The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health protects health, prevents disease, and promotes health and well being for all persons in Los Angeles County. The focus is on the population as a whole, activities are done by a network of public health professionals throughout the community.
Los Angeles County has a population of ten million people and millions of animals. The two most common domestic animals are cats and dogs. There are over 20 different animal control agencies in the County. In 2003, there were about 1,000 licensed veterinarians in Los Angeles County. The majority of Los Angeles County veterinarians are involved in small animal medicine. There are over four million owned cats and dogs in the county.
Our three main areas of focus are 1) Veterinary Public Health, 2) Rabies Control, and 3) Bioterrorism. Of those biological agents most likely to be used by terrorists, most are animal diseases, and many are endemic in Los Angeles County.
Potential Student Experiences
- Outbreak investigation and disease reporting
- Interaction and coordination with various sections in the Department of Health Services including physicians, epidemiologists, field investigators, and animal control agencies
- Establishing familiarity with various animal control agencies within the county
- Gain computer experience in animal disease reporting and animal bite reporting
- Community bioterrorism
Actual student experiences may be dependent and driven upon current disease outbreaks and rapidly shifting Departmental priorities as a result.