Zoonotic diseases (also called zoonoses) are diseases of animals that can be transmitted to humans. Many zoonotic diseases require a vector (such as a mosquito or tick) in order to be transmitted from animals to humans. These diseases are called vector-borne diseases. The Zoonotic Disease Team strives to reduce the incidence and associated human and animal impact of zoonotic diseases such as rabies, vector-borne diseases such as West Nile virus, and infestations such as head lice in Georgia by conducting surveillance and providing information to the public about these and other associated diseases. The Zoonotic Disease Team coordinates with other agencies to monitor zoonotic diseases in livestock, pets, and wildlife in order to better track and prevent the spread of zoonotic diseases in human populations. The Zoonotic Disease Team works with mosquito control agencies to reduce the impact of some vector-borne diseases through proper mosquito control measures. The Zoonotic Disease Team also partners with various environmental health and nursing groups to provide guidance and education on infestations such as head lice and bed bugs.
The mission of the Zoonotic Disease Team is to systematically collect, analyze, interpret, and disseminate data on zoonotic, vector-borne diseases, and infestations among Georgians. Information gathered is used to design control and prevention measures, to evaluate the effectiveness of public health interventions, and to improve services to populations at greatest risk.
Zoonotic diseases: Diseases that can be passed from animals (Livestock, pets, and wild animals) to humans. Examples include Rabies, Brucellosis, and Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome.
Vector-borne Diseases: Diseases that are spread mainly by mosquitoes and ticks. Examples include West Nile Virus, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, and Malaria.
A disease that is transmitted to humans or other animals by an insect or other arthropod is called a vector-borne disease. Vectors of human disease in Georgia are typically mosquitoes or ticks. Some species of mosquitoes and ticks are able to transmit viruses, rickettsiae, bacteria, or parasites to humans.
The Georgia Department of Public Health's Notifiable Disease Section monitors diseases that are transmitted by mosquitoes and ticks, provides public education about prevention of vector-borne diseases, and is a resource for healthcare providers to obtain current information about the diagnosis and treatment of vector-borne diseases. The Notifiable Disease Section also conducts special projects to learn more about the public health impact of vector-borne diseases in Georgia and to institute effective control measures. Examples of tick-borne diseases that are monitored by the Notifiable Disease Section are ehrlichiosis, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Lyme disease, and tularemia. Examples of mosquito-borne diseases that are monitored are malaria, St. Louis encephalitis, Eastern equine encephalitis, La Crosse encephalitis, and West Nile infection. Because many of these diseases are also animal diseases, we work closely with other agencies such as the Georgia Department of Agriculture and The University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine.
Infestations: Human infestations caused by insect or other arthropod pests. This includes Bed Bugs, Head Lice and Scabies.
For more information on infestations of public health importance:
Page last updated 04/10/18