verocytotoxigenic Escherichia coli, giardiasis, listeriosis, salmonellosis, Eastern equine encephalitis, Lyme disease, West Nile virus, food botulism, Q fever, avian and swine influenza, rabies, hantavirus pulmonary syndrome) and occupational health. The literature search retrieved 12,558 articles and, after elimination of duplicates, 6,838 articles were evaluated based on the title and the abstract. Eligible articles had to address both concepts of the research issue (prioritized zoonoses and worker health). Of the 621 articles deemed eligible, 110 were selected following their full reading.
Results: Of the diseases under study, enteric zoonoses were the most frequently reported. Agriculture, including veterinary services, public administration services and medical and social services were the sectors most frequently identified in the literature.
Conclusion: The results of our study will support public health authorities and decision-makers in targeting those sectors and occupations that are particularly at risk for the acquisition of zoonoses. Doing so will ultimately optimize the public health practices of those responsible for the health of workers.
Keywords: occupations; public health; sectors of activity; workers; zoonoses.