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Are people willing to consult a veterinarian if they are diagnosed with a zoonotic disease?

R. Speare, D. Mendez, J. Judd, S. Reid, S. Tzipori, P. D. Massey

ZOONOTIC diseases, infections acquired by people from vertebrate animals, and humanoses, infections acquired by animals from people, are important components of the burden of communicable diseases. Although human physicians diagnose and treat zoonotic diseases, they appear to find them challenging and some believe that veterinarians have better knowledge and understanding of zoonoses. Physicians have suggested that veterinarians should join them in managing patients with zoonoses, even though they have no formal role in the human health care system. The aim of this study was to gauge the willingness of the Australian public to consult with a veterinarian if their primary physician recommended it to improve the management of their zoonotic disease.

Data were collected as part of the annual, state-wide Queensland Social Survey 2014 in Australia. A computer-assisted telephone interviewing system and trained interviewers were used to randomly sample households across Queensland between July 29 and August 31, 2014, during which time 1223 complete surveys were collected. Each respondent was asked whether, on the recommendation of their physician, they would be willing to consult with a veterinarian at their own expense if their doctor had diagnosed them with a zoonotic disease, and, …

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