Flea Zoonoses

Zoonosis risk: High. PPE necessary.


Transmission: Larva feed on tapeworm eggs before being eaten by the host. Animal handler may also accidentally consume flea larvae containing tapeworm eggs and become infected.

Bubonic plague

Transmission: When plague bacteria is ingested by a flea, its gut can get blocked by the bacteria in the infected blood. It then bites a new animal and regurgitates the bacteria into the wound.

Murine Typhus

Transmission: The disease is passed through fecal matter from an infected animal to a new host’s blood stream.

Cat Scratch Fever

Transmission: A flea feeds on an infected animal then bites a new host and spreads the bacteria in the blood stream.

For more information on these diseases, please see your Zoonoses in Wildlife Rehabilitation handout you received during orientation.