Velocity Care provides insight on diseases commonly passed from animals and insects to humans
Man’s best friend can cause surprising illnesses in humans that stem from more than just the common dog bite. Diseases passed to humans from animals with vertebrates are called zoonoses. All animals could potentially be contaminated at some point in their lifetime with pathogens that can impact a human’s health. Diseases transmitted to humans through insects are called vector-borne diseases and can cause serious illness and even death.
Velocity Care Urgent Treatment Center compiled a list of 10 diseases that may impact you and your family.
Some common types of zoonoses and vector-borne diseases:
- Cat scratch fever.
Cat scratch fever is an actual illness, not simply a popular song from the 1970s. Bacteria called Bartonella henselae are passed to a cat through an insect or tick bite. The bacteria can then be transmitted to humans through a cat’s scratch.
Symptoms: pain in joints, fever, fatigue, swollen lymph nodes and/or small bumps on skin.
Roundworm is generally contracted from consuming undercooked meat contaminated with roundworm eggs, especially poultry.
Symptoms: cough, fatigue, shortness of breath.
Rabies is transmitted to humans from the bite of a rabid animal.
Symptoms: fever, headache, excess salivation, muscle spasms, paralysis and mental confusion.
Salmonella is a foodborne disease passed to humans through milk, eggs and uncooked poultry and meat.
Symptoms: diarrhea, fever, chills and abdominal pain.
The Zika virus is transmitted to people through Aedes mosquito bites.
Symptoms: loss of appetite, pain behind eyes, headache, skin rash and fatigue.
- Campylobacter infection.
A Campylobacter infection is a common foodborne illness transmitted through poultry and meats as well as direct contact with contaminated stool. It is more common for farm residents.
Symptoms: abdominal pain, fever, vomiting and nausea.
- Lyme disease.
Lyme disease is commonly found in ticks. Check yourself and your family after spending time outdoors.
Symptoms: skin rash and flu-like symptoms.
Caused by parasites passed to people through a mosquito bite, malaria is most common in sub-Saharan Africa. If traveling overseas, ensure you know the best ways to protect yourself from malaria.
Symptoms: chills, fever, sweating, abdominal pain and increased heart rate.
- Q fever.
Q fever spreads to humans when a person inhales dust particles that are contaminated by an infected animal. Those working in farms, veterinary medicine and animal research are at high risk of contracting the illness.
Symptoms: fever, night sweats, coughing and headaches.
People can contract toxoplasmosis if they drink contaminated water, eat undercooked meat or clean a cat’s litter box. Pregnant women or women who plan to become pregnant in the near future should keep away from litter boxes due to the possibility of consuming or inhaling cat feces.
Symptoms: muscle pain, fever, headache and fatigue.
Steps you can take to prevent illness:
Although these diseases can be transmitted through pets and other animals, this doesn’t mean you have to say goodbye to the family pet. Ensure you keep your family safe from diseases caused by animals and insects by following these 12 steps:
- Wash your hands.
- Use bug repellent.
- Check pets regularly for ticks.
- Don’t eat raw or undercooked foods.
- Vaccinate your family and your pets.
- Discard pet waste in tight bags.
- Wear gloves when removing feces.
- Change your clothes after walking your dog.
- Don’t allow pets to kiss/lick your face.
- Avoid rough play as it can lead to scratches and bites.
- Keep your tetanus shots up to date.
- Treat pets with flea and tick medicine every month.
For your health and safety, stop by one of Velocity Care’s walk-in clinics to update your vaccination records. The emergency-trained physicians and staff will be happy to answer any questions and provide quality care to you and your family.
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