Facts About Zoonotic Diseases
Story Date: 12/6/2012

We love our pets! But, did you also know that our pets can share some nasty diseases with us? Check out these facts about zoonotic diseases and how you can prevent them!


1)      Zoonotic diseases are diseases that are transmitted from animals to people.


2)      Rabies is the best known zoonotic disease. This viral predator still kills 40,000 people worldwide every year.  


3)      Leptospirosis is a bacterial disease that can be spread by an animal’s urine.   People can develop kidney failure from contracting this illness.


4)      Other bacteria, like Salmonella, can cause severe diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps.  Salmonella normally lives in the guts of many animals, but is commonly associated with birds and reptiles.


5)      The “super-bug” Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus (MRSA) dwells on our skin and on the skin of our pets. Interestingly, some studies show that we actually give MRSA to our pets and not the other way around.


6)      Intestinal parasites, such as roundworms and hookworms, are easily spread to us from our pets. 10,000 people in the US are infected annually and about 750 suffer partial or total vision loss due to these “worms”.


7)      Routine hand-washing and following your veterinarian’s recommended vaccination protocols can minimize and even eliminate the threat of these diseases.


NC Veterinary Medical Association
1611 Jones Franklin Road, Suite 108
Raleigh, NC 27606-3376
Tel: (919) 851-5850
Fax: (919) 851-5859
Email: ncvma96@ncvma.org