6.03 - Zoonotic diseases of cattle

This table list outlines diseases that infect cattle and can also infect people.

Disease How it spreads Common signs in people
Leptospirosis Urine contamination with skin or mucosal surface Headache, chills, fever, muscle pain malaise, inflamed throat/pharynx
Q fever Inhalation of aerosols and dust Headache, chills, fever, muscle pain malaise, coughing, vomiting
Campylobacteriosis Ingestion of contaminated food or water Severe diarrhoea, pain, fever, headache, nausea
Milkers nodule Handling teats of cows or mouths of calves Initially dark papule that heals spontaneously
Brucellosis From aborted foetus, faeces, raw flesh or bacteria in unpasteurised dairy products penetrates skin conjunctiva respiratory or gut Initially dark papule that heals spontaneously One case in Victoria in 2001; undulant fever aches, pains
Tuberculosis Eradicated from Australia Chronic cough, fever, weight loss
Cryptosporidiosis Faeco–oral route Mild watery diarrhoea
Yersiniosis Faeco–oral route Acute watery diarrhoea, fever, headache
Salmonella Faeco–oral route Acute watery/blood flecks diarrhoea, fever, headache
Listeriosis Foodborne disease, especially chilled foods Transient mild flu-like to acute eningoencephalitis with case fatality rate of 30%, foetal infection can lead to abortion
Ringworm Direct contact with skin or from cattle handling equipment Dry, reddened skin, hair loss, inflamed skin
Anthrax Respiratory, ingestion or local through break in skin Respiratory or gastrointestinal forms has a very high mortality rate as does local skin infection if left untreated

Seek immediate medical advice with all diseases or suspected disease outbreaks.