Many people in the Las Vegas Valley have one or more pets and while pets bring us comfort and joy they might also bring home zoonotic diseases or infections. According to the Center for Disease Control there are over 60 infections that can be spread from pets to people.


Although the spread of diseases from animals to people is rare, pets do sometimes carry germs that can make people sick. This is especially true for certain high-risk groups of people, including younger children (less than 5 years of age) or people with weakened immune systems. The following are the most common diseases animals can spread to humans.


Rabies - may be the most famous and well recognized of pet zoonoses. Typically, this dreaded viral disease is associated with mammals and is found in infected wild animals like raccoons, skunks, bats, and foxes. Carried in the saliva, rabies can be transmitted to your pet if it comes into contact with an infected animal. Although commonly associated with dogs, CDC data from 2008 and 2009 reveals there are three times more cat-related rabies cases than dog-related cases. Symptoms in humans include fever, headache, confusion, sleepiness or agitation, and eventually death. Prevention is key – keep your pets away from wild animals and have them vaccinated against rabies.


Tick-Borne Infections - Lyme Disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (RMSF) and other tick-borne infections can also be brought home by outdoor pets, typically cats and dogs. Ticks that carry Lyme disease are hard to see and often go unnoticed. Symptoms of infection include a "bull's-eye" rash with fever, headache and muscle or joint pain. Untreated, symptoms can worsen and even cause mental changes and other neurologic complaints.


Salmonella - you may wonder what food poisoning may have to do with pets? In fact, salmonella is most commonly transmitted through contaminated food, but it can also be spread to humans through animals. Salmonella is a bacterium that can live in the intestinal tract of many animals. Thus, it is one of many zoonotic pathogens that can be spread from pets to people when pets pass Salmonella in their feces and it contaminates their fur, feathers, scales or their environment. Symptoms of infection include abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting, and fever. Young children and immune compromised people are at greater risk for more serious illness, including dehydration, meningitis, and sepsis (blood infection). So remember to always wash hands after handling pets, especially those at high risk for transmitting salmonella.


Lymphocytic Choriomeningitisis a virus can be carried by rodents such as mice, hamsters and guinea pigs, all of which are very popular household pets. Unfortunately, this infection may be passed along to humans. Virus transmission can occur by inhaling particles that come from urine, feces, or saliva. LCM infection typically causes flu-like symptoms such as fever, fatigue, muscle aches, nausea, and vomiting and may lead to meningitis and encephalitis, with severe headaches, neck stiffness, confusion and mental status changes.


If you have any of these symptoms seek medical attention immediately. Also contact a pest control professional to eliminate any problem in your home.


GLOBAL PEST SERVICES in Las Vegas is a licensed pest control company that is qualified to handle all your pest elimination needs. Call our office at 702-657-0091 or go to our web site- to speak with us for all your pest control needs. Get a quote now!


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