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What is Zoonosis?

Zoonosis is when a disease is transmitted from an animal to a human. When humans infect animals it is called reverse zoonosis or zooanthroponosis.

Types of Zoonoses

These are some Zoonoses:

Anthrax: Can take 1 day to more than 2 months to develop symptoms depending on route of exposure. Can present with flu-like symptoms and has many clinical forms: Cutaneous, Inhalation, Gastrointestinal, Oropharyngeal, and Meningeal.

Arboviruses: Diseases spread by mosquitoes, some notable arboviruses are: West Nile virus, Dengue virus, and Chikungunya virus. Symptoms: Mild cases can present with symptoms such as a fever and/or headache and body aches and can resolve on its own. Some cases have a rapid onset of symptoms including: high fever, tremors, meningitis, encephalitis, disorientation coma or death.

Brucellosis: Bacteria that causes an infection similar to the flu. The most common way a person gets the disease is by consuming contaminated milk or cheese. A person can also get the disease by breathing in the bacteria.

Ehrlichiosis: A tick borne disease that can present with fever and generalized weakness and in some cases nausea, vomiting, & rash.

Plague (Yersinia pestis): A bacteria present in a rodent, which is spread to humans through a flea bite. Three kinds of plague:

Bubonic plague– most common, symptoms include fever, chills, weakness, and painful swollen lymph node or “buboes”

Septicemic plague: blood infection

Pneumonic plague: Most severe, but the least common. This disease occurs when the bacteria enters the lungs and causes a severe form of pneumonia.

Q fever: Typically associated with livestock, but animal contact is not required.  Symptoms can include fever, generalized weakness, sever retrobulbar headache and may include night sweats, confusion, diarrhea, vomiting and chest pain.

Rabies: A virus that causes the nervous system of mammals. Generally spread from an infected animal biting another animal or person. Once symptoms occur, Rabies is fatal. Rabies can be prevented by timely vaccination.

Tularemia: A bacteria spread by contaminated water, or exposure to an infected deerfly or tick. Illness may take on several forms, ulceroglandular, glandular, oculoglandular, oropharyngeal, intestinal, pneumonic, and typhoidal. Symptoms may be mild to life threatening with a fever as high as 104F.

Typhus: Symptoms may include often sudden onset of headache, (2 weeks of) fever, prostration, chills and a rash on the 5thor 6th day.

If you have, or know of a suspect or confirmed zoonosis illness, please report to the Hays County Epidemiologist. 

Hays County