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Infectious Diseases

Illnesses and diseases caught from Animals

12/03/2001

Question:

I work at a pet shop and mainly clean their cages/kennels and medicated the sick animals. I was wondering which illnesses and diseases you can catch from the animals? How can I prevent/lower my chances of getting these illnesses/diseases? How you can tell if you have that illness/disease?

Answer:

There are many diseases which animals can transmit to humans. The list is too long to reproduce here. Different animals can transmit different diseases. Washing your hands after handling animals and their cages can do a lot to prevent disease. (for example, reptiles and birds can carry salmonella infections, but washing your hands will protect you.) When medicating sick animals, be careful so you don`t get bitten or scratched. If you do become ill, let your doctor know you work with animals.

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Response by:

Amy Beth Kressel, MD
Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati