This blog gives updates on Dr. Sherilee Harper and her team as they partake in ecohealth research with Indigenous communities

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This site is an educational website which focuses on infectious diseases of companion animals (household pets and horses), with an emphasis on zoonotic diseases – diseases that can be transmitted from animals to people. It takes a broader approach, considering diseases that can be spread from animals to people AND from people to animals.

  • Wash your hands and save a skunk
    Well, not really. Presumably most people don’t have direct contact with skunks; however, that doesn’t mean skunks can’t pick up viruses from us. A study published in Zoonoses and Public Health (Britton et al. 2018) investigated human H1N1 influenza in wild skunks in the greater Vancouver, BC (Canada) area, following up... Read more »
  • Rabies knowledge of vets and physicians
    I spend a lot of time answering questions about rabies exposures, and sometimes trying to clear up misinformation. Rabies is a very important infectious disease but in many regions (like here) it’s fortunately rare in domestic animals and people. However, rarity can breed complacency or lack of (or loss of)... Read more »
  • Dogs and tularemia
    Tularemia is a nasty bacterial disease. The bug that causes it, Francisella tularensis, is a category A bioterrorism agent (along with things like anthrax, botulism, plague, smallpox and Ebola virus). It’s classified as that because it’s highly transmissible and causes serious disease, so it’s something you definitely don’t want. The bacterium... Read more »
  • Endangered panthers and a domestic cat virus
    The indoor vs outdoor cat debate never seems to end. Some decry outdoor cats as the world’s most destructive “invasive species.” Some say that outdoor cats do what outdoor cats (and any other carnivores) do… they hunt to eat. Cats kill large numbers of birds every year. So do lots of other things. In an... Read more »
  • Annual US rabies report 2017
    As is typical for this time of year, the annual US rabies report has been published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association (Ma et al, 2018). Here are some highlights: 4454 rabid animals were identified across the country. This is certainly a marked underestimate of the actual number since... Read more »