Five diseases you can catch from pets

Love them or hate them, it is hard to get away from pets. And even if you don’t own one yourself, you are likely to come across them (or things they have left behind) regularly.

Most interactions between humans and pets are likely to be overwhelmingly positive. But pets can carry some diseases that affect us. Such diseases, termed zoonoses, are usually very mild, but the rarer ones can be more severe.

Here are some of the infections people can catch from their pets:

  1. Rabies
  2. Ringworm
  3. Salmonella
  4. Toxoplasma
  5. Bites and scratches

As with most infections, zoonotic infections have a greater potential to do harm in people whose immune systems are compromised, such as the elderly and those suffering from immunosuppressive diseases (such as HIV/AIDS), or undergoing immunosuppressive therapies (such as chemotherapy). However, even if your immune system is compromised, you can still benefit from owning a pet. And with care and a little knowledge of the risks, you can avoid infections.

Thankfully, zoonotic infections are not common. Most infections we get are likely to come from other humans. However, the risks of zoonosis can be minimised by being aware of them and by taking simple hygiene precautions at home. And, if in doubt about the risks, you can always consult your GP or a veterinary surgeon.

To read the full article by HPRU EZI Theme Leader Professor Alan Radford, see the article published on The Conversation.

 Reptile -salmonella -SGr -Shutterstock

                                                       Pet reptiles can carry salmonella. SGr/Shutterstock.com

Posted on: 18/03/2018