Zoonotic and Vector-Borne Diseases
Zoonotic diseases are diseases of animals that can be transmitted to humans.
Vectorborne diseases are diseases that are transmitted to humans by an animal (the vector). Classically the term vector was restricted to arthropods like ticks and mosquitoes, however, it is often used to refer to any animal that can transmit a pathogen to a human host. Most vectorborne diseases are also zoonotic diseases, that is originating in animals, although some, like yellow fever and malaria, are transmitted from human to human.
Recent concerns have focused on West Nile Virus, BSE, and now avian influenza. While most strains of avian influenza are not pathogenic to human, today’s news is filled with reports of the spread of H5N1 avian influenza in poultry in Asia and Europe, and its ability to infect humans.
While zoonotic and vectorborne diseases occur at a relatively low rate in Washington and the Northwest, there are some human cases every year. Recent cases of rabies, Lyme disease, Leptospirosis, and Hantavirus have been recorded in recent year.
Chronic conditions can also be linked to animals. In 2000, the Institute of Medicine published the report "Clearing the Air." The report found sufficient evidence to suggest a causal relationship between exposure to house dust mite allergen and development of asthma in susceptible children. It also found some evidence to link asthma's development with exposure to cockroach allergen in preschool-aged children.
- ENV H 442 Vector Control (3) Treser ENV H 546 Pesticides and Public Health
- ENV H 546 Pesticides and Public Health
Centers and Institutes
- American Lung Association of Washington, New Holly a Partnership Effort in Healthy and Affordable Housing
- CDC site on avian flu
- CDC site on West Nile virus
- CDC site on Lyme disease
- CDC site on Hantavirus
- CDC site on potentially effective interventions for asthma
- CDC, "Ensuring risk reduction in communities with multiple stressors and discussing environmental justice and cumulative risks / impacts,” prepared by the National Environmental Justice Advisory Council Cumulative Risks / Impacts Work Group, December 2004
- Institute of Medicine, Clearing the Air: Asthma and Indoor Air Exposures (2000)
- Keep It Pest Free. one of the units a training course entitled Essentials of Healthy Housing, available through the National Center for Healthy Housing.
- Safe Control of Cockroach and Rodents: Using IPM in Your Neighborhood, New York State Department of Health lormand. or 703-305-5017.
- Experts track threat of animal diseases: Bird flu just one of many that can jump to humans Seattle Post-Intelligencer 2/20/06
- CDC 2007 Compendium of measures to prevent disease associated with animals in public settings