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HHS HealthBeat (March 15, 2013)

People, pets and diseases

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From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, I’m Ira Dreyfuss with HHS HealthBeat.

Pets and people can share more than love. They can share diseases. At the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, researcher Carol Rubin looked at cases involving dogs and cats.

Diseases that pass between animals and people range from mild to very serious. Rubin says pets can give us, for instance, ringworm, cat scratch fever, and rabies . She says humans can give animals things like multidrug-resistant staph aureus infection.

She advises:

“Pet owners should make sure that their animals are vaccinated, especially against rabies. Pet owners should provide protection against external parasites like fleas and ticks. Owners should also test and treat to control the internal parasites.”

Her study is in the CDC’s journal Emerging Infectious Diseases.

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HHS HealthBeat is a production of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. I’m Ira Dreyfuss.

Last revised: March 21, 2013