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Mosquitos pose a threat to exposure of Vector-Borne disease. (James Gathany)

Vector-borne Diseases and Zoonotic (transmitted between animals and humans) Diseases

The potential of emerging diseases such as Avian Influenza (bird flu) to spread rapidly world-wide is accelerating research on zoonoses, diseases that are transmitted between animals and humans. Plans to investigate and either prevent or control such disease outbreaks involve coordination of standardized animal and human health data; increased collaboration among veterinarians, doctors, and wildlife biologists; as well as the development of early warning systems. USGS is contributing expertise to these areas by describing and investigating the links between animal disease and public health threats. USGS is also contributing expertise to the study of vector-borne diseases such as West Nile Virus and Lyme disease. Arthropods, such as fleas, ticks, or mosquitos, are common vectors that transfer disease from an infected individual to others, be they wild or domestic animals or people.

USGS studies examining the effects of environmental factors on disease pathways of zoonotic and vector-borne disease, provide crucial connections for understanding the interrelatedness of disease emergence in all animals and people. In collaboration with researchers from universities and federal public health agencies, the USGS is conducting integrated research on the ecology of infectious disease that examines the relationship between human-induced environmental change, such as pollution and habitat loss, and disease transmission dynamics.

Vector-borne (arthropods are the most common vectors that transmit disease)

Zoonotic (diseases transmissible between animals and people)

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Air, Dust, and Soil contaminants and Pathogens
Drinking Water Contaminants
Consumption of Bioaccumulative Contaminants
Vector Borne and Zoonotic (animal to human) Disease
Contact With Recreational Waters
Animal Sentinels of Human Health

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