Pets often become part of the family, but it is timely to learn about the diseases that pets can transmit to their owners before assuming the responsibility of having them and providing them with the care they deserve. In this article you will find useful information about it, so that you can take the necessary precautions and protect your loved ones.
Infections that are transmitted from animals to humans
Animals, like people, are carriers of germs and the most common diseases that result from them are distemper, canine parvovirus, heartworm or dirofilariosis but these are not transmissible to humans, only between members of the same species.
However, there are bacteria, viruses, parasites and fungi present in pets that can infect humans through bites, scratches and direct contact with their saliva, dander and feces. In this sense, it is considered that pregnant women, children under five years of age and people with depressed immune systems are at greater risk of developing them.
What precautions should be taken with pets to avoid contagion?
Depending on the type of pet, its health status and the age of the people who will be in contact with it, preventive measures vary.
For example, children who have weakened immune systems from diseases such as HIV or cancer are more likely to get ringworm from infected dogs and cats, while infants with eczema should be kept away from aquariums and aquariums. Reptiles or amphibians are more suitable for families where there are no babies, young children or sick people.
Dogs and cats
Below, we offer you a list that contains the main diseases that dogs and cats can transmit to their owners:
- Campylobacteriosis: This is an infection that causes diarrhea, fever, and abdominal pain in people.
- Cat scratch disease: causes inflammation, discomfort in the glands, fever, headache and fatigue.
- Rabies: it is rare and is eradicated by timely vaccination of the specimens.
- Ringworm: causes a round lesion on the skin, which becomes dry, scaly and surrounded by redness.
- Toxocariasis: it is caused by the eggs of a parasite present in the feces of animals and in people it causes fever, cough, regrowth of the liver, rash and swollen glands.
- Toxoplasmosis: it is an infection caused by a parasite present in the faeces of contaminated animals and although it does not show symptoms in healthy people, it implies a serious risk for pregnant women and babies.
If you have birds at home, these are the diseases you should be aware of to avoid getting infected:
- Cryptococcosis: this is a fungus present in the feces of birds and can cause pneumonia and meningitis in people with a weak immune system.
- Psittacosis: arises as a result of a bacterium that affects birds and is transmitted to people who are in contact with their feces or the dust present in the cages. It causes cough, fever and headache.
- Salmonella: It is common in poultry such as chickens and ducks.
Reptiles and amphibians
Animals such as lizards, lizards, turtles, frogs, toads and salamanders are not recommended for children under 5 years of age because they can infect them with salmonellosis.
This is an infection that causes diarrhea, abdominal pain, vomiting, and fever. Very young children can be quite affected by the development of this disease, putting their lives at risk.
Rodent and fish species can transmit the following diseases to people who handle or care for them:
- Lymphocytic choriomeningitis: contracted by contact with urine, feces or saliva of infected rodents and causes flu-like symptoms, as well as nausea and vomiting, with the possibility of leading to meningitis or encephalitis.
- Infection by mycobacterium marinum: it is contracted by being in contact with contaminated water from aquariums or swimming pools, through wounds or cuts in the skin. When it is mild, it affects only the skin but can be aggravated in people with a weak immune system.