Bubonic plague, ebola virus, typhus, malaria, cholera, dengue fever, anthrax, and (some people argue) AIDS - are all part of the wonderful world of diseases we can contract or that emerged from animals. Now we can add Mexican Swine Flu to the illustrious list.
Australia, incidentally, is far from immune from an outbreak of this nature - there are estimated to be more feral pigs in Australia than there are Australians.
Zoonotic diseases constitute more than 60 per cent of all new diseases and, as experience shows, a lot of people can die before we figure out how to control them.
By the way, some lesser known but cool sounding names of diseases we can contract from animals: Babesiosis, Sodoku, Visceral Larva Migrans. Why not try one of these next time you are calling into work sick?
(Via Daddy Dave.)