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Zoonosis Facts

Jill Webster Ph.D., Utah State University


Zoonosis is de ned as “an infectious disease transmissible under natural conditions between vertebrate animals and human beings” (Mast 95). There are more than 150 diseases recognized under the umbrella of zoonosis. Some of the better known examples include: anthrax, bursilosis, hunta virus, bubonic plage, hemoragic fevers like ebola, rabies, and even AIDS. The world’s most signi cant epidemic (the 1919 pandemic) was believed to have originated in swine near Fort Riley Kansas in 1917. This in uenza out break accounted for more casualties to combatants and civil populations than bullets bombs, and poison gas combined did in the rst world war. Though otherwise healthy people seldom die of the u, these days it is important to understand the mechanisms of infection, and prevention.