Is it true that petting street animals is dangerous to health?

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Bath_thurt Health Micromedia

Animals are cute, cuddly, amuse us and relieve stress. But not only do we love cats and dogs, microbes are also partial to them. We tell you how not to get infected with something else from animals. No more coronavirus and monkeypox for humanity.

All animals have their own bacteria and viruses that they bring to each other, show off and share. Most of these microorganisms are not dangerous to humans. But there are zoonotic diseases that are transmitted from animals to people and can infect a grandmother who feeds pigeons in the park, or a lover of stroking street cats.

Zoonoses can be viral, bacterial and fungal. You can also get parasites this way. And a carrier animal doesn't have to be a goner with lichen spots to infect a human. Most often, outwardly, this cannot be determined in any way, except that the fur does not shine so much in the sun.

Viruses and bacteria can be carried by direct contact with saliva, urine or poop. A simple example: a street cat licked her ass → licked the hand of an affectionate passer-by → his nose itched → there is contact of a cat's butt with a human nose.

To stop such an outrage, it is enough to thoroughly wash your hands or treat them with an antiseptic after each such times.

But there are other, more dangerous ways of transmission:

  • By air. This is how, for example, ornithoses are transferred, which enter the respiratory tract with droppings, particles of fluff and saliva from bird beaks. Therefore, if you really want to feed the pigeons, it is better to do this from a great distance, and not standing in the center of the flock. You can scatter cereal from a helicopter.
  • Through bites and scratches. This is how you get cat-scratch disease or the infamous rabies.
  • Through food. Eating untested fish that you have caught on your own is a great way to get a handful of worms in your stomach, so better not. Drinking fresh fresh milk, if an unfamiliar cow has not shown you all the necessary certificates, is also not worth it.

What to do then

Wash hands after every encounter with any outdoor animals, and take pets to the veterinarian regularly for vaccinations and checks. Even a completely domestic cat can pick up something from street shoes or from a feather of a DOVE that has flown through the window.

Everything is clear about pigeons. Do not touch them, feed them nearby and let children play with them.

And most importantly, if a street animal bites or just drips with saliva, it is important to go and surrender to the doctors. Do not believe the cute touching muzzle, on which there are no signs of rabies. In this matter, it is better to rely on vaccinations.

What else can you read good about animals:

  • “The dog licked. Can you get sick with something? — more about animal saliva.
  • “Do armpits become inflamed from cat scratches?” – and here in paints about the bacteria that cause it.
  • “Therapy with animals” – how pets help to cope with our human diseases.
  • “How to behave with stray dogs” – about safety and rabies.


Cover: Shutterstock Vad-Len