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Diseases from animals

Australian bat lyssavirus and handling bats

Australian Bat Lyssavirus (ABL) is closely related to the rabies virus. Only vaccinated people who have been trained in the care of bats should handle them. Read the Australian bat lyssavirus and handling bats fact sheet (PDF, 286 KB) or watch the video on safe bat handling.

Hendra virus

Hendra virus is a sporadic disease of horses that can cause very serious illness in horses and humans. The natural hosts of Hendra virus are flying foxes. Human infection results from close contact with infected horses and their blood, body fluids and tissues.

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Petting zoos

Contact with animals at petting zoos can spread infection to workers and visitors. Some people, such as infants and young children, are especially vulnerable to infection and serious illness can occasionally occur. Good hygiene practices, including hand washing, are important to manage infection risks. Read the managing infection risks at petting zoo guideline (PDF, 375.32 KB).

Q fever

Q fever is an infectious disease that is spread from animals to people. It is caused by bacteria called Coxiella burnetii. Cattle, sheep and goats are the most common source of human infection, but other animals such as kangaroos, bandicoots, camels, dogs and cats can also cause infection.

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Other resources

Leptospirosis (or Weils Disease) is an infectious zoonotic disease caused by bacteria and spread in the urine of infected animals (wild anddomestic) and in water and soil contaminated with infected urine. Leptospirosis is a notifiable disease.

Hydatid disease
This disease is caused by infection with a small tapeworm parasite Echinococcus granulosus. People become infected by eating eggs of this parasite, usually when there is hand-to-mouth transfer of eggs in dog faeces.

Psittacosis is a disease caused by the bacteria Chlamydia psittaci, which is usually transmitted to humans from birds in the parrot family. The bacteria is also found in other species including poultry, pigeons, canaries and sea birds.

Toxoplasmosis occurs worldwide and is found in mammals, especially cats and birds. Infection in humans is common, caused by a parasite called Toxoplasmosis gondii which is usually found in cats and other mammals and birds.

Last updated
18 December 2018

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