Avian Influenza is a viral infection of birds that is caused by several different strains of avian influenza A viruses, many of which are not known to cause human illness. A highly pathogenic strain of Avian Influenza H5N1 is of particular concern because it can cause severe illness and death in humans exposed to infected birds or their contaminated environment. This highly pathogenic strain of avian influenza H5N1, often called "bird flu," is currently a concern for persons traveling to and living in countries in Asia, Africa, and Europe where the virus has been circulating in bird populations since 2003. Early signs of human H5N1 illness are similar to seasonal influenza and include sore throat, cough, aches, and fever. However, human infection with the influenza A/H5N1 virus can also proceed rapidly to pneumonia and death
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Frequently Asked Questions for Duck Hunters
- Avian Influenza Information for Duck Hunters Pamphlet
- Think Avian Flu Poster
- Human Influenza (H5) Screening Form
- Human Influenza (H5) Case Investigation Form
Brucellosis is a bacterial zoonosis that can affect sheep, goats, cattle, deer, elk, pigs, dogs, and several other animals. Humans become infected by coming in contact with animals, animal tissues or animal products that are contaminated with the Brucella bacteria. Frequently human infections are associated with direct contact with livestock, unpasteurized milk products, or preparing/cleaning game (feral swine) after hunting. In humans, brucellosis can cause a range of symptoms that are similar to the flu and may include fever, sweats, headaches, back pains, and physical weakness. Brucellosis can also cause long-lasting or chronic symptoms that include recurrent fevers, joint pain, weight loss, and fatigue.
Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD)
Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD) is a rare and fatal brain disorder. Most cases of classical CJD are sporadic and the source of the disease is not known. Some cases of CJD are inherited genetically. Iatrogenic CJD cases can occur as a result of contamination with nervous system tissue, cornea grafts or pituitary gland-derived growth hormone from an infected person. Variant CJD (vCJD) is caused by exposure to bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), or "mad cow disease," a prion disease found in cattle. Initial symptoms of CJD may include: depression, memory lapses, dementia, unsteadiness, and lack of coordination. Later, symptoms may progress to jerky movements, rigid limbs, blindness and incontinence. Eventually, a person with CJD loses the ability to move or speak.
Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS)
Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS) is caused by several hantaviruses, which can be carried by certain species of mice and rats. People can become infected with a hantavirus by breathing in aerosolized virus particles from infected rodent saliva, urine, or feces. Less commonly, infection can occur by touching your nose or mouth after handling materials contaminated by infected rodents, or by being bitten by an infected rodent. The typical prodrome consists of fever, chills, myalgia, headaches, and gastrointestinal symptoms, and can become complicated by acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), respiratory failure, and shock. The case fatality rate is 35%. Most cases occur west of the Mississippi River; there has never been a case of HPS in Georgia.
Leprosy (Hansen's Disease)
Leprosy (also known as Hansen's disease) is a chronic bacterial disease that primarily affects humans but has also been found in a small number of animals. People can become infected with leprosy by breathing in respiratory droplets from other infected individuals. Leprosy mainly affects the skin and nerves but can also cause a wide range of other symptoms. If left untreated, this disease can cause permanent damage to the skin, nerves, limbs, and eyes. However, leprosy is curable with multi-drug antibiotic therapy. Most cases occur in Africa, Asia, and Latin America; most cases occurring in the United States are in immigrants or refugees.
Leptospirosis, a disease caused by leptospires (spiral shaped bacteria), affects humans, wild animals and domestic animals worldwide. Human disease can be an occupational hazard for veterinarians, those working in animal husbandry or meat processing, and military troops. In recreational settings, leptospirosis is a hazard for travelers to tropical countries (e.g. ecotourism), campers, hikers, and hunters. It has been associated with swimming, wading, and whitewater rafting in contaminated lakes and rivers. Leptospirosis in people may occur in two phases. The first phase often produces flu-like symptoms (e.g. fever, headache, chills, vomiting). If the second phase occurs, more severe symptoms are observed including kidney or liver failure or meningitis. The more severe phase of the disease can potentially be life threatening.
Plague is an infectious disease of animals and humans caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis. The disease is spread to animals and humans through infected fleas, by direct contact with the tissues or body fluids of a plague-infected animal/human, or by inhaling infectious droplets from persons or animals. There are three forms of the plague: bubonic, pneumonic, and septicemic. They are all caused by the same bacterium, but are transmitted differently and their symptoms differ. Pneumonic plaque is the least common but most rapidly fatal form of the plague.
Parrot disease, ornithosis, and chlamydiosis are other names for the rare disease of psittacosis. Psittacosis is a bacterial zoonosis in humans caused by the pathogen Chlamydia psittaci. The disease is transmitted from infected birds such as parrots, macaws, parakeets, or turkeys to humans through inhalation of dried secretions. Consequently, bird owners, pet shop employees, and veterinarians are more frequently at risk. Most infections are associated with mild, non-specific flu-like symptoms. In some cases, a more severe pneumonia may occur.
- Fact Sheet
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Case Report Form
- Psittacosis GER
- Information for Bird Owners/Caretakers
Q fever is a zoonotic disease caused by a bacterium that can infect many types of animals, including goats, sheep, cattle, dogs, cats, and birds. Humans can become infected by direct contact with contaminated animals, inhaling infectious particles, drinking raw milk from contaminated animals, or rarely by the bite of an infected tick. In humans, infection can cause fever with many other symptoms, like headache, cough, diarrhea, and vomiting. It can rarely progress to more severe illness like pneumonia, liver disease, and meningitis.
Rabies is a zoonotic disease that is most often transmitted through infected saliva that enters the body by way of an animal bite. The virus causes inflammation of the brain and is fatal once symptoms start to occur. Initial symptoms are characterized by headache, fever, malaise and pain or itching at the site of the animal bite. It is extremely important to report animal bites and to seek medical attention in a timely manner if bitten by a wild or unvaccinated animal or bat so the potential risk of rabies can be assessed and if appropriate, rabies post-exposure prophylaxis can be administered.
- Rabies Vaccine Availability and Dose Schedule
- Fact Sheet
- Frequently Asked Questions
- 2008 Annual Summary
- Case Report Form for Animal Submission
- 2011 Georgia Rabies Control Manual
- Rabies GER, 2007
- Rabies GER, 2000
- Rabies GER, 1999
- Rabies GER, 1997
Tularemia is a zoonotic disease characterized by an acute febrile illness with various clinical manifestations depending on subspecies and route of infection. The bacteria that cause tularemia can be found naturally in rabbits, hares, voles, muskrats, beavers, and ticks. Human infection is by the bite of an infected tick or deer fly, direct contact with an infected animal, inhaling infectious aerosols, or ingestion (i.e. eating undercooked contaminated meat or drinking contaminated water). Tularemia infection is rare in Georgia, and occurs more frequently in the western and central states.
Page last updated 11/22/2017