Veterinarians serve as epidemiologists in city, county, state, and federal agencies investigating animal and human disease outbreaks such as food-borne illnesses, influenza, rabies, and West Nile viral encephalitis. They help ensure the safety of food processing plants, restaurants, and water supplies. Many serve in the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps.
More than 100 veterinarians are employed by the Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to protect public health by investigating zoonotic diseases and other diseases affecting the health of animals and people. CDC veterinarians are involved in investigating disease outbreaks throughout the world and developing programs to prevent the spread of diseases such as malaria, Ebola and avian influenza. Veterinarians in the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) also protect the health and safety of animals and people through their work in developing disease surveillance and antiterrorism procedures and protocols.
Manmade and natural disasters pose significant risks to animals and humans, and veterinarians play vital roles in helping communities recover from disasters.