Skip to content Skip to main navigation Skip to footer

What are zoonoses?

Certain infectious diseases can be transmitted between animals and humans. They are called zoonoses. They are caused by bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites.

Contamination of humans from animals can occur in different ways, depending on the disease:

  • by contact of contaminants with the skin or mucous membranes
  • by air (contaminated dust or droplets you breathe)
  • by bite, injury or bite
  • by contact with a contaminated object or hands with the mouth.

Food-borne animal diseases are called foodborne illness.

How to prevent?

There are ways to prevent zoonoses in your daily actions:

  • wash your hands with warm water and soap

    • after each contact with an animal, its excrement or litter

    • After a visit to the farm
    • Before eating or putting your hands to your mouth
  • Respect strict hygiene during meals and their preparation
  • quickly and properly dispose of excrement from your animals adequately
  • clean any scratches or bites with warm water and soap, then protect wounds with a bandage
  • avoid kissing animals prevent mosquito and tick bites


On the farm, it is also important:

  • avoid eating or putting hands to mouth in places where animals are kept
  • take off your boots, change your clothes and wash your hands when leaving the farm
  • to regularly clean and disinfect buildings where animals are kept
  • apply other sanitary measures when identifying a zoonosis on a farm

In case of concerns regarding the health of your animals, consult a veterinary surgeon.

Some people are more vulnerable to zoonoses, including pregnant women, young children and the elderly or those with weakened immune systems. These people can avoid or limit the risks by respecting the instructions listed above.

In case of concerns for your health, contact Info-Santé by calling 811. When making this communication or during a consultation with a doctor, mention any contact you may have had with animals.

Source : Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Quebec



Back to top