Following a recent publication concerning the risks of zoonotic disease to pet owners,  Dr. Carol Rubin, Associate Director for Zoonoses and One Health at CDC, discusses zoonotic diseases in pets and the One Health concept in a recent CDC podcast: People Can Catch Diseases from their Pets. 

Key points include:

o More than 70 percent of emerging infectious diseases in people actually come from animals.

o Pets can pass some infectious diseases, like Rabies, Bartonella, and Toxoplasmosis, to their owners.  See here for a table of known zoonoses.

o Owners can pass some infections, like MSRA and TB, to their pets.

o Insects, like mosquitoes and and arthropod vectors, like fleas and ticks, play an important role in transmission of zoonotic disease.

o No surveillance system is currently in place to track zoonotic diseases.  Instead reporting occurs on an informal, voluntary basis.

o Good public health practice begins with building awareness of the risks of zoonotic disease.  Veterinarians play an important role in public health education as, oftentimes, they have received more training in zoonotic infections than most physicians and healthcare consumers.

For more information, see:

Day MJ, Breitschwerdt E, Cleaveland S, Karkare U, Khanna C, Kirpensteijn J, et al. Surveillance of zoonotic infectious diseases transmitted by small companion animals. Emerg Infect Dis [Internet]. 2012 Dec.