Animal to Human Diseases (Zoonoses)

Summertime Diseases Carried by Wildlife 

Some diseases within the mosquito and animal populations can easily be spread to humans. These mosquito and animal populations are known as vectors when they are able to spread disease. Key diseases spread by vectors include West Nile virus, Hantavirus, Plague, Tularemia, and Rabies.

These diseases range from mild symptoms to severe and life-threatening complications. Plague and tularemia can be found in the rabbit or prairie dog population and people can acquire it by hiking or hunting where they are exposed to fleas or contaminated animal tissue. Mosquitoes, on the other hand, can transfer West Nile virus, Zika virus, and Western Equine encephalitis. The Vector Control Program at the Pueblo City-County Health Department strives to reduce or eliminate the transmission of disease into the human population from mosquitoes and animal sources.

Currently, the disease the health department sees the most in Pueblo is the rabies virus. Rabies is spread through contact with a rabid animal’s saliva. Rabies most commonly occurs in bats and skunks in Pueblo County; although other mammals are capable of carrying the virus. The health department’s role in this program is to protect the community by tracking animals that test positive for rabies and managing domestic animals that may have come into contact with a rabid animal. The health department also aids people who come in contact with possibly rabid animals. 

The health department also plays an important role in monitoring and surveillance of many other diseases as well. Tracking any outbreaks as well as, educating the public on signs, symptoms, and causes of such vector-borne diseases helps the health department accomplish the goal of keeping the Pueblo community as healthy as possible.

Pueblo City Ordinance also specifies the Health Department as the agency responsible for licensing kennels and catteries within the City of Pueblo.

For additional information on any of the disease listed above please see the related links. For more information on bed bugs, which do not cause disease in humans, please see the housing section of the website.

Contact Information 719-583-4307