Many diseases which affect animals can also be transmitted to humans. A disease of this type is termed ‘zoonotic’.
Examples include Lyme Disease, ascariasis (roundworm) and rabies. Zoonotic diseases affect and are carried by domestic animals, farm animals, wild animals or rodents such as mice and rats. Humans are in constant contact with animal diseases since many can also be spread in the environment, perhaps in children’s sandpits, in water or in food. Some diseases are transmitted by insect bites. The insect is then termed a ‘vector’ (from the Latin word for carrier).