Evidence of the first documented cases of tuberculosis (TB) spreading to humans from cats has been found in the U.K, Public Health England has announced. The two human cases were reported in the English counties of Berkshire and Hampshire, and are now being treated. There were also two latent cases identified. However, PHE says that the overall risk of contracting TB from domestic animals is very low.
Prof Bertie Squire, Professor of Clinical Tropical Medicine at Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, said it was important to put the two unusual cases in perspective. “The real problem of TB in the UK is caused by M. tuberculosis which arises in humans and is transmitted from person to person. In 2012, there were 8,130 cases of human tuberculosis in England, but only 26 notified cases of M. bovis (the strain of TB found in the infected cats), so M. bovis accounts for less than 0.5% of all human TB cases. If we are to control human TB in the UK then we need to focus on identifying and curing the TB that occurs in humans, and we need to do this much better than we do at present.”
Read more: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-26766006
Read more about the importance of respiratory hygiene in preventing spread of infection: http://www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/covercough.htm