Tag Archives: One Health

People and animals: zoonoses can go both ways

By Jayme Jeffries

News this week of two people who became ill after contracting tuberculosis from their pet cats caught the interest of many readers, and again draws our focus to the subject of shared disease between animals and humans. It is also interesting to note that this transmission can occur in the opposite direction (disease spread from humans to animals), in a process termed “reverse zoonosis.” In fact, a recent study indicates a rising trend in published cases of reverse zoonoses over the last decade. Another example includes an indoor domestic cat that was confirmed to have Influenza A (H1N1) after close interaction with owners who had previously suffered from an undiagnosed influenza-like illness. In addition to companion animals, there have also been reports of disease transmission from people to livestock and wildlife. Although these cases can be uncommon, it is important to consider what diseases we as humans may pass to animals in our surrounding environment. For more information on One Health, visit: www.avma.org/onehealth.

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Good hygiene necessary when it comes to baby poultry

The arrival of spring means that baby poultry start showing up in feed and pet stores around the country. The chicks may be cute — and children especially seem to love them — but they can also carry salmonella, even if they appear healthy. It’s especially important that children are supervised around chicks, and that everyone, regardless of age, follows basic protocols for good hygiene after touching or simply being around chicks or touching anything in the area where they live.

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Findings of sea lion study could help humans and animals

Due to a neurotoxin carried in algae, sea lions can develop a form of epilepsy that’s similar to that found in humans. Thanks to the findings of a new study led by Stanford University researchers, the sea lions’ seizures could be prevented — and better treatment for epilepsy could be on the way for both animals and humans.

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Reducing risk of being infected with cat scratch disease

Have you ever heard of cat scratch disease? There are 22,000 cases of cat scratch disease in the United States every year, writes Dr. Lawrence Gerson in his column for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Cat scratch disease is caused by Bartonella henselae, and, as you might guess, most people who develop cat scratch disease have been bitten or scratched by a cat. Not all cats carry B. henselae, and among those that do, kittens are the most likely carriers, the CDC says. Even if a cat carries B. henselae, though, they don’t show any signs of illness. Symptoms for people include swollen lymph nodes, fever, headache, fatigue, and a poor appetite.

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Preventing zoonotic diseases

If you’ve ever needed a quick roundup of some of the most common zoonotic diseases that can affect people and pets, the North Carolina Veterinary Medical Association has some good information. The article includes a brief overview of rabies, Lyme disease, and other diseases, as well as information on zoonotic disease prevention.

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