Zoonosis/Disease Prevention

Zoonosis Animal Banner for HCPH Website_July 2020

Veterinary Public Health Zoonosis

A zoonotic disease is any infectious disease that is transmitted from animals to humans.

The Zoonosis program is a part of the Veterinary Public Health division and we are here to serve the Harris County community.

For questions or information regarding zoonotic diseases, please contact us at (281) 999-3191.

Zoonotic Diseases

Veterinarians are an important source of information for zoonotic diseases.  If a veterinarian suspects a zoonotic disease, it is their responsibility to alert the owner of the potential for the disease to spread to humans.  

Some humans are more at risk than others:  

  • Infants and small children
  • Pregnant women
  • Elderly
  • Anyone with a weakened immune system 
  • Veterinarians
  • Veterinary support staff and other animal health care workers
  • Campers, hikers and others who spend a lot of time outdoors  

Useful resources:

Reportable Diseases

Several diseases must be reported. Visit these links to see reportable diseases.  

Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) notifiable conditions.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notifiable conditions.

Texas laws require notifiable conditions to be reported to the local health authority or Texas Department of State Health Services.  

Non-Reportable Diseases

Many of the notifiable conditions listed above are those pertaining to human conditions; however, Harris County Veterinary Public Health also tracks non-reportable animal diseases, especially in the event of an outbreak. If you are a veterinarian and are seeing an influx of a particular uncommon, highly contagious, or zoonotic disease, OR if a client has recently adopted a pet that has been diagnosed with a highly contagious or zoonotic disease, we ask that you report it to our zoonosis department. 

Visit the Report an Animal Disease page to access our forms. 

Examples of non-reportable diseases:

  • Leptospirosis
  • Brucellosis (Brucella canis)
  • Canine distemper
  • Canine influenza
  • Rickettsial disease: Lyme (Borrelia burgdorferi), RMSF (Rickettsia rickettsii)
  • Pseudorabies in companion animals

Veterinary Health Alert Network (VHAN)

The Veterinary Health  Alert Network (VHAN) is a notification system designed to keep veterinarians updated with urgent local and national health updates.  

Subscribe online to receive future VHAN bulletins and Your Zoonosis Connection newsletters.