Most of the diseases that animals suffer are completely harmless to humans. And, conversely, cats are immune to many infections common in humans. For example, a pet will never catch a cold, and the owner will never get the same calcivirosis. However, there are a number of infectious diseases, they are called zooanthroponoses, which are equally dangerous for a cat and for a person. How to protect yourself from them?
In fact, the risk of transmission from a cat to a person is not very high. This is due to the fact that a pet that is constantly at home does not come into contact with other infected animals. Another thing is if the cat or cat has access to the street. In this case, the risk of contracting a dangerous disease and transferring it to the owner is quite high.
According to statistics, more than 80% of human infections from a pet occur on the condition that the pet has free access to the street.
It often happens that the owners take their cats, living with them in the apartment, to the cottage, to nature, on tourist trips. It also increases the risk of pet infection.
Ways of transmission of infection from cat to man are very diverse. This can occur through bite, scratches, saliva. Often, infection occurs by contact with the feces of the pet or its hair. To a greater extent, the pathways of infection depend on the particular disease.
It is worth noting that the owner can not always become infected, even if his pet has all the signs of a disease that is transmitted from cat to person. This is due to the fact that people with reduced or unformed immunity are the most susceptible to infection. Thus, the risk group for zooanthroponosis should include:
- people of advanced age;
- children, especially newborns and infants;
Immunity in young children has not yet fully formed, so they can easily catch an infection from an animal
- patients suffering from chronic diseases;
- persons with immunodeficiency syndrome;
- cancer patients receiving chemotherapy;
- patients suffering from autoimmune diseases and taking drugs to suppress unwanted immune reactions.
Types of pathologies transmitted from communicating with a cat
Diseases transmitted from cat to person can be classified according to the pathogen. They can be bacteria, viruses, fungi, worms, protozoa. Diseases caused by them can be a serious threat to health, and in some cases to human life.
Most viral infections that cats have are not dangerous to humans. However, those that can be passed on to the owner pose a serious threat. For example, rabies, the causative agent of which is susceptible to most warm-blooded animals and people. It is an incurable disease that ends in the death of the infected 100% of the time. There is no cure for this disease.
Bacterial infections are the most common zooanthroponoses. However, their danger is not as great as that of diseases caused by viruses. Most of them are successfully treated with antibiotics, without leaving behind any serious consequences. These include:
The causative agents of this group of zooanthroponoses are protozoa. The diseases caused by them are treated quite hard, and many microorganisms can be present in the human body for a long time without causing any significant symptoms. For example, toxoplasmosis caused by the simplest microorganism, toxoplasma, may not manifest itself for a long time until the moment when the carrier's immunity under the influence of various reasons does not weaken. This disease is especially dangerous for pregnant women.
Helminthic infestations, which are perhaps the most frequently transmitted pathology from animal to human, should also be included in this group.
Caused by pathogenic fungi
Fungal infections often affect pets. They are not very dangerous, but the diseases caused by them require a long and persistent treatment. The most common fungal infection spreading from a cat to a person is lichen. As a rule, children fall ill with them, due to the imperfection of their immune system.
There are a huge number of diseases transmitted from cat to person. Below we will consider those that are most common.
Rabies is a deadly disease found in all warm-blooded animals. In our climatic conditions, rabies is most often found in the wild in foxes, hedgehogs, mice, and also in stray dogs and cats. A pet can become infected with this dangerous disease only during contact with its carrier, therefore cats with free access to the street are at risk. This is especially true in rural areas.
With a cat free access to the street, she has a higher chance of contracting a dangerous disease
Rabies is caused by a virus that infects the nervous system of a sick animal or person. In a cat, the disease manifests itself in the form of a change in behavior (the cat may be too affectionate or, conversely, aggressive), refusal to eat, water phobia, increased salivation. Then cramps, paralysis and death from respiratory arrest occur.
Rabies infects the nervous system and ends in the death of an infected person.
A similar picture is caused by rabies virus in humans. The disease always ends in death; no treatment methods have been developed to date. It is transmitted through a bite, less often from a scratch. In some cases, contact with the animal’s saliva may also lead to infection.
If a person has had contact with an animal with obvious signs of rabies, then he should immediately contact the hospital for emergency vaccination, without waiting for signs of the disease. Only this will save life and health, since after the onset of the first symptoms (the incubation period lasts from 2 weeks to 60 days), rabies is no longer treated and ends in the death of the patient.
It may seem that rabies is a rare infection, and the risk of contracting it is minimal. But here we must take into account the danger of consequences. My cats walk on their own, but always fond of me and the children. What if they meet a sick animal somewhere, because in our area no one vaccines either cats or dogs that live in yards. I vaccinated my animals. The vaccine is inexpensive, and recently I found out that the rabies vaccine is given free of charge at the city veterinary station. The only work is to take the animal there and thereby protect him, his family and himself from a fatal infection.
Toxoplasmosis is caused by a simple microorganism that can exist for a long time in the body of an animal and a person without manifesting itself with any symptoms.
Toxoplasmosis is a parasitic disease caused by intracellular toxoplasma parasites
Toxoplasmosis, like rabies, affects mainly the nervous system. In an animal, the disease can manifest apathy, refusal of food, lethargy. There is an increased body temperature and an increase in lymph nodes. In severe cases, convulsions and transient paralysis occur.
In humans, the disease also rarely makes itself felt. It is especially dangerous for pregnant women (leads to fetal abnormalities) and people suffering from immunodeficiency. You can get infected by contact with cat feces.
Salmonellosis is caused by a bacterium and is characterized by the development of acute fever and gastroenteritis. In many ways, the symptoms of the disease are similar to the manifestations of foodborne toxic infections.
Salmonella is a dangerous microorganism that can harm human health
The disease mainly affects the gastrointestinal tract of a sick animal or person. Symptoms in cats are expressed in:
- refusal of food;
Similar symptoms are observed in humans. Of particular danger is salmonellosis for children, the elderly, people with weakened immune systems. The route of infection is contact with the feces of a sick animal.
Tuberculosis is a disease that affects the lung tissue. Bone tuberculosis is less common. It is caused by a special bacterium, the prevalence of which in nature is very wide.
Symptoms in cats and humans are similar:
- weight loss;
Ways of infection are different: airborne, contact-household. In general, the risk of contracting tuberculosis from a cat is extremely low.
Tularemia is a zooanthroponic bacterial infection. The disease affects various organs and systems depending on its form.
Cats become infected with tularemia from infected rodents
In cats, it manifests itself, as a rule, in the form of:
- general intoxication:
- refusal of food;
- behavioral changes;
- swollen lymph nodes.
Symptoms in humans are similar, but the chance of contracting tularemia from cats is rather low. As a rule, people become infected with it from rodents. The disease is transmitted by aspiration, through products contaminated with feces and water, as well as through direct contact with the animal.
This disease affects, as a rule, children. It is caused by pathogenic fungal microorganisms. Lichen affects the epidermal cells, nails, hair.
In cats, the disease is quite easy to notice: areas free of hair appear on the body of the animal. The skin on them is inflamed, the cat often tries to "lick" these places due to itching.
Ringworm in cats is a highly contagious atropozoonosis skin disease
In people, red spots appear on the skin, which are accompanied by the formation of vesicles and scales. Also, the disease is characterized by severe itching. Lichen is successfully treated, but therapy can take a long time. You can get infected by direct contact with the animal.
Aujeszky’s disease is a fairly rare disease characterized by damage to the nervous system. The disease has a viral nature.
Cats are very susceptible to this disease, it manifests itself in them with the following symptoms:
- CNS disorders:
- itching of the skin;
For a person, the disease is harmless and is expressed only in a small fever. The path of infection is contact-household.
Pasteurellosis is a very rare infectious disease caused by bacteria. It affects mainly the skin and subcutaneous tissue.
Pasteurellosis in cats is expressed as:
- symptoms of general intoxication;
- hair loss;
- the formation of "zaliz";
- inflammation of the skin.
For people, the disease is not dangerous and can be successfully cured with simple antibiotics. You can get infected through the bite of an animal.
Scabies is a disease caused by bites of small ectoparasites that live in animal hair. A person is also prone to illness, but he does not often occur.
An animal suffering from scabies is restless, has frequent tears and hairless patches on its body.
For humans, it is not the ectoparasites themselves and their bites that are dangerous, but the diseases that they can transmit. The path of infection is contact-household.
There is some confusion with this disease. In humans, chlamydia is called a sexually transmitted disease, which has nothing to do with chlamydia in cats.
In cats, this disease is caused by bacteria, and it is characterized by:
Chlamydia in cats is often manifested by purulent conjunctivitis.
- shortness of breath.
For humans, the disease is practically not dangerous, rare cases of infection that occur when in direct contact with an animal cause only a slight fever.
Helminthic infestations are caused by parasitic worms and are very common in cats. Worms parasitize, as a rule, in the gastrointestinal tract of the animal.
A cat infected with helminths loses weight, it develops apathy, and there are signs of general intoxication. In severe cases, animal depletion may occur. The route of human infection is oral-fecal, children are especially susceptible to helminthic infestations.
Every three months I give my cats anthelmintic drugs. Now their choice is so great that it is not difficult to ask them the most capricious animals. If they do not want to eat a pill, a suspension can be poured into the mouth. There are even drops on the withers with a complex effect on parasites.
Video: what can be infected from a cat
How to avoid infection
To avoid infection from a pet, you should first secure it yourself. You need to remember about preventive vaccinations that can protect the cat, and therefore the owner, from many dangerous infections, including rabies. For the prevention and treatment of helminthic infestations, deworming courses are conducted.
Also, do not forget about the rules of personal hygiene. It is important to wash your hands thoroughly after contact with animals that have free access to the street. If a pet eats natural food, then it must be of high quality, prepared in compliance with sanitary conditions. When feeding raw meat, it should first be frozen for 2-3 days.
Infecting a cat owner from his pet is not such a rare thing. As a rule, diseases that are transmitted from a cat to a person do not pose a great danger. However, some of them, such as rabies, can end very badly. That is why the prevention of zooanthroponoses is so important that it is expressed in timely vaccination of animals, as well as observing the rules of personal hygiene by the person himself.