Approximately 75% of all human pathogens (germs) originally came from animals.
Diseases that can be transmitted from animals to human are called zoonotic diseases. There are over 50 known zoonotic diseases!
For example: Anthrax, Rabies, Toxoplasmosis, cat scratch fever
Typically, these diseases are put into one of three categories depending on how they are transmitted.
1. Aerosol: contact with respiratory secretions after a cough or sneeze
2. Digestive: Organisms that enter through the mouth
3. Skin penetration: Such as scratches or bites
People can get diseases in most places where they may come in contact with infected animals or insects:
- Animal displays
- Petting zoos
- Pet stores
- Nature parks
- Wooded and bushy areas
- County or state fairs
- Child–care facilities or schools
The good news is there are things you can do to keep you and your pet healthy and safe.
1. Proper hand washing after handling animals, waste, animal products, gardening and always before eating.
2. Thoroughly wash immediately after being scratched or bitten
3. Wear gloves when cleaning the litter box and gardening
4. Ensure that your pet gets regular veterinary care including vaccinations, flea/tick prevention, deworming, and heartworm prevention. Also, prompt medical attention if they become sick.
5. Do not let your pet drink from puddles outside
The reality is that if your pet has a clean environment, regular veterinary checkups, a fresh source of food and water you are more likely to get something from the person next to you than from your pet.