As quoted from Medicmagic, Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the United States recently released a shocking study about pets. According to the CDC, physical contact with cats and dogs is very risky to transmit zoonotic diseases (diseases transmitted by animals).
The CDC also said that in addition to zoonotic, direct contact with pets can be easily affected by meningitis or inflammation of the lining of the brain. This disease has a mortality risk by 50 percent, although it can be cured but there is a risk of permanent neurological damage such as paralysis, epilepsy or mental disorders.
In a study to be published in the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases February 2011, the CDC noted several cases of meningitis infection caused by pets. Cases of meningitis are commonly occurs through contact of body fluids, especially saliva.
Associated with the habit of sleeping with pets, Prof. Bruno Chomel, a researcher from the University of California provide some suggestions. According to him, this habit is not only risky to transmit meningitis but also plague (plague) that can be transmitted through existing fleas on your dog or cat.
“Transmission of disease from pets to humans is very rare, but not impossible. The study is not to scare people, but to realize the people that sleeping with pets at risk,” said Prof. Chomel, quoted by CNN.
On the other hand, the experts also revealed that the presence of pets in the family have a good influence on children’s health. Based on a study, children who live with cats, dogs or other pets have endurance is better.
Playing with pets can also increase the levels of the hormone oxytocin or antidote to stress. Consequently, if someone who used to play with pets, the risk for depression become lower.Healthy pets carry little risk
But everyone needs to make like a cat and relax. That’s because the important message is pretty simple: Healthy pets carry little risk of disease.
The American Veterinary Medical Association doesn’t have a formal recommendation about pets sleeping with their humans. But “a little common sense will go a long way,” in reducing risk, says AVMA president Larry Kornegay, who affirms that zoonotic diseases are “uncommon, if not rare.”
“I’ve been in practice for 40 years and I see the bond between people and their pets and the positive effects pets can have on humans, which I believe outweighs any risk, whether you sleep with a pet or not,” says Kornegay, who admits his own teenage daughter sleeps with the family’s miniature Schnauzer.
Common-sense approaches include regular wellness exams for pets, parasite control, vaccinations appropriate for your geographical area, and dental care. “If people would remember to wash their hands, that would help, too,” Kornegay says.
So, obviously scrub up with soap and running water if you’ve handled feces, and do it again if you’ve handled your pet and plan on preparing food. Wash bites and scratches immediately and cover sandboxes when not in use. Try and keep your animals from drinking from toilet bowls or eating feces. And be good to your pets, by keeping outdoor areas feces-free and kitty’s litter box clean.
What’s clear is that it’s unlikely that people are going to kick their pets out of their bed. “I’m not going to put on a biohazard suit every night,” says Joseph Doles, a Cleveland veterinarian, who has six cats, some of which snooze with him and his wife.
Doles has seen “a few cases” of zoonoses during his three decades of practice and agrees that common sense and veterinary care will “further reduce an already rare risk.”
“If you have a healthy pet, you probably have a healthy family,” he sa