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Pet Diseases That Can Affect Humans

A few weeks ago, I came across this great article from South Carolina’s local news, WMBF about pet diseases that can make you sick.

Though humans and pets don’t typically pass illnesses to each other, it’s important to be aware of those few diseases that we may be able to share.

  • Hookworms – These can be transmitted by both dogs and cats. The larvae get under your skin (literally!) and develop into half-inch long worms. They are typically found around the foot or leg area. If afflicted, you may notice skin inflammation and lesions.
  • Roundworms – These are small worms that can be found in a dogs’ intestines and cause the parasitic disease toxocariasis. Toxocariasis doesn’t produce symptoms in most cases, but in serious cases (usually with children) there are some that can damage tissues and even cause blindness.
  • Bacterial infections – Dog and cat bites can easily spread infection. Cat bites can infect you with pasteurella which may cause fever, swelling, inflammation of the bone and sometimes even death. Dog bites can transmit staphylococcus.
  • Cat scratch disease – A cat’s scratch or bite can transmit the bacteria Bartonella henselae. This may cause infection as well as swollen lymph nodes, fever, headache and fatigue.
  • Toxoplasmosis – This is caused by a parasite carried by cats and can be transmitted to humans through contact with eggs passed in the cat’s stool (as well as by eating undercooked meat). Toxoplasmosis is rare and has little to no symptoms in adults, but can cause severe defects in the fetus if a pregnant woman becomes infected.


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