Zoonotic Diseases Spread from Animals to People Members of pet-owning households have a greater risk of tick bites than those without pets.

By Lonnie Marcum

W hat do the following recent news stories have in common?

They all have to do with zoonotic diseases—those that are spread from animals to people. In fact, according to the CDC, zoonotic diseases account for over 60% of all communicable diseases causing illness in humans.

Animal-to-Human Transmission

Some zoonotic diseases, like rabies, are transmitted by the bite of an infected animal. The rabies vaccine for pets has greatly reduced the number of cases of the disease in the U.S. However, the CDC estimates that 40,000 people per year require rabies treatment, primarily after exposure to bats and other wildlife.

Other zoonotic diseases come from direct contact with an infected animal. For instance, you might get salmonella from handling a baby chick, chicken, duck, turtle, or snake.

Another mode of transmission is through contact with animal droppings, saliva, or urine. Hikers and campers may be at risk of hantavirus from rodent exposure in recreation areas, especially in the Southwest……… Join or login below to continue reading.

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