As the unprecedented outbreak of H5N1 avian influenza continues in North America, there are various concerns about where this outbreak is going and the threats to other species….domestic and wild mammals, and people (us being just another ‘domestic animal’).  My inbox is filled with questions about various concerns and scenarios. The one I’ll address today

Concerns about the animal aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic continue to come in waves. Most of the time they are ignored or dismissed, but there are also periodic flurries of attention and (often over-) reaction.  Lately, questions about vaccination of animals against SARS-CoV-2 follow have been on the rise.

Should domestic and wild animals be

One thing we’ve been watching for with SARS-CoV-2 in animals is whether we will see establishment of “animal” variants. Humans have done an effective job of infecting a wide variety of animal species with this primarily-human virus. Fortunately, thus far these infections usually die out rapidly in that animal or group of animals (mink being

As SARS-CoV-2 continues to rip through the human population, we’re getting more information about downstream impacts, including transmission to animals. One of my talking points since the start of the pandemic has been that we want to keep this virus in the human population. If we spread it to animals, it will be much harder

In 2021, the Ontario Ministry of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry (NDMNRF) contacted the University of Guelph’s Centre for Public Health and Zoonoses (CPHAZ) about concerns pertaining to the use of the antiviral drug acyclovir in raccoons, specifically for “treatment” of distemper. While only used by a distinct minority of raccoon rehabilitators (maybe

As someone who works in zoonotic diseases and One Health, I deal with the ever-present issue of trying to raise awareness while preventing people from over-reacting, panicking or doing something stupid. It can be tough, since we want people to realize that animal-to-human transmission of infections is an important issue, but don’t want them huddling