Pet owners told be wary of disease threat
Pet owners should be more aware of the risk of disease spread by their animal companions, experts have warned.
Infections from pets are a real threat to vulnerable groups such as newborn babies, children with leukaemia, cancer patients, and anyone with a weak immune system, it is claimed.
A new review of "zoonotic" animal-to-human infection suggests that many people, including doctors, are not taking the risk sufficiently seriously.
Dogs, cats, rodents, reptiles and amphibians are all capable of transmitting Salmonella, Clostridium difficile (C. diff), Campylobacter jejuni and other sickness-inducing bugs.
Pets can also spread parasites. Infections could be acquired from bites, scratches, saliva or contact with faeces.