Caring for a family pet is a great learning experience for a child since it teaches at a practical level the concepts of responsibility, delicacy, and respect for living things. Like adults, children can also benefit from the company and love of their pets, as well as the relationship they share with them.
Pets can usually transmit infections to humans, especially children. Therefore, if you are considering or already have a pet, you must know how to protect your family from the infections it could transmit.
These infections spread just like humans, all animals carry germs. The most common diseases among pets such as distemper, canine parvovirus, and heartworm disease cannot be transmitted to humans.
Although they are also carriers of some bacteria, viruses, parasites, and fungi that can cause disease in humans whom they infect. Humans develop these animal-borne diseases when they receive a bite or scratch or come into contact with animal feces, saliva, or dander.
These diseases can affect humans in many different ways. They are most worrisome when they affect young children, infants, pregnant women, and people whose immune systems are weakened due to a disease or other condition.
Children who are not yet 5 years old are the most exposed because their immune system is still developing. Also, some infections that only make an adult mildly ill can be much more severe in this group of children.
Healthy families, healthy pets, but you also don’t need to give up buying a pet or kick your furry family friend out of the house. These furry friends can enrich your family life and, if you adopt, take some precautions to protect your children from communicable diseases.
Protecting your family from pet-borne infections is something that should be started before the pet gets home. For example, reptiles and amphibians should not be allowed in a home where infants and / or young children live.
The health and age of the little ones in the house should be considered before acquiring a pet since children handle it frequently. It is not recommended for any immunosuppressed child (such as children affected by HIV infection, those who suffer from cancer and are undergoing chemotherapy or those who use prednisone frequently). Children with eczema should avoid aquariums.
Dogs and cats are among the pets that have more followers but can be carriers of infections such as Campylobacter infection (or campylobacteriosis).
It can be transmitted by pets carrying the Campylobacterjejuni bacteria, which causes diarrhea, abdominal pain, and fever in humans. The bacteria can be present in the digestive tract of dogs, cats, hamsters, birds, and some farm animals. A person can get the infection if they come in contact with contaminated water, feces, undercooked meat (half raw), or unpasteurized milk.
In the US, more than two million cases of Campylobacter infection occur annually, and the C. jejuni bacterium is considered the leading cause of current bacterial gastroenteritis.
Campylobacter infections are contagious, especially among members of the same family and among children who go to daycare or kindergarten. This infection is treated with antibiotics.
Cat scratch disease or scratch syndrome can occur when a person is bitten or scratched by a cat previously infected with the Bartonellahenselae bacteria. Its symptoms include swelling and discomfort in the lymph nodes, fever, headache, and fatigue. It is a disease that usually remits without any treatment. Anyway, the doctor can prescribe antibiotics in severe cases. Cat scratch disease is rarely associated with long-term complications.
Anger. This serious disease is caused by a virus that enters the body through a bite or a wound contaminated by the saliva of an infected animal.
Animals that may be carriers of the rabies virus include dogs, cats, raccoons, bats, skunks, and foxes.
The widespread use of the rabies vaccine in cats and dogs has reduced the transmission of rabies within these species and also in humans.
Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. It is transmitted by ticks infected by the Rickettsiaricketsii bacteria.
Its symptoms include high fever, chills, muscle aches, and headaches, as well as a rash that spreads to the wrists, ankles, palms, soles, and trunk.
Prevention is the key when taking care of your pet you take care of the health of the whole family.