Information for Healthcare Providers
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Physicians and other healthcare providers should be aware of the risk for zoonotic diseases in pets, farm animals, and wildlife, as well as the risk of diseases spreading between animals and their owners or caretakers. Healthcare providers should counsel patients on prevention practices, including how to stay safe and healthy around animals. Healthcare providers should consider asking about contact with animals at home or away from home. This might include asking about pets, possible workplace exposures, and leisure activities. Healthcare providers should also always consider the potential for a zoonotic infection when seeing sick patients. Patients at higher risk for serious illness with zoonotic infections include children under 5 years old, people with weakened immune systems, adults 65 and older, and, in many cases, pregnant women.
The following resources include current guidelines on specific zoonotic disease topics, educational resources, and references to disease-specific information.
Guidelines and Recommendations
- Compendium of Measures to Prevent Zoonotic Diseases Associated with Non-Traditional Pets
- Compendium of Measures to Prevent Disease Associated with Animals in Public Settings, 2017 [PDF – 25 pages]
- Compendium of Measures to Control Chlamydia psittaci Infection Among Humans (Psittacosis) and Pet Birds (Avian Chlamydiosis), 2017 [PDF – 22 pages]
- Guidelines for Safe Work Practices in Human and Animal Medical Diagnostic Laboratories [PDF – 105 pages]
Zoonotic Disease Outbreak Information
In addition to disease-specific information, CDC provides a list of current and recent US outbreaks of zoonotic diseases, including information for clinicians specific to these outbreaks.
- WSAVA Clinician’s Brief: Do Backyard Chickens Pose Any Health Risks to Humans?
- WSAVA Clinician’s Brief: Can Children Get Pinworms from a Pet Dog or Cat?
- WSAVA Clinician’s Brief: Do Pet Reptiles or Amphibians Pose Any Health Risks to Humans?
- Confronting Zoonoses, Linking Human and Veterinary Medicine
- Reducing the risk of pet-associated zoonotic infections
CDC Expert Commentaries
- Animal Lovers and Zoonotic Diseases: 5 Things to Know
Anyone who comes in contact with animals is at risk for zoonotic diseases.
- 5 Hidden Dangers in International Travel
Travel to far-flung, global locations is growing in popularity. Prepare your patients for safe and healthy international travel with these five things to remember.
- Rabies Risk Assessment
Challenge yourself with these cases that illustrate key rabies prevention and treatment situations. Would you know what to do?
- Illnesses Linked to Contact with Pets and Farm Animals
In this slideshow, CDC reviews outbreaks of enteric diseases linked to contact with animals.
- Pet Turtles Can Make People Sick: Guidance for Clinicians
Many people keep small turtles as pets, not realizing that they can cause disease.
- Pets Can Make People Sick
Which furry (and not furry) friends are most likely to transmit infection to humans? Share these precautions with your pet-loving patients.
- Neglected Infections of Poverty – Toxocariasis
Learn about a disease associated with poverty, low education levels, and dog ownership.
Resources for Patients
Use these resources to give patients information on staying healthy around animals.
Adopt these healthy pet habits
Stay healthy around pet reptiles and amphibians!
How to check your pet for ticks
CDC offers information for healthcare providers about many of the common zoonotic infections that may affect patients.
- Avian Influenza: Information for Health Professionals and Laboratorians
- Bartonella for Clinicians
- Baylisascaris (Raccoon Roundworm): Resources for Health Professionals
- Brucellosis for Clinicians
- Information for Healthcare Professionals about C. neoformans Infection
- Campylobacter: Information for Health Professionals
- Cryptosporidium: Information for Public Health & Medical Professionals
- Cysticercosis: Resources for Health Professionals
- Dipylidium (Tapeworm): Resources for Health Professionals
- Echinococcosis: Resources for Health Professionals
- E. coli: Resources for Clinicians and Laboratories
- Giardia: Information for Public Health & Medical Professionals
- Hantavirus: Information for Health Care Workers
- Harmful Algal Bloom (HAB)-Associated Illnesses – Reference Cards
- Information for Healthcare Professionals about Histoplasmosis
- Leishmaniasis: Resources for Health Professionals
- Leptospirosis: Healthcare Workers
- Lyme Disease: Health Care Providers
- MRSA: Information for clinicians
- Monkeypox for Clinicians
- Plague: Information for Healthcare Professionals
- Psittacosis: For Clinicians and Laboratorians
- Q Fever: Information for Healthcare Providers
- Rabies for Clinicians
- Rat-bite Fever: Information for Health Care Workers
- Ringworm Information for Healthcare Professionals
- Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever: Information for Health Care Providers
- Salmonella: Information for Healthcare Professionals and Laboratories
- Scabies: Resources for Health Professionals
- Swine Flu: Interim Guidance for Clinicians on Human Infections with Variant Influenza Viruses
- Toxoplasmosis: Resources for Health Professionals
- Toxocariasis: Resources for Health Professionals
- Tuberculosis: Tools for Health Care Providers
- Tularemia: For Clinicians
- Yersiniosis: Information for Health & Lab Professionals
- Zoonotic Hookworm: Resources for Health Professionals