11 animal diseases human transmissible: Diseases transmitted by animals to humans are called "zoonoses". They are surprisingly common: more than six out of ten known infectious diseases in humans are in fact contracted by animals, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which is the main agency of the United States in public health. Zoonoses are usually spread through contact with animals or animal waste. But some can be contracted by eating contaminated food products.

Medical experts to identify some of the diseases that can be transmitted from animals to humans and to explain how to protect themselves.

11 animal diseases human transmissible

You can catch "cat scratch disease" after being bitten or scratched by a feline.

Bartonella infection, also known as "cat scratch disease", is caused by a bacterium called Bartonella henselae. Usually, it is transmitted by cats to humans following a bite or scratch. One of the first signs of an infection may be the appearance of a crust or pustules in the wound. But other more serious symptoms may appear later.

"Usually the infection is autoimmune, but it can cause swollen lymph nodes or fever without an apparent source." For people with weakened immune systems - especially young children - the infection can lead to serious complications , spreading through the blood, digestive tract and even the heart, "said Dr. Theresa Fiorito, an infectious disease specialist, at US Business Insider.

Bartonella infection is more common in kittens, especially stray kittens and young cats in shelters. Most cat scratches do not cause infection and the treatment usually consists of a simple course of antibiotics. In rare cases, eye infections, severe muscle pain or cerebral edema may occur.


Anthrax (or "anthrax") can be transmitted by many animals such as cattle, sheep and deer.

Although anthrax (more commonly known as "anthrax" in France) is most commonly associated with bioterrorism, this rare disease is actually caused by the bacterium Bacillus anthracis and may be transmitted by both domestic and wild animals . Humans can contract anthrax by breathing in anthrax spores, eating contaminated food or water, or being exposed through skin lesions.

The symptoms may vary depending on how a person has been exposed to the disease. But they often include blisters or sores with a black center, fever, headaches, nausea, body aches, shortness of breath, mental confusion and painful swallowing. Normally, treatment involves taking antibiotics, antitoxins, or both at the same time. Anthrax is a serious disease that can even be fatal.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), cattle, sheep, goats, antelopes and deer are the most common source of anthrax among animals that can transmit it. People working with animals or animal products are most at risk of infection, although it must be emphasized that anthrax is extremely rare.

You can contract contagious ecthyma (or Orf virus) by contacting goat or animals in zoos.

Contagious ecthyma (more commonly known as Orf virus) usually affects small ruminants such as sheep and goats, but can also be transmitted to humans through contact with infected animals or contaminated objects.

"The Orf virus is typically in the form of a pustule that eventually turns into a wound, usually at the level of the hand.There has been an increase in cases of people infected with the Orf virus after the 'Goat Yoga '(a popular form of yoga in the United States that is practiced with goats) has become popular, but you can become infected after visiting a farm or a zoo, "says Dr. Susan Bard, Certified Dermatologist, Business Insider US.

You can catch the virus by stroking or feeding on infected animals. But it can also spread via a bite or by touching material that has been infected by animals. The resulting wounds can be painful. They usually heal on their own in about six weeks as long as they stay clean, dry and free of bacterial infection. The Orf virus can not be transmitted from one human to another.

Normally, contagious ecthyma is not dangerous. But the symptoms of some zoonoses, more serious, may resemble those of the Orf virus. This is the case of anthrax, for example. It is therefore important to have a doctor check you if you think you have an infection after having been in contact with a sheep or goat.
Giardia is a parasite that you can catch in contact with your pets.

Giardia is an intestinal parasite that proliferates in infected excrement of animals or humans. This parasite can spread through contact with anything that has been exposed to the infected waste, including water, ice, soil and household equipment.

"A pet can bring Giardia to your home after being infected, if your pet has symptoms of diarrhea, a gurgle or vomiting, you should consult your veterinarian to confirm the diagnosis," he says. Dr. Jim D. Carlson from Business Insider US.

In humans, Giardia can cause diarrhea, gas, larger stools, nausea, and stomach pain. Children and pregnant women infected with the parasite are particularly exposed to severe dehydration. The duration of the symptoms varies between two and six weeks. They can appear up to three weeks after infection. The latter is generally treated with prescription drugs.

Dr. Carlson advises thoroughly cleaning floors, furniture, toys and bedding after contact with a Giardia-infected animal. It is also important to re-test giardiosis in your pet after treatment has ended to ensure that the infection has been completely eliminated.

Toxoplasmosis is transmitted by cats and can remain in your body for many years.

Toxoplasmosis is sometimes confused with Bartonella. If both infections are transmissible by cats, they are caused by different organisms. Toxoplasmosis is caused by the parasite Toxoplasma gondii and can be caught after contact with infected cat feces or urine. The parasite can not pass through intact skin, so the infection usually comes through the mouth or an open wound.

"Generally, this disease is mild enough and can have serious consequences in pregnant women, people who are undergoing chemotherapy or those with weakened immune systems." In terms of symptoms, there is fatigue, muscle pain , headaches and fever that can last more than a month, "says Dr. Nidhi Ghildayal, an infectious disease specialist, at Business Insider US.

In healthy people, most infections disappear within a few months, without any treatment. However, severe cases of toxoplasmosis can cause damage to the brain, eyes or organs. The disease may also reappear years after treatment of the initial infection.

To protect against toxoplasmosis, Dr. Carlson tells US Business Insider that cat owners must keep litter from their pets clean and always use gloves and cleaning agents when handling cat feces. The soil can also be infected with this disease, so Dr. Carlson recommends wearing gloves when gardening in a place frequented by cats.

It is possible to contract a bacterial infection on contact with fish.

According to the American Osteopathic College of Dermatology, aquarium granuloma (or pool granuloma) is a rare skin infection that usually affects people with frequent contact with fish.

"The granuloma of aquariums is caused by Mycobacterium marium, which is usually a red and swollen lesion on the skin of people who handle tropical fish or whose job is to clean ponds." Dr. Bard.

People working in pet shops, in aquariums or in contact with raw molluscs are most at risk of contamination. But anyone who comes into contact with tropical fish or their tanks are likely to catch the granuloma of aquariums. The part most likely to be infected is the back of the dominant hand, where painful sores can develop. This disease is cured by prolonged use of antibiotics. Sometimes the treatment can take up to two years for the patient to heal completely.

To avoid acquiring granuloma in aquariums, impervious gloves should be worn when handling raw fish or shellfish, or when cleaning aquariums. It must also limit its exposure time to stagnant non-chlorinated water.

Psittacosis (or parrot fever) can be contracted by contact with pet birds.

Psittacosis, also known as parrot fever, is an infection caused by the bacterium Chlamydia psittaci.

"Psittacosis can be spread by inhaling dust from feces or feathers of parrots, pigeons, macaws, parakeets and other birds carrying the bacterial infection." Birds may not display symptoms of the infection, so that the disease can be difficult to detect, "says Dr. Ghildayal.

Psittacosis can cause fever, headaches and dry cough in humans. In most cases, the infection is not serious and can be treated easily with antibiotics. But in very rare cases, it can lead to pneumonia in some people.

To prevent psittacosis, keep bird cages as clean as possible, avoid overpopulation of birds and ensure that excreta and other waste do not pass from one cage to another. You should also wear gloves and masks when handling infected birds or cages.

Ringworm is a fungus that can contract on contact with dogs and cats.

According to Dr. Bard, ringworm is one of the most common zoonotic skin infections. Despite its name, ringworm is actually a fungal infection and is usually contracted by contact with cats, dogs and other pets. It causes a characteristic, often red, itchy circular rash.

"Ringworm strains tend to be more inflammatory than other strains of zoonotic infections, it's quite simple to treat ringworm with topical or oral antifungals," says Dr. Bard at Business Insider US .

Ringworm can proliferate in household items such as bedding, furniture and clothing. The infection can be contracted in contact with animals but the fungus can also be transmitted from one human to another. You must wear gloves when touching objects that have come into contact with a person or animal infected with ringworm. And always wash your hands after being in contact with animals.

You can catch salmonella after approaching reptiles or amphibians.

Salmonella is most often associated with contaminated food, but Dr. Fiorito tells Business Insider US that you can get this infection after you've been in contact with small reptiles like lizards, snakes, turtles and amphibians than frogs or salamanders.

"There was an explosion of salmonella infections with bearded dragons in 31 states of the United States between 2012 and 2014. It was a rare strain that was resistant to antibiotics." The majority of sick people were five years old. years old or younger, but fortunately there were no deaths, "says Dr. Fiorito.

The symptoms of salmonella in healthy adults are generally limited to diarrhea, abdominal cramps, fever and vomiting. These symptoms usually go away without the need for treatment. However, people with weakened immune systems - such as children or the elderly - can become seriously ill or die after contracting the virus. If you think you are infected with Salmonella, talk to a doctor as soon as possible.

Leptospirosis can be transmitted to humans by farm animals.

Leptospirosis, also known as Weil's disease, is a bacterial infection that usually affects farmers or people working directly with livestock (pigs, sheep and cattle).

"Leptospirosis is usually spread through direct contact with infected animal urine, and the symptoms are usually mild and flu-like, whereas more serious infections can result in yellowing of the eyes or skin, as well as hepatic and renal "states Dr. Adeline Peters, general practitioner and chief doctor at DoctorOnCall, to Business Insider US.

Horses, dogs and rodents can also carry the infection, which in this case is often transmitted to humans through contaminated water. Transmission can also be through a cut in the skin as well as through the mucous membranes of the eyes, nose or mouth. With antibiotic treatment, patients usually recover within three weeks to one month. Without proper treatment, healing can take several months.

Rabies is spread by animal saliva and is a medical emergency.

One of the most infamous zoonoses is rabies, a virus that is almost always deadly.

"This disease infects the central nervous system and causes death if it is not medically treated as a matter of urgency.The rabies is often transmitted by the saliva of a raccoon, a coyote, a bat, of a skunk, a fox, a dog or a cat - in fact, any mammal can transmit the disease, "warns Dr. Ghildayal.

According to the WHO, the first symptoms of rabies include headache, feeling weak and tingling or itching in the infected area. As the infection progresses, fever, confusion and seizures may occur. People with advanced rabies may also have water repellency or fear.

Unfortunately, rabies is almost always fatal once the symptoms develop. The CDC reported that there are only 10 documented cases of rabies cure. And of those infected, only two survived without immediate treatment.

"In foreign countries, travelers should be wary of local animals, such as stray dogs, and people can get rabies without being bitten, for example, if the animal's saliva leaks into cuts in the neck. or face, "warns Dr. Fiorito.

It is extremely important that anyone who may have been exposed to rabies is treated as quickly as possible. Treatment usually consists of four vaccines administered over a 30-day period. According to the NHS (State-funded National Health System in England), treatment is nearly 100% effective if received immediately after exposure.