Animal & Insect Related Diseases

Infectious diseases of animals that are spread to humans by ticks, mosquitoes, and fleas or contact with animals are called zoonotic diseases. The most common ways are through bites, or contact with animals and their feces. People around the world, including Americans, are at risk from viruses and bacteria transmitted by mosquitoes, ticks, fleas and other vectors. The most widely known vector-borne diseases in the U.S. are West Nile virus, Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever.

Vector-borne diseases are especially difficult to predict, prevent or control. Only a few have vaccines. Mosquitoes and ticks are notoriously difficult to reach and often develop resistance to insecticides. Adding to the complexity, almost all vector-borne pathogens are zoonoses, meaning they can live in animals as well as in humans.

The Bureau of Epidemiology works closely with local health departments, communities and public health partners to rapidly detect and implement timely, effective responses to known and newly identified diseases.