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Zoonotic Disease Program

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Zoonotic diseases (also called zoonoses) are infectious diseases that can be spread from animals to humans.  These diseases may or may not produce clinical illness in the animal. 
 
Zoonotic diseases include:
  - Those that can be transmitted directly from animals to humans (e.g., rabies)
  - Diseases that can be acquired indirectly by humans through ingestion, inhalation or contact with infected animal products, soil, water or other environmental surfaces that have been contaminated with animal waste or a dead animal (e.g., anthrax, leptospirosis)
  - Vector-borne diseases that require a mosquito or other arthropod to transmit disease from animals to humans (e.g., Rocky Mountain spotted fever, St. Louis encephalitis, West Nile virus)
 
The Zoonotic Disease Program at the Ohio Department of Health provides information about the prevention and control of zoonotic diseases.  We consult with local health departments, medical professionals and veterinarians on potential zoonotic disease exposures and conduct surveillance of zoonotic and vector-borne disease in people.  We also assist in the investigation of zoonotic disease outbreaks.
 
Animals that can carry and spread diseases to people:
    Bats Ferrets Poultry
    Birds Horses Rabbits, rodents and pocket pets
    Cats Livestock Raccoons
    Dogs Nonhuman primates Reptiles and amphibians
 
Arthropods that can carry and spread diseases to people:
    Mosquitoes Ticks  
 
Other arthropod- and animal-related issues:
    Animal bites Bed bugs Harmful algal blooms (animal exposures)
 
Diseases affecting animals and humans:
    Anthrax Herpes B virus Ringworm
    Babesiosis Histoplasmosis St. Louis encephalitis
    Baylisascaris procyonis Hookworm (cat, dog) Salmonellosis
    Blastomycosis Influenza A, novel virus Sporotrichosis
    Botulism La Crosse virus Spotted fever rickettsiosis
    Bovine spongiform encephalitis Leptospirosis Toxocariasis
    Brucellosis Listeriosis Toxoplasmosis
    Campylobacteriosis Lyme disease Trichinellosis
    Cat scratch disease Lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus Tuberculosis
    Chikungunya virus Malaria Tularemia
    Cryptococcosis Methicillin-resistant S. aureus Venezuelan equine encephalitis
    Cryptosporidiosis Monkeypox Viral hemorrhagic fever
    Cutaneous larval migrans Mycobacterial disease Visceral larval migrans
    Dengue Orf West Nile virus
    Dermatophytosis Plague Western equine encephalitis
    Eastern equine encephalitis Powassan Yellow fever
    Ehrlichiosis/anaplasmosis Psittacosis Yersiniosis
    E. coli, Shiga toxin-producing Q fever Zika virus
    Giardiasis Rabies
    Hantavirus Rat-bite fever  
 
People at higher risk:
Some people are more likely to get disease from animals or develop more severe disease due to having a weaker or immature immune system.  People at high risk include:
  - Organ transplant recipients
  - People being treated with drugs that compromise the immune system such as therapies for cancer or immune-mediated diseases (e.g., lupus, rheumatoid arthritis)
  - People with HIV/AIDS
  - Elderly people
  - Pregnant women
  - Children under 5 years of age
 
Pregnant women should take special precautions to avoid infection with toxoplasmosis and lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV).  Toxoplasmosis can be transmitted through contact with cat feces or environments that have been contaminated with cat feces (i.e., gardens).  LCMV can be carried by apparently healthy mice and hamsters, and pregnant women should avoid contact with them or their environments.  Additional information on people at higher risk for zoonotic diseases can be found on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's website.
 
Resources:
  - Ohio Animal and Zoonotic Disease Reporting Reference
  - Ohio Infectious Disease Control Manual
  - Ohio Department of Agriculture Division of Animal Health
  - Healthy Pets and People
  - Animals in Schools and Day Care Settings
  - Stay Healthy at Animal Exhibits
  - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Division of Vector-Borne Diseases (Diseases from mosquitoes, ticks, fleas) 
  - Request for Educational Materials
 
Contact information:
Ohio Department of Health
Bureau of Infectious Diseases
Zoonotic Disease Program
246 N. High St.
Columbus, OH  43215
Phone:  (614) 752-1029
Fax:  (614) 564-2437
E-mail:  Zoonoses@odh.ohio.gov

 

Last updated:  03/04/2016