Zoonotic illnesses are diseases humans can get from animals. Many infectious diseases can spread from animals to people, and some of these can come from your pet. But before you become too alarmed, know that getting diseases from a pet is pretty uncommon, and that you can prevent most of them with some very simple steps. For example, teach children not to kiss pets or put their hands in their mouths after touching them. Frequent hand washing and regular vet checks are two other great ways to help prevent a wide range of diseases from pets. This includes diseases from dogs, diseases from cats, diseases from birds, or diseases from reptiles.

Zoonotic Illnesses You Can Get from Your Pet

These are a few of the more common diseases you might get from your pet. People with weak immune systems, such as those with HIV/AIDS, may be more vulnerable than healthy individuals and should take special care.

Rabies

Caused by a virus and spread through bites, rabies is a disease that affects the nervous systemand is generally fatal. Early signs may be fever or headache. This can quickly develop into symptoms of confusion, sleepiness, or agitation. Although rabies can be spread from pets such as a dog or cat, you are more likely to get it from a wild animal.

Rabies virus is a very old parasite of animals and humans. … Rabies virus strains from such divergent hosts as bats or foxes show very strong cross-reaction in serum neutralization in all parts of the world. This would suggest that rabies virus has not substantially changed in 4000 years of observation.