A disease which is naturally transmissible from animals to people is classified as a zoonosis. More than 200 zoonoses have been identified involving all types of agents, bacteria, parasites, viruses, prions, fungi and others.
Zoonotic diseases can spread through a variety of means such as working closely with livestock, household pets, exhibited animals or wildlife, by coming in contact with soil or water contaminated by animals or by consuming un-pasteurised dairy products.
Practising good personal hygiene, wearing protective clothing, maintaining healthy animals and undertaking vaccination where appropriate, can minimise the risk of some animal-borne diseases infecting people.
Find out more about preventing zoonotic diseases .
Known zoonotic diseases include
- Australian bat lyssavirus
- Bacterial infections from animal bites particularly dogs and cats
- Cat-scratch disease
- Hendra virus
- Hydatid disease
- Q fever