CAT SCRATCH DISEASE
Cat scratch disease (CSD) is a bacterial disease that humans can get when they suffer a mild infection from a cat bite or scratch. This diseases causes the lymph nodes around the areas of the head, neck and upper limbs to become swollen. Other symptoms include fever, headache, fatigue and loss of appetite. 40 percent of cats carry B. henselea, the virus that causes cat scratch disease, at least once in their lives. However, kittens are most likely to be infected and pass along the disease.
To reduce the risk of getting cat scratch disease, avoid rough play with cats and kittens to avoid scratches and bites. If you are bitten or scratched, immediately wash the wound thoroughly. If you develop an infection, be sure to contact your physician.
Lyme disease is caused by Borrelia burgdorferi, which can be transmitted through ticks. Ticks that carry Lyme disease are hard to see, but within one to two weeks of being infected, humans being to suffer from a "bull's-eye" rash with fever, headache and muscle or joint pain. If the disease is not treated, symptoms will worsen and can even cause mental changes. Lyme disease is one of the most common tick-transmitted diseases in the world.
The bacteria that causes this disease can be spread through the urine of infected animals and can survive in water or soil for months. Animals with the disease show no signs of infection. If humans have contact with infected pet urine through water or soil it can enter their body. Leptospirosis can lead to kidney damage, meningitis, liver failure, respiratory distress and death. To prevent this disease, humans should avoid having any contact with water they believe could be contaminated.
Hookworms are blood-sucking parasites that can invade, inhabit and live in a dog or cat's small intestines. Symptoms of animal hookworm infection in humans can range from painful, itchy skin infections to intestinal bleeding, inflammation and abdominal pain.
Puppies and kittens are most likely to have hookworm infections and can pass the hookworm eggs or larvae in their stools. Humans who have any contact with the contaminated dirt or area can obtain the hookworm infection. To reduce the risk of getting hookworm, owners should have their dogs and cats dewormed.
Pet birds such as parrots, parakeets, macaws and cockatiels are most frequently involved in the transmission of psittacosis to humans. Psittacosis can be transmitted to humans from inhaling dried secretions of infected birds. Symptoms of this disease include fever, chills, headache, muscle aches and a dry cough. To reduce the risk of psittacosis, bird handlers should remember to feed their birds properly, avoid overcrowding and provide adequate ventilation systems to reduce the spread of contaminated air. Additionally, cages should be cleaned daily and should not be stacked.
Salmonelllosis is a bacterial disease caused by the bacterium salmonella and can live in the intestinal tract of many different animals. Salmonella is commonly known to be transmitted through food, but it also can be spread to humans through animals.
Symptoms of salmonela include diarrhea, fever and stomach pain. Animals that carry the virus can pass it in their feces and can contaminate their fur, feathers or scales. To prevent risk of salmonella, people should remember to wash their hands after contact with animals or their environment.
LYMPHOCYTIC CHORIOMENINGITIS VIRUS
This viral disease is carried by rodents such as mice, hamsters and guinea pigs, all of which are very popular household pets. Symptoms of the LCMV infection are similar to that of the flu and include fever, stiff neck, loss of appetite, muscle aches, headache, nausea and vomiting. Virus transmission can occur from exposure to rodent urine, droppings or saliva. To prevent risk of getting LCMV, rodent owners should wash their hands after handling them, keep rodent cages clean and avoid kissing rodents or having them close to their face.
Toxoplasmosis is a parasitic disease associated with cats and their environment. Most people infected with the disease do not get sick, but others may report swollen glands, muscle aches and other flu-like symptoms. Toxoplasmosis can be passed to humans from contaminated cat feces. Humans can get this disease from cleaning cat litter or touching dirt where cats may have been. To reduce the risk of getting toxoplasmosis, people should remember to wash their hands throughly with water and soap after contact with cat stool.
Brucellosis is a bacterial disease associated with farm animals and dogs. The bacteria can spread to humans if they come in contact with infected animals. Farmers and veterinarians are at higher risk of obtaining this disease. If humans are infected with the virus, they can suffer from flu-like symptoms including fever, sweats, loss of appetite, headache, myalgia and back pain. To prevent risk of the disease, animals who are suspected to have the virus should be treated immediately.
Giardiasis is a parasitic disease associated with various animals and water. Giardia can survive outside the body for long periods of time and can be spread in many different ways, although water is the most common form of transmission. Still, many puppies and kittens can be infected with giardia. Symptoms include diarrhea, gas, stomach cramps and dehydration.
Owners may not even be aware that their pets can catch strep throat, but they most certainly can and as a result, pass it on to their human owners. They may catch it from someone else in the household; researchers have found that its more likely that people are infecting their pets with the sickness. Either way, kissing, licking or exchanging food by mouth with your pets are discouraged.
Scabies, also known as sarcoptic mange, is a skin disease caused by itch mites that burrow under the skin. Scabies cause intense itching and scratching that can result in eczema. To prevent the risk of getting scabies, owners should take their pets to their vet for regular exams and vaccinations.
Rabies may be the most well known viral disease associated with mammals, including dogs, cats, horses and wildlife. Wild animals are much more likely to carry the disease, but dogs and cats can still pass along rabies to people. People usually get rabies from the bites of infected animals. Symptoms include fever, headache, confusion, sleepiness or agitation.
To reduce the risk of getting rabies, vaccinations should be kept up to date for all dogs, cats and ferrets. Pets should be kept under direct supervision so they do not come in contact with wild animals.
Cryptosporidiosis is a parasitic disease associated with cats, dogs and farm animals. While most people get this infection from contaminated food and water, sometimes animals can carry the parasite in their feces and pass it on to people.
Symptoms include a mild to severe infection of the gastrointestinal system, including watery diarrhea, fever, abdominal cramps, nausea and vomiting. To prevent the risk of acquiring cryptosporidiosis from pets, humans should always wash their hands after contact with animals and animal feces.
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Tapeworm infection is a parasite associated with flea infections in cats and dogs. Infections in humans are more common in children. Tapeworm species can also be contracted by humans from accidental ingestion of dog feces containing infectious eggs. For this reason, pets should always be treated for regular worming and flea control, especially dogs.