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Tennessee WIC Operations in the Event of a Federal Government Shutdown

Vector-Borne/Zoonotic Diseases

Vector-Borne Diseases

Diseases transmitted to humans or other animals by insects or other arthropods.
Usually mosquitoes or ticks.


Mosquito-borne virusesWest Nile virus (WNV) is one of several viruses in the US that can infect people. The virus exists in nature primarily through a transmission cycle involving certain species of mosquitoes and birds. La Crosse Encephalitis (LAC) is a viral infection that can cause inflammation of the brain.


Tick-borne illnessesRocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF) is the most severe tick borne illness in the United States and is spread by the bite of infected ticks. The disease gets its name from the Rocky Mountain area where it was first identified.Ehrlichiosis is a disease caused by bacteria that are transmitted by the bite of an infected tick.

Zoonotic Diseases

Diseases that are transmitted between animals and humans.


Rabies is a viral disease of mammals most often transmitted through the bite of a rabid animal. The vast majority of rabies cases reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) each year occur in wild animals like raccoons, skunks, bats, foxes, and coyotes. The rabies virus infects the central nervous system (CNS), ultimately causing encephalitis and death.


Other important zoonotic diseases include potential bioterrorism agents or occupational illnesses such as anthrax, brucellosis, small pox, tularemia, Q fever, and psittacosis. A bioterrorism attack is the deliberate release of viruses, bacteria, or other germs (agents) used to cause illness or death in people, animals, or plants. These agents are typically found in nature, but it is possible that they could be changed to increase their ability to cause disease.


Infestations caused by pests such as bed bugs, fleas, and lice.


Bed bugs are small, flat, parasitic insects that feed solely on the blood of people and animals while they sleep. They are a problem worldwide, are resurging, causing property loss, expense, and inconvenience. The good news is that bed bugs do not transmit disease.


Brown recluse spiders are usually found in workplaces with secluded, dry, sheltered areas such as underneath structures logs, or in piles of rocks or leaves. If a brown recluse spider wanders indoors, they may be found in dark closets, shoes, or attics.


Board Information

The Emergency Medical Services Board consists of 13 board members who are appointed by the Governor:

  • Two physicians,
  • One registered nurse,
  • One hospital administrator,
  • One member licensed as an EMT, EMT-P, registered nurse, or physician (who is affiliated with a volunteer ambulance service),
  • Two operators of ambulance services (licensed as an EMT or EMT-P),
  • One rescue squad member (licensed as an EMT or EMT-P),
  • One professional firefighter (licensed as an EMT-Paramedic),
  • One member affiliated with emergency management (licensed as an EMT or EMT-P),
  • Two officials of local governments that operate ambulance services, and
  • One paramedic instructor from an accredited paramedic program in Tennessee.


Four members are appointed from each of the state's three grand divisions, as well as one at-large member. Members are appointed for a term of four years, with the Board chair elected from among the members of the board. A quorum is seven members.

The Board is empowered to approve schools and prescribe courses for EMS personnel, promulgate regulations governing licenses and permits, and establish standards for the activities and operation of emergency medical and ambulance services. The Board conducts hearings to review and decide disciplinary matters presented by the Department and may suspend, revoke or otherwise discipline any authorization required for emergency medical personnel and ambulance services.

More Information

USGS Disease Map shows distribution of disease across US.
Summer safety tips tips for outdoor protection against VB diseases.
Evite Las Picaduras de Insectos (Español)
Tick information protect yourself against tick bites.
West Nile virus information (English) Fight the Bite.
Virus del Nilo Occidental (Español) ¡Luche Contra las Picaduras! 
La Crosse Encephalitis information (English) How you can prevent LAC