Thursday, January 20, 2011

Keeping Pets Healthy May Keep You Healthy

A couple of veterinarians have concluded that getting too close to your pet could be dangerous to your health. Dr. Bruno Chomel and Dr. Ben Sun created a report that analyzed surveys from different countries about how many pet owners allow pets to lick, kiss or sleep in the same bed with them, and statistics on diseases associated with close contact between people and pets.

The report says that even seemingly healthy pets can carry health risks for humans, including parasites, bacteria or viruses. For example, a pet with fleas can bring plague into the bedroom or saliva entering a wound can transmit meningitis.

The authors conclude the study by saying that the risks can be reduced by providing pets with regular veterinary care to ensure that they are healthy and free of disease and parasites. They also remind that sharing our lives with pets bring many benefits, such as relieving stress and encouraging physical exercise.
The complete report will be published in the February 2011 issue of Emerging Infectious Diseases, the monthly peer-reviewed public health journal of the Centers for Disease Control.