Zoonoses & Public Health

light bulb iconThis Section Will Help you Fulfil the Five Freedoms by Preventing Disease Incidence and its Associated Pain, Discomfort and Distress

What are Zoonoses?

A zoonotic disease is an infection that is naturally transmitted from vertebrate animals to human beings. Potential zoonotic agents include bacteria, viruses, fungi, internal parasites, external parasites and arthropods. There are many factors common in Animal Centres that make zoonotic disease a particular concern in this environment. For the protection of Centre staff and volunteers as well as that of the public, it is critical that Animal Centre professionals be familiar with the most common zoonotic threats in a Centre environment, and the general principles of preventing transmission of zoonotic disease.

This information is intended to familiarize Centre professionals with some of the general considerations in preventing zoonotic disease and key features of some of the diseases most likely to be encountered. Although the focus is on diseases affecting dogs and cats, shelters often care for a wide range of species, from wildlife to livestock. Virtually all species can be carriers of zoonotic disease, and unusual diseases may also be seen in the more common species seen in shelters. This information is by no means exhaustive.

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