Other Health Topics:
Animal Diseases and Your Health
Also called: Zoonoses
Animal diseases that people can catch are called zoonoses. About 75 percent of the new diseases affecting humans in the past decade can be traced to animals or animal products. You can get a disease directly from an animal, or indirectly, through the environment.
Farm animals can carry diseases. If you touch them or things they have touched, like fencing or buckets, wash your hands thoroughly. Adults should make sure children who visit farms or petting zoos wash up as well.
Pets can also make you sick. Reptiles pose a particular risk. Turtles, snakes and iguanas can transmit
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U.S. National Library of Medicine, 8600 Rockville Pike, Bethesda, MD 20894
National Institutes of Health | Department of Health & Human Services
|Date last updated: 27 April 2009
Topic last reviewed: 11 December 2008