Animal Diseases That Can Be Transferred to Humans

doctor holding an animal

Many of our pets are part of our family. However, their existence can be dangerous, especially if they are sickly. There’s a potential they are carrying a disease that can affect you and your family.

Most diseases gained by our pets aren’t contagious to human beings. But some diseases are known to make the jump from pets to human beings. These diseases can be as equally devastating to us, and without proper knowledge, it has the possibility of being fatal. These diseases are known to be zoonotic diseases.

What Are Zoonotic Diseases?

Not many diseases can be transferred from animals to human beings. Such diseases are known to be Zoonotic diseases. These kinds of diseases are unique because they are known to do the impossible. Moreover, it’s safe to assume that these diseases are infectious and are likely from viruses.

They are more common than we think. There are about 150 zoonotic diseases that exist worldwide, and most of them can also be found in the US. Although it’s rare for them to transmit from animals to human beings, one transmission can lead to a worldwide epidemic. One common zoonotic disease is influenza.

Influenza

There are various forms of influenza, each affecting different species. For example, influenza A affects pigs, whales, horses, ducks, and chickens. In contrast, Influenza B is known only to affect human beings.

It’s pretty rare for influenza to transfer from animals to human beings. However, avian flu has been known to do this jump. Therefore, if you have a pet bird or planning to purchase an exotic avian pet, you must hire professional animal transport services to bring them into the country. They’ll ensure that your pet is safe from spreading it or getting infected by it.

Moreover, avian influenza can also spread from consuming bird meat. It can’t easily be spotted and require laboratory testing. After avian influenza is transmitted to a human being, it can infect many other humans as well.

It’s always important to avoid cross-contamination when handling food. Additionally, always sanitize your avian pet’s cage so that they can avoid gaining such a virus. Also, keep an eye out on the news for any avian flu that’s spreading. This will give you a heads up on whether to consume bird meat or not. These are the best ways to avoid this zoonotic disease.

Salmonella

Salmonella is a zoonotic disease that all sorts of animals can gain. It can also be quickly transmitted from one infected species to the next.

We’re all quite weary of salmonella, and we hate its existence. Unfortunately, salmonella symptoms are also worse, consisting of diarrhea, fever, and stomach cramps. In some cases, salmonella can be fatal to our pets and us.

Infection by salmonella is one of the most common zoonotic transmissions out there. The primary vector of this disease is contaminated food. Eggs and chicken that are undercooked are the most common culprit, but shelled creatures and some fishes also carry this disease.

The best way to avoid salmonella is to avoid eating raw meat. This includes your pet. If you’re not sure if your eggs are fresh, then don’t eat them raw. It’s also important to thoroughly cook your chicken as well. Don’t feed your dogs raw chicken. Boil the chicken first before giving it as treats.

Rabies

Lastly, we come to rabies. Rabies is the most commonly known zoonotic disease in the world, and it’s also the most dangerous. Thankfully, it’s very preventable.

Rabies is deadly. It spreads from contact with an infected host. Most animals and humans an infected host bites are very much likely to get it. Rabies is only found in wild animals, but if your pet gets in contact with one through a bite or scratch, they are likely to gain the virus as well.

This is one of the few zoonotic diseases that affect the nervous system. Almost any animal or human being that gets infected by this can expire without proper medical attention. There is no effective treatment for anyone or any animal that has rabies. The best way to combat it is to fully avoid it in the first place.

You should always avoid contact with wild animals, especially very aggressive ones. Wall of your home if it’s near a forest or if you know other wild animals live near you. Vaccinate your pets against rabies when you can.

Zoonotic diseases can be pretty scary, but they are highly preventable. By having the right knowledge, you and your pets can avoid such diseases from entering your home.

Scroll to Top