Zoonotic Diseases

Zoonotic Diseases

Zoonotic Diseases

Animals can carry harmful germs that can spread to people and cause illness. These are known as zoonotic diseases. They are very common in the U.S. and anyone can get sick from them, including healthy people, but certain groups of people are at higher risk of getting really sick. The best way to protect yourself from zoonotic diseases is by keeping your hands clean, preventing animal bites and scratches, and practicing safe food handling.

The Zoonotic Disease Program is responsible for monitoring and responding to zoonotic diseases. We investigate reported cases and outbreaks, collect and analyze data to detect trends in disease activity, collaborate with other state agencies, and work to educate Vermonters about prevention.

In This Section

Hantavirus can cause a serious disease in humans called hantavirus pulmonary syndrome. Hantavirus can be found in the urine, droppings and saliva of certain rodents.

Learn more about 2022 Human Monkeypox Virus (hMPXV) the U.S. and Vermont. 

Rabid animals show a change in their normal behavior, but you cannot tell whether an animal has rabies simply by looking at it. Enjoy wildlife from a distance, and protect cats and dogs with rabies vaccine.

People can be exposed to the bacteria Francisella tularensis that cause tularemia in a number of ways, and symptoms of the disease vary depending upon the method of exposure.