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  • 1/23/2011

Sleeping with pets can cause illness


Having a close contact with pets, letting them sleep in the owners' bed and kissing them may lead to the transfer of several illnesses to the human, a new study says.

Seemingly healthy pets can carry parasites, bacteria or viruses that cause mild to life-threatening illnesses in human being, according to the study published in the Emerging Infectious Diseases.

From among the 250 known zoonotic diseases, which are transmitted from animals to humans, more than 100 of them, including plague from flea-infested pets, MRSA (Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus) infection, bacterial infection resistant to multiple strains of antibiotics originating from the canine family and various parasitic worms, are derived from domestic pets.

"In many countries, pets have become substitutes for childbearing and child care, sometimes leading to excessive pet care," said Bruno Chomel from the University of California.

The authors cite surveys conducted in the US, the UK, France and the Netherlands, where between 14 and 45 percent of the dogs and 45 to 62 percent of the cats sleep on or in their owners' bed.

Additionally, women were more likely to report sleeping regularly with Fido (25 percent vs. 16 percent), showed the 2005 study conducted by the American Kennel Club.

"I think pets can be very nice in the home environment, but certainly, they don’t belong on the bed," Chomel noted.

Researchers urged individuals to avoid sharing their bed with a pet or kissing them regularly and keep their pets free of fleas, dewormed and take them regularly to the veterinarians.

They also suggested that people should wash any parts of the body licked by a pet with soap and water immediately, especially if it is an open wound or on a vulnerable person.

Source: presstv.ir

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