Online course to cover awareness, prevention of companion animal zoonotic diseases

Animal and human health care professionals can boost their knowledge about zoonoses in companion animals through a new web-based course scheduled for Oct. 7 through Nov. 13.

The course, titled "Zoonoses: Protecting People and Their Pets,"was recently announced by the Center for Food Security and Public Health (CFSPH) at Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine. 

According to the CFSPH, the course is an opportunity for human and animal health care professionals, as well as students, to update their knowledge surrounding zoonotic diseases and learn how diverse professions can collaborate on zoonoses-focused efforts. 

"Companion animals play an important role in people's lives," said Glenda Dvorak, DVM, MPH, DACVPM, course instructor, assistant director at the CFSPH. "Partnerships between human, veterinary, and public health professionals are needed to raise awareness, enhance detection, and promote prevention of zoonotic diseases to protect the health of people and pets."

Course structure

Course participants will receive a well-rounded education on zoonotic diseases, with teaching materials including lessons, case studies, a discussion board, and online resources designed to help health care professionals educate clients on zoonotic disease prevention.

Participants will be able to navigate through the course at their own pace with seven online lessons, each lasting approximately 60 minutes. Each lesson has a corresponding study guide and quiz, the CFSPH said.

Course topics include:

  • Companion Animal Zoonotic Diseases: An Overview 
  • The Human-Animal Bond
  • Animal Bites, Scratches and Disease Transmission
  • Companion Animal Zoonoses and Immunocompromised Individuals
  • Companion Animal Zoonoses and Children
  • Environmental Zoonoses: Shared Environments, Shared Risks
  • Principles of Treatment and Prevention for Zoonotic Diseases

Those who complete the course will receive a certificate of completion for seven hours of coursework.

Registration information

Interested parties can register at the course website for a reduced cost of $50 prior to Oct. 3. Course participants will receive a companion textbook valued at $70.

According to the CFSPH, the course is subsidized with support from the Center of Excellence for Emerging and Zoonotic Animal Diseases at Kansas State University, a Department of Homeland Security Center of Excellence.