Zoonotic Diseases Information

What is a zoonotic disease?

Zoonotic diseases (zoonoses) are diseases that are transmitted from animals to humans.

What are some common zoonotic diseases?

There are over 200 zoonotic diseases. Some of the most common include:

Rabies Hantavirus West Nile Virus Monkey pox

Why are zoonotic diseases important?

They can cause severe illness in humans and animals. Many could be used as a bio-terrorism agent such as:

Anthrax Plague Tularemia

How are they transmitted?

Zoonotic diseases can be caused by a variety of ways. The most common are:

Respiratory or inhalation:
Anthrax Hantavirus Psittacosis
West Nile Virus Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever
Direct Contact:
Monkey pox Plague Q Fever
Food or water:
E-coli 0157:H7 Salmonella Trichinosis Giardiasis

How can zoonotic diseases be prevented or controlled?

Wash hands often, especially when:
preparing food using the restroom handling pets or other animals
cleaning up pet waste Routinely clean and disinfect areas accessed by pets
Handle and prepare foods safely Protect yourself from ticks and mosquitos
Avoid contact with wild animals such as:
reptiles (turtles and lizards) raccoons skunks
Do not keep exotic animals such as lizards, prairie dogs as pets
If you find a dead animal:
Wear rubber gloves when disposing of them
Wrap the dead animal in double plastic bag when disposing

What are some signs that people should you look for and report?

Abortions Rodent die-offs Neurological symptoms
Skin nodules or pox-like lesions Nasal discharge or respiratory symptoms
Clusters of unusual, severe or unexplained illnesses or sudden deaths
Similar illnesses or deaths among different species


Who should I report suspicious signs to?

your local health department
your local veterinarian
N. D. State Veterinarian –
Telephone: (701)328-2653
N. D. Department of Health – Division of Disease Control
Telephone: (701)328-2378
After hours or during an emergency call: (800)472-2121

Where can I find more information about zoonotic diseases?

Your local veterinarian
Your local health department – (701)483-0171

N. D. State Veterinarian
Telephone: (701)328-2653

N. D. Health Department
Division of Disease Control
Telephone: (701)328-2378 or (800)472-2180

American Veterinary Medical Association
Office of International Epizootic (OIE)
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
The Humane Society of the United States