Zoonotic Diseases

Zoonotic disease are diseases that can be transmitted from animals to humans or a disease that can be contracted from contaminated foods. These diseases are caused by bacteria, viruses, parasites, and fungi that are carried by animals and insects. There are a lot of examples for zoonotic diseases but in this article we will focus on those transmitted through farm animals or livestock (Cattle, Sheep, Goats, Pigs); they include Anthrax, Escherichia coli, Q-fever, Giardia, Salmonellosis, Rabies, Orf, Ringworm, Brucellosis, Rift Valley Fever.


How do you get zoonotic diseases?

  • People can get zoonotic diseases from contact with infected live poultry, rodents, reptiles, amphibians, insects, and other domestic and wild animals.
  • A common way for these diseases to spread is through the bite of a mosquito or tick.
  • People can get diseases in most places where they might have contact with infected animals and insects, including: farms, national parks and game reserves.


  • The symptoms vary according to diseases.

How to prevent zoonotic diseases


  • Be aware of zoonotic diseases and your potential for infection.Wash hands thoroughly and frequently.
  • Avoid direct contact with certain animals and their environment.
  • Closely supervise children to ensure they wash their hands properly and avoid hand-to-mouth activities (thumb sucking, eating, and use of pacifiers) after animal contact.
  • Use EPA-registered insect repellents that contain 20% or more DEET (N, N-diethyl-m-toluamide) on the exposed skin for protection that lasts up to several hours.
  • Use products that contain repellents (such as permethrin) on clothing. Treat clothing and gear, such as boots, pants, socks and tents.
  • Look for and remove ticks from your body. Parents should check their children for ticks.
  • Limit the number of places around your home for mosquitoes to breed by getting rid of items that hold water.
  • No eating, drinking, smoking, applying cosmetics or handling contact lenses in any animal building, food prep area or exhibit.
  • Keep food intended for human consumption separate from animal food.
  • Use gloves when handling animals & change gloves between animals. Wear gloves when handling food that may possibly be contaminated such as meat or fish.
  • Use footbaths appropriately.
  • Don’t aim hose at surface perpendicularly when spraying cages.