Animal-Related Diseases

Zoonotic (animal-related) diseases are infectious diseases that can be spread from animals to humans either by direct contact with an infected animal or through contaminated surfaces such as soil. The Weld County Department of Public Health and Environment (WCDPHE) investigates a number of these diseases, including  hantavirus, plague, rabies, tularemia, and West Nile virus, to prevent further spread and advise residents on how to protect themselves and their pets.

WCDPHE provides the following services: Consultation on rabies risk and the need for treatment after exposure to a wild or domestic animal.

  • Rabies testing of wild animals (such as bats or skunks) that have had direct contact with a human or pet.
  • Monitoring of the mosquito population for West Nile Virus (WNV) and alerting municipalities when risk is increased.
  • Follow-up on human cases of a zoonotic disease.
  • Investigations of prairie dog colony die-offs.

Reminder: Sometimes a wild baby animal may appear to be orphaned, hungry, or cold, but they are not. In fact, handling the animal could mean the mother will not come back and the animal may have to be euthanized. If you love baby animals, keep your distance and let them be wild!