Careful parasites: how not to get infected with animals
With the onset of summertime, the risk of catching an infection from our smaller brothers increases. In addition to domestic cats and dogs, which during the warm season, the owners more often take to the street, birds, horses, as well as stray cats and dogs, wild animals can “share” worms (viruses), viruses or bacteria.
In the warm season, when relaxing in a park or a forest, not only babies, but also adults want to feed a squirrel, a pigeon from their hands, or to touch a hedgehog rustling in the grass. But an animal is an animal and touching it, we risk not only being bitten, but also become infected with serious diseases.
What kind of parasites can be infected from animals
Diseases that are transmitted to humans from animals and birds are called zoonoses. Most often, a person is infected with zoonoses from cats and dogs, since these are the most popular and common animals. Lead among diseases transmitted from animals, helminthic invasions – that is, infection with various parasitic worms. In total, there are more than 300 types of helminthiasis: the most common of them are caused by roundworms – roundworms (ascariasis), pinworms (enterobiosis), tapeworms (cestodosis, teneyarinhoz, etc.), cat fluke, etc.
Worms eggs can be in the soil, so a pet can be infected, which is taken for a walk, and from it – a man. If a person touches such an animal, and then, without washing his hands, takes food, then he infects himself. Helminths are very dangerous, they can live and multiply in the intestines, parasitize the muscles, and with the help of the bloodstream can get into any human organ: from the lungs to the liver.
Symptoms of helminthic invasion:
gradual deterioration of health
the appearance of fatigue
loss of appetite or, on the contrary, constant hunger
problems with the digestive system: pain, diarrhea, constipation, nausea, vomiting.
What kind of bacterial infections can you get from animals?
The most common bacterial infections that animals can “share” with us are leptospirosis, toxoplasmosis, salmonellosis, psittacosis, giardiasis. Toxoplasmosis is caused by a type of protozoa – Toxoplasma, which is mainly transmitted by cats. A person can become infected with toxoplasmosis and not know anything for years, because the disease does not manifest itself. But for the future baby, the disease poses a serious threat, so pregnant women are prescribed tests for toxoplasmosis and are asked to refrain from cleaning toilets for cats during pregnancy.
Salmonellosis can be picked up not only from animals, salmonella carriers are also reptiles – turtles, snakes, lizards, toads. You can become infected with psittacosis from birds, including domestic parrots and canaries. And giardiasis is called the “tourist’s curse,” since lamblia are often found in people who have recently returned from a journey. Symptoms of infectious diseases, depending on the characteristics of each of the microorganisms, can manifest from several days to weeks after infection. But the common signs of an infectious disease are:
headache, nausea, vomiting
weakness, incoordination, convulsions.
How to protect yourself from diseases that animals suffer
One can become infected with zoonoses not only by touching animals, but also through dirty hands: since many larvae of parasites, bacteria are found in the soil, along with animal feces. It is especially important to observe measures of prevention of zoonoses in children, pregnant and people with weakened immunity. Therefore it is important:
wash your hands with soap and hot water after returning from the street
wash your hands after you have touched someone else’s or a wild animal on the street – although it is better not to do this at all, as well as after cleaning the pet trays
regularly examine the pet of the veterinarian, do all vaccinations, let’s prevent worms, remove fleas
try to avoid bites and scratches of animals
if your pet has scratched or bit you, you must wash the wound with soap and treat with hydrogen peroxide
Do not allow animals to lick your wounds, scratches, cuts, etc.
Make sure that your animal does not drink from toilet bowls and does not eat feces or roll in them (dogs like to do the last).