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We love our animals. We could even go as far as to say that our pets bring light and joy into our lives. While all this may be true, there are still some things about pets that may cause harm to their human parents — for example, infections. Infections are no laughing matter. There are numerous diseases that we could catch from our beloved animals.
Bats, monkeys, and numerous other creatures are carriers of Ebola. Ebola, which can spread to people. Pigs are to blame for swine flu, deer mice infected the Yosemite campers with Hantavirus, and mosquitos were the culprits behind the West Nile outspread. There are about 39 viruses that people can catch from animals, 48 diseases people get from a bug bite, and 42 diseases people can get from touching or eating food or water that has been contaminated by animal feces.
How do Pets Spread Infections?
We live in a world that’s filled with germs. Our pets are not immune to these germs and mostly suffer from the same effects. There are some common illnesses that house pets suffer from like heartworms, canine parvovirus, and distemper. These can’t spread to humans. But that doesn’t go for all the illnesses that our pets may suffer from. There are numerous viruses, bacteria, fungi, and parasites that only pets carry. These can easily be transmitted to their human parents. We can get these diseases when we’re scratched, bitten, or come into contact with their dander, saliva, or waste.
Infections that Can Spread to Humans
Dogs and cats are the most popular house pets. Here are some of the infections that they carry, which can also spread to their beloved parents.
1. Cat Scratch Disease
This comes from the bacteria known as ‘Bartonella henselae’. Humans can get this bacteria when their cat bites or scratches them. Symptoms of this infection include tender or swollen lymph nodes, headaches, tiredness, and fever. These symptoms will most likely subside within a week. If the symptoms persist or the infection becomes severe, the doctor may prescribe antibiotics. Cat scratch disease has no long term effects.
Rabies has become a cautionary tale that we tell our children to deter them from interacting with strange animals. The rabies virus is one of the most serious viruses that can be transmitted to humans through their pets. The virus is transmitted through the bite of an infected animal or if its saliva touches an open wound. Animals that are carriers include cats, dogs, foxes, raccoons, skunks, and bats.
Other infections that you can get from your pets include rocky mountain spotted fever, campylobacter infection, ringworm, toxocariasis, toxoplasmosis, etc. Our pets mean everything to us. The key is to take proper care and get the appropriate vaccinations for these in time so that we won’t have to deal with them later on.