Worms & Germs Blog is an educational website coordinated by Drs. Scott Weese and Maureen Anderson of the Ontario Veterinary College‘s Centre for Public Health and Zoonoses. The site was initial set up with the help of funding from City of Hamilton Public Health.

This site 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. In reality, we take a broader approach, considering diseases that can be spread from animals to people AND from people to animals.

Zoonotic diseases have been recognized for centuries but we’ve often neglected to consider the role of companion animals, the animals most people have the closest contact with. That’s why we’ve created this blog, and the associated Worms & Germs Resources page. There, you’ll find information sheets about safe pet ownership and zoonotic disease topics. The sheets are reviewed by professionals from the veterinary, medical and public health fields to provide the most up-to-date information possible. Information sheets are added as needed and as time allows, so keep checking back for more!

While initially designed as a zoonotic diseases site, Worms & Germs has broadened its scope over the years, and there is now information available on the site about many other infectious disease topics that have an impact on the public, including diseases transmitted by urban wildlife, exotic pet ownership, emerging diseases in companion animals such as canine influenza and many more. Many of our topics come from questions we receive from the public, as well as veterinarians and public health professionals.

In November of 2011, after three years on the worldwide web and nearly half a million visits, the Worms & Germs sister site, equIDblog, was discontinued. This site was an invaluable resource – for owners and veterinarians – about infectious diseases of horses, as well as practical information regarding infectious disease prevention and control, all written and reviewed by experts in the field. In order to preserve this information and keep it available to the public, it has all been absorbed into the Worms & Germs Blog. The equIDblog posts can still be searched and accessed through the archives and the link (“equIDblog”) in the topic index on the left side of the Worms & Germs homepage. The equIDblog Resources page has also been preserved and can be reached through the “Resources – Horses” link at the top of the page. New resource sheets and links related to equine infectious diseases will continue to be posted here.