Eight Animals That Can Transmit Deadly Diseases to Humans

A zoonosis is any infectious or parasitic disease of animals that can be transmitted to humans or from human to animals (reverse zoonosis). Many disease organisms can infect only humans or particular animals, but zoonotic organisms are more flexible and can adapt themselves to many different species.



Bats are natural carriers or vectors of several zoonotic pathogens including rabies, severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), Henipavirus and possibly even ebola virus. Rabies is mostly transmitted through direct physical contact with its victim, but it is also possible for the bat rabies virus to infect humans through airborne transmission. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) bat rabies has emerged as a public health problem in the Americas and Europe in the past few years. For the first time in 2003, more people in South America died from rabies caused by wildlife, particularly bats, than from dogs. Rabies is a viral neuroinvasive disease that causes inflammation in the brain; deadly if left untreated.


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Birds can be carriers of diseases such as psittacosis, salmonellosis, campylobacteriosis, the avian tuberculosis, bird flu, giardiasis and cryptosporidiosis. Some of these can be transmitted to humans, the avian influenza or bird flu posing the most serious health threat. Just like “swine flu, “dog flu and human flu,” bird flu refers to an illness caused by any of the various strains of influenza viruses. Health experts are concerned that co-existence of flu viruses of birds and humans will create a new virulent influenza strain that can be easily transmissible and deadly to humans. When an outbreak started in 2003, at least 200 people had died in Indonesia, Vietnam, Laos, Romania, China, Turkey and Russia due to the highly pathogenic Influenza A virus subtype H5N1.


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Dogs may be man’s best friend but in many parts of the world rabies from dog bites poses a serious threat to human lives especially children.  According to the WHO, an estimated 31,000 people die from dog rabies in Asia annually; in Africa, the yearly death toll is 24,000. Rabies caused by dog bites is responsible for more than 14 million course of post-exposure treatment worldwide to prevent the onset of disease. Up to 60% of dog bite victims are children below 5 years old. Rabies can also be caught by eating rabid dog meats. Once the symptoms of the disease develop, rabies can be deadly. Dogs can also transmit toxocariasis in humans, which can cause blindness and human hookworm.

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  1. This is slightly terrifying! Great article though.

  2. Very informative read. Thank you for sharing.

  3. Lyme has really spread as deer populations exploded in the northeast in the US because ticks feed on the deer so their numbers exploded also.

  4. Awsome article and very informative article.

  5. That was a very informative article JK. I had a horrible experience with the killer mosquito disease.

  6. I enjoyed this article. It gave very important information that we all can use. I love dogs, and the ducks are cute, the rest of them are just pest to me. Thanks for sharing

  7. Great article! Very informative and great pics!!

  8. Very informative and essential reading but also quite frightening.

  9. Good article!
    I’m going to poland (to bialowieza) for 3 months and I need a lot of vacatinions against diseases caused by some of this animals. (Against rabies, tickfever,…). It’s a bit scary that such little animals can cause such dangerous diseases.

  10. Lyme disease is pretty hard on the body and it has left residual pain for years in sufferors. You forgot cats.

  11. These animals are indeed horrible and terrible. BTW, well done piece. Cheers!

  12. thanks, we all need to look out for these animals and insects!

  13. Informative piece. We must beware of these animals.

  14. Informative. It is tick season here in Cyprus…yuk.

  15. very informative

  16. Interesting and informative article. Hopefully we can find a way to deal with these animals and diseases so we do not have to kill them like we did with the Pigs because of the Swine Flu.


    -Resounding Glass

  17. I hate all of them but love this article :)

  18. very informative.. great article ate JK!

  19. A very insightful article! Good work!

  20. Scary stuff! Well written article…lots of information!

  21. you did a very outstanding research… good job, JK!

  22. keep them coming, thanks for these educating articles~

  23. All adult flies should be killed
    be killed at every available opportunity
    in particular mosquitoes and houseflies
    this is one of the best way to prevent malaria and cholera

  24. it is very informative and good

  25. my husband love our dog but he get aggressive sometimes playing with our daughter one time i found teeth mark n her arms and it scares me..i want to get rid of him but my husband doesnt want to…what should i do?

  26. omg now im scared of doges

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