Zoonotic Diseases in Wildlife Populations
Grand Canyon National Park is an area of astonishing natural beauty, a place where people can experience solitude and natural landscapes, and a vibrant ecosystem of diverse plants and wildlife species. As is true for all wild places, natural hazards are an inherent part of the Grand Canyon landscape.
NPS PHOTO BY MICHAEL QUINN
Many zoonotic diseases have flu-like symptoms, including fever, headache, and chills. When you suspect that may have been exposed to a zoonotic disease and are seeking medical care, it is essential that you tell your physician that you may have been exposed to infectious agents carried by wildlife or their parasites.
Zoonotic diseases are infectious diseases that can be transmitted between animals and humans. Wildlife species in and around Grand Canyon National Park may carry a wide variety of such diseases, including, but not limited to, plague, Hantavirus, rabies, and tick-borne relapsing fever, which has been documented only on the North Rim.
CDC PHOTO BY John Montenieri
One of the most important things you can do to protect yourself from contracting any zoonotic disease is to:
Tick-borne Relapsing Fever http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvbid/RelapsingFever/index.htm
Additional information about other zoonotic diseases may be found on the CDC website (http://www.cdc.gov) by using the search function.
Did You Know?
Within the Grand Canyon, the type and abundance of organisms is directly related to the presence or absence of water. The Colorado River and its tributaries, as well as springs, seeps, stock tanks and ephemeral pools provide oases to flora and fauna in this semi-arid southwest desert area.