While the possibility that dogs can spread Ebola is only theoretical, there are still plenty of other ways that the animals we love can make us sick. Monkeys, bats and a menagerie of other critters can spread Ebola. Mosquitoes are behind outbreaks of West Nile, deer mice are to blame for campers hantavirus a while back and pigs have infected many people with swine flu. Read on to learn about some of the more common diseases and viruses humans can contract if come into contact with animal urine and droppings.
Psittacosis (Parrot Fever)
Psittacosis is an infection caused by Chlamydia psittaci, a type of bacteria found in the droppings of birds including parakeets, macaws and cockatiels which is spread to humans. Birds often don’t show symptoms. In humans, symptoms include blood-tinged sputum, dry cough, fatigue, fever and chills, headache, joint aches, muscle aches and shortness of breath.
The bacteria Coxiella burnetii is the culprit behind Q fever. Cattle, sheep and goats are the primary targets, although a variety of species may be infected, including house pets. The organism is found in the milk, urine and faeces of infected animals, and since it is extremely hardy and resistant to heat and many common disinfectants, it is able to survive for long periods in the environment. Infection of humans usually occurs by inhalation of these organisms, as well as through tick bites or consuming unpasteurized dairy products.
Caused by the Campylobacter bacterium, most cases of campylobacteriosis are associated with eating raw or undercooked poultry or meat, or from cross-contamination of other foods by these items. It is one of the most common causes of diarrhoeal illness. Pets can also become infected, and people can get sick from contact with the stool of an ill dog or cat.
Leptospirosis is a bacterial disease that your pet can get when it comes into contact with the bacteria in the environment including contaminated water or when exposed to infected animals. In humans, it may produce no symptoms, or it may come with many, including high fever, headache, chills, aches, vomiting, jaundice, abdominal pain, diarrhoea and rash. Without treatment, Leptospirosis can lead to kidney damage, meningitis liver failure, respiratory distress and death.
Most people infected with Salmonella develop diarrhoea, fever and abdominal cramps within 12 to 72 hours after infection. But people can get it from pets as well, usually through contact with the pet’s faeces. Reptiles such as lizards, snakes, and turtles are likely sources of this infection, as well as chicks and ducklings. Dogs, cats, birds and horses may also carry it.
Toxoplasma gondii is a protozoa that most often infects cats, but will also take up in other warm-blooded animals. Humans can get the nasty parasite from contact with cat faeces, or by eating undercooked meat or unwashed vegetables. Once ingested, T. gondii can invade the brain and muscle tissues, and reside within cysts that are resistant to attacks by the host’s defence system. The infection may also be passed from an infected mother to her baby through the placenta, creating serious complications which is why moms-to-be should be relieved from cat-box duty.
Left untreated, nearly all puppies and kittens get roundworm. Distributed by pet feces, the egg form (the oocyst) can survive in the soil for years. The larvae can also enter directly through the skin. Symptoms include fever, coughing, asthma, and/or pneumonia. Unfortunately, the worms can also enter the eye and cause Ocular toxocariasis, which though rare, causes blindness in seven out of 10 of those affected by it.
These intestinal parasites are commonly found in dogs and cats, especially young ones. The worms’ eggs or larvae are passed from pets through stool and infest soil. People get infected by direct contact when they walk barefoot over contaminated soil. Hookworm infection can cause painful and itchy skin infections or abdominal symptoms.
Why Choose Sewage Cleaning Australia to Clean Up Animal Urine and Droppings
Sewage Cleaning Australia is one of Australia’s largest providers of animal and rodent dropping and urine clean ups and sewage and water remediation services offering nation-wide coverage no matter how big or small the contamination problem may appear. The strength of our in-house expertise means that whatever the problem may be, our team of experienced and knowledgeable remediation technicians are able to find a solution efficiently and cost-effectively. A key feature of our company is the strong, long-term client relationships we build, based on excellent customer service. This is supported by continuous investment in our equipment, plant and in our people, through comprehensive and on-going training.