Although pet ownership can have health, emotional and social benefits, pets can also serve as a source of infections. Surveys suggest that the general public, and particularly people at high risk for pet-associated disease, are not aware of the risks associated with high-risk pet practices or recommendations to reduce them. Studies suggest physicians do not regularly ask about pet contact, nor do they discuss the risks of zoonotic diseases with patients, regardless of the patient’s immune status.
This new review by Stull and co-workers evaluates human infections acquired from pets (i.e., dogs, cats, fish, birds, amphibians, reptiles, rabbits and other rodents) and their risk factors. It also sets out some guidelines for infection prevention with specific emphasis on high-risk groups.
The review can be found in the Canadian Medical Association Journal 2015. DOI:10.1503 /cmaj.141020