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Zoonotic Disease Program
The mission of the Zoonotic Disease Program (ZDP) is to prevent and control diseases transmissible from animals (including mosquitoes and other vectors) to humans. ZDP staff work with our local health department partners and other agencies and organizations throughout the state to conduct surveillance of animal reservoirs and disease vectors, investigate zoonotic diseases and conditions in humans, carry out disease interventions and educational initiatives and provide consultations to animal and human health professionals.

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Zoonotic diseases (also called zoonoses) are infectious diseases that can be spread from animals to humans.  These diseases may or may not produce clinical illness in the animal.

Zoonotic diseases include:

  • Those that can be transmitted directly from animals to humans (e.g., rabies)
  • Diseases that can be acquired indirectly by humans through ingestion, inhalation or contact with infected animal products, soil, water or other environmental surfaces that have been contaminated with animal waste or a dead animal (e.g., anthrax, leptospirosis)
  • Vector-borne diseases that require a mosquito, tick or other arthropod to transmit disease from animals to humans (e.g., Rocky Mountain spotted fever, St. Louis encephalitis, West Nile virus)

Animals that can carry and spread diseases to people:

Bats Ferrets Poultry
Birds Horses Rabbits, rodents and pocket pets
Cats Livestock Raccoons
Dogs Nonhuman primates Reptiles and amphibians

Arthropods that can carry and spread diseases to people:

Mosquitoes Ticks  

Diseases affecting animals and humans:

Anthrax Hantavirus Rat-bite fever
Babesiosis Herpes B virus Ringworm
Baylisascaris procyonis Histoplasmosis St. Louis encephalitis
Blastomycosis Hookworm (cat, dog) Salmonellosis
Botulism Influenza A, novel virus Sporotrichosis
Bovine spongiform encephalitis La Crosse virus Spotted fever rickettsiosis
Brucellosis Leptospirosis Toxocariasis
Campylobacteriosis Listeriosis Toxoplasmosis
Cat scratch disease Lyme disease Trichinellosis
Chikungunya virus Lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus Tuberculosis
Cryptococcosis Malaria Tularemia
Cryptosporidiosis Methicillin-resistant S. aureus Viral hemorrhagic fever
Cutaneous larval migrans Monkeypox Visceral larval migrans
Dengue Orf West Nile virus
Dermatophytosis Plague Yellow fever
Eastern equine encephalitis Powassan Yersiniosis
Ehrlichiosis/anaplasmosis Psittacosis Zika virus
E. coli, Shiga toxin-producing Q fever  
Giardiasis Rabies  

People at higher risk:

Some people are more likely to get disease from animals or develop more severe disease due to having a weaker or immature immune system.  People at high risk include:

  • Organ transplant recipients
  • People being treated with drugs that compromise the immune system such as therapies for cancer or immune-mediated diseases (e.g., lupus, rheumatoid arthritis)
  • People with HIV/AIDS
  • Elderly people
  • Pregnant women
  • Children under 5 years of age

Pregnant women should take special precautions to avoid infection with toxoplasmosis and lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV).

  • Toxoplasmosis can be transmitted through contact with cat feces or environments that have been contaminated with cat feces (i.e., gardens).
  • LCMV can be carried by apparently healthy mice and hamsters, and pregnant women should avoid contact with them and their environment.

Additional information on people at higher risk for zoonotic diseases can be found on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)'s website.


Oral Rabies Vaccination Campaign
To protect Ohioans and their domestic animals from a new strain of rabies in wild raccoons, ODH and other state and local agencies partner with the U.S. Department of Agriculture to immunize wild raccoons for rabies using an oral rabies vaccine.
VIEW MORE NEWS about news related with Zoonotic Disease Program


Video: How to Catch a Bat.

Produced by Public Health Seattle & King County.

External Resources

Healthy Pets and People

Animals in Schools and Day Care Settings

Stay Healthy at Animal Exhibits

Animals in Healthcare Settings

Travelers' Health: Be Safe Around Animals

Ohio Department of Agriculture: Division of Animal Health

Get in touch

Ohio Department of Health
Bureau of Infectious Diseases
Zoonotic Disease Program

Address: 246 N. High St.
                Columbus, OH  43215

Phone: (614) 752-1029

Fax: (614) 564-2437

E-mail: Zoonoses@odh.ohio.gov

Monday - Friday 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM

Page updated: 10/10/2018