Welcome to the Zoonotic Disease Section (ZDS). Zoonotic diseases are those that are spread from animals to people. Approximately 75% of recently emerging infectious diseases affecting humans are diseases of animal origin; approximately 60% of all human pathogens are zoonotic. These diseases can be viral, bacterial, fungal or parasitic. They can be spread directly from the animal or indirectly through the environment or vectors such as mosquitoes or ticks. The goal of the Zoonotic Disease Section is to improve the health of Arkansans by reducing the impact of these infectious diseases using a comprehensive approach that includes human, animal, and environmental health.
The Zoonotic Disease Section is headed by the State Public Health Veterinarian and is located in the Infectious Disease Branch of the Center for Health Protection. The Public Health Veterinarian is responsible for consultation to local health units, environmental health specialists, other governmental agencies, physicians and other healthcare providers, veterinarians, animal control officers and the general public. The Public Health Veterinarian is available for consultation on issues such as rabies control and animal bites, as well as, other zoonotic diseases such as brucellosis, psittacosis, Giardia, ringworm and methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).
ZDS manages several Arkansas statutes, including the Rabies Control Act, the Pet Store Act and Voluntary Animal Control Officer Certification.